Supreme Court opening briefs filed in gay marriage case

Courtesy photo of April DeBoer (seated) and Jayne Rowse (standing) with their four adopted children. (Jan. 8, 2015)

WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) — “The weight of this moment isn’t lost on me. We are in the home stretch,” said Louise Melling, Deputy Legal Director of the ACLU and co-counsel for the Kentucky and Ohio cases.

The attorneys for the cases out of Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan and Tennessee all presented a united front Friday lauding the historic nature of the case. In April, the Supreme Court will hear arguments asking it to overturn gay marriage bans in those four states. Other state courts have already announced they are putting off rulings to wait for the Supreme Court to make its decision.

Melling said 37 states and the District of Columbia now recognize the right to gay marriage, but it’s just a patchwork. They want a nationwide decision issued by the highest court in the land.

“Regardless of what happens,” said Louisville attorney Dan Canon, “We believe these are the briefs that represent the right side of history.”

In Michigan, the children of a same-sex couple are parties in the case before the highest court. “The ban brings psychological injury to children. The ban humiliates children and creates a stigma,“ said Carole Stanyar. “Marriage brings stability to families. It tells children they have and will always have two parents. Marriage brings dignity and respect to children and their parents.”

In the opening briefs filed Friday, the attorneys attempt to combat the federalism argument, the idea that states should make these decisions for themselves. The attorneys said that now that 70 percent of Americans live in states that recognize gay marriage, federalism is being resolved by a national solution. And, by some states refusing to recognize gay marriages, those states are denying the democratic process in states that have chosen to recognize gay marriage.

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