Supreme Court Marriage Equality Cases: Court Urged To Uphold Proposition 8, Defense Of Marriage Act

January 23, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court was urged on Tuesday to uphold the constitutionality of two laws that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman, as it prepares to hear arguments in the historic same-sex marriage cases two months from now. Supporters of the 2008 California prohibition on same-sex marriage known as Proposition 8 told the court that defining marriage should be left to voters rather than judges, and that the ban did not dishonor gays and lesbians. "That same-sex relationships are not recognized as marriages does not reflect a public judgment that individuals in such relationships are 'inferior' or 'of lesser worth as a class,'" the brief said, "but simply the fact that such relationships do not implicate society's interest in responsible procreation in the same way that opposite-sex relationships do." In a separate filing, the top three Republican members of the House of Representatives - Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy - urged the court to uphold Section 3 of a 1996 federal law, the Defense of Marriage Act, that has the effect of denying same-sex couples a variety of federal benefits that heterosexual couples receive.