Five religious organizations, including the Church, filed an amicus (“friend-of-the-court”) brief on Feb. 10 with the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. The brief addresses two cases before the court that seek to redefine traditional marriage.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Association of Evangelicals, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod filed the brief collectively.
An amicus brief (or amicus curiae brief) is filed by individuals or organizations who, while not a party to a lawsuit, have a strong interest in or knowledge of the subject matter. The intent is to provide the court with information about the effects of a decision beyond the parties involved in the case.
“Our faith communities bear no ill will toward same-sex couples, but rather have marriage-affirming religious beliefs that merge with both practical experience and sociological fact to convince us that retaining the husband-wife marriage definition is essential,” the brief explains.
From the perspective of each faith’s tradition individually, as well as collectively, the brief outlines why “marriage between a man and a woman is sanctioned by God as the right and best setting for bearing and raising children.”
The brief also explains why the support of religious organizations and believers for traditional marriage laws “by no stretch undermines their constitutionality” under the federal Establishment Clause.
And the brief concludes that laws protecting traditional marriage “are entitled to be judged on their merits based on settled rules of law — not on a more demanding standard born of suspicion toward religion, religious believers, or their values.”