In a brief recently filed with the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a group of legal experts presented a detailed takedown of District Judge Bernard A. Friedman’s decision to strike the Michigan Marriage Amendment. Earlier this year, Friedman effectively legalized same-sex marriage in the state after concluding the amendment is a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.
Using passages from the Holy Bible in addition to established legal precedents to make their case, the traditional marriage advocates provide three specific reasons the ruling should be reversed.
The first argument included in the brief refers to Friedman’s reliance on “the shifting sands of social science” in forming his ultimate decision. Though the case at hand reportedly called on the judge to rule simply on a legal issue without making any judgments regarding fact, critics say he relied heavily on the biased testimony of San Francisco psychologist David Brodzinsky.
According to the argument presented in the brief, the American Psychological Association – of which Brodzinsky is a member – was instrumental in the 1975 decision that homosexuality is not a mental disorder. A number of psychologists opposed to this change are cited in the brief; however, it was the one-sided view of Brodzinsky that Friedman said he found “fully credible” and gave “considerable weight.”
The judge also found credible the testimony of several other witnesses with similar points of view while disregarding – or prohibiting – the testimony of experts representing the other side of the argument. For instance, the brief claims, a Rhodes Scholar set to address the court was barred from testifying after Friedman rejected his qualifications. Furthermore, he found sociology professor Dr. Mark Regnerus’ position “unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration.”
Friedman reportedly discounted Regnerus based on the fact that he received funding for his research, though he failed to consider the fact that Brodzinsky took in at least $120,000 from homosexual activist groups to further his studies.
According to the brief, Friedman discounted virtually every word uttered by defense witnesses as “fringe” views, apparently ignoring the historically disparate views by the psychological community regarding homosexuality. Comments from Sigmund Freud, “the father of psychoanalysis,” were included in the court document, exploring his belief that a sexual act is considered a perversion “if it departs from reproduction in its aims and pursues the attainment of gratification independently….”
While some today might simply assert that Freud was incorrect in his analysis, the brief poses the following query:
“If by their positions these experts demonstrated that they were wrong before, who do we know they are right now?”
In the end, the brief concludes that if Friedman’s ruling – and his method of arriving at it – are allowed to stand, “the rule of law will have come to an end, trumped by judicial policy-making based upon the evolving opinions of so-called ‘experts.’”