This broadcaster has 499 podcast archives available on-demand.
Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.
May 3, 2014 12:00 pm
NC Family president John Rustin talks with Kellie Fiedorek, litigation staff counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, about the escalating battle over the definition of marriage in the United States, how the courts are being used to force the redefinition of marriage on citizens across our country, and where North Carolina fits into this battle.
This is family policy matters program is produced by the North Carolina family policy Council of profamily research and education organization dedicated to strengthening and preserving the video. Here's John Rushton, president of the North Carolina family policy Council, thank you for joining us this week. Profamily policy matters. It is our pleasure to have only for the work with us on the program.
Kelly is litigation, staff counsel with alliance defending freedom or ADLs in its Washington DC office where she serves on the marriage litigation team.
Kelly is with us today to talk about the escalating battle over the definition of marriage in the United States how the culture being used to force the redefinition of marriage on citizens across our country and where North Carolina fits into this battle. Kelly, thanks so much for joining us for having me. Will we really appreciate your time. We know that you all are extremely busy at ADLs with all that you got going on and are so grateful for all the wonderful work that you do as we begin, it seems like nearly every day.
We seem to hear about another federal court that has struck him down marriage laws of particular states across the country.
How would you describe the current battle over marriage in the United States and Florida courts being used to force the redefinition of marriage on the American public is really an effort to radically redefine marriage and states to go again what the majority of citizens in that state payment in North Carolina that those people went to the ballot box may validate about Mary. They voted. They wanted to protect and strengthen marriage for that know the good of society but also the good of children tension a kids mom and dad are possible and it's unfortunate that overseeing and a growing number of fatalities, federal judges, striking down state marriage Padre most cases the people that voted for them in the first place was exactly what we see a lot of things like these flights initially took place in state legislatures and the legislatures passed legislation authorizing these votes of the people to take place in many states across the country as it was in her Carolina marriage protection amendments were adopted and now we see this battle having moved into the court stated, I know it's really frustrating for a lot of folks out there because they feel like the culture really beyond their reach to have any impact on whatsoever think that a lot of a lot of people so very helpless because they they think of the ballot box.
They developed what they believe is the truth about marriage and what's best for their state and now those lies are being shut down for being a paladin and respective constitutional just put a plug in for a lot because you won't really all the voice of so many Americans in the courtroom and were again so grateful for all the wonderful work that you you are doing at last count there were over 60 lawsuits challenging the marriage laws of 30 states, including two lawsuits that have been introduced in maternal now the majority of these lawsuits were filed after the United States Supreme Court's decision in the winter case which the court handed down in June 2013 Kelly if you would tell us briefly about the Windsor decision and why marriage redefinition. Proponents are using it as a basis. I'll be at our wrong basis to challenge state marriage laws have been a lot of confusion about what when there dad and when it really stands for.
Just to clarify for you (I Windsor struck down section 3 of the federal Defense of marriage act, which basically just defined for the purposes of federal law that marriage is between one man one woman in the court actually said that the federal government aired after deviating from its usual tradition of respecting state laws so it's really important to know that hypocrite had nothing good or bad about same-sex marriage. I certainly didn't say that there is now a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. That is something that our plans were trying to achieve an end and he didn't did not achieve that the court did not say that it simply sat at the federal government cannot define marriage it needs to respect whatever the state say marriage is, I nevertheless we have seen countless lawsuits filed. He said there's over 60 have have now come out challenging state laws defining marriage but when there stands the proposition that that marriage should be left to the states to define for the people to make marriage policy as they see fit. As I mentioned earlier, number of federal court rulings overturning the marriage laws in several states. Although those rulings currently or hold pending appeal state marriage laws have been struck down.
Today Kelly and Company cases are currently at the appellate level only marriage, Oklahoma, Michigan, Texas, Virginia, Utah, and imparted Kentucky and part of Ohio's lies have been struck down so far and what we have right now. The appellate level appeal is pending right now before the Fourth Circuit Virginia case currently on two cases in the 10th circuit case in the Ninth Circuit, Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky all cases pending before the Sixth Circuit.
In many cases pending in the Fifth Circuit and then likely 108, the seventh 108 the ferry among the least 11th circuit and is end of the summer so there's a lot of a lot of marriage litigation upcoming in and in most of the Federal Circuit will look a lot is in the Fourth Circuit, Virginia, where a federal judge recently struck down backstage marriage law is unconstitutional.
Talk about the ruling is on hold, how you see the importance of the Fourth Circuit, which includes North Carolina in comparison: relation to lawsuits in these other federal circuit Court of Appeals, the big picture national perspective over this battle over marriage and do you believe that states in the Fourth Circuit were intentionally targeted by proponents of redefining marriage in our country judge Virginia case it would permit nearly every relationship that he marriage so long as it is grounded in choice and an emotion yet that's what marriage are to liberty have really ever been the court's ruling man Virginia interferes with the right of Virginians to determine the future of marriage in their state to serious constitutional issues and the same would go for North Carolina as well so that the Fourth Circuit is important. I think at every circuit is at the Fourth Circuit and Eastern District of Virginia was targeted because it is known in legal circles as the rocket docket. Things move very quickly through that court. And as we thought were already having arguments next month before the Fourth Circuit.
