Phelps Files Amicus Brief in Marriage Equality Case

Phelps Files Amicus Brief in Marriage Equality Case February 4, 2013

Fred Phelps merry band of ghouls and fascists has filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in the case of Hollingsworth v Perry, the Prop 8 case from California. The brief is filed “in support of neither party” but urges the court to reject same-sex marriage, of course. Here’s part of their list of legal citations:

Jonah 3:4, Holy Bible

Jonah 3:6-9, Holy Bible

Jonah 3:10, Holy Bible

Jude 1:7, Holy Bible

Judges, chapters 19-21, Holy Bible

Letter to the editor, Topeka Capital Journal, December 15, 2009

Leviticus 18:22, Holy Bible

Leviticus 20:13, Holy Bible

Luke 17:27, Holy Bible

Luke 17:32, Holy Bible

Malachi 2:16, Holy Bible

Mark 10:11, Holy Bible

Matthew 7:6, Holy Bible

Matthew 19:3-8, Holy Bible

Nahum 1:1, Holy Bible

Peter 2:7-12, Holy Bible

Philippians 3:2, Holy Bible

Proverbs 14:34, Holy Bible

Proverbs 18:22, Holy Bible

Proverbs 31:10, Holy Bible

Psalm 9:17, Holy Bible

Psalm 33:12-15, Holy Bible

Psalm 82:1, Holy Bible

Revelation 19:7, Holy Bible

Revelation 22:15, Holy Bible

Well that’s certainly convincing. Jeremy Hooper offers this clip from the brief:


I’m sure the justices will give it all the attention it’s due.

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  • reasonbe

    There’s a lawyer in that bunch?

  • That’s their legal brief? I thought one of the Phelps kids was a sharp lawyer. If this is the best they can do, why is anyone taking them seriously?

    And how is one stinking letter to the editor comparable to quotes from their Bible?

    What a jucking foke.

  • Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden


    Did you see the citations? Apparently not.

    I saw the title to this post and knew I had to look. I’m not tempted by train wrecks, but the Phelps clan making a legal argument? I just have to read the whole brief…

  • I wonder what Freddieboy’s explanation for God not smiting Canada is. We’ve had gay marriage for years, yet we haven’t had a massive increase in “acts of God.” Of course knowing someone like Phelps he probably thinks Canada isn’t important in God’s plan, and hence he can’t be bothered to rain fire and brimstone on us.

  • Nepenthe

    That’s really stretching the term amicus.

  • eric


    That’s their legal brief? I thought one of the Phelps kids was a sharp lawyer.

    I’m guessing this is ghost written; their lawyer probably did little more than make sure it met any requirements for submission and formatting.

  • Wes

    There’s a lawyer in that bunch?

    Phelps himself is a lawyer. Believe it or not, a civil rights lawyer (unsurprisingly, disbarred) who defended a lot of black defendants back in the 60s. I believe at least a few of his children are also lawyers as well.

  • shouldbeworking


    The reason gawd isn’t busy smiting Canada is because we’re not mentioned anywhere in the Holey Babble.

  • wholething

    You’re right, Fred. Gay marriage will destroy the country. Get out while you can. Antarctica has almost no sin. You’d love it there. It’s even full of the best birds. Birds in tuxedos!

  • marcus

    “destructive wrath of God”

    Remember what happened to Canada!11!!one!1!

    (You know, that country that used to be to the north of us.)

  • unbound

    Entertaining brief to read. Lists 8 court cases, and a list of authorities (which I read in Eric Cartman’s voice), which are mostly around the list Ed provided.

    Most of the verbiage is standard wrath of god fair…my favorite was:

    “Of all the harms that a society can face, none are worse than incurring the wrath of God by a blatant policy of defiance of and disobedience to His plain standard.”

    Followed by a painful twisting of logic, selective quoting of the 8 court cases, and a whole lot of bible quoting to prove that we are a nation founded on christianity, so therefore gays are bad.

