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Sen. Ted Cruz speaks outside the U.S. Supreme Court at a rally during oral arguments for Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby. American Life League
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Sen. Ted Cruz plans Constitutional amendment to protect state marriage laws

Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten

In the wake of the United States Supreme Court’s refusal to review five court cases in which lower courts overturned individual states’ marriage protection laws, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, R-TX, slammed the court for “abdicating its duty to uphold the Constitution” and announced his plan to introduce a Constitutional amendment preventing federal legislators and judges from interfering with state-level laws defining marriage.

“The fact that the Supreme Court Justices, without providing any explanation whatsoever, have permitted lower courts to strike down so many state marriage laws is astonishing,” he said.

“This is judicial activism at its worst,” Cruz added. “The Constitution entrusts state legislatures, elected by the People, to define marriage consistent with the values and mores of their citizens.  Unelected judges should not be imposing their policy preferences to subvert the considered judgments of democratically elected legislatures.”

In the absence of a Supreme Court ruling about the legality of marriage protection laws, which generally define marriage as a union between one man and one woman, the nation has rapidly become a patchwork landscape of differing definitions of what it means to be “married.” 

Although the vast majority of states have laws on the books officially defining marriage as an exclusively heterosexual union, three separate federal circuit courts have now ruled such laws unconstitutional, with a fourth expected to issue a similar opinion soon.  The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear appeals to those decisions means that marriage protection laws in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin are now considered invalid.  Other states within the jurisdiction of the four Circuit Courts that favor same-sex “marriage” are likely to see their laws overturned as well, bringing the number of states where gay nuptials are legal to 30.

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Litigation pending in the 5th and 6th Circuit Courts could result in the Supreme Court being forced to step in, if either or both courts issue a ruling contrary to the decisions of their sister courts.  But until then, states are at the mercy of federal appellate judges, who have now intervened to legalize gay “marriage” in fifteen states where voters or elected officials had banned the practice.

“Marriage is a question for the States,” said Sen. Cruz.  “That is why I have introduced legislation, S. 2024, to protect the authority of state legislatures to define marriage. And that is why, when Congress returns to session, I will be introducing a constitutional amendment to prevent the federal government or the courts from attacking or striking down state marriage laws.”

LifeSiteNews reached out to Cruz’s office by phone and email for further details on how such a Constitutional amendment would work; for example, it was not immediately clear whether the amendment would be specifically limited to marriage redefinition, or include protection for any state law that has not been explicitly declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Multiple voicemails and emails were not returned by press time.

But Cruz summed up his feelings on the marriage debate in a statement: “Traditional marriage is an institution whose integrity and vitality are critical to the health of any society. We should remain faithful to our moral heritage and never hesitate to defend it.”

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