More than two dozen Episcopal bishops have filed two briefs in the United States Supreme Court supporting civil marriage equality for same-sex couples. The bishops are from dioceses in California, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia. Pacific Church News from the Diocese of California reports:
At the invitation of the Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California and Christopher J. Hayes, Esq., chancellor of the Diocese, bishops across The Episcopal Church joined a broad range of religious groups, organizations, and leaders in filings in two historic cases pending in the Supreme Court. In one filing, Episcopal bishops in the state of California unanimously supported a challenge to the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot initiative that ended access to civil marriage for same-sex couples in California. They joined Episcopal bishops in nine other states and Washington, D.C.—29 bishops in all, representing 23 out of 24 dioceses in civil jurisdictions with marriage equality—in supporting a second brief challenging the constitutionality of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” or DOMA, which prevents the U.S. government from recognizing same-sex civil marriages in their dioceses.
The amicus curiae briefs are among at least 40 expected to be filed with the Supreme Court this week from groups representing current and former military leaders, members of Congress, medical and mental health associations, CEOs from more than 280 leading businesses, former U.S. government officials, and experts in history, family law, and family and child welfare.