Congress Sets the Record State on Marriage

America’s justices have plenty to do without taking on Congress’s job. And while the Supreme Court was busy debating America’s marriage policy, the people who were actually hired to legislate refused to stay on the sidelines. And for good reason. Rewriting marriage law isn’t the justices’ job — a view that 61% of Americans share. Several of our conservative friends, including Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and Tim Huelskamp (R-Kans.), spoke out about yesterday’s proceedings and vowed that the Court’s decision isn’t the final one.

Republican Study Committee Chairman Bill Flores (R-Texas), who kicked off the Stand for Marriage Rally at the Court, joined me on radio yesterday to offer his thoughts, stating, “It’s very scary to think about the fact that the over 50 million voters in this country who voted to affirm marriage between a man and a woman may have their views overturned.”

Congressman John Fleming (R-La.) agrees that the Supreme Court doesn’t have the right to redefine marriage for all states, “but instead should affirm their ability to decide marriage policy. This is a constitutional right reserved for each state.” His Pennsylvania colleague, Rep. Joe Pitts (R) repeated what social science says: kids do best with a mom and a dad. “As the Constitution remains silent on the issue, the people of Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky and many other states have voted to maintain this definition. I hope that the government and nine unelected justices of the Supreme Court will respect the democratic process, and not actively overrule the voices of millions of Americans.”

Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) pointed out that true tolerance and diversity is a “nation that allows differing opinions to flourish. One in which those opinions – and the people holding them – are all welcome. We can all speak out — the protected First Amendment freedom to agree or disagree is part of what makes America great. The federal government does not force us to all think a certain way, act a certain way or believe a certain way, including concerning marriage. This is a key day in our national debate, but a decision from a court does not determine the direction of a nation. Words like ‘marriage’ have meaning — that meaning is determined by the citizens of each state, not the courts of the nation.”

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Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) echoed those concerns and reiterated that her own state “overwhelmingly voted to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman; and I support their right to define this issue. No matter the outcome, I will continue champion marriage as the union of one man and one woman so every child has the opportunity to have a mom and a dad.”

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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