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Marriage Supporters Flood High Court Ahead of Case

04-22-2015
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The U.S. Supreme Court has received a barrage of briefs ahead of the upcoming case that could legalize same-sex marriage nationwide.

Dozens of opponents have filed briefs urging the justices not to enforce a sudden, radical change on society by redefining what constitutes a marriage.

One of the top arguments made in the briefs contends that same-sex marriage could harm children because information indicates children raised by two fathers or two mothers suffer more emotional pain.

In fact, six children who were raised by same-sex couples have even filed briefs stating their opposition to redefining marriage.

Heather Barwick and Katy Faust filed a "friend of the court" brief saying they endured harm because they were not raised by a father and a mother.

"We write to this Court as children raised by women in committed same-sex relationships. While we love and cherish our mothers, we feel it's imperative that we bring to this Court's attention the impact that redefining marriage will have on children like us," Barwick and Faust stated.

"We oppose gay marriage on the grounds that it violates children's rights and cannot provide children with the most foundational building blocks for child development - a mother and father living with and loving them," they said.

Some briefs argue the high court should let states limit marriage to a man and a woman for the sake of children.

They cite a recent study by the Rev. D. Paul Sullins, a Catholic University sociology professor, which shows that children brought up by same-sex parents have a higher rate of emotional and developmental problems.

"If children don't do as well when they are raised by same-sex parents, why would we want to establish or encourage that as a social norm?" Sullins asked.

Sullins has been criticized by supporters of same-sex marriage who say he skewed the study because he's Catholic. But he said the data doesn't lie.

"I don't know of any Catholic way to compute the equation," he said. "The idea that there are no differences is emphatically mistaken. I don't know how else to say that."

And the Alliance Defending Freedom points out that the American College of Pediatricians has filed a brief with other groups and scholars that argues "of the eight total large-scale studies that purport to evaluate the welfare of children raised by same-sex couples, the four most recent 'find that children with same-sex parents suffer substantially reduced well-being.'"

Meanwhile, supporters of traditional marriage also contend that a ruling in favor of same-sex marriage will remove all boundaries, opening marriage to three or more people.

"Expanding the definition of marriage away from the way cultures and civilization have always defined it can only lead to further confusion," said the Rev. Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

"We're always told that what we say is slippery-slope alarmism. And yet the slope is quite slippery," Moore warned.

Attorney John Bursch wrote a defense of Michigan's gay marriage ban. He will argue before the court on behalf of the states that same-sex couples can claim no constitutional right to marriage.

Bursch writes that his case is not about the best marriage definition, but "who decides, the people of each state or the federal judiciary?"

The Supreme Court will hear the case on April 28.

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