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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN SOUTHERN DIVISION APRIL DEBOER, et al, Plaintiffs, v RICHARD SNYDER, et al Defendants. Civil Action No. 12-cv-10285 HON. BERNARD A. FRIEDMAN MAG. MICHAEL J. HLUCHANIUK

Dana M. Nessel (P51346) 645 Griswold Street, Suite 3060 Detroit, MI 48226 (313) 556-2300 dananessel@hotmail.com
mailto:dananessel@hotmail.com

Carole M. Stanyar (P34830) 682 Deer Street Plymouth, MI 48170 (313) 963-7222 cstanyar@wowway.com Attorney for Plaintiffs

Attorney for Plaintiffs Kristin M. Heyse (P64353) Tonya C. Jeter (P55352) P.O. Box 30758 Lansing, MI 48909 (517) 373-7700; Fax (517) 351-1152 heysek@michigan.gov jetert@michigan.gov Attorneys for State Defendants Mich. Dept of Attorney General Health, Education & Family Services Division Andrea J. Johnson (P74596) Michael L. Pitt (P24429) Beth M. Rivers (P33614) Pitt McGehee Palmer Rivers & Golden, P.C. 117 W. Fourth Street, Suite 200 Royal Oak, MI 48067 (248) 398-9800 ajohnson@pittlawpc.com mpitt@pittlawpc.com brivers@pittlawpc.com Attorneys for Defendant Lisa Brown

MOTION OF THE MICHIGAN CATHOLIC CONFERENCE TO FILE AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF

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The Michigan Catholic Conference, by its undersigned attorneys, requests leave to file an amicus curiae brief for the following reasons: 1. The Michigan Catholic Conference serves as the official voice of the

Catholic Church in Michigan on matters of public policy. Its mission is to promote a social order that respects the dignity of human persons and serves the common good in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church. directors includes the bishops of Michigans seven Catholic dioceses. 2. No party or counsel for any party authored this brief in whole or in Its board of

part, or made a monetary contribution to prepare or submit this brief. 3. Courts recognize that it is beneficial to allow an amicus to file a brief

where the amicus has unique information or perspective that can help the court beyond the help that the lawyers for the parties are able to provide. Ryan v. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 125 F. 3d 1062, 1063 (7th Cir. 1997). 4. In this case, plaintiffs challenge a Michigan statutory marriage

amendment limiting marriage to that between a man and a woman, as well as a provision of Michigans adoption code prohibiting unmarried persons from adopting. The Michigan Catholic Conference has unique information and

perspective concerning traditional marriage and its capabilities of providing the best support environment for the growth and development of children.

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5.

Pursuant to Local Rule 7.1(a), the Michigan Catholic Conference has

contacted the parties counsel to seek consent for filing this motion. The state defendants have consented to this motion. Plaintiffs have withheld their consent. 6. Plaintiffs will not be prejudiced by the filing of this amicus brief as

they have sufficient time to adequately respond to any arguments raised under the Courts scheduling order dated July 10, 2013, Doc #59, which allows plaintiffs to file a response brief of twenty-five (25) pages on or before September 9, 2013 and a reply brief of ten (10) pages on or before September 17, 2013. 7. If this motion is granted, the Michigan Catholic Conference will

immediately file a brief in the form attached as Exhibit A. WHEREFORE, for the foregoing reasons, the Michigan Catholic Conference respectfully requests that this Court grant its motion to file an amicus curiae brief.

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Respectfully submitted, BODMAN PLC By: /s/Thomas J. Rheaume Jr. Thomas Van Dusen (P30602) Thomas J. Rheaume Jr. (P74422) 6th Floor at Ford Field 1901 St. Antoine Detroit, MI 48226 (313) 259-7777 trheaume@bodmanlaw.com Attorneys for amicus curiae, The Michigan Catholic Conference August 21, 2013 CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I certify that on August 21, 2013, I electronically filed the foregoing paper with the Clerk of the Court using the ECF system which will send notification of such filing to all counsel of record. /s/Thomas J. Rheaume Thomas J. Rheaume Jr. (P74422) 6th Floor at Ford Field 1901 St. Antoine Detroit, MI 48226 (313) 259-7777

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EXHIBIT A

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN SOUTHERN DIVISION APRIL DEBOER, et al, Plaintiffs, v RICHARD SNYDER, et al Defendants. Dana M. Nessel (P51346) 645 Griswold Street, Suite 3060 Detroit, MI 48226 (313) 556-2300 dananessel@hotmail.com
mailto:dananessel@hotmail.com

Civil Action No. 12-cv-10285 HON. BERNARD A. FRIEDMAN MAG. MICHAEL J. HLUCHANIUK

Carole M. Stanyar (P34830) 682 Deer Street Plymouth, MI 48170 (313) 963-7222 cstanyar@wowway.com Attorney for Plaintiffs

Attorney for Plaintiffs Kristin M. Heyse (P64353) Tonya C. Jeter (P55352) P.O. Box 30758 Lansing, MI 48909 (517) 373-7700; Fax (517) 351-1152 heysek@michigan.gov jetert@michigan.gov Attorneys for State Defendants Mich. Dept of Attorney General Health, Education & Family Services Division Andrea J. Johnson (P74596) Michael L. Pitt (P24429) Beth M. Rivers (P33614) Pitt McGehee Palmer Rivers & Golden, P.C. 117 W. Fourth Street, Suite 200 Royal Oak, MI 48067 (248) 398-9800 ajohnson@pittlawpc.com mpitt@pittlawpc.com brivers@pittlawpc.com Attorneys for Defendant Lisa Brown

AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF OF THE MICHIGAN CATHOLIC CONFERENCE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
INDEX OF AUTHORITIES........................................................................................................... ii DISCLOSURE OF CORPORATE AFFILIATIONS AND FINANCIAL INTEREST ..................v INTEREST OF AMICUS CURIAE .............................................................................................. vi INTRODUCTION ...........................................................................................................................1 ARGUMENT ...................................................................................................................................2 I. STATES HAVE A FUNDAMENTAL SOVEREIGN RIGHT TO EXCLUSIVELY GOVERN DOMESTIC LAWS PERTAINING TO FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS..................2 II. MICHIGANS ADOPTION STATUTE, WHICH ADVANCES THE BEST INTERESTS OF ADOPTEES AND PROMOTES STABILITY AND CONTINUITY IN ADOPTEES LIVES, DOES NOT VIOLATE THE EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE. .............................4 A. Michigans Adoption Statute. ..............................................................................................4 B. Plaintiffs Equal Protection Challenge to M.C.L. 710.24(1) is Subject to Rational Basis Review. .......................................................................................................................5 C. M.C.L. 710.24(1) Advances the Legitimate State Interest of Promoting the Best Interests of Adoptees and Providing Permanency and Stability for Adoptees. ...................7 III. MICHIGANS MARRIAGE AMENDMENT DOES NOT VIOLATE THE DUE PROCESS OR EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE. ..................................................................................14 A. Plaintiffs Challenge to Michigans Marriage Amendment Should be Dismissed Because it is Foreclosed by United States Supreme Court Precedent. ..............................15 B. The Marriage Amendment satisfies the Rational Basis Test. ............................................18 1. Survival. .......................................................................................................................20 2. Responsible Procreation...............................................................................................22 3. An Environment That Includes a Childs Biological Mother and Father, Who are Married to Each Other, is Advantageous to a Childs Development. ....................25 CONCLUSION ..............................................................................................................................28

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INDEX OF AUTHORITIES
Cases Adar v. Smith, 639 F.3d 146 (5th Cir. 2011)............................................................................. 5, 10 Baker v. Nelson, 191 N.W.2d 185 (Minn., 1971) ......................................................................... 15 Baker v. Nelson, 409 U.S. 810 (1972) ........................................................................ 15, 16, 17, 18 City of Cleburne, Tex. v. Cleburne Living Center, 473 U.S. 432 (1985).................................. 1, 18 Davis v. Prison Health Services, 679 F.3d 433 (6th Cir. 2012) ............................................. 17, 18 Doe v. Michigan Dep't of State Police, 490 F.3d 491 (6th Cir. 2007) ............................................ 6 FCC v. Beach Communications, Inc., 508 U.S. 307 (1993) ......................................................... 27 Heller v. Doe, 509 U.S. 312 (1993) .............................................................................................. 27 Hess v. Pettigrew, 261 Mich. 618, 247 N.W. 90 (1933)................................................................. 9 Hicks v. Miranda, 422 U.S. 332 (1975) ........................................................................................ 16 In re Adams, 189 Mich. App. 540; 473 N.W.2d 712 (1991) .......................................................... 6 Jackson v. Abercrombie, 884 F.Supp.2d 1065 (D. Haw. 2012) ....................................... 16, 18, 23 Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003) ................................................................................ 20, 22 Levy v. Louisiana, 391 U.S. 68 (1968) ........................................................................................... 7 Lindley v. Sullivan, 889 F.2d 124 (7th Cir. 1989)........................................................................... 6 Lofton v. Sec'y of Dep't of Children & Family Servs., 358 F.3d 804 (11th Cir. 2004) ................... 5 Loving v. Virginia, 338 U.S. 1 (1967)............................................................................... 16, 18, 20 Mayberry v. Pryor, 422 Mich. 579; 374 N.W.2d 683 (1985). ...................................................... 13 Mayndard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190 (1888) ........................................................................................ 21 Natl Pride At Work, Inc. v. Governor of Michigan, 481 Mich. 56; 748 N.W.2d 524 (2008) ..... 19 Palko v. Conn., 302 U.S. 319 (1937) .............................................................................................. 5 Perry v. Schwarzenegger, 704 F.Supp.2d 921 (N.D. Cal. 2010) .................................................. 26 Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996).................................................................................... passim

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Scarbrough v. Morgan Cnty. Bd. of Educ., 470 F.3d 250 (6th Cir. 2006).................................... 18 Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535 (1942) .................................................................................. 20 Smith v. Org. of Foster Families for Equal. & Reform, 431 U.S. 816 (1977) ................................ 6 U.S. v. Windsor, __ U.S. __ ; 133 S.Ct. 2675 (2013) ......................................................... 2, 18, 22 U.S.R.R. Ret. Bd. v. Fritz, 449 U.S. 166 (1980)............................................................................ 12 Vill. of Belle Terre v. Boraas, 416 U.S. 1 (1974) ........................................................................ 12 Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702 (1997) ..................................................................... 5, 18 Windsor v. United States, 699 F.3d 169 (2d Cir. 2012) cert. granted, 133 S. Ct. 786, 184 L. Ed. 2d 527 (U.S. 2012) and aff'd, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (U.S. 2013) ...................................................... 17 Statutes Defense of Marriage Act, 1 U.S.C. 7 ......................................................................................... 17 M.C.L. 551.2 ................................................................................................................................... 9 M.C.L. 551.272 ............................................................................................................................... 8 M.C.L. 552.6 ................................................................................................................................... 9 M.C.L. 710.21 ................................................................................................................................. 8 M.C.L. 710.21a ............................................................................................................................... 8 M.C.L. 710.24 ................................................................................................................................. 3 M.C.L. 710.24(1) ................................................................................................................... passim Other Authorities Brief of Amicus Curiae, American College of Pediatricians, Case No. DA 11-0451 at 11 (Mont. 2012) ......................................................................................................................................... 26 CDC, Key Statistics from the National Survey of Family Growth................................................ 21 Joseph Goldstein et. al., The Best Interests of the Child, 19 (1996) ............................................... 9 Kristin Anderson Moore et al., Marriage from a Childs Perspective: How Does Family Structure Affect Children, and What Can We Do About It? CHILD TRENDS RESEARCH BRIEF, at 6 (2002) ............................................................................................................................... 10, 26

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Marcia J. Carleson, Trajectories of Couple Relationship Quality after Childbirth: Does Marriage Matter? Center for Child Wellbeing Working Paper #2007-11-FF (2007).............................. 23 Mark Regnerus, How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study, Social Science Research 41 (2012) ........................................................................................................................................ 24 Robert Rector, Married Fathers: Americas Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty, Heritage Foundation Special Report 117 at 1 (2012) ........................................................................ 23, 25 Single Parent Adoption: What you Need to Know, National Adoption Information Clearinghouse .................................................................................................................................................. 11 Single-Parent Adoptive Families Work, Adoption (2006) ........................................................... 11 WEBSTER, AN AMERICAN DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE (1st ed. 1828) .................... 22 WILLIAM BLACKSTONE, 1 COMMENTARIES *126-127 .................................................................. 20 Constitutional Provisions Mich. Const. 1963, art. 1, 25............................................................................................... passim U.S. CONST. 10th Amendment......................................................................................................... 2

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DISCLOSURE OF CORPORATE AFFILIATIONS AND FINANCIAL INTEREST The Michigan Catholic Conference makes the following disclosures: 1. Is the Michigan Catholic Conference a subsidiary or affiliate of a

publicly owned corporation? Answer: 2. No.

