- (Photo: Reuters/Kevin LaMarque)
A group of former and current Republicans are filing an amicus brief, encouraging a federal court of appeals to overturn same-sex marriage bans in Oklahoma and Utah. They argue that the conservative values of freedom and liberty fall in line with gay marriage support.
It remains unclear which current Republican lawmakers have signed the 30-page argument but The Associated Press, which received a draft of the brief, named former Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming, who has been known to be socially liberal and once described himself as a "RINO," or "Republic In Name Only," as part of the group. Simpson has also stated his support for same-sex marriage, telling MSNBC's Chris Matthews in 2011, ahead of the GOP presidential primaries, that he wouldn't stand behind pro-traditional marriage candidates like Rick Santorum "who are homophobic."
Another Republican named on Tuesday's brief is former Rep. Nancy Kassebaum of Kansas, who changed her opposition to same-sex marriage last year.
The brief suggests that the conservative values of freedom and liberty are consistent with allowing same-sex marriage, stating that "marriage is strengthened and its benefits, importance to society, and the social stability of the family unit are promoted" when gays and lesbians are allowed to marry.
The brief was filed in the Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is currently hearing two appeals from Oklahoma and Utah after judges in each state determined their voter-approved gay marriage bans to be unconstitutional. The court's ruling could affect all of the states that fall in its jurisdiction, including Wyoming, Utah, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas, and Colorado. However, whatever ruling the court makes could be barred if the cases go on to the Supreme Court, as they are expected to do.
Other groups, including the American Sociology Association and two pro-LGBT military organizations, have filed amicus briefs in the Denver-based court opposing the state bans. In turn, The Salt Lake Tribune reports that for Utah alone, over 25 groups, including the Liberty Counsel and the Family Research Council, have filed amicus briefs in support of the state and its voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.
This isn't the first time some Republicans have sought to make a case for same-sex marriage in court. When the Supreme Court was debating California's Proposition 8 in February 2013, a group of mostly lesser-known Republicans filed an amicus brief seeking to argue that conservative values fall in line with the legalization of same-sex marriage.
As The Christian Post previously reported, other conservatives argue that maintaining the traditional definition of marriage is integral to society's stability and minimal government control.
"Everything depends on marriage," Robert P. George, McCormick professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University, has said, "because it is the fundamental unit of society, the original and best department of health, education and welfare, supplying what every other institution in society needs, depends on, for its own flourishing, but which none of those institutions can supply for themselves."