(WXYZ) - After the Supreme Court struck down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday, local officials and organizations released statements regarding the ruling.
Senator Carl Levin, D-Mich.:
"Today's Supreme Court rulings are victories for equality and for simple human dignity. I favored repeal of DOMA because it falls short of its ideal of equality under the law. The Supreme Court's recognition of that truth is in keeping with our best traditions and will give millions of Americans the legal protections to which they are fully entitled under our Constitution. I'm hopeful that our nation's centuries-long march toward equality will continue to move forward."
Michigan Family Forum:
"A nation that wants to grow, that wants to maintain both sexual and social order, that wants to maximize the bonds between mothers, fathers and their children, must uphold marriage as it has traditionally been protected throughout human history. The alternative is sexual chaos, individuals left without family support systems and an ever-growing government that will play the role of mother, father and caregiver.
Today's rulings clearly open the door to redefining marriage without offering any clear guidance on where that experiment will end. In the same way that Michigan Family Forum has struggled in the democratic process to define marriage, we will struggle in the courts to defend the voters' right to uphold what has for good reason been historically recognized as marriage. This is only the first step in a long journey.
There is some good in today's decisions. In the DOMA decision, the Court clearly said that states retain the sovereignty to define marriage. While it is unclear what this means for same-sex couples who are legally married in one jurisdiction and then move to a jurisdiction that does not recognize same-sex marriage, the fact remains that states like Michigan can enact laws to protect traditional marriage.
In the California Prop 8 case, the Court struck down language from the Court of Appeals that said same-sex couples had a constitutional right to marry. The circumstances surrounding the Prop 8 case were unusual and cannot be generally applied to the rest of the country.
As we look to the future, Michigan will choose between two views of marriage and family structure. First, history has shown across cultures that the model of a marriage between a man and woman is the best way for a society to grow and to provide care for its members, particularly its children, in an orderly way. A culture that encourages marriage also helps to sustain freedom and a limited role for government.
A second, competing option is to embrace a culture of unilateral divorce, out-of-wedlock births and sexual chaos. As the family breaks down, the role of government expands to pick up the pieces and tries to do the impossible - take the place of mothers and fathers. Michigan Family Forum believes the first model is preferred and should be supported. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court's decisions today will only serve to advance the second model."
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins:
"While we are disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision to strike down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the court today did not impose the sweeping nationwide redefinition of natural marriage that was sought. Time is not on the side of those seeking to create same-sex ‘marriage.' As the American people are given time to experience the actual consequences of redefining marriage, the public debate and opposition to the redefinition of natural marriage will undoubtedly intensify.
We are encouraged that the court learned from the disaster of Roe v. Wade and refrained from redefining marriage for the entire country. However, by striking down the federal definition of marriage in DOMA, the Court is asserting that Congress does not have the power to define the meaning of words in statutes Congress itself has enacted. This is absurd. The Defense of Marriage Act imposes no uniform definition of marriage upon the individual states. However, the states should not be able to impose varying definitions of marriage upon the federal government. The ruling that the federal government must recognize same-sex ‘marriages' in states that recognize them raises as many questions as it answers. For example, what is the status of such couples under federal law if they move to another state that does not recognize their ‘marriage?' This decision throws open the doors for whole new rounds of litigation.
We are disturbed that the court refused to acknowledge that the proponents of Proposition 8 have standing to defend Proposition 8. This distorts the balance of powers between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. The Court's decision allows the executive branch to effectively veto any duly enacted law, simply by refusing to defend it against a constitutional
challenge. Ironically, by refusing to defend the law, California's executive branch has also denied the nation any definitive ruling on the constitutionality of defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
What is inevitable is that the male and female relationship will continue to be uniquely important to the future of society. The reality is that society needs children, and children need a mom and a dad. We will continue to work to restore and promote a healthy marriage culture, which will maximize the chances of a child being raised by a married mother and father," Perkins concluded.
Michigan Catholic Conference:
"The Court's decision to send California's voter-approved Proposition 8 back to the lower courts does not have an impact on the amendment to the Michigan Constitution that defines marriage as between one man and one woman. This amendment was passed with overwhelming support of the voters and Michigan Catholic Conference will work vigorously to defend that constitutional provision should there be an effort to redefine marriage in this state. We will continue to promote the truth that marriage is and can only be the union of one man and one woman, and that children have the right to both a mother and father."