Is there a publicly owned corporation, not a party to this action, that

has a financial interest in the outcome? Answer: No.

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INTEREST OF AMICUS CURIAE The Michigan Catholic Conference serves as the official voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan on matters of public policy. Its mission is to promote a social order that respects the dignity of human persons and serves the common good in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Its board of

directors includes the active bishops of Michigans seven Catholic dioceses. The Church teaches that the well-being of an individual and family is intimately linked to a marriage between one man and one woman. The Michigan Marriage

Amendment, rooted in history and secular in nature, is consistent with such teachings. Thus, the Michigan Catholic Conference supports the Michigan

Marriage Amendment, which it believes has a beneficial effect on families, children, and society. 1

1 The Michigan Catholic Conferences advocacy on this subject is not based on illwill or animus towards same-sex couples, and by no means is an attempt to force its religious preferences on others. Defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman does not diminish or impugn the rights of fellow citizens. In fact, the Catholic Church teaches that every sign of unjust discrimination should be avoided. Rather, the Michigan Catholic Conference strongly believes, and its catechism teaches, that marriage is, and has always been defined as between one man and one woman.
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INTRODUCTION Our Nation is faced with controversial social issues concerning homosexual rights that have sparked spirited debate on both sides. In 2004, the People of Michigan entered the debate and decided by constitutional amendment that marriage is between one man and one woman. Mich. Const. 1963, art. 1, 25 (the Marriage Amendment). Dissatisfied with the outcome of that democratic process, plaintiffs challenge the Marriage Amendment, as well as a statute prohibiting unmarried persons from adopting, claiming that their constitutional rights are violated. This Court is not a proper forum for deciding social issues that are as unique as they are new. States have a fundamental sovereign right to govern the domestic relations of families. Their decisions, the product of reason and balancing, must be respected. Our Constitution presumes as much. When social legislation is at issue, the Constitution grants States wide latitude, and the Constitution presumes that even improvident decisions will eventually be rectified by the democratic processes. City of Cleburne, Tex. v. Cleburne Living Center, 473 U.S. 432, 440 (1985). Accordingly, plaintiffs claims should be summarily dismissed and a States rights to regulate the domestic affairs of its citizens, as has been done throughout our Nations history, affirmed.

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ARGUMENT I. STATES HAVE A FUNDAMENTAL SOVEREIGN RIGHT TO EXCLUSIVELY GOVERN DOMESTIC LAWS PERTAINING TO FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS. The Framers of our Constitution believed that the States, rather than the Federal Government, should be the laboratories of democracy, and that States remain sovereign. This concept is enshrined in the Tenth Amendment, which reserves for the States all powers not otherwise specifically delegated to the United States by the Constitution. See U.S. CONST. 10th Amendment. Since the founding of our Nation, States have exclusively governed and bestowed rights, privileges, and duties relating to family relationships. U.S. v. Windsor, __ U.S. __ ; 133 S.Ct. 2675, 2689-2690 (2013) (By history and tradition the definition and regulation of marriage . . . has been treated as being within the authority and realm of the separate States.). From the basic grant of who may enter in to the sacred union of marriage, to property rights that are associated with marriage, States have pervasively governed family life. It is this historical fact that recently led the Supreme Court to

invalidate a federal law that disavowed a States chosen definition of marriage in favor of a federal definition of marriage. Windsor, 133 S.Ct. at 2693 (DOMAs unusual deviation from the usual tradition of recognizing and accepting state

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definitions of marriage here operates to deprive same-sex couples of the benefits and responsibilities that come with the federal recognition of their marriages.). In this action, plaintiffs challenge the fundamental right of a State to govern the dynamics of family life. Specifically, plaintiffs ask this Court to set aside Michigans legislative decision to recognize marriage as between that of only one man and one woman, Mich. CONST. 1963, art. 1, 25, and Michigans adoption law, which restricts adoptions to single individuals or married couples, M.C.L. 710.24. Plaintiffs Complaint should be summarily dismissed. It is the province of the States to define marriage, and to delineate the incidents of marriage that accompany that legally recognized institution, including the ability to adopt children. A States unquestioned right to govern the family relationship is a result of the political process, and should not be disturbed outside the framework of that process. To set aside Michigans choices regarding family relationships, outside of the political process, as plaintiffs seek to do, would be an unprecedented usurpation of power, unauthorized by any article or amendment of the United States Constitution.

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II. MICHIGANS ADOPTION STATUTE, WHICH ADVANCES THE BEST INTERESTS OF ADOPTEES AND PROMOTES STABILITY AND CONTINUITY IN ADOPTEES LIVES, DOES NOT VIOLATE THE EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE. A. Michigans Adoption Statute. Michigans adoption code provides: Except as otherwise provided in this section, if a person desires to adopt a child or an adult and to bestow upon the adoptee his or her family name, or to adopt a child or an adult without a name change, with the intent to make the adoptee his or her heir, that person, together with his wife or her husband, if married, shall file a petition with the court of the county in which the petitioner resides or where the adoptee is found . . . . [M.C.L. 710.24(1).] M.C.L. 710.24(1) limits the classes of persons who may adopt a child to those who that are single or married. Plaintiffs argue that this statute is unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendments Equal Protection Clause. See generally, Plaintiffs Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief, Doc #38 at 5-7. The Fourteenth Amendments promise that no person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws must coexist with the practical necessity that most legislation classifies for one purpose or another, with resulting disadvantage to various groups or persons. Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620, 631 (1996) (citations omitted). Thus, if a law neither burdens a fundamental right nor targets a suspect class, it will be upheld so long as the law bears a rational relation to some legitimate end. Id. In the ordinary case, a law will be sustained if it can be said to advance a legitimate government interest, even if the law seems unwise or works

