The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) handed down two important decisions dealing with marriage: Hollingsworth v Perry and Windsor v U.S., which deal with the right and responsibility of states and its citizens to define public policy regarding marriage.
“The key message for Louisiana from the U.S. Supreme Court today is this: Your right to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman is preserved,”Gene Mills, President of Louisiana Family Forum, said. “It is important to note that the Court did not find a Constitutional right to same-sex marriage.”
Louisiana Family Forum is pleased to see that SCOTUS has refused to completely undermine traditional marriage throughout all 50 states, including Louisiana. However, it is disturbing and perplexing that the Court has ruled that the Federal government has no right to affirm natural marriage.
Hollingsworth v Perry questions a Federal Court decision, which held that California’s Proposition 8 amendment that declared marriage between one man and one woman violates the U.S. Constitution. The Windsor v U.S. case challenges the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as between one man and one woman for Federal purposes.
In the Proposition 8 case (Hollingsworth v Perry), the Supreme Court refused to decide whether or not the California marriage amendment, which was placed on the ballot and affirmed by a vote of the people, is constitutional. This clears the way for same-sex marriage in California, but the extent of that decision is still uncertain. However, in the Windsor v U.S. case, SCOTUS has ruled that DOMA, which passed both Houses of Congress and was signed by President Bill Clinton, is unconstitutional. These decisions will affect the definition of marriage and benefits afforded to couples at the Federal level.
Louisiana Family Forum holds that the legislature rather than the judiciary is the appropriate body to enact or amend public policy with regard to issues such as marriage.
Marriage remains a religious and civil institution stewarded by the people. LFF, since inception, has provided a voice for traditional marriage. LFF represents those who embrace the orthodox view that marriage and the family are instituted by God and affirmed by the sacred Scripture as the union of one man and one woman. As a civil institution, societies for centuries have recognized that the union of a man and a woman are the optimal environment for the care and nurture of children. It is upon this bedrock that all other societal institutions exist.
Louisiana’s definition of marriage is secure, having passed a constitutional marriage amendment in 2004 by an overwhelming vote of the people. LFF will work with Louisiana’s Attorney General Buddy Caldwell to ensure that Louisiana’s state Marriage Amendment is respected and that Louisiana laws continue to reflect Louisiana values.
Today’s decision that the Federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional may place in jeopardy the right of people to practice their faith publicly in the expression of marriage as being between one man and one woman. It is of utmost importance that the religious freedom of Louisiana citizens, in this respect, be protected.
Louisiana Family Forum will remain a vigilant and respectful advocate for traditional marriage and is grateful for America’s deliberative process, which afforded each side the opportunity to legally voice their position on this issue.