From staff reports
MONTGOMERY — Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in defense of the freedom of states to affirm marriage as a union of one man and one woman.
The amicus brief, which was filed Friday in the combined cases of Obergefell v. Hodges, Tanco v. Haslam, DeBoer v. Snyder and Bourke v. Beshear, encourages the Supreme Court to uphold the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that the one-man, one-woman marriage laws of the states of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee are a rational exercise of state authority and are thus constitutional. The outcome of these combined cases, which will be considered by the Supreme Court beginning April 28, 2015, will affect the legal standing of similar marriage laws in all other states, including Alabama.
“An overwhelming majority of Alabama voters approved our state’s constitutional amendment declaring marriage as between one man and one woman,” Strange said. “It is important that Alabamians’ views be represented before the Supreme Court and I filed this brief to make sure their voices are heard.”
“This case is about more than marriage,” Strange says in the brief. “It is also about the proper role of the federal courts in scrutinizing state policy decisions. The presumption is state laws are constitutional. If the traditional definition of marriage is not a rational basis for legislative action, it is hard to imagine what is.”
In January 2015, U.S. District Court Judge Callie Granade ruled that Alabama’s definition of marriage as between one man and one woman is unconstitutional. The U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court declined subsequent requests from Attorney General Strange to stay the lower court order pending the outcome of similar cases before the high court this summer.
Alabama’s amicus brief was prepared in partnership with the conservative nonprofit legal organization, Alliance Defending Freedom, at no cost to taxpayers.