In Defense of Marriage — Focus on the Family
I have some bad news to report. Just yesterday, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston declared that part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. The federal definition of marriage as being the union of one man and one woman has applied to all federal laws, regulations and benefits since 1996. This lawsuit involves claims from same-sex couples demanding federal benefits that are reserved for heterosexual couples.
Essentially, the appellate court said the federal government—and by extension, the taxpayers in all 50 states—must subsidize whatever types of arrangements a state may choose to call “marriage.”
Think about that for minute. In the 1800s, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of Congress to forbid polygamy in any territory wishing to apply for statehood. But the federal appeals court in Boston today ignored that history and declared Congress has no interest in keeping the definition of marriage the same as it has been for thousands of years.
World Congress of Families
Focus on the Family’s Yuri Mantilla, director of government affairs, reports from Madrid, Spain, where a confab of international pro-family groups just met.
Watch this week’s CitizenLink Report, in which Focus on the Family’s director of international governmental affairs, Yuri Mantilla, discusses how pro-family groups across the globe are dealing with it.
It gets even more disturbing. In the ruling, the judges pointed out that the same-sex couples’ claims would fail under the usual judicial tests applied to these types of constitutional challenges. Therefore, they applied a new and entirely different test—one they said was gleaned from a few federal cases they dredged up just for the occasion. It’s funny that no other federal court has applied this new test in any of the other DOMA cases that lower courts have decided—and there have been several.
The 1st Circuit did manage to get one thing right, however: The judges said this issue ultimately must be decided by the Supreme Court. That’s where we expect this case will end up, maybe as soon as October, when the court begins its next session.
Please join me in praying that the high court will see through the 1st Circuit’s legal gymnastics and reverse this blatant attempt at social engineering by judicial decree.
For faith and family,
Senior Vice President, Government & Public Policy
- The Heritage Foundation’s BLOG Roll on the Defense of Marriage
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