Liberty counsel files briefs in defense of traditional marriage
Autor: Allie Martin Fuente: Agape Press

(AgapePress) - A Christian law firm is defending traditional marriage in New York's highest court. Florida-based Liberty Counsel has filed two separate briefs at the New York Court of Appeals defending that state's marriage laws.

In the case of Hernandez v. Robles, a judge declared in February 2005 that New York's marriage laws are unconstitutional. Judge Doris Ling-Cohen ruled at that time that individuals have a "fundamental right to choose one spouse," that same-sex marriage "would cause harm to no one," that there is "no legitimate purpose, let alone a compelling interest" in the marriage laws, and ordered that the terms "husband," "wife," "groom," and "bride" be construed as "spouse." The First Department of the Appellate Division later reversed that ruling and upheld the marriage laws.

In the second case -- Samuels v. New York State Department of Health -- Judge Joseph Teresi upheld the state's marriage laws against a challenge brought by 13 same-sex couples. Upon appeal, the Third Department of the Appellate Division also upheld the marriage laws.

Both cases are now before the New York Court of Appeals, the state's highest court. On behalf of the New York Family Policy Council and Concerned Women for America, Liberty Counsel has filed a brief in each of the two cases. Mat Staver, president of the legal group, says marriage laws in the state of New York are clear.

"They limit marriage to husbands and wives, brides and grooms, men and women, moms and dads, male and female," he says. "It's absolutely clear how the laws limit marriage -- and it's also clear why they limit marriage to one man and one woman."

Staver takes issue with Judge Ling-Cohen's remark that same-sex marriage would case harm to no one. He says the state has a legitimate interest in limiting marriage to the union of one man and one woman.

"[M]arriage is distinct and unique [from other personal relationships]," he points out, "[and] marriage between a man and a woman certainly benefit[s] both the man and woman relationship -- but it also has particular benefit to children, to our society, and to the well-being of the state. Every civilized society has certainly based its marital relationships on people in opposite-gender relationships."

And in direct reference to the judge's argument, Staver says there is no fundamental right to "marry" a person of the same sex. "Marriage licenses should not be given to two people who simply say that they have some kind of affection to one another," the attorney says.

The Liberty Counsel leader contends that recognition of marriage between people of the same sex would result in "the abolition of male and female by making gender irrelevant." And that, he adds, would have "devastating effects on children, [who] do best when raised with a mom and a dad."
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