17 State Attorneys General File Amicus Brief Telling Supreme Court To Support Marriage Equality

The Attorneys General for 16 states and Washington D.C. have joined together to petition the Supreme Court to vote in favor of marriage equality when they consider same-sex marriage ban arguments this Spring. The Justices will hear arguments in April, and a response is expected in June, after which the question of same-sex marriage may be settled for the U.S. — or at least, far more settled than it currently stands.

They Attorneys General of 16 states, as well as District of Columbia, have joined together to file a brief urging the Supreme Court to decide in favor of equality. They are as follows.

  • California — Kamala D. Harris
  • Connecticut — George Jepsen
  • Delaware — Matthew P. Denn
  • District of Columbia — Karl A. Racine
  • Illinois — Lisa Madigan
  • Iowa — Tom Miller
  • Maine — Janet T. Mills
  • Maryland — Brian E. Frosh
  • Massachussetts — Maura Healey
  • New Hampshire — Joseph A. Foster
  • New Mexico — Hector H. Balderas
  • New York — Eric T. Schneiderman
  • Oregon — Ellen F. Rosenblum
  • Pennsylvania — Kathleen G. Kane
  • Rhode Island — Peter F. Kilmartin
  • Vermont — William H. Sorrell
  • Washington — Robert W. Ferguson

In a 49-page brief, publicly published by Massachusetts A.G. Maura Healey Sunday morning, the Attorneys General argue for marriage equality on four points: that marriage equality will benefit the state, that there is no legitimate purpose in denying marriage to same-sex couples, that same-sex marriage offers no threat to opposite-sex marriage, and that being denied equality in marriage does injury to same-sex couples.

The entire brief can be read here (pdf).

The Attorneys General join numerous other groups in urging the Supreme Court Justices to rule in favor of marriage equality — a number of secular and church-state watchdog groups have filed similar amicus briefs, and the Justice Department has also urged the Justices to rule for equality.

Of course, there are still holdouts fighting against marriage equality: Kentucky Representative Todd Rush, who proposed that, if marriage can’t be restricted to opposite-sex couples, it should be restricted to religious couples, and Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who says that two Supreme Court Justices shouldn’t even be included in the vote on marriage equality, for example.

They are holdouts, though, and not representative of the majority, according to the latest polls. According to Polling Report, in the most recent CBS poll, 70 percent of Democrats, 62 percent of Independents, and 43 percent of Republican respondents, said they believed that same-sex marriage should be legal. Overall, 60 percent supported marriage equality. Polls over the past three years show these numbers steadily increasing.

Let us know: Is your state’s Attorney General a part of this brief for marriage equality and does his/her presence or absence reflect your own stance?

[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]