Wednesday, June 26, 2013

On Wednesday, Family Council President Jerry Cox, issued a statement concerning the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and vacate the Ninth Circuit Court’s decision on California’s Proposition Eight.

“Today’s rulings are not as good as we had hoped or as bad as we had feared,” Cox said. “The good news is the court did not find a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. The court did not strike down any state laws defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Arkansas’ marriage amendment still stands, as do laws in thirty-seven other states defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

“Today’s ruling on DOMA does mean same-sex couples in Arkansas can travel to states where same-sex marriage is legal, get a marriage license, return to Arkansas, and receive federal benefits like joint filing on a federal tax return. It does not mean the State of Arkansas will have to recognize the marriage.”

Cox said the decision leaves a lot of unanswered questions. “Will same-sex couples in the military stationed on bases in the U.S. or overseas be permitted to marry regardless of local laws to the contrary? Will military chaplains be forced to solemnize same-sex marriages regardless of their religious objections? At this point, we do not know.”

Cox said the marriage debate is far from over. “People trying to redefine marriage for the entire nation didn’t get the landmark victory they had hoped for. Americans have spent the better part of the past two decades democratically deciding what is and is not a marriage in their states. Opponents of traditional marriage tried to disenfranchise millions of voters with two court rulings today. That did not happen. Same-sex marriage is not the forgone conclusion many would have us believe it is, but I doubt the debate is going away any time soon.”