A Mormon couple have objected to their inclusion in a document sent to the US Supreme Court opposing gay marriage.
Darrin Johns, an attorney based in American Fork, Utah, filed a ‘friend of the court’ briefing with the highest court in the United States earlier this month. Supreme Court Justices recently announced a review of gay marriage legislation in Utah and four other states – Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Indiana and Virginia.
A ‘friend of the court’ or amicus curiae briefing is a submission of legal opinion or testimony thought to be relevant to a particular case, from someone who is not directly involved. Mr John’s briefing included statements and testimony from a number of couples in so-called ‘mixed orientation’ marriages – partnerships in which one party is gay – arguing that the legalisation of gay marriage would threaten their unusual relationships.
Same sex marriage could only be legally recognised by “erasing, marginalizing and demeaning the same-sex attracted who live in man-woman marriages” the briefing states. It would send a “harmful message that it is impossible, unnatural and dangerous for the same-sex attracted to marry members of the opposite sex.”
The couples discuss the challenges posed by their mixed orientation marriages and why they chose to enter them.
But one of the couples featured in the filing say they never agreed to their inclusion in the filing and do not agree with its stance on marriage equality.
Josh Weed has been married to wife Lolly for 12 years despite being gay, the Salt Lake Tribune reports, and the couple have three children with a fourth on the way. He told the paper:
“I feel no devaluation of my marriage status by having marriage equality.”
“My wife and I support marriage equality That is sacrosanct to us and important to us because we know many wonderful people who are hurt by the current state of affairs. To have this amicus brief out with our names associated with it is very hurtful.”
The brief had made assumptions about the couple’s beliefs, he insisted, and they had been given no opportunity to opt out.
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