May 15, 2014
There seem to be more legal challenges to state laws proclaiming natural marriage than there are stars in the sky. One of these, DeBoer v. Snyder, arises out of Michigan. In DeBoer, a federal district court declared Michigan’s natural marriage definition to be unconstitutional. The decision was appealed by Michigan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the Family Research Council has filed a friend of the court brief in this appeal. The brief was written by Paul Linton, a highly regarded constitutional appellate attorney, who submitted the brief on FRC’s behalf last week on May 9th.
The amicus brief focuses on two general arguments. First, it maintains that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution does not create a fundamental right to marry a person of the same sex. Second, Michigan’s definition of marriage is reasonably related several legitimate state interests, most notably, its promotion of responsible procreation. Thus, Michigan marriage law satisfies the “rational-basis” review required by constitutional equal protection analysis. For these reasons, the district court’s decision should be reversed.