Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Farris to Supreme Court: Protect Marriage and Religious Freedom

 Mike Farris


Mike Farris, founder and chairman of Home School Legal Defense Association and chancellor of Patrick Henry College, filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court this week, defending the right of American citizens to engage in the democratic process for religious reasons.

Several years ago, voters in California passed Proposition 8, an amendment to the California Constitution that defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman. The federal courts, including the Ninth Circuit, struck down Prop 8 as unconstitutional, and the case (Hollingsworth v. Perry) is now before the Supreme Court.

Writing on behalf of PHC’s Center for the Original Intent of the Constitution, Farris countered arguments made by the American Civil Liberties Union and other anti-marriage groups who have argued that because many supporters of Prop 8 were religious, the amendment itself is an establishment of religion. He defended the right of religious voters to participate in democracy, citing numerous historical examples of such participation.

Farris argued that from the founding of the Republic to modern times, this country has enacted countless laws supported by those who have advanced religious and moral arguments justifying the law. Such enactments include the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s. He wrote that the courts are limited by the First Amendment and that as long as the Establishment Clause is not violated, every voter should be able to vote for the position of his or her choice for the reason of his or her choice. This includes the choice to uphold traditional western civilization concepts of marriage and the family, a concept vital to parental rights and freedoms.

The Court will hear oral arguments for Hollingsworth on March 26, 2013.

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