The State of Marriage in the United States

by Kathryn Jean Lopez

In the House today, the message from the majority is: This debate is just beginning. I think that’s right.

Here is John Boehner: 

Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis and President Clinton signed it into law.  The House intervened in this case because the constitutionality of a law should be judged by the Court, not by the president unilaterally.  While I am obviously disappointed in the ruling, it is always critical that we protect our system of checks and balances.  A robust national debate over marriage will continue in the public square, and it is my hope that states will define marriage as the union between one man and one woman.

Eric Cantor says:

The House defended this law, which passed with a large bipartisan coalition and was signed by President Clinton, because courts should determine the constitutionality of laws, not presidents. I’m disappointed in this decision, and the marriage debate will continue in the states.

Though today is a day for celebration for those who do believe that marriage is a right that should be expanded, not something that predates us and is fundamental to society, I do think there is something to be said for the thought that this debate is only about to begin. Our culture is one that increasingly sees this as a matter of tolerance, but intolerance toward those who disagree is seen out in the open. If we work on making a supportive, flourishing culture of marriage, where men and women enter into lifelong unions with an openness to life and growth, I wonder if we won’t see these things differently, eventually.