Robicheaux v. Caldwell

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Description:  Same-sex couples in Louisiana are attempting to have the federal courts invalidate the state's marriage laws that affirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman.


ADF to 5th Circuit: Uphold freedom of La. to affirm marriage as one man, one woman

Brief affirms lower court’s finding that state’s laws ‘are directly related to achieving marriage’s…preeminent purpose of linking children to their biological parents’
Monday, November 10, 2014

Attorney sound bite:  Byron Babione

NEW ORLEANS – Alliance Defending Freedom filed a friend-of-the-court brief Friday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit that asks it to uphold a district court’s decision in favor of the people’s freedom to affirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman in Louisiana.

Thursday, the 6th Circuit affirmed the freedom of four other states to decide their own marriage laws. The ADF brief filed with the 5th Circuit encourages the same result and affirms the district court’s conclusions about the government’s true interest in marriage by citing numerous stories and social science evidence about the need for the state to foster an environment where children can most easily know their biological parents.

“The people of Louisiana – and every state – should continue to have the freedom to affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman in their laws,” said ADF Senior Counsel Byron Babione. “The district court in this case was right to conclude, as the U.S. Supreme Court did in its Windsor decision last year, that marriage law is the business of the states. States that choose to affirm marriage as a man and a woman have vital reasons for doing so.”

“The Constitution does not demand that one irreversible view of marriage be judicially imposed on all the states,” added ADF Legal Counsel Ken Connelly. “As our brief explains, marriage has always played an essential role in protecting the welfare of the next generation by linking children to both of their biological parents, and that is a compelling government interest of the highest order.”

In September, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana upheld the state’s marriage laws in Robicheaux v. Caldwell and noted that “Louisiana is acting squarely within the scope of its traditional authority, as underscored by Justice Kennedy” in the high court’s Windsor decision from last year. The district court also observed that the state’s marriage laws “are directly related to achieving marriage’s…preeminent purpose of linking children to their biological parents.”

As the ADF brief filed with the 5th Circuit explains, “the State best serves children when it adopts laws and policies that promote the biological home. Man-woman-marriage laws do just that. As the District Court recognized, the preeminent social purpose of marriage – and the overriding reason why the government recognizes marriage – is to connect children to both of their biological parents…. [B]ecause man-woman-marriage laws directly further the State’s compelling interest in providing for the next generation’s inherent need to know and be raised by their own mother and father, this Court should not condemn those laws as constitutionally infirm.”

The brief goes on to provide numerous stories and social science evidence about the importance of creating the best possible environments for children to know their biological parents, observing that “encouraging family arrangements where children are raised apart from one or both of their biological parents frustrates their ability to know themselves and form their identities…. As one person separated from her biological father tellingly revealed: ‘I think of myself as a puzzle; [but] the only picture I have ever known is half complete….’ In contrast, children reared in intact biological homes benefit from access to all these pieces when building their life story…. [M]an-woman-marriage laws substantially further the State’s interest in linking children to both of their biological parents.”
  • Pronunciation guide: Babione (BABB’-ee-ohn)

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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Additional resources: Robicheaux v. Caldwell

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Previous news releases:

  • 2014-09-03: ADF: Federal court right to uphold Louisianans’ freedom to preserve marriage

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