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  • The Supreme Court's Challenge: Restore Marriage Decisions to Citizens

    The Supreme Court announced today that it will hear cases dealing with the definition of marriage during its current term.

    The Court will consider challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act, passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority in Congress and signed by President Clinton, and Proposition 8, California’s constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

    After lower courts ruled against these marriage laws, the Supreme Court now has the opportunity to return authority to citizens in answering questions about marriage policy.

    Every marriage policy draws lines, leaving out some types of relationships. But equality forbids arbitrary line-drawing. Determining which lines are arbitrary requires us to answer two questions:

    1. What is marriage?
    2. Why does it matter for policy?

    There are many good reasons why citizens in 41 states have said over and over that marriage is between a man and a woman. Marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces. And as ample social science has shown, children tend to do best when reared by their mother and father.

    Government recognizes marriage because it is an institution that benefits the public good.

    Marriage is society’s least restrictive means to ensure the well-being of future citizens. State recognition of marriage protects children by incentivizing adults to commit permanently and exclusively to each other and their children.

    While respecting everyone’s liberty, government rightly recognizes, protects, and promotes marriage as the ideal institution for procreative love, childbearing, and childrearing.

    In recent decades, marriage has been weakened by a revisionist view that sees marriage as primarily about emotional bonds or legal privileges. In other words, it is more about adults’ desires than children’s needs. Same-sex marriage is the culmination of this revisionism: Emotional intensity would be the only thing left to set marriage apart from other bonds.

    Government should not obscure the truth about marriage by accepting that revisionist view. In redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships, government would weaken marital norms, which would further delink childbearing from marriage and hurt spouses and children—especially the most vulnerable. It would deny a mother or father to a child as a matter of policy.

    The harms resulting from redefining marriage would force the state to intervene more often in family life and force the state’s welfare to grow even more. Citizens would lose more of their freedom of religion and conscience.

    Today’s decision from the Supreme Court comes a week after the district court of Nevada upheld that state’s marriage amendment that defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

    In the coming months, the Supreme Court will consider briefs, hear oral arguments, and ultimately issue its ruling by the end of the term in June 2013. Whatever the outcome, debate on the issue of marriage will continue.

    The coming months, therefore, offer an important opportunity for citizens to consider carefully what marriage is and why government should continue to recognize marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

    For Further Reading:

    The Heritage Foundation will continue providing resources for just such consideration. Subscribe to the Richard and Helen DeVos Center’s weekly newsletter, Culture Watch, to learn about arguments and data related to the marriage question and get updates on developments in the cases.

    Other helpful resources include the Alliance Defending Freedom’s website Why Marriage Matters and the site of the California coalition that has defended Proposition 8, ProtectMarriage.com. A new book by Sherif Girgis, Ryan Anderson, and Robert P. George, What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense, provides helpful—and timely—explanations. Order the book here.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    65 Responses to The Supreme Court's Challenge: Restore Marriage Decisions to Citizens

    1. Robert McAvoy says:

      To say that I was disappointed when the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, calling it a tax when the Obama Administration denied it while ignoring the constitutional requirement for the House to originate all revenue bills, is an understatement. Should their pandering spirit result in the redefinition of marriage, the last semblance of a nation based on consent of the governed will result. The outcome of such a change will renew our acquaintance with the Declaration of Independence: "When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

      • Luau Doogie says:

        Robert, I am mystified by your response. In our recent elections, we saw that a majority in three states recognized marriage equality. Those votes confirm numerous polls that show a majority of Americans, after weighing the arguments on both sides, favor marriage equality. If the Supreme Court holds for marriage equality, won't it be reflecting the consent of the governed? And surely you don't advocate the destruction of the United States government because of a couple of court decisions that didn't go your way. That would indicate an incredible lack of respect for the blood and sacrifice that has gone into making equality before the law one of the greatest legacies of our nation.

        • Luau Doogie says:

          Ryan and Jennifer, you are laboring under a logical fallacy that has found few buyers in the marketplace of ideas. Your circular argument that marriage has a single purpose and single definition is belied by the patently obvious fact that people get married for many different reasons and define it many different ways. What they all agree on, however, is that marriage is the ultimate commitment between two people who love each other. Society has a strong motive to support and encourage all such relationships because they strengthen communities. Indeed, gay marriage has, in the places where it is legal, been shown to strengthen families where children are present and to lower promiscuity among gays and lesbians. If you believe gay people are as valuable as other people, you should want to encourage marriage among committed couples to bring the demonstrated benefits of marriage to them. To do otherwise is to say that they are lesser humans and their relationships are not as important as those of heterosexuals. I know you would not want to do that.

          • Charles says:

            "What they [people] all agree on, however, is that marriage is the ultimate commitment between two people who love each other." Your statement is false. What I and millions of others agree on is that marriage is the ultimate commitment between a man and a woman who love each other. Two people of the same gender who love each other cannot possibly fit into the category of relationship we define as marriage because they are not opposite gendered. Nor can can they become involved in what most everyone understands that marriage normally includes: bearing, rearing, and raising children. Gay people who love each other certainly have human rights, but it is impossible for them to "marry" because they have a different kind of relationship than 2 people of the opposite sex. One of the things that true marriage between a man and a woman sanctifies is their actual sexual activity and the children it is normally presumed will produce. This is what marriage is. The state has a compelling interest in this male/female father/mother relationship because of the commonly understood facts of life that they will produce children that must cared for. Check the link in the article for Ito on how research supports far and away that children have the best chances of becoming balanced and confident members of society when raised by their natural parents. All of this is what marriage normally consists of. It should be obvious to any thinking person that we have a definitive way to describe the woman/man mother/father relationship and the reason for their long term commitment – it helps to protect not only their loving relationship, but the offspring that love produces. This what marriage is.

          • Fernando says:

            I think that it's the defenders of gay marriage that have it wrong all the way, from a logical point of view. You say "marriage is the ultimate commitment between two people who love each other" and yet, some states in America go as far as banning marriage between first cousins, including Washington state. Moreover, every state and country I am aware of that has legalized gay marriage bans incestuous gay marriages between siblings and parents/children even though the rationale for banning such marriages in normal couples -potential for genetic defects in children of said couples- isn't there for gay couples. So "marriage is the ultimate commitment between two people who love each other" it's a great emotional appeal but has very little relevance as to what should be accepted as marriage from a legal/institutional point of view. You cannot be consistent with your position unless you also agree that incestuous gay marriages between siblings and parents/children be allowed.

        • Jen says:

          Luau, I am from Washington State. It is the Seattle area (King County in particular) that always swings the outcome of our elections to the left. I really wish we could have an honest conversation about gay marriage and the effects on families and society. We never take the time to have a debate about this subject. You say there have been arguments presented from both sides and that we have weighed them? I disagree. I have never heard the left present why gay marriage is positive for families or society in the long run. However, I do hear the left call people on the right bigots if we don't agree with gay marriage.

        • retiredcoach says:

          Your term "marriage equality" is a misnomer and false premise. Equality cannot exist between 2 men or 2 women-or worse yet if this "equality" is enshrined into law-there will be claims of "equality" for 3 men or a man and his dog-there is no end!
          After a three-state victory on November 6, some liberals believe that the gay marriage issue is settled. "To me," said ABC News's Matthew Dowd, "the consensus has already emerged on this issue.

          It's just a question of… is the Supreme Court going to catch up, or get ahead of it, or put a block in the path of it?"

          First of all, three states does not a consensus make. The Left has a long way to go to catch up to the block of 41 states that define marriage as the union of a man and woman–30 by constitutional amendment. People like Dowd must think that if you repeat these lies often enough, people will start believing them. Unfortunately for him, the opposition to same-sex "marriage" isn't fading.

          The nation will find that out soon enough if the Supreme Court overturns the marriage laws in 41 states. A decision like that would be more divisive than Roe v. Wade, which did anything but "settle" the abortion issue. Why? Because marriage policy, unlike abortion laws in the 1970s, has already been incorporated into the constitutions of a majority of states by the votes of the people.

          If the justices void those laws and amendments in July, it not only undermines our most fundamental social institution–but democracy.

        • retiredcoach says:

          Your term "marriage equality" is a misnomer and false premise. Equality cannot exist between 2 men or 2 women-or worse yet if this "equality" is enshrined into law-there will be claims of "equality" for 3 men or a man and his dog-there is no end!After a three-state victory on November 6, some liberals believe that the gay marriage issue is settled. "To me," said ABC News's Matthew Dowd, "the consensus has already emerged on this issue.

          It's just a question of… is the Supreme Court going to catch up, or get ahead of it, or put a block in the path of it?"

          First of all, three states does not a consensus make. The Left has a long way to go to catch up to the block of 41 states that define marriage as the union of a man and woman–30 by constitutional amendment. People like Dowd must think that if you repeat these lies often enough, people will start believing them. Unfortunately for him, the opposition to same-sex "marriage" isn't fading.

