Marriage Primer: 5 Things You Should Know Before the Court Rules

Within the next 96 hours (Friday or Monday morning), we will be getting a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on the definition of marriage.  No matter the outcome, this decision will have broad implications for the future of families in our Commonwealth and nation.

As we prepare for the Court’s decision, here are a few things you should know:

1) Nothing in the U.S. Constitution mandates the redefinition of marriage. In fact, the Constitution is completely silent on this issue. This means that this is a question for the states to decide.

2) Nine unelected justices have no more insight into marriage than the voters. What proponents of same-sex marriage are asking the court to do is settle a policy debate going on in the states, schools, and households throughout the nation. This debate centers on the meaning and purpose of marriage. Does it matter for kids to have a mom and a dad? Does the state have an interest in providing benefits to couples based on their affections for each other?

These are important questions, but not questions that the nine unelected justices of the U.S. Supreme Court are any more qualified to answer than the 50 million voters who said marriage should be between only one man and one woman.

3) The Supreme Court historically has done a poor job of settling cultural debates. In 1973, the Supreme Court thought it was putting an end to the abortion debate when it mandated legal abortion for any reason, at any stage of a pregnancy in all 50 states. Yet more than 40 years later, this is still one of the most controversial issues of our day.

4) How they rule is almost as important as what they rule. Depending on how they rule, the Court’s decision could dramatically impact the religious freedom of all Americans. If they say that all 50 states must redefine marriage, it is crucial they do not force people of faith to participate or celebrate same-sex marriage through their ruling.  (Yesterday’s New York Times report on how this could bankrupt Christian schools and even churches across America is a must read.)

5) This will not be the final word on marriage. Massachusetts Family Institute will not stop advocating for strong families and the essential lifelong union of one man and one woman. Even if we win at the court and same-sex marriage is not mandated for America, there is still much work to be done to create a stronger marriage culture in our nation and particularly in our Commonwealth.

Please join MFI as we fight to protect your family and religious freedom. With your prayers and financial support, we can continue to be a voice for our shared family values in the Bay State.

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