What's at stake
- Affirming marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
- Promoting the importance of both mothers and fathers.
- Protecting the voters’ rights to direct social policy concerning marriage and family.
By an overwhelming margin, Nevada voters adopted a state constitutional amendment stating that only “marriage between a male and female person shall be recognized and given effect in this state.” Eight same-sex couples filed suit in 2012 to have the law overturned because they wanted to either obtain a same-sex marriage license in Nevada or have their out-of-state same-sex marriage recognized.
That effort was rejected by the trial court. That court recognized that the “perpetuation of the human race depends upon traditional procreation between men and women.” The court found that promoting such relationships serves an important state interest, as does avoiding the unforeseen effects of changing the definition of marriage to include any kind of romantic relationship. Opponents of Nevada’s marriage laws appealed to the Ninth Circuit.
On appeal, Alliance Defending Freedom filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the Ninth Circuit to uphold the lower court’s ruling. The brief explains that marriage is based on the unique ability of one man and one woman to create new life and raise a child in a stable family unit headed by a mother and a father. Because same-sex couples do not have that ability, the Equal Protection Clause does not require Nevada to treat them the same way that it treats man-woman couples. Alliance Defending Freedom’s brief took on additional importance when Nevada’s Attorney General stopped defending Nevada’s marriage laws on appeal. Argument in the case is expected in the Fall of 2014.
Alliance Defending Freedom defended marriage in Nevada and continues to do so in other cases throughout the nation.
Our role in this case
Alliance Defending Freedom defended Nevada’s marriage amendment by filing a friend-of-the-court brief in the Ninth Circuit.