(Washington, D.C., March 6, 2015)—Dozens of friend-of-the-court briefs have been filed with the United States Supreme Court urging the Court to strike down marriage equality bans in Tennessee and three other states.
The briefs were filed over the last several days by leading businesses and corporations, family law and constitutional scholars, child welfare organizations, children’s rights advocates, civil and human rights organizations, religious leaders and denominations, Republican officials, and many bar associations and legal groups across the country. The Court will hear oral argument on April 28 and is expected to issue its decision by the end of June 2015.
The briefs include:
- A brief filed by nearly 2,000 individual faith leaders and numerous major religious organizations
- A record 379 employers—ranging from small businesses to 40 Fortune 100 companies
- Nearly 230 mayors from across the country
- Survivors of anti-LGBTQ conversion therapy
- Women’s rights organizations
- Legal scholars
A number of briefs focus on the issue presented particularly by the Tennessee and Ohio cases, which is whether the United States Constitution prohibits states from refusing to recognize legally married same-sex couples from other states.
For example, according to the friend of the court brief authored by University of Pennsylvania Law Professor Tobias Wolff and joined by the nation’s leading conflict of law scholars: “The right that Lawrence [v. Texas] recognizes for gay couples to form a household and share private intimacy is accompanied by a right to move freely around the country in choosing where to establish that household.”
The Tennessee plaintiffs are three same-sex couples who moved to Tennessee after legally marrying in another state. They are represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Tennessee attorneys Abby Rubenfeld, Maureen Holland, and Regina Lambert, William Harbison and other attorneys from the law firm of Sherrard & Roe PLC, and Douglas Hallward-Driemeier and other attorneys from the law firm of Ropes & Gray LLP. The Court will also hear cases brought by couples from Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio.