Attorneys in Gay Marriage Lawsuit Filing Brief to Counter "Traditional Family" Argument

Mar 17, 2014

Gay Phillips (left) stands with Sue Barton, her partner of 29 years, as Barton speaks Monday at a news conference. Coplaintiffs Sharon Bishop (immediately right of Barton) and Mary Baldwin also spoke.
Credit Matt Trotter / KWGS

Plaintiffs in Oklahoma’s same-sex marriage lawsuit strike back at a conservative group’s claim that gay unions will ruin traditional families.

Attorneys are filing a brief in response to a conservative group’s brief that claims same-sex unions will hurt traditional ones and children.

Sue Barton, one of the four plaintiffs, said at a news conference today those claims are nonsense.

"It's irrational to think that allowing a minority access to a fundamental right and an equal protection will somehow erode the marriages of heterosexual couples, or that it will make marriage less appealing or negatively impact the lives of children," Barton said.

Self-described religious freedom group Alliance Defending Freedom filed the brief about traditional families and is also providing counsel for the defendant in the case. Several supporters gathered at Tulsa's Dennis R. Neill Equality Center for the announcement of the plaintiffs' filing, including Jim Walker, the executive director of Youth Services of Tulsa.

"What we desire most is for young people to have a stable family, and we have learned through the years that it doesn't matter if it's a heterosexual couple or a gay couple," Walker said.

The plaintiff’s attorneys plan to file their brief with the 10th Circuit several hours before a midnight deadline.