          The nation will find that out soon enough if the Supreme Court overturns the marriage laws in 41 states. A decision like that would be more divisive than Roe v. Wade, which did anything but "settle" the abortion issue. Why? Because marriage policy, unlike abortion laws in the 1970s, has already been incorporated into the constitutions of a majority of states by the votes of the people.

          If the justices void those laws and amendments in July, it not only undermines our most fundamental social institution–but democracy.

        • Ben Franklin says:

          Just because people want to live in sin through homosexual marriage doesn't make it right, no matter how many people like to. God has not and never will look the other way, as if it's OK for two men or two women to live together as sexual partners. Sorry… it's just His word. Oh yeah… and He never changes.

          Incidentally, if you really think that the majority of Americans think that gay marriage is OK, I have some ocean front property to sell you too, just off Main Street in Indianapolis.

      • Guest says:

        The decision by the SC on Obamacare declaring it a tax leaves it to ANY Congress to abolish it. The House can simply refuse to allot the money to enable it to function. Which would open up a nasty can of worms with a "president" who ignores the Constitution whenever it suits him.
        He might not want 10's of millions of 2nd Amendment believers to all of a sudden decide that they don't want to follow that same document in choosing how to remove a failure from office.

      • Al Metcalf says:

        This is not brain surgery. The first amendment to the Constitution restricts the Government from Establishing a Religiion. Therefore the Government is also restricted from Disestablishing a Religioin. Marriage is a defined term in the Torah and is part of the Judeo/Christian Religions.
        For any government to coop this term and make it their own is to subsume the term from the religioin. Now the same government wants to redefine the term they stole to mean exactly what the Torah calls the mortal sin of Sodomy. This should be the arguement in the Supreme Court before the Stooges.

    2. S. Manson says:

      How does denying a gay or lesbian couple marriage ensure children are reared by their parents? It's strange to think that there's some sort of connection there.

      • Al Metcalf says:

        No one wants to deny anybodies Constitutional rights. The fight is over the biblical term Marriage.
        Let the State get completely out of the Marriage business and get into the Civil Coupling business. Leave the term Marriage off of all civil documents, the term should have never been printed on a civil document to start with. The term has been defined for thousands of years and the government does not have the authority to redefine the term within our society.

    3. Rich says:

      McAvoy, drama, drama, drama…."the people" said loud and clear this past election that they want marriage equality. The consent of the governed is clearly at work here. Should you decide, in your own shrinking world, that the political bands are turning on you, you have two choices: accept the trend of this nation or, simply, state your objection and move on.

      • Jim says:

        The "consent of the governed" in 41 states (so far) has been to stick with the traditional definition of marriage; one man – one woman. Are you okay with the "consent of the governed" in those states?

        And … as far as the election "the people" only said they want more goodies from the "gubbermint", such as their "Obama Phones", "Obama Money", and more food stamps.

    4. Belle Dame says:

      It's kinda sad that you want to deny same sex couples basic rights like being able to visit a dying partner in the hospital. God have mercy on your soul.

      • Jim says:

        They can do that now. The 'ole "hospital visitation" argument is so lame. Any friend can visit somebody in the hospital.

    5. kdt says:

      Sorry, you're not convincing me. Allowing gay couples to marry does not infringe on the rights of heterosexual couples to do so. It promotes the stability of gay relationships; and it encourages gay couples to adopt.

      If another goal of conservatives is to restrict access to abortions, then they should also welcome the new inventory of stable homes offered by married gay couples.

      • One Nation under God says:

        The truth is that a society that openly embraces relationships that completely deny the will of God and pursue only the pleasures of the flesh is doomed to decay and ultimate failure. In addition, you seem to be advocating that one sin, that of killing babies somehow is a good supporting argument for gay marriage, since they cannot have children of their own.

        Such twisted and perverse logic is beyond the scope of reason, and I would tremble at the thought of living in a nation that actually believes these things. Whether or not you accept it, there are more people today that in this country that support sound basic moral standards (as set by God and not man), than at any other time in history.

        • Juan Martinez says:

          ONuG — who gets to speak for god? You? That kind of thinking has led to countless genocides, massacres, and enslavements throughtout the ages.

    6. P Laws says:

      One comparison that comes to mind is admitting women to the college VMI – I would summarize the Supreme Court's decision that a state-supported school must be fair to both sexes is that 'separation is inherently unequal.' I also want to look closely at the above argument that children do best with a mother & a father – this is non sequitor – sure; statistically, a child has a higher chance of poverty or lagging in school when one parent abdicates, dies, or was never there – but there is no rational research that two dads' kid or two mom's kid does worse than a hetero couple's kid. Also, the idea above that a state should support (provide tax, inheritance, and hospital visiting privelages) just to hetero couples doesn't wash – should we then also provide more economic support to rich couples (who tend to have better performing kids) or just to older couples (who tend to have more stable marriages) or just to white couples ?