I think that the opponents goal is to get back before the Supreme Court, and in 2015 and the speed with which was being communicated moves to the Fourth Circuit is it important and it's important case to watch and for North Carolina what the Fourth Circuit says I am not in that upcoming Bostic case, Virginia will be will be important for Kellan as well as the falls and that Federal Circuit can you talk a little bit about Carolina's case and maybe not the specifics. If you're not able to go into it in the talk little bit about if you were the two lawsuits filed in return and what the issues are with respect to those important to remember as you know we are talking about that earlier that the people of North Carolina. They understand what marriage as they understand that many women bring distinct gifts to family life and that children deserve to have a mom and dad wherever possible and so in 2012. Eight they voted that marriage should be between a month between one man one woman and that was a unique relationship that the government had a special interest in protecting and people have the right to find marriage that that is why we had a lasting freedom are working and involved in many of these cases due to to defend what marriage is to defend the people's right to make our marriage policy and that this is consistent with with Supreme Court precedent thinking including Windsor of such a lawsuit was recently filed in North Carolina by the ACLU and other interests trying to court to eternal marriage laws in order to recognize marriages that have been deemed legally in other states.
For same-sex couples. Is this generally what you're saying. The substance of lawsuits in other states will be taking different forms depending upon the state due to the loss of my befall him. It really does depend on the state Michigan case started out a challenge to the state adoption lines and then that the challenge to the marriage by the Michigan with an attitude that I am in in most states that were seeing the marriage plot itself usually best marriage statute in a constitutional amendment. If the state has won both, or both, are being challenged.
So generally I would say it's more the latter but believe we seen a variety of situations. No many experts agree that the US Supreme Court will ultimately determine before you go straight marriage protection laws is a high court ruled in the past about such laws and how soon do you foresee the hard court ruling on marriage again was very clear this past summer and it's Windsor decision that that the definition and regulation of marriage should really hand of the state of the federal government should respect whatever the state law is is on marriage and candy author. The majority opinion reiterated that point in a number of different ways, making it very clear that that it's just it's the sovereignty of the state to make marriage policy.
It belongs to that the people to make a decision so contrary to a lot of arguments that are out there winter states that marriage policy remains in in the states control and and and and has sort of signaled that once again when it issued its day a few months ago and that Utah case I seem to suggest that once again I yes they are respecting the states right to to make marriage policy, and it's not there will step in and overturn, overturn the law so we will will have to see. I would expect that these cases will reach the Supreme Court by next summer so we can have something a decision from the US Supreme Court as as early as next as June 2015 advice do you have any encouragement is what advice and encouragement. Do you have for listeners who are really overwhelmed by all of these court challenges. All of these attacks on marriage and frankly feel a bit defeated because of that, what can they do cleanup. I would just say that that we need to think historically we've we've been in hard are even worse times before in our country.
If you think about it. The site we had over slavery relief. We've had a fight are finally going to win, and that in the defense of life and presently can talk a lot about during one of our countries hardest times, there is a vast future that were working toward. So, while I completely can sympathize with feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. I would like to offer message of hope that that while the get the mountain to restoring American culture make it deeper in our country over the next two years working to get over it and we will ultimately win this issue because the effort to redefine marriage. It is contrary to human flourishing on to the welfare of our children and our children's children and really to the truth about about men and women in that complementary dad differences that they bring to the unique marriage relationship. So I think that we will ultimately win. If this is it going to be a difficult battle in that short run, so I would encourage posted to be engaged to be encouraging others live lives that testify to the beauty of marriage but but did engage in your community. No write letters to the editor right in local papers. I encourage your pastors tired know churches is to speak out and talk about why marriage is important.
Why, why, if you need quiet special. Whether your stay-at-home mom.
The student that this is my hobby while witness went to the truth about marriage to great great encouragement like you for the killing was nearly out of this week working on listeners go to learn more about the marriage battle and to find out more about the lots defending freedom to direct people to our website which is www.alliancedefendingfreedom.org there's a number of resources on-air and also a brochure that on our website called what you need to know about marriage questions and answers driving the debate. It's a very helpful brochure with a lot of those hard questions and timely space.
I would encourage everyone to check out that brochure and that to read it. Nor, thank you so much for being back with us on family policy matters and for your work defending traditional family values of lots defending freedom. We really appreciate your time to really think this family policy matters. Information and analysis, family policy Council join us weekly discussion on policy issues affecting the family. If you have questions or comments. 919-0708 visit our website and see family.1