  • dmcclean

    On the positive side, I learned the word ‘condign’.

    These people are completely over the top. It’s hard to believe they can tie their shoes.

  • There’s a lawyer in that bunch?

    amazingly enough, most of them are lawyers. That’s how they make money: suing everyone who loses their cool at their provocations.

  • clayhale

    God hates legal citations.

  • Sastra

    I think the real take-away message from this brief should be that Phelps has now legally stated that, in his considered opinion, the United States of America is NOT already irretrievably damned. No, only ratifying gay marriage will “cross the final line with God.” So far, we’re doing pretty good, I guess.

    HA! Who does Phelps think he’s kidding? Gay marriage could be banned, homosexuality could be criminalized, and every schoolchild could be required to study the Bible and convert to Christianity and Phelps and his church would still find some terrible, horrible, vile sin which permeates the land and warrants God’s absolute condemnation.

    Come on, the guy believes in the doctrines of Total Depravity and Original Sin. Just being human is deserving of Hell. Like passing same-sex marriage would make any freaking difference…. sheesh.

  • raven

    Revelation 19:7

    New International Version (NIV)

    7 Let us rejoice and be glad

    and give him glory!

    For the wedding of the Lamb has come,

    and his bride has made herself ready.

    It’s basically a collection of bible verses that don’t have much to do directly with gay marriage.

    A lot of them just says god hates us, which is Phelp’s main point. That is what OT incompetent Sky Monster gods do.

    This one from Revelation is odd. If I’ve got it right, the Lamb is jesus and the bride is saved xians, both male and female. Jesus is outdoing King Solomon in polygamy here, Solomon having 700 wives and 300 sex slaves, all apparently female.

  • glodson

    I knew it was going to be stupid. I just wasn’t ready for this level of stupid.

    I needed that laugh.

  • jba55

    I’m guessing even they don’t believe anything will come of this other than attention. Isn’t there something the law can do to stop them from wasting the courts time? Although it might be a nice bit of comic relief for some poor clerk.

    @15 I had never heard of Total Depravity doctrine before, but now I know what I’m going to name any metal band I start.

  • dingojack

    jba55 – Ask SLC.

    🙂 Dingo

  • I, too, learned the word “condign” today.

    But let’s not dismiss Phelps as stupid. He’s crazy, he’s an ass, he’s mean… He’s a lot of things. But he is not stupid, and it would serve us well to remember that. He gets away with what he does because he’s smart, he knows the law, and he would beat any one of us in court if we were to try something.

  • cptdoom

    If the leaders of this country treat what God as called abominable as something to be respected, revered and blessed

    I’ll say it again – didn’t this already happen when we adopted the First Amendment and made heresy “respected, revered and blessed”?

  • raven

    If the leaders of this country treat what God as called abominable as something to be respected, revered and blessed

    I’ll say it again – didn’t this already happen when we adopted the First Amendment and made heresy “respected, revered and blessed”?

    Things like eating shellfish, wearing mixed fiber fabrics, and sowing two different seeds in the same field.

    As well as religious tolerance for heresy, apostasy, and worshipping false gods. Also adultery, false prophets, disobedient children, and nonvirgin brides, all death penalty offenses.

    Under biblical law, 99% of the US population would be stoned to death.

    Phelp’s main point is the god hates everyone. You can get that out of the giant Inkblot magic book quite easily if you want to cherry pick. And all xians are cafeteria xians anyway.

  • poxyhowzes

    It is clearly time for the formation of a great Juggernaut of legal team, a firm led by God Himself (TM)

    This firm: God’s Own Theocratic, Christian, and Historically American LLC (GOTCHA), might include:

    Phelps’s are God’s surrogates, LLC, (PHAGs)

    Matt Slaver, LLC (dba Matt Staver)

    Thomas More & Successors (including their wholly-owned subsidiaries “Less is MORE Legal Center” and “Doubting Thomas, LLC” (“I can see the hole in your side’s case”)

    Orly Taitz DDS, Esq.