    7. Not MyName says:

      I don't see any point to this rhetoric. The article goes out of their way to say that revising marriage will weaken religion without any explanation as to how that is accomplished. How would gay marriage deny a mother or a father the right to a child? Last I checked a mother and father still have the ability to have a child. We are talking about people who would be unhappy in a marital relationship between a man and a woman. We are condemning them for being different because they don't fit our description of what is normal. So to do that seems pretty atrocious and unchristian. I don't think that's what God or Christ had in mind. Even better was that back in the time of Christ, how often was it that marriage was a form of barter? A farmer trades some land for a daughter. So marriage isn't without revision. Let's keep revising words to fit with modern society instead of just shoving unhappiness down the throats of those who are different because we feel we are superior.

      • DJC says:

        Why should a society care about protecting itself? Why not legalize all narcotics too? Non-druggies would still have the right to stay clean.
        How can a society justify making some people unhappy by restricting access to their fix? We musn't condemn those people for being different because they don't fit our description of what is normal. To do that seems atrocious and unchristian.

      • Walter says:

        Christ was very clear on homosexuality – 1. And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ (not male and male or female and female) “and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?’” (Matt. 19:4.)

        Romans 1:24-27 explains how one falls into this sin, committing the unnatural and then bears the consequences of his/her unseemly error.

        It isn't hate of homosexuals that compels Christians to resist the redefinition of marriage. It's love of God and the obedience of the natural order that He established. It is what it is, don't follow Satan into disobedience of God, especially on this most pivotal of issues that throughout history undermined and caused to crume whatever society it plagued.

        • Daniel says:

          Another point to consider: God made man first and then said "It [was] not good for man to be alone" (Gen 2:18) so he created woman to be his "helper" (which by the way cannot be used to suggest the Bible subjugates women as the same word is used in the 33rd Psalm to describe God himself). God did not create another man but created woman and the resulting relationship is what we call marriage. Men and women are inherently different and those differences are specifically designed to fulfill the other's deficiencies. It is simply a fact that people were created and are born incomplete in body, mind, and soul. Marriage is designed to perfect us in mind and body and God himself (in the person of Christ) perfects our souls. Ultimately this is why homosexual relationships cannot be marriage, because a man cannot complete another man for the simple and inescapable reason that he is not a woman.

    8. lumpy says:

      Well yes and no. Living in amazingly liberal NW I have some homosexual friends that have made me ponder there plight as to marriage. The way the world works makes them need marriage to be recognized for certain rights and privileges. Civil union would cost way more to implement. Thinking states should decide and supreme court uphold everyones liberty. But great points about fabric of society. Most people normal and not queer. So otherways to promote proper values. Nature is very strange at times.

    9. Paul Cota says:

      What the Constitution fails to do under the authority of the Supreme Court is set people free from immorality. That's why American's are using the Constitution to legalize freedoms for any group of people who want their liberty for that which is evil. Evil is defined as immoral or malevolent, wickedness and depravity. America knows in our heart of hearts that abortion & pornography are wrong but we've chosen a pseudo liberty in the Roe vs. Wade decision on abortions and the People vs Larry Flint on pornography. Both cases judged as an equal civil liberty, have brought malevolence upon a society of people against their liberty for that which is good.

    10. Paul Cota says:

      The same will be judged in the definition of marriage. We know in our hearts of hearts that same sex unions are wrong or evil by nature itself. However, our Supreme Court judges are prone to making decisions on civil liberties that evil is good and good is evil. You can’t have both. If you’re for one you’re against the other. Roe vs. Wade, the People vs. Larry Flint and same sex unions or marriages are immoral. Life is good. Sexual morality is good and hetero-sexual marriages are good. All three Supreme Court rulings on America’s civil liberties are attacking & destroying that which is good.

    11. Guest says:

      Marriage is the union of man and wife.. and it serves the "state" in that that union creates new taxpayers. The "others" cannot do so in a natural manner, and therefore they serve no useful policy of the state. Unless it's to drive up government medical expenses as a direct result of their sexually transmitted diseases.

      • Diane says:

        I suppose you are an advocate of those hetro couples who can't produce children, as you put it, naturally being stripped of their rights to have children by artificial insemination or in-vitro.