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to the disadvantage of a particular group, or if the rationale for it seems tenuous. Id. at 632. Limiting adoption to married or single persons is neither unwise nor does it disadvantage a particular group. Rather, the law is prudent as it advances the legitimate state interests of promoting the best interests of adoptees and providing permanency and stability for adoptees. B. Plaintiffs Equal Protection Challenge to M.C.L. 710.24(1) is Subject to Rational Basis Review. M.C.L. 710.24(1) neither burdens a fundamental right nor targets a suspect class. Fundamental rights include those rights that are so implicit in the concept of ordered liberty that neither liberty nor justice would exist if they were sacrificed. Palko v. Conn., 302 U.S. 319, 325 (1937). Rights deemed

fundamental are those rights deeply rooted in this Nations history and tradition. Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702, 721 (1997). The list of recognized fundamental rights is short, and the right to adoption is not included among them. See id. at 703 (recognized fundamental rights include, among others, the right to marry, to have children, to direct the education and upbringing of ones children, and the right to marital privacy). Simply put, a right to adopt, or to be adopted, has never been recognized as a fundamental right. Lofton v. Sec'y of Dep't of Children & Family Servs., 358 F.3d 804, 811-817 (11th Cir. 2004) (Floridas adoption statute preventing same-sex persons from adopting did not burden any fundamental right); Adar v. Smith, 639 F.3d 146 (5th Cir. 2011)
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(adoption is not a fundamental right); Lindley v. Sullivan, 889 F.2d 124, 131 (7th Cir. 1989) (there is no fundamental right to adopt). It has also been made plain that fundamental rights such as the right to marry are ordinarily to be sought, not in state law, but in intrinsic human rights, as they have been understood in this Nations history and tradition. Smith v. Org. of Foster Families for Equal. & Reform, 431 U.S. 816, 845 (1977) (Emphasis added). The right to adopt exists, if at all, by statute and is not among those that are deeply rooted in this Nations history and tradition. See In re Adams, 189 Mich. App. 540, 543; 473 N.W.2d 712 (1991) (a right to adopt was not recognized at common law and that [a]s with all other aspects of adoption, the question of who may adopt is controlled by statute) and Lindley, 889 F.2d at 130 (The adoption process is entirely a creature of state law, and parental rights and expectations involving adoption have historically been governed by legislative enactment.). Nor does M.C.L. 710.24(1) impact a suspect class. The Supreme Court has designated several classifications as suspect and accordingly subject to heightened scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause. These include classifications based on race, alienage, national origin, gender, or illegitimacy. Doe v. Michigan Dep't of State Police, 490 F.3d 491, 503 (6th Cir. 2007). M.C.L. 710.24(1) classifies persons on the basis of marital status. That is, M.C.L. 710.24(1) permits single or

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married persons to adopt and, by negative implication, prohibits unmarried persons from adopting jointly. Thus, no suspect class is implicated, as unmarried persons are not among those considered suspect. Plaintiffs argue that M.C.L. 710.24(1) implicates the concerns with statutes that classify on the basis of a childs status as illegitimate. In that regard, plaintiffs cite Levy v. Louisiana, 391 U.S. 68 (1968) and similar cases which have held that the Equal Protection Clause is violated where a statute denies benefits to children based on their status as illegitimate. However, since M.C.L. 710.24(1) does not condition adoption based on the childs legitimacy (i.e., whether the child is born out of wedlock), such cases are irrelevant and do not support the notion that a suspect class is implicated. More specifically, legitimacy or illegitimacy of a child has no relation to the harm that is allegedly inflicted by M.C.L. 710.24(1). Accordingly, because M.C.L. 710.24(1) does not implicate a fundamental right or a suspect class, it is reviewed under a rational basis standard, and must be upheld so long as the law bears a rational relation to some legitimate end. Romer, 517 U.S. at 631. C. M.C.L. 710.24(1) Advances the Legitimate State Interest of Promoting the Best Interests of Adoptees and Providing Permanency and Stability for Adoptees. The Michigan Legislatures decision to limit those persons who petition to adopt a child to single and married persons is rationally related to the purposes

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sought to be advanced by the Michigan adoption code, M.C.L. 710.21 et. seq.. The Michigan Legislature has identified the general purposes of the Michigan adoption code as follows: (a) To provide that each adoptee in this state who needs adoption services receives those services. (b) To provide procedures and services that will safeguard and promote the best interests of each adoptee in need of adoption and that will protect the rights of all parties concerned. If conflicts arise between the rights of the adoptee and the rights of another, the rights of the adoptee shall be paramount. (c) To provide prompt legal proceedings to assure that the adoptee is free for adoptive placement at the earliest possible time. (d) To achieve permanency and stability for adoptees as quickly as possible. (e) To support the permanency of a finalized adoption by allowing all interested parties to participate in proceedings regarding the adoptee. [M.C.L. 710.21a (emphasis added).] These stated purposes are unquestionably legitimate. Thus, the only issue is the means chosen to achieve those purposes. The Michigan Legislature has made a policy choice that an adoptees best interests will be best served and the need for permanency and stability attained if the adoptee is adopted by single or married persons. An inherent characteristic of the institution of marriage is that the

relationship created is both permanent and stable. Marriage is inherently a unique relationship between a man and a woman. M.C.L. 551.272. Marriage conveys both rights and duties, and is afforded special treatment under the law:
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Marriage is a civil contract, but it is not a pure private contract. It is affected with a public interest and by a public policy. The status of children, preservation of the home, private morality, public decency, and the like afford ample grounds for special treatment of marriage as a contract, by statute and decision. In recognition of its public and social nature, courts have cast about it the protecting mantle of presumptions, sustaining validity of marriage, said to be the strongest known to the law. [Hess v. Pettigrew, 261 Mich. 618, 621; 247 N.W. 90 (1933).] Marriage requires consent and solemnization, M.C.L. 551.2, and bonds of matrimony cannot easily be severed. See M.C.L. 552.6 (requiring a complaint for divorce to be filed in the circuit court and entry of judgment dissolving the bonds of matrimony only if evidence is presented in open court that there has been a breakdown in the marriage relationship to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved.). Based on its structure and laws promoting its sanctity,

marriage is uniquely stable and uneasily disturbed. Placing an adoptee into this stable institution is intended to provide the adoptee with continuity of relationships, which is essential for a childs healthy development. Joseph Goldstein et. al., The Best Interests of the Child, 19 (1996). As compared to cohabitation between unmarried persons, social science research shows that marriage is associated with better outcomes for children, because children born to unmarried, cohabitation parents are likely to experience instability in their living arrangements, and research shows that multiple changes

