Ex-military officials: Patchwork of same-sex marriage laws threaten security

By Ed Adamczyk  |  Updated April 20, 2015 at 10:57 AM
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WASHINGTON, April 20 (UPI) -- A brief by former military officers, suggesting the piecemeal approach to same-sex marriage laws is injurious to national security, was submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday.

The amicus, or "friend of the court brief," was filed by the Sidley Austin law firm, based in Chicago, prior to arguments in the Supreme Court scheduled to begin April 28. The court will decide if the Constitution requires all states to recognize the validity of same-sex marriages. The brief, on behalf of a group of retired military officers, argues that military families and national security are threatened by the fragmentary nature of laws regarding same-sex marriages.

A second brief, from the law firm Chadbourne & Parke on behalf of groups supportive of gay military members, notes that the current patchwork of laws is detrimental to the military's attempts to recruit and retain members. The recommendations follow a brief submitted in March by the American Military Partner Association and Outserve-SLDN, two non-profit organizations which are supportive of LGBT military families.

The Supreme Court scheduled two and one-half hours of argument for the April 28 hearing, longer than the typical one-hour session, and announced it would release audio transcriptions immediately, instead of delaying them until the following Friday.

The military briefs were preceded by a number of similar submissions, mostly from liberal-leaning organizations and Democratic Party leaders, but several submitted urged the court to strike down the marriage restrictions of the four states that will defend their positions on same-sex marriage. One, from the Institute for Justice, was signed by dozens of prominent Republicans, including former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill.

The Obama administration, through the Department of Justice, sent the brief opposing marriage restrictions in early March.

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