        Which begs the question, why are these couples allowed the privilege of being married at all. They obviously can't have children by the good old in and out method you seem to think they should be required to use.

      • In the beginning, God did not create Adam and Bruce! He brought Eve before Adam and Adam said, now I know that this is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh and for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife and they twain shall become one flesh. No where in the entire Bible will you find marriage defined as anything other than a union between a man and a woman. The great cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because they were involved in homosexual activity. I am not saying that God will all of a sudden wipe us off the face of the map, however, we will destroy ourselves if we insist on doing that which is evil in the sight of God and his Son.

    12. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      That's the ONLY reason the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare as a tax. It WAS, and IS, a tax!

    13. Chuck Donovan says:

      It is useful to remember that we have reached this point due to judicial usurpation from the very beginning. The Supreme Courts of Hawaii in the early 1990s and of Massachusetts in 2005 launched this social experiment at a time when "social demand" for it was low and public concerns (see welfare reform in the mid 1990s) was moving strongly toward recognition of the harms done when families fracture. Those harms have not diminshed as the nation has settled in to record levels of out-of-wedlock childbearing and burgeoning government, which recompenses but does not remediate these harms. Despite this usurpation, the vast majority of states continue to resist the rewriting of the meaning of marriage. The high court should, for once, adopt a stance of modesty instead of cosmic vision, and leave this area of law (and others related to it, like abortion) to the people. No matter what the court decides, lines will remain drawn around what marriage is or is not. The reduction of the political square to a set of housekeeping duties for the carrying out of judicial and executive decrees is one more reason why our Republic suffers today – it is slack from non-use in resolving the most vital questions.

      • Diane says:

        A state right advocate! If marriage is a states' rights issue tell me why gays and lesbians who are legally married in those states that have equal rights to marriage are denied the federal benefits of marriage.

    14. Alexander Adams says:

      I hope they declare traditional marriage constitutional, and that they read your "What is marriage" paper! (And you're upcoming book)

    15. Tonto says:

      "Look what's coming up the street……" Jefferson Airplane

    16. Concerned Montanan says:

      Supreme Court – nine people who are going to spend considerable time discussing who is smarter, themselves or God. The definition of marriage is spelled out very clearly in the Bible – God's definition; and no amount of arrogance or self-grandization changes that. Nor can the complaining and lobbying of any number of people who apparently are Biblicallly illiterate change God's word. All these people will only bring God's wrath down on themselves and on our nation.

      • Diane says:

        And it was written in the bible that slavery was just and right! It was written in the bible that women shouldn't have the right to vote. It was written in the bible to hate Jews. It was written in the bible that whites are superior. It was even written in the bible that using a fork was a sin.

        Were any of those written and justified in the bible? No but all of the above were at one time said to be God's will according to the bible. Show me where God mentions legal marriage as being defined as between a man and a woman. Explain to me the book of Ruth.

        Ruth's pledge to Naomi which does so shock many of you right wing Christians because you all use these same word as you ideal of marriage. Surprising that it's one woman pledging her love to another. Furthermore Ruth clung to Naomi just as a man should leave his parents and cling to his wife. Clung and Cling in Hebrew are the exact same word.

        “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”

    17. Micha Elyi says:

      There is no such thing as "same-sex marriage", it's a contradiction in terms. It's same-sex sham marriage.

      The promoters of same-sex sham marriage demand that the rest of us pretend that their sham marriages are just like the real thing.

      Today we laugh at stories of lawmakers who believed they could legislate that pi=3. Not long ago, most everybody laughed at the idea that same-sex sham marriages were genuine marriages. Eventually they will again. Truth eventually wins.

    18. Paul says:

      This issue illustrates how the anti-statist coalition is being split apart by those who insist on bringing their religion into our politics. You leave people such as myself having to decide between two religions being forced on me: the moralizing of secular liberal statists or the moralizing of religious statists. The disastrous result will be Democrat wins as far as the eye can see, as millions like me who otherwise support 90% of what Heritage stands for vote third party or sit out critical elections. Limited government does not decide upon "value" for the individual, as you say. Limited government's primary value is the individual being free to make his or her own choices within the bounds of mutual consent. I am sorry to say that your invoking children to conceal your inability to state plainly your personal prejudices is unworthy of a serious conversation.

      I distrust a liberal who tells me my hard work is a "public good" in the same way that I distrust a conservative who, as you did, tells me my being shut out of the institution of marriage is a legitimate use of coercive state power, rather than a private agreement between two parties. In either case my life's choices are supplanted by the moralizing meddling of the power hungry who simply cannot resist the temptation to use the power of the state to make me comply with their wishes. At least the liberals are consistent (what happened to states' rights, after all?).

