Scholars: Children benefit from having mom, dad

Alliance Defending Freedom files friend-of-the-court briefs in support of marriage laws in Utah, Va.
Monday, November 04, 2013

Attorney sound bite:  Austin R. Nimocks

SALT LAKE CITY and NORFOLK, Va. — Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing respected scholars have filed friend-of-the-court briefs in defense of constitutional amendments protecting marriage in Utah and Virginia.

“Society should protect and strengthen marriage, not undermine it. These scholars argue that the marriage laws in Utah and Virginia have a legitimate aim that should not be overturned by judicial fiat,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Austin R. Nimocks. “The lifelong, faithful union of a man and a woman is the foundation of every healthy, stable society. These states act constitutionally in recognizing that both men and women bring distinct, irreplaceable gifts to families.”

Professors Lynn D. Wardle, William C. Duncan, Bryce J. Christensen, Joseph P. Price, Robert A. Destro, and Lynne Marie Kohm filed the briefs. They have each authored scholarly works and have been widely published on issues related to marriage and the family. Wardle, Duncan, Christensen, and Price filed a brief in Kitchen v. Herbert in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division. Wardle, Duncan, Price, Destro, and Kohm filed a brief in Bostic v. Rainey in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Norfolk Division.

“Strong families are founded on the ideal of the marriage of one man and one woman,” the briefs explain. “Healthy, enduring marriages enrich the lives of the couple, their children, and the community around them. Both genders make important gender-related contributions to marriage and family life. For decades, the social sciences have provided clear and convincing evidence that not all family structures are the same with respect to facilitating healthy family environments.”

Those who support redefining marriage frequently claim that no difference exists in the outcomes of children raised by their biological mother and father and those raised by two women or two men. The brief responds with recent scholarship and studies demonstrating that such claims are difficult to support.

Frank D. Mylar, one of nearly 2,300 attorneys allied with Alliance Defending Freedom, is local counsel for the Utah brief. Allied attorneys Mark R. Matney and George T. Dillon III also filed a separate friend-of-the-court brief in the Virginia case on behalf of The Family Foundation of Virginia. That brief argues that any federal court order that uses the U.S. Constitution to mandate that a state redefine marriage illegitimately treads upon the sovereign right of those states to define marriage as they have since the nation’s founding.
  • Pronunciation guide: Nimocks (NIM’-ucks)
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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