House Attorneys: Marriage Law Constitutional; Say Court Should Toss Challenge Based on Supreme Court's 'Binding' Precedent
Byline: Cheryl Wetzstein, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Attorneys for the House of Representatives this week asked a federal court to throw out a case against the Defense of Marriage Act, saying the 1996 law is both constitutional and rational.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1972 that two men .. had no constitutional right to marry each other, and this binding precedent supports DOMA's constitutionality, Paul D Clement and colleagues said in their Aug. 15 briefs in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.
DOMA was enacted for many reasons, including employing proper caution in the face of a proposed redefinition of the centuries-old definition of marriage, they said.
Moreover, the court need not give the case heightened scrutiny, as the gay plaintiffs seek.
Sexual orientation never has been viewed as a suspect or quasi-suspect classification by the federal courts, the attorneys said, adding that homosexuality has not been proven to be inborn and immutable, and that gays are not politically powerless.
The court should toss the DOMA case, they concluded, because changing marriage to something other than the union of one man and one woman is a quintessential legislative and democratic question that should be decided by the people, not the courts. …