      You will have to ask yourself at some point if you really believe in limited government. Because freedom means people will not always live their lives the way you prefer. That's the price of freedom–a price you seem unwilling to bear. I'll put it this way. I neither want nor need your permission or your moral approval to pick a spouse. That you think I do, and that you would bring the power of the state to force your belief upon me, burdens me with having to do anything I must to keep people such as yourself away from the reigns of power.

      • Juan Martinez says:

        Thank you, Paul. Very well said. Many conservatives are horrified to see our values, causes, and parties usurped by narrow-minded bigotted religionists.

    19. Paul says:

      This issue illustrates how the anti-statist coalition is being split apart by those who insist on bringing their religion into our politics. You leave people such as myself having to decide between two religions being forced on me: the moralizing of secular liberal statists or the moralizing of religious statists. The disastrous result will be Democrat wins as far as the eye can see, as millions like me who otherwise support 90% of what Heritage stands for vote third party or sit out critical elections. Limited government does not decide upon "value" for the individual, as you say. Limited government's primary value is the individual being free to make his or her own choices within the bounds of mutual consent. I am sorry to say that your invoking children to conceal your inability to state plainly your personal prejudices is unworthy of a serious conversation.

    20. Paul says:

      I distrust a liberal who tells me my hard work is a "public good" in the same way that I distrust a conservative who, as you did, tells me my being shut out of the institution of marriage is a legitimate use of coercive state power, rather than a private agreement between two parties. In either case my life's choices are supplanted by the moralizing meddling of the power hungry who simply cannot resist the temptation to use the power of the state to make me comply with their wishes. At least the liberals are consistent (what happened to states' rights, after all?).

      You will have to ask yourself at some point if you really believe in limited government. Because freedom means people will not always live their lives the way you prefer. That's the price of freedom–a price you seem unwilling to bear. I'll put it this way. I neither want nor need your permission or your moral approval to pick a spouse. That you think I do, and that you would bring the power of the state to force your belief upon me, burdens me with having to do anything I must to keep people such as yourself away from the reins of power.

      • Richard Pierce says:

        My reply to the overall issue is that AMERICA has lost its moral compass and we are spiraling out of control, not only on the marriage agenda but in a multitude of ways. The following is not a threat – it is only the TRUTH: Unless AMERICA repents and returns to the GOD of our forefathers – the GOD of Holy Scripture we will escalate our way to divine judgment. We either PRAY or we will PAY. Unless AMERICA repents GOD will have to apologize to Sodom & Gomorrah (Genesis 19:17-29) and apologizes are not on HIS agenda

    21. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      If you truly want marriage equality, then lift all restrictions to it. State laws and amendments restricting marriage to only one man and one woman also discriminate against underage marriage, polygamy, beastiality, incest, etc. If the SC strikes down same-sex restrictions, does consistency not demand lifting all other restrictions?

      The United States of America is morphing into simply America where states are not free to act independently where the Constitution is silent which it is on marriage.

    22. Mike says:

      I can comment about how circular this argument is, how it has lack of citing, how it fails to make an honest point or support itself with any data, but that probably wouldn't make a difference to those who agree with this. Have you, the ones who agree with this, every thought about this from a separate perspective? Have you ever spoken to LGBT people about why they want their rights? Or are you just basing it on stereotypes and discriminatory policies that have polluted your mind. Let the person who is without sin cast the first stone. If you truly believe after responding rationally and reasonably, that includes looking at some other form of information, looking at all the discriminatory things LGBT people face day by day, and actually expanding your horizons and living as a Christian without persecuting others, that LGBT people don't deserve the right to say goodbye to their loved ones or have kids, then I will accept your response. Take a walk in someone else's shoes and get off your high horse just because you are "special" enough to judge others, judging other people is not Christian.

    23. Answering "What is marriage?" is the key to everything that follows. I am afraid however that the question will be avoided, not answered, and then more bad effects will follow. It is incredible that we have even reached this point; the result of forgetting what marriage is.

    24. debbie says:

      Has anyone considered that homosexuality is an abomination in Gods eyes as stated in the Bible? Yes, I know that the word "homosexual" is not actually stated …but the act of perversion is. For me, God's Word is the ultimate truth! This nation is constantly wanting to rewrite original laws and values to reflect a corrupt and secular world. We are losing our "blessing" from God by turning our backs on Him and His Word. There are consequences that are being paid as we speak and there will be more to come if we don't repent and turn from our evil ways. We cannot fool God with all this talk of "tolerance" and "love" for others. It comes down to the difference between "good" and "evil" and we are honoring "evil" more than "good" these days.