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in family structure or living arrangements can undermine [a childs] development. Kristin Anderson Moore et al., Marriage from a Childs Perspective: How Does Family Structure Affect Children, and What Can We Do About It? CHILD TRENDS RESEARCH BRIEF, at 6 (2002).2 Thus, placement of an adoptee with married persons is advantageous because marriage is more likely to provide the stability necessary for the healthy development of children. Adar, 639 F.3d at 162. Moreover, as a practical matter, unmarried persons lack a legally recognized commitment to each other. The relationship can be terminated, without the time for thought and reflection that is generally present in a divorce proceeding. Moore, supra at 5 (Although many cohabitating couples have one or more children, the families they form are often fragile, with less than half of these relationships lasting five years or more.). It follows that the Legislature could reasonably conclude that the interests of the adoptee will be best served, and his or her need for permanency and stability attained, if the adoptee is placed with married persons as compared to unmarried persons. See Adar, 639 F.3d at 162 (Louisiana may rationally conclude that having parenthood focused on a married couple or single individual not on the freely severable relationship of unmarried partners furthers the interests of adopted children.).

2 Available

at http://www.childtrends.org/files/MarriageRB602.pdf.
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Similarly, single parent adoptions, although they may not imitate the natural family environment, provide the necessary stability and continuity in an adoptees life. Research shows that children experience difficulties because of the instability of broken homes rather than the absence of a parent. Single Parent Adoption: What you Need to Know, National Adoption Information Clearinghouse available at: harmonyfamilycenter.org/.../Single%20Parent%20Adoption.pdf. Research also reveals that single adoptive parents are able to meet the demands of adoptive parenting with a sure touch. Id. (citation omitted). The prospective single parent adoptee is vetted by the government and is desirous of entering into a permanent parent/child relationship. The Legislature could reasonably believe that this

promotes the necessary stability and predictability in a childs life. [S]ingleparent families work, and single-parent adoptive families have a higher likelihood of functioning well because they are chosen families that lack the stress factors more common in single-parent families formed by non-marriage or divorce. Single-Parent Adoptive Families Work, Adoption (2006).3 Additionally, a single

3Available at: http://ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/ViewpointsDetailsPage/ViewpointsDetailsWindow ?failOverType=&query=&prodId=OVIC&windowstate=normal&contentModules =&mode=view&displayGroupName=Viewpoints&limiter=&currPage=&disableHi ghlighting=false&displayGroups=&sortBy=&source=&search_within_results=&ac tion=e&catId=&activityType=&scanId=&documentId=GALE%7CEJ3010420221

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person may wed, and their spouse may adopt the child as his or her own, thus replicating the traditional family environment. Plaintiffs contend that by singling out unmarried persons from the class of persons that can adopt, the statute is irrational because unmarried persons, heterosexual or homosexual, may be able to provide a stable and nurturing environment to raise a child. Further, plaintiffs contend that the M.C.L. 710.24(1) is unnecessarily broad because it screens out competent parents, such as plaintiffs. Plaintiffs argument proves too much. Legislative policy choices necessarily

include certain persons and exclude others. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that every line drawn by a legislature leaves someone out that might well have been included. That exercise of discretion, however, is a legislative, not a judicial, function. Vill. of Belle Terre v. Boraas, 416 U.S. 1, 8 (1974); see also U.S.R.R. Ret. Bd. v. Fritz, 449 U.S. 166, 179 (1980) (noting that the process of line drawing inevitably requires that some persons who have an almost equally strong claim to favored treatment be placed on different sides of the line, and the fact the line might have been drawn differently at some points is a matter for legislative, rather than judicial, consideration) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted); Romer, 517 U.S. at 632 (In the ordinary case, a law will be sustained if it can be said to advance a legitimate government interest, even if the law seems unwise or works to the disadvantage of a particular group, or if the rationale for it

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seems tenuous.). Thus, it is constitutionally irrelevant that unmarried persons may, in certain circumstances, provide the same stable and nurturing environment that single or married persons can provide. Further, as previously stated, a

marriage between one man and woman is the best environment with which to raise children. Plaintiffs also argue that M.C.L. 710.24(1) is irrational because Michigan allows unmarried couples to be foster parents. Plaintiffs provide no legal authority for this statement other than their own experience with foster care. But, even assuming that Michigan law allows unmarried couples to be foster parents, this does not detract from the legitimate government interests advanced by M.C.L. 710.24(1). Because adoption is final, the childs needs for permanency and A foster care arrangement, on the other hand, is

stability are heightened. temporary.

The goal of foster care is not to create a new family unit or

encourage permanent emotional ties between the child and foster parents. Mayberry v. Pryor, 422 Mich. 579, 586-87; 374 N.W.2d 683 (1985). Rather, foster care is designed to provide the child with a suitable environment pending efforts to return the child to his or her parents or adoption. Id. That unmarried couples may be permitted to take foster children on a temporary basis, but not on an adoptive basis, is consistent with the purposes and objectives to be served by the Michigan adoption code.

