Cleary Gottlieb Authors Amicus Brief in United States Supreme Court on Behalf of Social Scientists in Support of Same-Sex Marriage

March 5, 2013

In the same-sex marriage cases pending before the Supreme Court of the United States, Cleary Gottlieb filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the American Sociological Association, urging affirmance of the lower courts’ rulings striking down, in one case, California’s ban on same-sex marriage (Proposition 8) and, in the other case, the federal ban (DOMA) on recognition of same-sex marriage.

While proponents of Proposition 8 and DOMA assert that excluding same-sex couples from the right to marry would benefit children, Cleary Gottlieb’s brief on behalf of the ASA explained that the consensus among social scientists is that children fare just as well when raised by same-sex parents as when raised by opposite-sex parents. Cleary Gottlieb’s brief also demonstrated that the studies cited by those opposing marriage equality did not even address children raised by same-sex parents and so did not, and could not, undermine the social science consensus. As pointed out in the ASA brief, to the extent the social science research demonstrates that stability is a key factor in child wellbeing, it supports the argument that extending the rights, responsibilities and protections of marriage to same-sex couples would improve—not harm—the outcomes enjoyed by the children of such parents.

View Cleary Gottlieb’s amicus brief from the American Sociological Association.