Obama Administration backs nationwide marriage equality in Supreme Court brief

Barack Obama

Barack Obama AP

The Obama Administration on Friday filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, urging the high court to strike down same-sex marriage bans across the nation.

“The laws they challenge exclude a long-mistreated class of human beings from a legal and social status of tremendous import,” the Administration says, in a brief filed by the Department of Justice. “Those laws are not adequately justified by any of the advanced rationales. They are accordingly incompatible with the Constitution.”

The Administration is among the thousands of businesses, religious groups, and advocacy organizations who are filing legal briefs at the Supreme Court ahead of scheduled arguments on April 28 over the constitutionality of state gay marriage bans.

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The court will consider cases from four states — Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee — whose same-sex marriage bans were upheld last year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

“The marriage bans challenged in these cases impermissibly exclude lesbian and gay couples from the rights, responsibilities, and status of civil marriage,” the Administration’s brief reads.

“These facially discriminatory laws impose concrete harms on same-sex couples and send the inescapable message that same-sex couples and their children are second-class families, unworthy of the recognition and benefits that opposite-sex couples take for granted. The bans cannot be reconciled with the fundamental constitutional guarantee of ‘equal protection of the laws.’”

Read the entire brief here

Developing story. This report will be updated.

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