    25. Chaplain Chip Rohlke says:

      Why is it that those who engage in what is historically a perverse and destructive lifestyle have so little tolerance for those who think homosexuality(along with incest, pedophilia, beastiality, necrophilia and other 'sexual preferences') is unnatural and wrong behavior.

      Why is it that immediately when someone raises an objection to homosexuality as 'normal and natural' they are immediately labelled 'homophobic' as if everyone is scared of them. Perhaps most people are in fact 'homo-nauseated' and sick and tired of 'in your face' homosexual activism. Maybe most people don't want their children indoctrinated into the homosexual culture and tired of constant attempts to make it acceptable behavior.

      It's true that the Christian faith opposes homosexuality as it does all sin but never rejects the person…as a prison Chaplain I've learned to always accept and care for the individual but never the sinful behavior-whether murder, rape, lieing, fornication or homosexuality.
      Of course to those who love this sin only God can touch their conscience.
      I imagine most people want to accept the individuals engaging in such choices but not condone their behavior.

      Chaplain Chip Rohlke

      • Ben Franklin says:

        Just a note to let you know that there is someone out here that agrees with you. Sin is sin. Period. But God is loving and merciful, ready to take in the repentant homosexual, as with any other sinner on the planet.

        Sadly, it is those who want gay marriage that shout the loudest. Perhaps there are some of us that will raise our voices to stand up for what is right, not politically correct.

    26. Tonya says:

      Shouldn't the real question here be… Why is the government even involved with marriage in the first place? I am speaking of freedom and liberty not conservative or liberal. Regarding freedom and liberty I would think we as Americans would stand together. I believe the Bible and am not a proponent of gay marriage but I am a proponent of freedom and liberty. God gave mankind a free will. Allowing our government to decide what marriage looks like robs us from freedoms our very creator gave us. Shouldn't we be aligned together rather than divided on this subject if we look at it from the real problem… Government intervention?? We have and continue to fall for the political smoke screens those in the government throw our way so they can gain further control of our lives. Isn't it time we stand together as Americans for the freedoms and liberties our forefathers fought to give us?

    27. Fernando says:

      I hope the Heritage Foundation will not escape from this challenge and will vigorously campaign in the next 3 months to make sure people understand what's at stake here. I am sick and tired of having conservatives cave in to "cocktail party" pressures on the matter, starting with traitor Ted Olson. The reason I didn't vote for Romney past November was his decision to hire him to coach Paul Ryan. The presidential section of my ballot was left blank. Despite all the BS, the majority of the people still think that marriage matters. Even as 3 states approved gay marriage, it was in the bluest of states and by Pyrrhic margins. If we are going to alter this fundamental institution, at least the people should have a say on it. We shouldn't let 5 guys living in DC ram it through on us as they did with abortion on demand.

    28. Tonya says:

      Shouldn't the real question be… Why is the government involved in marriage at all?? I don't see this or many other issues we face as liberal or conservative but rather an assault on each individual's freedom and liberty. The longer we argue issues and not the real problem which is government intervention into every aspect of our lives, our freedoms and liberties will be trampled on. We are Americans before we are liberal or conservative. God gave man a free will and it seems every time we allow the government to implement a new law we take away a person's God given free will. As a Christian I believe God is big enough to speak to a person about their choices without the need of a government law. Differing opinions aren't the problem, big nanny government is. That's the conversation we need to be having.

    29. Fred says:

      Said no better than this…We need "to bring back the understanding that rights are based on natural law (self-evident, inalienable, with which we are endowed by our Creator), and to beat back the idea of a "right" as something you really, really want and it would be mean to deny it." – George Weigel

    30. Robert Voyt says:

      Marriage has been and always will be between a Man and a Woman. That is how God intended it at the begining of time – that is how it always is to be. Period.

    31. jeanhipslots says:

      For shame. Fewer than five percent of Americans identify themselves as gay. A UCLA study in 2011 pegs the number of 18-44 year olds who are gay at 1.7%. Of that number, if we use the percentage of all people married in the US (48%) as a guide, we can estimate that roughly .07% of the population is seeking equal spousal benefits under the law. And here we are – safely perched on the 98% heterosexual majority – screaming that we feel threatened and must defend the value of traditional marriage as if it was being marched on by Hannibal crossing the Alps. Congratulations on demonstrating that being drama queens is for straight people too.

