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ADF asks 5th Circuit to uphold Texas marriage laws

Brief: Texas has freedom to affirm man-woman marriage
Published On: 10/18/2017

NEW ORLEANS – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a friend-of-the-court brief Monday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit to defend Texas’s laws affirming marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The brief, filed on behalf of Texas Values and Louisiana Family Forum, argues that Texas has a host of reasons to affirm marriage in a manner consistent with its longstanding public policy.


“Marriage expresses the reality that men and women bring distinct, irreplaceable gifts to family life, especially for children, who deserve both a mom and a dad,” said ADF Senior Counsel Austin R. Nimocks. “That is why Texans approved a constitutional amendment affirming marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The court should uphold the right of Texans to define marriage consistent with this public policy, which is motivated by their concern over what’s best for children and society. Moms and dads are both necessary; neither is replaceable by a generic ‘adult.’”

In February, a federal district judge struck down the state’s constitutional amendment affirming marriage as the union of one man and one woman, but put a hold on his decision while the case is on appeal.

As the brief filed with the 5th Circuit in the case, DeLeon v. Perry, explains, “Some now seek to redefine marriage from a gendered to a genderless institution, while many others sincerely believe that redefining marriage as a genderless institution would obscure its animating purpose and thereby undermine its social utility. The United States Constitution does not settle this important question about the definition of marriage, but rather permits the People to decide that domestic-relations issue for themselves.”

“Yet those who seek to redefine marriage as a genderless institution disagree,” the brief continues, “effectively asserting that the Constitution itself mandates genderless marriage and that the People have no say in deciding the weighty social, philosophical, political, and legal issues implicated by this public debate. But that view is mistaken. The Constitution has neither removed this question from the People nor settled this critical social-policy issue entrusted to the States.”

“Preserving marriage is society’s time-tested way to bless as many children as possible with both a mom and a dad,” added ADF Legal Counsel Ken Connelly. “The 5th Circuit should not endorse the recently conceived notion that marriage is little more than special government recognition for adult relationships. Instead, it should uphold laws that discourage the establishment of homes missing a mom or a dad.”


  • Pronunciation guide: Nimocks (NIM’-ucks)


Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.


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