    The Law Firm of Pugno & Cooper (“What we DON’T know never stops us”)

    NOM (“What we DO know never stops us”)

    R. John Sanctorum, dba “Frothy Mix, LLC.” (Legal specialty: We Deny Your Abortion, and we Uphold Ours)

    Will Romney [Licence to practice temporarily in abeyance] “Thank DOG above, but what’s that stuff on the rear window?”

    /sarcasm and satire


  • slc1

    Re Dingojack @ #19

    Yessir, the mad mullahs that run Iran are totally depraved.

  • thisisaturingtest

    @#4, timgueguen:

    Religion is a process of simplification, which means that anything bad that ever happens in Canada can be seen by the simple as “acts of god” punishing Canada for officially tolerating homosexuality.

    (It’s also the process by which individuals, who are allowed to be as intolerant as they wish as individuals, can believe that that personal right to intolerance extends to an institutional right to impose it as policy…but that’s another story.)

  • That letter to the editor in the list, could it have been written by Paul?

  • paulg

    I’m not referring to this brief because I haven’t read it, but I’ve had this question for a while and would love clarification from those in the know:

    In general what are the rules about making false statements in these sorts of briefs? I’ve noticed that, for instance, in Paul Clement’s briefs he’s very careful not to make false statements. He makes implications, but I’ve never seen a blatantly false statement (granted I’ve never combed them either, but everything I’ve seen shows him to be toeing the line very carefully). However, I have read some amicus briefs recently where blatantly false statements were made (for instance misrepresentation of scientific data). The glory of having this issue in court is that this shit doesn’t fly under oath and under cross examination, but are there any consequences for lying in a brief?

  • nonnymus

    Make no mistake, Phelps’ law firm, Phelps-Chartered Co., is what supports the cult. The firm is mostly Shirley Phelps-Roper and Rebekah A. Phelps-Davis, both daughters of Fred Phelps and both of whom passed the bar in Kansas. They successfully defended the cult in front of the Supreme Court and bring in lots of money in civil rights lawsuits.

    This brief notwithstanding, they successfully represented their clan all the way up to the Supreme Court in Snyder vs. Phelps (that’s the one where the grieving father of a slain soldier sued them emotional damages from their demonstrating at his son’s funeral. Phelps-Chartered Co. first lost, then won on appeal and won in front of the Supreme Court.

    They also file civil rights suits against towns and groups which don’t “provide adequate protection” for their demonstrations. Win or lose, they get paid under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which provides for payment of legal counsel to civil rights plaintiffs. There is no prohibition in the Act against individuals acting as counsel for themselves and their family members.

    They also get money from local governments and organizations when someone damages their signs or vehicles. So, although it felt great when someone slashed their tires in McAlester, KS a couple of years ago and no garage in town would fix them, the town did pay for their expenses and damages… maybe more.

    So, they are competent, just not in this brief. Please understand that I find them reprehensible, yet Phelps-Chartered Co. is usually competent in its sphere.

  • The Phelps family are nothing but extortionists. Their church is a sham. Nearly all of its members are part of Fred’s extended family. I doubt they really care about homosexuality nearly as much as they claim. Their goal is to provoke people into committing an actionable offense and then file suit. That’s why they protest at military funerals or other events that have nothing to do with the gay issue. They want to piss people off.

    I doubt they expect any judge to take this brief seriously. Well, maybe Roy Moore would, but the main purpose of filing this is probably just to remind people that they’re still around and still vile.

  • martinc

    theschwa @ 26: Gem. “And now a reading from Paul’s First Letter To The Topeka Capital Journal.”

  • martinc

    dmcclean @ 12, and Donovan @ 20: Yes, a particularly appropriate piece of farm machinery would be a condign harvester.