    32. Tiernan MacConville says:

      The real reason for the state's promulgation of same sex maraige has nothing to do with tolerance or concern for gay people. Gay marraige when made equal to hetero sexual marraige will usher in a raft of highly invasive coercive state reproductive regulative health legaslation out of concern for the health of any children "born" to gay couples. These regulations will effectively deny human procreation without first obtaining a state licence.

      This regulative legislation will be aimed at gay couples only to begin with but they as a group can then quite fairly opine that it is discriminatory to apply such regualtive legalation to gay marraiges only. The state will cry crocodile tears as it is forced to apply the same procreative / reproductive legislation to all marraiges.

      BINGO!

      The Holy Grail of the Eugenics Movement (aka Planned Parenthood, The Guttmacher Institute, the Gates Foundation, The Rockerfella Institute etc etc.) The Final Solution is at hand.

      TOTAL STATE CONTROL OF ALL HUMAN REPRODUCTION

    33. Tiernan MacConville says:

      The real reason why the state is promulgating same sex marriage has nothing to do with tolerance or concern for gay people. Once same sex marriage is made equal to hetero sexual marriage, a raft of highly invasive reproductive regulatory legislation will be ushered in by the state in the interests of the health of any children “born” to gay couples. This regulatory legislation will effectively entail the necessity of a state licence before gay couples can have a child.

      The regulatory legislation will be aimed a gay couples only to begin with who will rightly then opine that such legislation is discriminatory. The state, shedding crocodile tears, will then be able to justify the application of this draconian reproductive / procreative legislation to all couples both gay and hetero sexual.

      BINGO!

      The Holy Grail for the Eugenics Movement (Aka Planned Parenthood, the Rockefeller Institute, Guttmacher Institute, Marie Stopes International, the Gates Foundation etc, etc.) is finally achieved.

      TOTAL STATE CONROL OF ALL HUMAN REPRODUCTION

    34. Howard says:

      It is just as much nonsense to think that "the people" have the right to define marriage as to think that the courts or legislatures do. If marriage is really something that man can redefine, it makes little difference if this is done by a representative democracy, a direct democracy, or an aristocracy; it can be done. If, on the other hand, marriage is a metaphysical reality that we can like or hate, or participate in or not, but that we CANNOT change, then it is nonsense to pretend that the general public have a privileged position from which to define it. It is like the kind of argument one can imagine from the early Roman Empire about whether someone can be made a god by only by the Roman Senate, or only by the Emperor, or only by the free citizens of Rome as a whole; whatever the decision may be about honors to be paid to the man, or how many statues of him are to be carved, his actual nature could not be changed by any of these bodies.

    35. Jim says:

      I suppose what the supremes will be deciding is if the DOA and the 41 state laws are LEGAL as written. Personally I don't like to see the court deciding what is "right' or "wrong". The one thing we don't need is 9 people trying to dictate the morals of our country. They just need to stick to the legal aspect of it, and leave it at that. Hope that makes sense.

    36. Jerry Wright says:

      Is it any surprise that we are going down this road ? after we have told the creator we don't need his help and to leave us alone, I think that I read somewhere there was going to be a time when things were going to be as Sodom and Gomorrah…oh well maybe I miss read it…

    37. Larry Sparks says:

      Any decision by SCOTHUS that does not uphold marriage as between one and one women only would overturn 5,000 years of Western Civilization.

    38. Dr. Deb says:

      The feds are not redefining marriage. They would be upholding the constitution and back out of where they should not have been in the first place. DOMa came into being in 1996 duRing the Clinton era. It was unconstitutional when it came into being in 1996 and it is still unconstitutional now. The Feds have certain responsibilities as assigned by the Constitution and our forefathers specifically said all other responsibilities were assigned to the States. Defining our social norms is not a function of our constitutional Federal Government. It is a function of a Kingdom. We are NOT a kingdom. We ARE a Federation of States. What the hell you guys. Do you want the Feds telling you who you need to worship too. I've seen all that crap in Northern Ireland and it sucks. The Feds have no business in this relm as defined by the CONSTITUTION. This is a state right. This case is really a no brainer no matter what I believe. Doesn't matter what my opinion is or isn't. This is an individual state right by OUR AMERICAN CONSTITUTION. You can blather all you want, but blather at your state government. This is not a fed right to regulate as per our constitution. I am an American, not a subject of a Kingdom.

    39. Manuel says:

      The only reason marriage exists is that when men and women get together they produce babies. Over thousands of years, society has determined that the best way to raise those babies to civilized adulthood is for their mother and father to be married. If any other relationship is called marriage, the meaning of the word is destroyed. And all of that historical experience is destroyed with it.

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