University | 11:34 pm | March 27, 2013 | By Aleksandra Gjorgievska

Law professors weigh in on gay marriage debate

Yale Professor William Eskridge discusses his views on the gay marriage debate.
Yale Professor William Eskridge discusses his views on the gay marriage debate.

Several Yale Law School professors and alumni who support same-sex marriage recently offered their opinions on Hollingsworth v. Perry to the Supreme Court.

The professors and alumni shared their opinions by submitting or signing amici curiae briefs, which allow individuals to provide the court with unsolicited input about a case. The Supreme Court is currently hearing the case on appeal from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which last year ruled California’s Proposition 8 unconstitutional. The case is tackling the issue of whether the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment prohibits the state of California from defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Last month, Sterling Professor of international law and former Law School Dean Harold Koh — along with foreign and comparative law experts including Sarah H. Cleveland LAW ’92, Noah Novogrodsky LAW ’94 and Ryan Goodman LAW ’99 — wrote an amicus brief acknowledging that the Yale Law School community has always championed the principles of liberty, privacy and equality.

“In the past twelve years, numerous democratic nations around the world have honored the equal protection legacy of this Court by rejecting separate civil unions and domestic partnership regimes for same-sex couples in favor of marriage equality,” the brief said. “To preserve U.S. leadership in the field of personal freedom and human rights, the judgment of the court of appeals should be affirmed.”

Last month, law professor William Eskridge LAW ‘78 joined several other law professors to submit a brief arguing that Proposition 8 violates the core meaning of the Equal Protection Clause and that the central prejudice of the anti-homosexual caste regime is based on the stereotype of homosexuals as anti-family.

Law professor Bruce Ackerman LAW ’67 also signed a brief last month arguing in favor of the respondents.

A video of Ackerman, Eskridge and Koh discussing the case is available here.

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