Tuesday, November 25, 2014

On Tuesday U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker struck down Amendment 83 to the Arkansas Constitution defining marriage in Arkansas as the union of one man and one woman.

Family Council President Jerry Cox released a statement in response to the ruling, saying, “This is another example of judicial tyranny. Arkansans voted overwhelmingly to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Their elected officials voted for that definition when they passed Arkansas’ Defense of Marriage Act. By issuing this ruling, one federal judge is saying seventy-five percent of Arkansas voters and lawmakers do not matter. If that isn’t tyranny, I don’t know what is.”

Cox said the ruling sets a troubling precedent. “What Judge Baker effectively did was erase Arkansas’ definition of marriage. It opens the door for marriage to become anything. We have already seen polygamists in Utah and elsewhere try to ride the coat tails of same-sex marriage activists in court. Rulings like this one only fuel those efforts.”

Cox said this case is almost certain to land before the U.S. Supreme Court. “This fight is far from over. Judge Baker has put a stay on her ruling until the Eighth Circuit, which includes Arkansas, issues a ruling. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that marriage amendments like Arkansas’ are constitutional. Any time you have federal judges disagreeing about what is constitutional, the case is almost guaranteed to go to the U.S. Supreme Court. I hope the higher courts exercise enough restraint to respect the wishes of voters. If Americans are not free to decide how they will define something as basic as marriage, then what are they free to decide?”