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Based on the foregoing, M.C.L. 710.24(1) should be sustained because it advances a legitimate government interest. III. MICHIGANS MARRIAGE AMENDMENT DOES NOT VIOLATE THE DUE PROCESS OR EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE. The central issue in this case is whether the Michigan Marriage Amendment violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Marriage Amendment provides that, [t]o secure and preserve the benefits of marriage for our society and for future generations of children, the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose. Mich. CONST. 1963, art. 1, 25. The Marriage Amendment is not motivated by animus or ill-will towards homosexuals, but rather represents a policy choice of the People of Michigan that marriage between one man and one woman is in the best interests of both our society and for future generations of children. Id. As a sovereign State, this policy choice was and is Michigans alone to make. It should not be disturbed outside of the political process. See discussion supra Part I. In any event, the Marriage Amendment does not violate the Due Process or the Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

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A. Plaintiffs Challenge to Michigans Marriage Amendment Should be Dismissed Because it is Foreclosed by United States Supreme Court Precedent. The Michigan Marriage Amendment defines marriage as between one woman and one man. Mich. CONST. 1963, art. 1, 25. The Marriage

Amendment prevents plaintiffs, and others similarly situated, from marrying each other. According to plaintiffs, the Marriage Amendment violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. However, plaintiffs claims are foreclosed by United States Supreme Court precedent, which holds that a state statute limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples does not violate the Due Process or Equal Protection clauses of the Constitution. See Baker v. Nelson, 409 U.S. 810 (1972) (summarily dismissing an appeal from a decision of the Minnesota Supreme Court for want of a substantial federal question). The Supreme Courts decision in Baker is binding here. In Baker, the plaintiffs, two adult males, applied for a marriage license. Their application was denied under a Minnesota statute, which defined marriage as between persons of the opposite sex. See Baker v. Nelson, 191 N.W.2d 185, 185186 (Minn., 1971). Plaintiffs appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court on the grounds that, among other things, the denial of a marriage license was in violation of the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. Id. at 186. Applying rational basis review, the Minnesota Supreme Court held that

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the statute did not violate either clause. Id. at 187. Regarding the Equal Protection Clause, the court found that there was no irrational or invidious discrimination. Id. Distinguishing Loving v. Virginia, 338 U.S. 1 (1967), which held a state statute prohibiting interracial marriages unconstitutional, the Minnesota Supreme Court held that in commonsense and in a constitutional sense, there is a clear distinction between a marital restriction based merely upon race and one based upon the fundamental difference in sex. Id. The United States Supreme Court summarily dismissed the plaintiffs appeal for want of a substantial federal question. Baker, 409 U.S. at 810. Baker is binding precedent. Jackson v. Abercrombie, 884 F.Supp.2d 1065, 1088 (D. Haw. 2012). The Supreme Courts decision to dismiss for want of a substantial federal question is a vote[] on the merits of a case. Hicks v.

Miranda, 422 U.S. 332, 344 (1975). And, as the Supreme Court has observed, lower courts are bound by summary decisions by this Court until such time as the Court informs (them) that (they) are not. Id. at 344-45 (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). The claims brought by the Baker plaintiffs, and those of the instant plaintiffs, are indistinguishable. In both cases, plaintiffs challenge a state law prohibiting same-sex marriage on the grounds that it violates the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. And, as it should be, the same rule of law applies in both cases. That is to say, the

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prohibition of same-sex marriage is constitutional. Accordingly, plaintiffs claims should be dismissed.4

4In Windsor v. United States, 699 F.3d 169 (2d Cir. 2012) cert. granted, 133 S. Ct. 786, 184 L. Ed. 2d 527 (U.S. 2012) and aff'd, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (U.S. 2013), the plaintiffs challenged a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, 1 U.S.C. 7, which defined marriage for purposes of federal statutes and administrative law as that between one man and one woman, on the grounds that it violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The Second Circuit held that Baker was inapplicable because the question presented did not concern the states right to restrict marriage to one man and one woman, but rather, whether the federal government may constitutionally define marriage as between one man and one woman. Id. at 178. The Second Circuit also noted certain doctrinal developments, namely the advent of intermediate scrutiny for quasi-suspect classes, and suggested that Bakers holding is open to reexamination. The Court went on to hold that homosexuals are a quasi-suspect class and that 7 of the DOMA is unconstitutional. Id. at 185, 188. The Supreme Court affirmed but did not address Baker. Unlike Windsor, this case arises under state law, which, as explained, makes Baker binding precedent. Moreover, this Court is not free, as the Second Circuit was, to reconsider Baker in light of certain doctrinal developments. While certainly in 1971 when Baker was decided, the terms quasi-suspect class and intermediate scrutiny were foreign to the Supreme Courts constitutional jurisprudence, the Sixth Circuit has subsequently determined that homosexuality is not a quasi-suspect class. See Davis v. Prison Health Services, 679 F.3d 433, 438 (6th Cir. 2012) (noting that the Sixth Circuit has not recognized sexual orientation as a suspect class and applying rational basis review to the plaintiffs equal protection claim). Thus, in regards to the continued efficacy of Baker in this Circuit, it is doctrinally irrelevant that new nomenclature and a heightened standard of review has been implemented in certain cases (for example, sex and illegitimacy), because the same standard of review applied in Baker rational basis is applicable here.

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B.

The Marriage Amendment satisfies the Rational Basis Test.

Even assuming that Baker is not dispositive of plaintiffs constitutional challenge, the Michigan Marriage Amendment passes constitutional muster. There is no fundamental right implicated by plaintiffs challenge to the Marriage Amendment. Sexual orientation is neither a suspect class nor a quasi-suspect class. Scarbrough v. Morgan Cnty. Bd. of Educ., 470 F.3d 250, 261 (6th Cir. 2006); Davis v. Prison Health Services, 679 F.3d 433, 438 (6th Cir. 2012) (noting that the Sixth Circuit has not recognized sexual orientation as a suspect class); see also Windsor, 133 S. Ct. at 2706 (Scalia, J., dissenting) (noting that the Court applied rational basis review to the federal law restricting marriage to a man and a woman). Thus, plaintiffs claims are reviewed under the rational basis test. 5 Id. As discussed, the general rule is that legislation is presumed to be valid and will be sustained if the classification drawn by the statute is rationally related to a legitimate state interest. City of Cleburne, Tex., 473 U.S. at 440 (citations

