A homophobic brief filed in Michigan's ongoing gay marriage case has been denounced by the state's attorney general.
Attorney Kyle Bristow filed the amicus brief in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week on behalf of the Traditionalist Youth Network (TYN), a group that espouses anti-gay positions and has links to the white nationalism movement. The brief argues that same-sex marriage is "an affront to the health, safety, morals, and public welfare" of Michiganders and could open the doors to legalizing pedophilia and zoophilia.
Its filing follows a ruling last month in which a judge overturned Michigan's gay marriage ban. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette appealed the decision, and an appeals court issued a stay halting same-sex marriage indefinitely.
The brief, unaffiliated with the state's case, argued that Michigan has a legitimate interest in banning same-sex marriage and claims legalization will open the courts to challenges from "sexual deviants":
If a state cannot be permitted to define marriage as simply as constituting one man and one woman, then our culture will be taken down a very slippery slope that will see pedophiles, polygamists, zoophiles, those in incestuous relationships, and every other sexual deviant with proclivities now known or to be invented to challenge laws that, likewise, prevent them from marrying whom -- or what -- they wish.
"Amazingly, the Culture distorters have marched forward so relentlessly in the culture war that sodomy has not only been legalized, but now those who practice sodomy are demanding to be permitted to marry one another," the brief stated.
Bristow also wrote that Michigan's right to ban same-sex marriage is in accordance with U.S. and Western legal tradition, referencing recent cases as well as examples of criminalization of same-sex acts from over 1,000 years ago, including Roman soldiers allegedly stoned to death for engaging in sodomy in the second century B.C. and Germanic tribes drowning homosexuals in the first millennium A.D.
Schuette denounced the brief Friday, saying it would be disregarded by his office.
"The Sixth Circuit should use this brief to line a birdcage, because that's all it's good for," he said in a statement, MLive reports.
Last year, Schuette filed a brief in the case claiming the state's definition of marriage was needed to "regulate sexual relationships between men and women so that the unique procreative capacity of such relationships benefits rather than harms society."
He also referenced historical traditions as reasoning for the ban on gay marriage.
"The understanding of marriage as a union of man and woman, uniquely involving the rearing of children born of their union, is age-old, universal, and enduring," he wrote.
U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman ruled that Michigan's gay marriage ban was unconstitutional last month. In the day between his ruling and the court's stay on the ruling, about 300 gay couples were married. While Gov. Rick Snyder (R) said the state will not recognize their marriages, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said they will be recognized federally.
TYN is not affiliated with the state's case, but spokesman Matt Parrott told the Southern Poverty Law Center's Hatewatch blog last week that they were "fighting for tradition."
According to Hatewatch, attorney Bristow led the Young Americans for Freedom chapter when he attended Michigan State University and invited white nationals to speak at the campus. The SPLC listed the club as a hate group in 2007 following controversial YAF initiatives like an alleged "straight power" rally in Lansing.
Matthew Heimbach, co-founder of TYN, has received attention for his white supremacist views and his creation of patrols to protect white students while leading the White Student Union at Baltimore's Towson University.
Detroit African-American LGBT organization KICK condemned the brief last week, Between the Lines reports.
"The Traditionalist Youth Network is on the wrong side of history -- which Schuette and Snyder should avoid," KICK Executive Director Curtis Lipscombe told the LGBT newspaper. "In my view, they should concentrate on why couples should stay married as opposed to getting married."