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Marriage On Trial at U.S. Supreme Court Today


As the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments today in a landmark set of cases that could determine the future legal definition of marriage in this country, the North Carolina Family Policy Council has joined more than 30 pro-family organizations in urging the high court to uphold the age-old definition of marriage as only the union of one man and one woman. In an amici curiae brief filed with the Court on April 2, NC Family, along with its national policy partner CitizenLink, other family policy councils, and several scholars, emphasized the fundamental connection between marriage and children.

“Only a marriage between a man and a woman is capable of producing biological children of both spouses, creating a family of father, mother, and child,” the brief states. Because social science evidence “demonstrates that parenting by a mother and a father provides children with the optimal environment for their cognitive, social, and emotional development from infancy through adolescence,” the brief argues, “it is therefore rational and, indeed, compelling for the government to recognize and promote mother-father parenting by continuing to define marriage exclusively as the union of a man and a woman.”

“We urge all North Carolinians to pray for wisdom for our nation’s Supreme Court as the justices weigh the paramount questions presented by this case,” said John L. Rustin, NC Family president. “We remain hopeful and prayerful that the Court will recognize that every child deserves a mother and father, and that the government has a compelling interest in promoting such marital and family relationships.”

This amicus brief is one of 66 briefs that have been submitted to the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges in support of marriage protection laws. The case is consolidated with three other cases and deals with the marriage protection laws of four states-Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Michigan. The marriage laws of these states were upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which, to date, is the only federal appeals court to uphold state marriage protection laws. Six other federal appeals courts have struck down similar laws.

On Tuesday, April 28, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments that will focus on two central questions:

  • “Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?”
  • “Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?”

Audio recordings and an unofficial transcript of Tuesday’s hearing in Obergefell v. Hodges will be available on the Supreme Court website Tuesday afternoon.



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