5 Plaintiffs claims do not implicate the fundamental due process right to marry. Supreme Court cases discussing the right to marry are limited to the right to marry a person of the opposite sex. See e.g., Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967). Moreover, fundamental rights are those rights deeply rooted in this Nations history and tradition. Washington, 521 U.S. at 721. It is axiomatic that same-sex marriage a phenomenon with its origins at the turn of the most recent century is not deeply rooted in our Nations history and tradition. Thus, there is no fundamental right to marry somebody of the same sex. See Jackson, 884 at 1098 (holding that the right to same-sex marriage is not a fundamental right). To hold otherwise would be to open the door to polygamy, intra-family marriages, and the like.
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omitted). When social or economic legislation is at issue, the Equal Protection Clause allows the States wide latitude, and the Constitution presumes that even improvident decisions will be rectified by the democratic process. Id. The Marriage Amendment provides that, [t]o secure and preserve the benefits of marriage for our society and for future generations of children, the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose. Mich. CONST. 1963, art. 1, 25. In construing this amendment, the Michigan Supreme Court has determined that the first part of the amendment states its purpose, and the second part states the means by which this purpose is to be achieved. Natl Pride At Work, Inc. v. Governor of Michigan, 481 Mich. 56, 60; 748 N.W.2d 524 (2008). Thus, the purpose of the amendment is to secure and preserve the benefits of marriage for our society and for future generations of children, and the means chosen to achieve that purpose are by recognizing only the union of one man and one woman as a marriage.6 In doing so, Michigan has aligned itself with the

Amici the Michigan Law Professors seek to attribute the ostensible views many of which are policy matters wholly unrelated to the marriage amendment of a few groups and/or citizens onto the citizenry at large, i.e., those who ratified the amendment. The argument is unjustifiable. The primary objective in Constitutional interpretation is to determine the intent of the ratifiers, not those who supported or purportedly drafted the Amendment. Natl Pride At Work, Inc., 481 Mich. at 532-533. The Michigan Supreme Courts determination as to the
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traditional view of marriage that marriage is between one man and one woman, a view has prevailed throughout this Nations history. But, while tradition alone will not justify disparate treatment of individuals, the traditional view of marriage is ripe with reason and the means chosen by the People of Michigan are rationally related to achieving the Marriage Amendments purpose for three reasons. 1. Survival. First, limiting marriage to a man and a woman serves a basic need of society survival. One of the undeniable benefits of marriage is that it has historically been most conducive to producing offspring. Marriage is founded in nature, but modified by civil society: the one directing man to continue and multiply his species, the other prescribing the manner in which that natural impulse must be confined and regulated. WILLIAM BLACKSTONE, 1 COMMENTARIES *126-127. The Supreme Court has recognized the correlation between marriage and procreation in numerous opinions. See e.g., Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942) (Marriage and procreation are fundamental to the very existence and survival of the race.); Loving, 388 U.S. at 12 (Marriage is one of the basic civil purpose of the amendment is binding on this Court. Romer, 517 U.S. at 626 (We rely not upon our own interpretation of the amendment [to the Colorado constitution] but upon the authoritative construction of Colorados Supreme Court.). Moreover, [u]nlike the moral disapproval of same-sex relations . . . other reasons exist to promote the institution of marriage beyond mere moral disapproval of an excluded group. Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558, 585 (2003) (OConnor, J., concurring).

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rights of man, fundamental to our very existence and survival.); and Mayndard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190, 211 (1888) (Marriage is an institution, in the maintenance of which in its purity the public is deeply interested, for it is the foundation of the family and of society, without which there would be neither civilization nor progress.). In the United States, from 2006 2010, nearly 60% of children were conceived and born into a marriage. CDC, Key Statistics from the National Survey of Family Growth available at www.cdc.gov/nchs/nsfg/abc_list_b.htm. Same-sex marriages, by definition, possess a diminished ability to procreate and concomitantly a diminished ability to safeguard our survival. To encourage the relationship that is most conducive to the survival of our species the government incentivizes people to marry by providing a myriad of benefits. For example, ownership of property is held in the favored status of tenancy by the entireties; spouses are entitled to an equal share of assets acquiring during the marriage; spouses are immune from testifying against their spouse; and marital persons are entitled to favored tax treatment. That the People of the State of Michigan have sought to preserve and protect the relationship most conducive to the preservation and proliferation of the human race through the Marriage Amendment is certainly a legitimate government interest. That the desired outcome may be achieved through other means, or even may yield in the absence of the means chosen, is of

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no moment. Romer, 517 U.S. at 632 (In the ordinary case, a law will be sustained if it can be said to advance a legitimate government interest, even if the law seems unwise or works to the disadvantage of a particular group, or if the rational for it seems tenuous.). 2. Responsible Procreation. Second, limiting marriage to a man and a woman serves to encourage responsible procreation. Marriage was instituted for the purpose of preventing the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes promoting domestic felicity, and for securing the maintenance and education of our children. DICTIONARY
OF THE

WEBSTER, AN AMERICAN An individuals

ENGLISH LANGUAGE (1st ed. 1828).

autonomous right to sexual promiscuity has consequences, including the birth of children. But, while the government cannot regulate the former, Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003), it can reasonably and laudably attempt to channel those consequences to transpire in a suitable and sustainable environment for childrearing. As discussed, the State encourages marriage by providing those that enter the marital relationship with a myriad of benefits. Marriage also confers dignity and status of immense importance. Windsor, 133 S.Ct. at 2692. Encouraging members of the opposite sex to marry those members of our society that may reproduce naturally increases the likelihood that a favored environment for

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raising children exists.

Robert Rector, Married Fathers: Americas Greatest

Weapon Against Child Poverty, Heritage Foundation Special Report 117 at 1 (2012) (concluding that, on average, having and raising children inside of marriage is more beneficial than having and raising a child outside of marriage); see also discussion infra Part III.B.(3). Not only does encouraging marriage help to ensure that a child will be born into a traditional family unit, but it also helps to ensure that the child will remain in that stable environment as the traditional family unit is significantly more likely to remain together than unmarried persons having children together. See Marcia J. Carleson, Trajectories of Couple Relationship Quality after Childbirth: Does Marriage Matter? Center for Child Wellbeing Working Paper #2007-11-FF (2007) available at http://crcw.princeton.edu/workingpapers/WP07-11-FF.pdf (noting that only one-third of unmarried couples with a child are still living together five years after the child is born; one in five of these couples will marry within the childs first five years; and that, by comparison, over 80 percent of married couples are still together five years after a child is born). Continuity of relationship provides the necessary stability and predictability children thrive on. This is a legitimate state interest and the means chosen are rationale. See Jackson, 884 F.Supp2d at

1114 (holding that Hawaiis marriage law limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples, who can naturally procreate, advance[s] the [legitimate] interest in

