The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has ruled that marriage laws upholding the traditional definition of marriage between one man and one woman do not violate the U.S. Constitution. The ruling dealt with laws in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization, had this to say:
What Sixth Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton has given us is a model opinion for every judge in the nation. He showed a judicial restraint and humility that is much needed in our judiciary. Although it is true that 32 states have legalized same-sex “marriage,” 22 of them had it foisted on them by activist judges who were compelled by personal preferences, not law.
As the Sixth Circuit said, clear Supreme Court precedent binds lower courts to uphold marriage laws, including the recent Windsor decision that many judges have manipulated to usurp them. Windsor says precisely that states are free to define marriage as they have done so throughout our history.
Most importantly, the court recognized what we all know, that it is both rational and reasonable for millions of Americans to believe marriage should be preserved for the union of one man and one woman. Despite opponents’ efforts to shut down debate through name calling and job loss, millions of Americans still believe that the redefinition of marriage has religious, cultural, and economic consequences.
Today, we are seeing Christian business owners — bakers, photographers, and others — attacked for their religious convictions, and First Amendment freedoms have been usurped. This is in no small part due to the environment many judges have created in which any dissent to full support of same-sex “marriage” is seen as rooted in hate. Nothing could be further from the truth.
This decision and the backlash to liberal efforts to extort and shame people of faith have put an end to the idea of inevitability. The lessons of Roe v. Wade loom large as America struggles to balance individualism with religious and cultural standards. We applaud the Sixth Circuit for making an honest, wise contribution to the debate and for encouraging the American public to continue a healthy dialogue on the important issue of marriage. If there is any hope of a limited consensus on this issue, it stems from this decision.