As Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint notes, the Supreme Court last week failed to consider the actual arguments made by supporters of the traditional definition of marriage and instead concluded that the only purpose of the Defense of Marriage Act was to “disparage,” “injure,” “degrade,” “demean,” and “humiliate” homosexuals. DeMint outlines the argument that the Supreme Court chose not to hear:
Our interest in marriage policy from the beginning has been to ensure that a man and woman commit to each other as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children they create. This gives children the best chance at a flourishing future. When children have that, liberals are less likely to succeed in their efforts to grow the welfare state. It is impossible for the government to redefine marriage to make fathers optional and for society to insist at the same time that fathers are essential.
In its ruling last week, the Supreme Court refused to wrestle with any of the serious scholarly arguments that support marriage policy as the union of a man and a woman, and instead declared that Congress acted solely out of ill will.
It is outrageous to suggest that 342 Members of the House, 85 Senators, and President Bill Clinton were all acting on the basis of anti-gay bias in 1996, when the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was enacted. As Chief Justice Roberts says in his dissent, “I would not tar the political branches with bigotry.”
Indeed, as Heritage has argued repeatedly, there are valid reasons to oppose the redefinition of marriage—which those House Members, Senators, and President Clinton took into account. Marriage matters for children, civil society, and limited government, because children deserve a mother and a father, and when this doesn’t happen, social costs run high. [The Foundry, July 2]
For now at least, the Supreme Court has left it up to each state to define marriage as it wants, and 38 of them have defined it as a union of one man and one woman. To get a free copy of the new e-book Why Uphold Marriage?, go to www.heritage.org/marriage/.
And here is a short reading list drawn from the links above:
• “How Broken Families Rob Children of Their Chances for Future Prosperity,” by Patrick F. Fagan, The Heritage Foundation, June 1, 1999;
• “Encouraging Marriage and Discouraging Divorce,” by Patrick F. Fagan, The Heritage Foundation, March 26, 2001;
• “Marriage: America’s Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty,” by Robert Rector, The Heritage Foundation, September 5, 2012;
• What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense by Sherif Girgas, Ryan T. Anderson, and Robert P. George, Encounter Books, 2012; and
• “Marriage: What It Is, Why It Matters, and the Consequences of Redefining It,” by Ryan T. Anderson, The Heritage Foundation, March 11, 2013.