Statement on Supreme Court Marriage Decisions, 6/26/13

CONCORD- Today the Supreme Court in a 5-4 vote determined that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional under the 5th Amendment which contains a prohibition to deny a person equal protection under the law.
The Defense of Marriage Act was also struck down on federalism grounds.  This decision would not invalidate any of the state laws or constitutional amendments, but would force the federal government to recognize same-sex “marriages” from the states. The Court opinion states, “DOMA rejects the long-established precept that the incidents, benefits, and obligations of marriage are uniform for all married couples within each state, even though they may vary from one state to the next” (pg. 22). The state’s powering defining marital relation is of the utmost importance in this case recognizing that states who have defined marriage as between one man and one woman can maintain that definition.
Secondly, The Supreme Court today vacated the ninth circuit’s decision on Proposition 8 and dismissed Prop 8 on standing grounds.  By the Supreme Court vacating the ninth circuit’s decision it does not hold the measure to be unconstitutional.
Ashley Pratte, Cornerstone’s Executive Director, said, “We at Cornerstone believe the Supreme Court made a disappointing decision today in saying that a state that has redefined marriage can force their definition on the federal government.  However, there are many states that recognize the traditional definition of marriage and they reserve and retain that right to define marriage how they want.  In the case of Prop 8 the decision allows for the state by state marriage debate to continue.  We will work to continue to support and defend the institution of marriage.”
Cornerstone-Action and Cornerstone Policy Research are non-partisan, non-profit organizations dedicated to preserving New Hampshire’s traditional values, limited government, and free markets through education, information and advocacy. Our vision is to create an environment in which strong families—the foundation of our society—can lead New Hampshire into a new era of prosperity and strength. For more information, please visit