"...[T]he State recognizes marriages for the purpose of providing stability to the types of relationships that are presumptively capable of naturally producing children and affording them both of their biological parents," the brief asserts. "That vital purpose of marriage is not a relic of history; even today, the State has a compelling interest in encouraging arrangements where children are more likely to be raised by both their biological mother and their biological father."
The legislators' brief references countless sociological studies that affirm that the traditional family is the
"optimal childrearing environment" for children. "The intact, biological, married family remains the gold standard for family life in the United States, insofar as children are most likely to thrive---economically, socially, and psychologically--in this family form."
Senator Dempsey and Speaker Diehl point out in the court filing that "a host of judicial decisions" have concluded that traditional marriage laws "are rationally related to the government's interest in steering procreation into marriage and connecting children to their biological parents."
The legislative leaders spoke out vigorously in the brief in defense of the right of the people of Missouri to determine the legal status of marriage. They reminded the court of the recent Windsor
decision of the U.S. Supreme Court which reaffirmed that the subject of domestic law and marital relations has historically been the exclusive province of the states.
"When they enacted the marriage laws challenged here, Missourians legitimately protected this collective right to decide one of the most profound and divisive questions of our day--the definition of the marital relation. The Fourteenth Amendment does not prohibit this."
We commend Senator Dempsey and Speaker Diehl for demonstrating moral leadership and true integrity in
standing up for the sacred institution of marriage and the family values of the people of Missouri. We also thank Kansas City attorney Mike Whitehead for filing the brief on behalf of the legislators with assistance from attorneys for the Alliance Defending Freedom.
We suggest you contact the Pro Tem and the Speaker and thank them for defending God's design for marriage and the family. The contact info for Senator Dempsey is:firstname.lastname@example.org
The contact info for Speaker Diehl is:email@example.com
It is expected that oral arguments in this case, known as Lawson v. Kelly
, will be heard by the 8th Circuit in mid-May. The three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit who will decide the case will likely be announced by the end of the month.
Missouri has another case pending involving a challenge to Missouri's Marriage Amendment. St. Louis City Circuit Judge Rex Burlison ruled in early November that Missouri's marriage laws are an unconstitutional violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Attorney General Koster appealed Judge Burlison's tyrannical decision to the Missouri Supreme Court.
However, Missouri's High Court has decided to place that case (State of Missouri v. Florida
) in abeyance until the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States
Supreme Court rule on the cases before them. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling on an appeal of a 6th U.S. Circuit Court decision by the end of June. Whether the 8th U.S. Circuit will rule on the Lawson
case before the nation's High Court issues their definitive ruling is the pivotal question at this time.