Senator Ted Cruz Re-Introduces State Marriage Defense Act


Written by David E. Smith

Far too many Republican politicians have decided to keep their heads down and their mouths shut when it comes to the very devisive and controversial issue of marriage redefinition.  However, that is not the case with U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and 11 fellow Senators.  They have re-introduced the State Marriage Defense Act, which upholds the traditional understanding and definition of marriage and protects states from the federal government’s efforts to force any other definition upon them.

“Even though the U.S. Supreme Court made clear in United States v. Windsor that the federal government should defer to state ‘choices about who may be married,’ the Obama Administration has disregarded state marriage laws enacted by democratically-elected legislatures to uphold traditional marriage,” said Sen. Cruz. “I support traditional marriage and we should reject attempts by the Obama Administration to force same-sex marriage on all 50 states. The State Marriage Defense Act helps safeguard the ability of states to preserve traditional marriage for their citizens.”

In Windsor, the U.S. Supreme Court improperly struck down a federal statute, Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), that defined marriage for purposes of federal law as the union of one man and one woman.  At the same time, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the states’ longstanding authority to define marriage.

LGBTQ activists claim that Americans support the redefinition of marriage, and that it is only a matter of time before it is legal nationwide. These claims are not true.

The fact is, citizens in 31 states have voted to protect the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Four months ago (September 2014), Pew Research found that support for marriage redefinition had declined to less than 50 percent, a 5-point drop from seven months earlier. The only reason a majority of states now recognize marriage redefinition is that unelected judges have been imposing court ordered mandates, overturning the legislative decisions of the voters.

Federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, does NOT have the authority to force a state to do something that its people overwhelmingly rejected. American voters have got to ask ourselves:  Are we a government of “We the people…” or are we a government of “We the judiciary?” Republic or Oligarchy?

The idea that states get to define marriage is rooted not only in the U.S. Constitution but also in the recognition that support for marriage redefinition varies widely by state. According to a 2013 report by UCLA’s Williams Institute, support varied from 62 percent in the liberal District of Columbia to half that much, 31 percent, in southern states like Louisiana and Arkansas.

And let’s be clear, this is about government recognition of the institution of marriage. It is NOT about individual civil rights.

Unfortunately, the Obama Administration has overruled that state authority, as various federal agencies are recognizing same-sex “marriages” in states that only recognize traditional marriage, creating what the Windsor decision condemned: “two contradictory marriage regimes in the same state.”

The State Marriage Defense Act remedies this problem by requiring that the federal government defer to the law of the state where a couple resides to determine whether the couple is married for purposes of federal law.

Sen. Cruz is joined by U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT), James Inhofe (R-OK), James Lankford (R-OK), Mike Lee (R-UT), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Tim Scott (R-SC), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Richard Shelby, R-AL, and David Vitter (R-LA). U.S. Representative Randy Weber (R-TX), is introducing companion legislation in the U.S. House.

Sens. Cruz and Lee introduced the State Marriage Defense Act last year, but the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate refused to bring it to the floor.

Later this year, Sen. Cruz will be introducing a constitutional amendment to further protect marriage and to prevent judicial activism. The amendment will make explicit that marriage is a policy question for the democratically-elected legislatures in each of the 50 states.