Earlier this month, the Supreme Court announced it will consider the propriety of two statutory measures undergirding the traditional view of marriage: Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Prop 8. The significance of this review cannot be overstated.
DOMA was overwhelmingly passed in the Senate and the House – by both Democrats and Republicans – and signed into law by President Clinton in 1996 to allow each state to determine how their citizens would view marriage, whether to affirm the traditional meaning or to abandon it. Prop 8 was voted in by the people of California in 2008 to amend their state constitution to define marriage as being between one man and one woman. Both laws support the time-honored role of marriage in our culture.
As Congress observed when DOMA was passed, the government has an interest in marriage because it has an interest in children. Copious studies have shown that children with both a mom and a dad are better off, with numerous benefits to their physical, social, and emotional states. These benefits to children necessarily benefit the whole of society, leading to lower crime rates and self-supporting citizens.
Since the passing of DOMA, more than 30 states have considered the virtues of traditional marriage and passed constitutional amendments confirming the union of one man and one woman. The citizens of California were trying to do likewise with Prop 8.
If same-sex “marriage” is ushered in, the institution will never be the same. Polygamy and polyamory (group marriage, for example, 4 girls/2 guys) will surely follow, and these mutations will only mark the beginning of the marriage frontier. For once marriage opens up to redefinition, there will no longer be any legal basis for rebuffing any sort of “marriage.”
Moreover, with marriage being altered, so will religious liberty. This has happened in Europe, where people who voice support for traditional marriage have been prosecuted under hate-speech laws. Churches and Christian organizations have – contrary to their consciences – been forced to supply benefits for same-sex couples.
There is much at stake before the Supreme Court. If marriage begins to mean anything, it will mean nothing, and we will lose something critical to our societal well-being. Join CRE in praying for the Supreme Court justices as they contemplate the fate of this cherished institution.
Posted by Nate Kellum