Boston University School of Law

Amicus Brief of Family and Child Welfare Law Professors on the Merits of United States v. Windsor

 

Courtney G. Joslin
University of California, Davis - School of Law

Joan Heifetz Hollinger
University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

Katharine Baird Silbaugh
Boston University School of Law

Boston University School of Law Working Paper 13-12
UC Davis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 329

Abstract

This amicus brief - filed on behalf of over 40 Family and Child Welfare Law Professors - seeks to provide the U.S. Supreme Court with a more complete and accurate understanding of the multiple purposes of marriage, and its relationship to procreation and parentage. The right to marry, the Professors explain, has never been conditioned on an ability or willingness to procreate. Amici also show that there is no legal basis for any assertion that federal law favors biological parentage over the decisions of many married couples - both opposite-sex 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. As the brief explains: “DOMA does not change the legal status of any opposite-sex couples or their children, expand their federal protections, or offer any additional inducements to heterosexuals to engage in ‘responsible’ procreation or childrearing. DOMA’s sole effect is to harm married same-sex couples and their children.”

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Courtney G. Joslin Contact Information
Acting Professor of Law
University of California, Davis - School of Law
400 Mrak Hall Drive
Davis, CA 95616
United States
(530) 752-8325 (Phone)
Email: cgjoslin@ucdavis.edu

Joan Heifetz Hollinger Contact Information
University of California, Berkeley - School of Law
Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States
Email: joanhol@mail.law.berkeley.edu

Katharine Baird Silbaugh Contact Information
Boston University School of Law
765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
Phone: (617) 353-3208
Fax: (617) 353-3077



 

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