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encouraging natural procreation to take place in stable relationships and same-sex couples do not to the same extent.). Additionally, encouraging procreation within the confines of marriage serves other legitimate state interests of promoting economic stability and decreasing the need for government assistance. The bonds of marriage promote stable

relationships that are beneficial not only to husband, wife, and child, but also to the state and its resources. Research shows that, as compared to other environments, a child raised by a traditional married family is significantly less likely to be dependent on public assistance than a child raised in other settings. Mark

Regnerus, How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study, Social Science Research 41 (2012) (data reveals that a child born to a traditional family is significantly less likely to be unemployed, currently on public assistance, or have received public assistance while growing up). Further, children born to single parents are more likely to be impoverished.7 Census data shows that for 2009, the poverty rate for single parents with children

7 That single parents are statistically more likely to be impoverished does not detract from the reasons why single parents are suitable for adoptees. The State performs an extensive background check into prospective adoptive parents, which necessarily includes a diligent review of their financial condition. If the financial condition of an applicant detracts from their ability to provide a stable homeenvironment to an adoptee, the applicant can be precluded from adopting.
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in the United States was 37.1% as compared to 6.8% for married couples with children. Robert Rector, Married Fathers: Americas Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty, Heritage Foundation Special Report 117 at 1 (2012). It follows that [b]eing raised in a married family reduce[s] a childs probability of living in poverty by about 82 percent. Id. In 2011, federal and state governments spent more than $450 billion dollars in welfare payments to low-income families with children. Id. at 3. Approximately seventy five percent of this money (over $300 billion) went to single-parent families. Id. Poverty is an epidemic that invades all facets of a childs life including his or her upbringing, education, social, physical, and mental welfare, and chances for escaping poverty later in life. Given the uncontroverted financial data regarding the financial liability posed with bearing children outside the marital relationship, it can hardly be questioned that the People of Michigan would choose to channel the consequences of sexual promiscuity into an environment that is least likely to need assistance from the State. 3. An Environment That Includes a Childs Biological Mother and Father, Who are Married to Each Other, is Advantageous to a Childs Development. Third, marriage has and is the primary unit of society that allows for the upbringing, education, and socialization of children within the family unit. Incontrovertible evidence indicates that it is advantageous for children to be raised in this environment.

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Research clearly demonstrates that family structure matters for children, and the family structure that helps children the most is a family headed by two biological parents in a low-conflict marriage. Children in single-parent families, children born to unmarried mothers, and children in stepfamilies or cohabitation relationships face higher risks of poor outcomes than do children in intact families headed by two biological parents. [Kristin Anderson Moore et al., Marriage from a Childs Perspective: How Does Family Structure Affect Children, and What Can We Do About It? CHILD TRENDS RESEARCH BRIEF, at 6 (2002), available at http://www.childtrends.org/files/MarriageRB602.pdf.] Married biological parenting has been shown to increase the probability of positive outcomes and decrease the risk of negative outcomes across a wide range of developmental categories and life outcomes. Brief of Amicus Curiae,

American College of Pediatricians, Case No. DA 11-0451 at 11 (Mont. 2012).8 The American College of Pediatricians also points to the traditional family unit as advantageous to children because [d]ata supports the widely-held understanding that fathers and mothers make unique contributions to the rearing of their children, and that these unique contributions can have a significant positive impact across a range of developmental categories. Id. at 12. Plaintiffs counter this documented evidence with a citation to Perry v. Schwarzenegger, 704 F.Supp.2d 921 (N.D. Cal. 2010), where a California district

8 In support of its conclusion, the American College of Pediatricians cite research showing that there is a decreased risk in children of married parents in delinquency, self-esteem, school performance, smoking, suicide, and risk of adult depression.
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court found that children do not need to be raised by a male parent and female parent to be well-adjusted, and having both a male and a female parent does not increase the likelihood that a child will be well adjusted. Plaintiffs Motion for Summary Judgment, Doc #67 at 19. While the first part is true children do not need both biological parents to be well-adjusted and the second part is highly questionable given the plethora of social science research to the contrary it is a distinction without a difference. Michigan has offered more than adequate

justifications for its Marriage Amendment. Those justifications are grounded in reliable evidence and not subject to debate under rational basis review. As the Supreme Court has repeatedly held: a legislative choice is not subject to courtroom factfinding and may be based on rational speculation unsupported by evidence or empirical data. FCC v. Beach Communications, Inc., 508 U.S. 307, 313 (1993). That the legislative choice is ineffectual or does not achieve the desired outcome is of no moment. Courts are compelled under rational-basis review to accept a legislatures generalizations even when there is an imperfect fit between means and ends. A classification does not fail rational-basis review because it is not made with mathematical nicety or because in practice it results in some inequality. Heller v. Doe, 509 U.S. 312, 321 (1993) (citations and internal

quotation marks omitted). Here, Michigans policy decision to limit marriage

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between a man and a woman secures and preserves an environment that is most advantageous to a childs development. That policy decision should not be

disturbed. To hold otherwise turns any principled understanding of rational basis review on its head. CONCLUSION Michigan has a fundamental sovereign right to govern domestic relationships. relationships. Indeed, Michigan has the exclusive right to govern these Although Michigan must respect the constitutional rights of

plaintiffs, those rights are not implicated by the laws at issue in this case. Michigan has a legitimate interest in securing and preserving the benefits of marriage for our society and future generations of children. Its decision to achieve those interests by limiting marriage to a man and woman is rational. Similarly, excluding unmarried persons from the class of persons that may adopt is rationally related to the legitimate interests of promoting the best interests of adoptees and meeting their needs for permanency and stability. The Constitution demands no more.

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Respectfully submitted, BODMAN PLC By: /s/Thomas J. Rheaume Jr. Thomas Van Dusen (P30602) Thomas J. Rheaume Jr. (P74422) 6th Floor at Ford Field 1901 St. Antoine Detroit, MI 48226 (313) 259-7777 trheaume@bodmanlaw.com Attorneys for amicus curiae, The Michigan Catholic Conference August 21, 2013 CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I certify that on August 21, 2013, I electronically filed the foregoing paper with the Clerk of the Court using the ECF system which will send notification of such filing to all counsel of record. /s/Thomas J. Rheaume Jr. Thomas J. Rheaume Jr. (P74422) 6th Floor at Ford Field 1901 St. Antoine Detroit, MI 48226 (313) 259-7777

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