Quantcast
Connect with us

Republicans in Western states tell appeals court: Bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional

Published

on

By Eric M. Johnson

(Reuters) – Republicans from Western states are expected on Tuesday to urge a U.S. appeals court to rule state bans on gay marriage unconstitutional, an aide said, citing shifts in the cultural standpoints of some conservatives in a broad national debate.

Former U.S. senators Alan Simpson of Wyoming and Nancy Kassebaum of Kansas were among some 20 Republicans who signed a legal brief to be filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver.

ADVERTISEMENT

The court is to hear cases from Utah and Oklahoma, where federal courts have ruled state bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional.

“Marriage is strengthened and its benefits, importance to society, and the social stability of the family unit are promoted” through nuptials between gay and lesbian couples, said a copy of the 33-page brief provided to Reuters.

The Republican group cited constitutional guarantees of equal protection under the law, proper limits to government’s role in citizens’ personal lives, and individual freedom, among other reasons.

There is growing momentum for a legalization of gay marriage in the Western region and across the United States, with judges striking down restrictions in several states including New Mexico, Virginia and Texas.

The mood is reflected in polling, too, with support for gay marriage surging in the decade since it first became legal in Massachusetts. Just more than half of Americans now support the idea. In all, 17 states plus the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriage, including eight states where it became legal in 2013.

ADVERTISEMENT

Utah and Oklahoma would be added to that list if federal court rulings overturning gay marriage bans on constitutional grounds are upheld by the U.S. Appeals Court in Denver. Hearings are slated for April.

Rulings there could render same-sex marriage legal in states within the court’s circuit – namely Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming, although an opposing decision by the U.S. Supreme Court could bar them.

Sean Gallagher, a Denver lawyer and Republican who helped prepare the so-called friend-of-the-court brief, said it reflects changing attitudes of conservatives, moderates, and libertarians in those states.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Traditionally, there have been concerns that it will affect the integrity of the family or will affect the ability to raise kids. The reality is there is no objective proof of that,” Gallagher told Reuters in an interview.

Gay advocates have notched other wins in the West, with the New Mexico Supreme Court ruling in December to allow same-sex marriage and Nevada dropping its defense of a state ban earlier this month.

ADVERTISEMENT

Nevada’s top lawyer said the state’s arguments in support of a voter-approved ban on gay marriage were no longer sustainable amid a shifting U.S. landscape, a move that was backed by Governor Brian Sandoval, a Republican.

Gallagher, who was chief counsel for former presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign in Colorado, said the changes are in part generational. “If you talk to people under the age of 30, gay marriage is just not an issue – whether they are Republicans or Democrats,” he said.

(Editing by Mark Heinrich)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Here are 7 suspicious revelations from the US attorney forced out by Bill Barr

Published

on

When Attorney General Bill Barr tried to force out Geoffrey Berman, who had been the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, he created a mess he clearly didn't foresee. He claimed Berman had stepped down, but Berman quickly refuted that claim. Berman's opposition foiled Barr's attempt to replace him with an outsider to the office, and eventually, Berman left on the understanding that his deputy, Audrey Strauss, would take over.

The tumultuous and dramatic series of events left a question that has yet to be answered: Why did Barr want to replace Berman so badly? Given the SDNY's centrality to several cases that directly or indirectly implicate President Donald Trump, the hamfisted effort to oust Berman has raised suspicions of potential misconduct and improper influence.

Continue Reading

2020 Election

Trump Jr ripped for ‘hypocrisy’ and ‘stupidity’ as group releases new #ByeDonJr ad

Published

on

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

‘Odd Radio Circles’ perplex astronomers studying the newly discovered phenomenon

Published

on

Astronomers believe they have discovered a new, bizarre type of cosmic object that is invisible to all wavelengths of light except radio.

This story originally appeared at Salon.

The strange circular objects in question have been unofficially dubbed "Odd Radio Circles" (ORCs); three of them were discovered in a recent data accumulated during a preliminary survey by the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder, a radio telescope array in Western Australia. A fourth Odd Radio Circle was discovered when researchers sifted through old data from 2013.

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image