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  • Backgrounder posted April 10, 2014 by Ryan T. Anderson, Leslie Ford Protecting Religious Liberty in the State Marriage Debate

    Abstract For years, a central argument of those who favor same-sex marriage has been that all Americans should be free to live and love as they choose, but does that freedom require the government to coerce those who disagree into celebrating same-sex relationships? A growing number of incidents demonstrates that the redefinition of marriage and state policies on sexual…

  • Backgrounder posted April 4, 2014 by Ryan T. Anderson Marriage, Reason, and Religious Liberty: Much Ado About Sex, Nothing to Do with Race

    Is opposition to same-sex marriage at all like opposition to interracial marriage? One refrain in debates over marriage policy is that laws designating marriage as exclusively the union of male and female are today's equivalent of bans on interracial marriage. Some further argue that protecting the freedom to speak and act publicly on the basis of a religious belief that…

  • Commentary posted February 19, 2014 by Ryan T. Anderson ‘Homosexual Jim Crow Laws’? Get Real

    “Christians backing this bill are essentially arguing for homosexual Jim Crow laws.” So asserts Kirsten Powers in today’s USA Today. What could justify such an assertion? Nothing. Powers is wrong about the law. The bill in question is a religious-liberty protection being debated in the Kansas legislature. The bill would protect all citizens from being forced by the…

  • Commentary posted February 18, 2014 by Ryan T. Anderson, Leslie Ford Bake Us a Cake, or Else!

    For years now, a central argument of those in favor of same-sex marriage has been that all Americans should be free to live and love how they choose. But does that freedom require the government to coerce those who disagree into celebrating same-sex relationships? A growing number of incidents show that the redefinition of marriage and state policies on sexual…

  • Backgrounder posted January 15, 2014 by Sarah Torre, Ryan T. Anderson Adoption, Foster Care, and Conscience Protection

    Foster care and adoption policy should put the best interests of children first. In any given year, hundreds of thousands of children spend time in the U.S. foster care system, a quarter of them seeking adoption into a loving family. Yet many of these children bounce from home to home, never adopted, and enter adult life without any family ties. Public policy therefore…

  • Backgrounder posted November 1, 2013 by Ryan T. Anderson ENDA Threatens Fundamental Civil Liberties

    America is dedicated to protecting First Amendment freedoms while respecting citizens’ equality before the law. None of these freedoms is absolute: Strong governmental interests can at times trump fundamental civil liberties. But the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (ENDA) does not satisfy any such interest; rather, it tramples First Amendment rights and…

  • Commentary posted October 31, 2013 by Ryan T. Anderson The ENDA Agenda

    The Senate is expected to move forward soon on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA (S. 815). Since ENDA is terrible public policy, conservatives and libertarians are right to raise principled objections. Part of the genius of the American system of government is our commitment to protecting the liberty and First Amendment freedoms of all citizens while…

  • Commentary posted October 25, 2013 by Ryan T. Anderson A House Divided Cannot Stand: On Social and Economic Conservatism

    The American Principles Project (APP) released an important new report yesterday that marshals data showing a majority of Americans support policies held by social conservatives. The report argues that a unified platform of social and economic conservatism is a winning electoral strategy—though conservatives need to greatly improve their messaging on economic policy and…

  • Commentary posted September 27, 2013 by Ryan T. Anderson Special Protections Shouldn’t Trump Basic Liberties

    While most Americans savored the last weeks of summer, some activists were busy advancing government interference in family decisions and individuals’ rights to follow their religion and conscience. Here’s a little of what you may have missed in your beach reading. On Aug. 12, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill mandating, in effect, that boys be allowed to use…

  • Issue Brief posted September 9, 2013 by Ryan T. Anderson The Social Costs of Abandoning the Meaning of Marriage

    Marriage plays a fundamental role in civil society because it is characterized by sexual complementarity, monogamy, exclusivity, and permanence. These marriage norms encourage men and women to commit permanently and exclusively to each other and take responsibility for their children.[1] In recent decades, a revisionist view of marriage has eroded these norms. No-fault…

  • Issue Brief posted August 7, 2013 by Ryan T. Anderson The Supreme Court and the Future of Marriage

    In a 5–4 majority opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Windsor struck down section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined marriage in federal law for federal policy as the union of one man and one woman. The Court held that the federal government has to accept state redefinitions of marriage for federal…

  • Commentary posted July 31, 2013 by Ryan T. Anderson Yes, Threats to Religious Liberty Happen Here

    Some on the left are criticizing Senator Ted Cruz’s recent comments about how the drive to redefine marriage may threaten religious freedom — but a closer inspection of the issue reveals his worries were accurate, prescient, and maybe even too cautious. In an interview with Cruz, David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network raised the concerns that many Christians…

  • Commentary posted July 15, 2013 by Ryan T. Anderson Civility, Bullying and Same-Sex Marriage

    Fourteen months ago, President Barack Obama was a bigot. Now he is simply wrong. That's what you have to believe to agree with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy's majority opinion for the Supreme Court on the Defense of Marriage Act. Kennedy writes that the only reason Congress had for passing DOMA - which defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman for the purposes…

  • Commentary posted July 12, 2013 by Ryan T. Anderson What Must Be Done for the Future of Marriage

    Redefining marriage, as argued in this space yesterday, will undercut its public purpose and social function, causing great social harm. So, in the wake of last month's Supreme Court rulings, where does the marriage movement go from here? Many have been keen to point out that the Supreme Court refused to redefine marriage for the entire nation. The Court refused to…

  • Commentary posted July 10, 2013 by Ryan T. Anderson Bad Things Happen to Children When Marriage is Redefined

    Marriage is society's best way of ensuring the well-being of children. State recognition of marriage protects children, we saw yesterday, by encouraging men and women to commit permanently and exclusively to each other and take responsibility for their children. Laws on marriage work by promoting a true vision of the institution, making sense of marital norms as a…