Leave Defining Marriage to the States?

Barb Wire

Faith and Freedom with Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver and BarbWire’s Matt Barber… An 11-minute weekday radio program discussing hot topics in the area of religious liberty, the sanctity of human life and the family.

What does it mean to have marriage, or even same-sex marriage left to the states to have a definition? One definition in one state, a different definition in another state. Some people say that that’s part of the Tenth Amendment. Conservatives say that’s a states’ rights issue. Others say no you can’t just leave the definition of marriage to the states.

Mat Staver: Matt, let me begin by just saying this. I am someone who believes in limited government. I know you are, too. And we believe certainly in states’ rights, and we believe that the federal government has a limited role. I think we all would agree that the federal government, specifically the U.S. Supreme Court, does not have the right to redefine marriage and impose that on all 50 states and territories.

The question though, that we want to address, is do the states have the right to have their own definition of marriage? We’re not talking about regulating the edges of marriage, how you get into it, how you get out of it, whether there’s certain kinds of support, versus not support. But the actual definition of marriage. Can in fact one state have a definition that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, and another state have a definition that, no, it’s between two people of the same sex, and a third state have a definition that it could be polygamy or polyamory, so it could be group marriage. Is that something that’s consistent with the Constitution, with natural law, and is it workable?

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That’s question we want to address.

Matt Barber: .Well, and of course the answer is no. We hear a lot of conservative, and even Evangelical Christians and folks that I have a great deal of respect for, I think having a fundamental misunderstanding about the institution of marriage. The institution of marriage is not something that we can define… It is what it is. God has defined marriage. Biology defines marriage…

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

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