American Voters: Let States Decide Same-Sex Marriage Law

On Tuesday April 29th the Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments on the very controversial case of same-sex marriage.

The Court will hear arguments surrounding two separate questions: first if same-sex marriages are Constitutional under the 14th Amendment. The second will address whether states banning gay marriage are required to recognize lawful same-sex marriage from elsewhere.

Perhaps the most important debate should surround how much federal government overreach can legally be enforced on states rights.

Four states fighting to uphold their marriage laws passed by state voters — Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee – are represented by Lawyers John J. Bursch and Joseph Whalen. Their argument intends to question the legality of power exercised by the Supreme Court:

 “the case is not about the definition of marriage. Instead, they will argue the case is about who gets to decide changes to marriage, the states or federal courts. They argue that because the Constitution is silent on the issue, it should be decided by the people in the states.”

A recent study shows a majority of Americans agree with Bursch and Whalen’s defense. In a survey conducted by WPA Research on behalf of the Family Research Council, a majority of voters believe states should maintain the right to rule on same-sex marriage.

“61 percent, believe the states not the Supreme Court, should have the authority to rule on marriage freedoms.” 

A separate survey conducted by the Heritage Foundation show that 62 percent of voters believe the government shouldn’t compel Americans to violate their beliefs about marriage. Finally in the same survey 71 percent believe that government is infringing on our personal freedoms.

The results establish that regardless of their opinion on the issue, Americans prefer the individual states to decide the definition of marriage. The rights of religious liberty permitting each state to apply their own governing law on marriage is clearly the overall driving issue and likely will be a focal point during oral arguments

The final Supreme Court decision is not expected until June.