There is a lot to sort out still regarding the impact of the two marriage decisions on DOMA and Prop 8 from the U.S. Supreme Court today.
If you’d like to a review a short legal analysis of these two opinions, Alliance Defending Freedom has provided these two resources that we highly recommend:
Just as important as what the Supreme Court did do in these cases is what it did not do.
The Court’s relative inaction on two critical points is very decisive for supporters of marriage between one man and one woman, and affirms what we’ve been saying for years:
- The Supreme Court did NOT find a constitutional right to same sex “marriage”
- The Court did not find that same-sex “marriage” is a civil rights issue.
In both DOMA and Prop 8, the Court had the opportunity to affirm that there is a right to same-sex marriage in the Constitution, and that it is a civil right, and in both cases, they did not.
The Supreme Court held DOMA unconstitutional because it violated constitutional equal protection principles by treating relationships that had equal status under state law differently under federal law. While CAP fervently disagrees with the assertion, the practical impact from this decision is that in states where marriage has been redefined, federal law must now recognize those marriages. Arizona’s marriage amendment remains intact.
In Prop 8, the Court ruled defendants did not have standing to argue the case, so they vacated the lower court rulings, and remanded the case back to Federal District Court. For now, marriage remains defined as only the union of one man and one woman in California.
By not taking this opportunity to completely redefine marriage, the Court affirmed that protecting marriage as the union of one man and one woman is not discriminatory.
The court also negated arguments that laws affirming marriage as between a man and a woman are analogous to laws prohibiting interracial marriage.
The facts are simple: marriage is colorblind, but it is not gender-blind.
While the debate over marriage forges on, these two fundamental truths will be vital in the effort to protect marriage.