Ryan T. Anderson: We're Gonna Win
Oral arguments at the Supreme Court today were fascinating. Over two and a half hours of discussion about whether the Constitution requires all 50 states to treat same-sex relationships as marriages highlighted one essential truth: There are good policy arguments on both sides of the marriage debate and the Constitution doesn’t take sides in it.Earlier today Anderson boasted that it sounded like the justices have read his anti-gay marriage book.
Even Justice Stephen Breyer got in on the act, noting that marriage understood as the union of a man and a woman “has been the law everywhere for thousands of years among people who were not discriminating even against gay people, and suddenly you want nine people outside the ballot box to require states that don’t want to do it to change … what marriage is to include gay people.”
He concluded: “Why cannot those states at least wait and see whether in fact doing so in the other states is or is not harmful to marriage?” Even Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who asked the first question, noted that the Supreme Court’s decision from just two years ago seems to suggest that states have the authority to make marriage policy: “What do you do with the Windsor case where the court stressed the federal government’s historic deference to states when it comes to matters of domestic relations?”
Indeed, the lawyers defending the state laws highlighted how the Supreme Court’s ruling just two years ago on the federal Defense of Marriage Act hinged on the fact that states have constitutional authority to make marriage policy. If the Court is to be consistent with its marriage ruling from just two years ago, then the Court must uphold state marriage laws defining marriage as the union of husband and wife. Nothing in the Constitution requires all 50 states to redefine marriage.