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Apr 20

State Marriage Laws Are Constitutional: A Memo to the Supreme Court

On April 28, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges and three other cases concerning whether states will remain free to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that requires all 50 states to redefine marriage. The only way one can establish the unconstitutionality of male-female marriage laws is to adopt a genderless, adult-centric view of the institution – in other words, to establish that the vision of marriage our law has long applied is wrong and that the Constitution requires a different vision.

There is, however, no basis in the Constitution for reaching that conclusion. Marriage is based on the anthropological truth that men and women are distinct and complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the social reality that children deserve a mother and a father. States have constitutional authority to make marriage policy based on these truths. Join us for a program featuring Gene Schaerr and Ryan Anderson, co-authors of a new Heritage Legal Memorandum on the subject, as they discuss the arguments in the marriage case before the Supreme Court.

More About the Speakers

Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D.
William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow, The Heritage Foundation

Gene Schaerr, J.D.
Principal, Law Offices of Gene Schaerr

Hosted By

Jennifer A. Marshall Jennifer A. Marshall

Vice President for the Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity, and the Joseph C. and Elizabeth A. Anderlik Fellow Read More