About this Case
One member of a same-sex couple, who had been married in Massachusetts, filed a petition for divorce. The Rhode Island Family Court certified to the state Supreme Court a question as to whether the Family Court had subject matter jurisdiction to grant a petition for divorce with respect to a same-sex couple. The certified question asked “whether or not the Family Court may properly recognize, for the purpose of entertaining a divorce petition, the marriage of two persons of the same sex who were purportedly married in another state.”
Summary of NLF's Brief
We argued that man-woman marriage is the law of Rhode Island and “the law of the species.” Marriage has been present in virtually every culture in every age. A stable, complementary union of the sexes has the sanction of nature, and it is grounded in our sexual and social behavior. Children yearn for a stable home with mother and father present, and societies and states – including the government of Rhode Island—strive to provide it.