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News Posted on March 7, 2013

Professor Joslin Co-authors Brief in Supreme Court Same-sex Marriage Case

Professor Courtney Joslin co-authored an amici curiae brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of more than 40 family and child welfare law professors in United States v. Windsor. The case involves a challenge to the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman for purposes of federal law.  The brief, co-authored with UC Berkeley School of Law Professor Joan Hollinger and Boston University School of Law Professor Katharine Silbaugh, urges the Court to strike down Section 3 of DOMA as unconstitutional.

Seeking to provide the Court with a more complete and accurate understanding of the multiple purposes of marriage, procreation, and parentage, the professors explain that the right to marry has never been conditioned on an ability or willingness to procreate. The amici also show that there is no legal basis for the assertion that federal law favors biological parentage over the decisions of married couples -- both opposite- and same-sex -- to adopt children or conceive children through assisted reproduction. The brief also demonstrates that the purported justifications for DOMA lack any basis in federal law or policy and that DOMA undermines state and federal laws and policies regarding families and child welfare.

Professor Joslin is a scholar in the field of family and relationship recognition, with a particular focus on same-sex and non-marital couples.

Amici curiae brief of Family and Child Welfare Law Professors