ADF: 10th Circuit should uphold right of Oklahomans to affirm marriage

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys available for media interviews
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Attorney sound bite:  Jim Campbell

WHO: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys
WHAT: Available for media interviews concerning oral arguments in Bishop v. Smith
WHEN: Wednesday afternoon and Thursday before and after hearing, which takes place at 1:30 p.m. MDT, Thursday, April 17
WHERE: U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, Byron White United States Courthouse, 1823 Stout St., Denver

DENVER — Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing the Tulsa County clerk will be available for media interviews Wednesday afternoon and Thursday to discuss the defense of Oklahoma’s constitutional amendment affirming marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit will hear oral arguments in the case Bishop v. Smith on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. MDT.

In January, a federal district judge struck down a portion of the amendment, approved by 76 percent of Oklahoma voters in 2004, but his decision is on hold until all appeals have been exhausted.

“Marriage is too important for its future to be decided by anybody but the people,” said ADF Legal Counsel Jim Campbell, who will argue before the court Thursday. “Oklahomans legitimately exercised their authority when they approved the challenged marriage amendment. The 10th Circuit should affirm the people’s freedom to debate and decide public-policy questions that will have generational consequences.”

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys represent Tulsa County Clerk Sally Howe Smith. In 2009, a same-sex couple allegedly asked Smith’s office to issue a marriage license to them. Smith, however, cannot legally issue a marriage license to two people of the same sex, so neither she nor her office could honor that request.

According to the opening brief ADF attorneys filed with the 10th Circuit, “Marriage has always existed to join in committed unions men and women in sexual relationships to increase the likelihood that they will stay together and raise the children they beget. Some, however, seek to redefine marriage from a gendered to a genderless institution…. Discontented with the People’s decision in the States that have affirmed marriage as a gendered institution, Plaintiffs and many other genderless-marriage advocates have filed lawsuits. They argue that the public discussion about the meaning, purpose, and future of marriage was and is meaningless…. Plaintiffs are mistaken. The Constitution has not removed this question from the People.”
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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