Christian conservative group Liberty
Counsel argues in a brief in support of Michigan's gay marriage ban
that allowing gay couples to marry will increase sexually transmitted
diseases in the state.
In its 39-page brief, the Christian law
firm headed by Mat Staver, a vocal opponent of LGBT rights, claims
there are “inherent harms associated with same-sex unions.”
“The nature of the sexual acts in
which same-sex couples engage carry health risks that are not as
prevalent, or in some cases, not present at all, in heterosexual
individuals,” the document states.
After conducting a two-week trial in
March, a federal judge struck down Michigan's ban as
State officials asked the Sixth Circuit
Court of Appeals in Cincinnati to review the order.
In its amicus brief, Liberty
Counsel argues that “homosexual males are at exponentially higher
risk of developing a variety of sexually transmitted diseases, and
have increased risks of developing various cancers and medical
conditions because of the nature of same sex.”
“It would be rational for the voters
of Michigan to seek to minimize the deleterious effects of these
conditions on public health, safety and welfare by affirming that
marriage in Michigan remains the union of one man and one woman.”
A spokeswoman for the group told Think
Progress' Zack Ford that it believes the ban discourages gay sex.
Ford noted that researchers have found
that health inequities among the LGBT population are “related to
the discrimination and stigma against homosexuality.”
Ford cited several studies, including
one which found that marriage
equality increases the mental and physical well being of gay couples.