Two military groups on Monday jointly
filed an amicus brief urging the 10th Circuit Court
of Appeals to strike down gay marriage bans in two states.
OutServe-SLDN and the American Military
Partner Association (AMPA) filed a 29-page friend of the court brief
in support of plaintiff couples challenging the constitutionality of
bans in Utah and Oklahoma.
The bans were declared invalid in
separate cases but both have been appealed to the same appeals court,
which has scheduled hearings on the cases in April.
In its brief, the groups assert that
such bans hurt same-sex military families.
“The lack of marriage recognition is
a strain on these military families, and an unnecessary distraction
for service members who all too often find themselves in harm's way
while trying to protect this country,” the brief states. “Ending
this discrimination by requiring states to recognize the right of
same-sex couples to marry would protect these families, and best
serve the needs of the modern military.”
The 10th Circuit Court of
Appeals has jurisdiction over district courts in six states,
including Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming.
Of those states, gay couples are allowed to marry only in New Mexico,
though Colorado recognizes gay couples with civil unions.
the entire brief.)