Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Prop 8, California's successful citizen initiative that defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman, highlights how important it is that Alaska was the first state in the nation in 1998 to define natural marriage in our own State Constitution.
Thank God we as citizens of Alaska ignored the advice of those who said we should wait for the Court to determine what this essential institution means.
Although you will hear from most media sources that DOMA was dismantled today, Justice Kennedy, acknowledges in his majority opinion the inherent right of individual states to define and regulate marriage as they see fit.
For most Americans, the big picture is more of what the Court did not do:
- It did not create a constitutional right to same-sex marriage as it did for abortion in 1973.
- It also did not declare same-sex marriage a civil right on the order of ethnicity or nationality.
The critical role of natural marriage is not diminished by these rulings today. The essential need for children to have both a married mother and father is not lessened by the opinions of five unelected black robes on the U.S. Supreme Court.
The work of Alaska Family Action to strengthen marriage and families continues, as well. Now more than ever, Alaskans must not stay silent on cherishing and promoting the truth of natural marriage. Whatever journalists, intellectuals and other elites may tell us, the only way to guarantee future political losses is to sit idly by. We must step up and frame our message, strengthen our coalitions, devise strategies and bear witness to a culture looking for answers.
Though Alaska Family Action disagrees with aspects of the Court's decision, we are grateful that the Court did not undermine the will of Alaska voters who defined marriage in our State Constitution.
In DOMA, we believe that the court erred in claiming that a state that has redefined marriage can force that definition on the federal government for purposes of federal marriage laws.
In Prop 8, the court has ensured that the state-by-state debate about marriage is allowed to continue. Truly the debate over marriage has just begun.
Marriage is more than just a personal promise, it serves a public purpose. It is society's best guarantee of a limited government that stays out of family life and social science data has proven this time and time again.
Alaska Family Action is committed to continuing to stand for marriage and to defeat any efforts to redefine this essential union.
Stay tuned and stay engaged.