NEW YORK, April 1, 2013 (Family Research Council) – New Yorkers can thank Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg for their reigning title as the most oppressive state in America. As part of George Mason University's new “freedom index,” New Yorkers have the least liberty of anyone, coming in 50th of all states in personal freedom. To arrive at its rankings, GMU's Mercatus Center used a libertarian definition of freedom (including support for same-sex “marriage” and medical marijuana) to assess states. But even using this fiscally conservative and socially irresponsible measure, states that have the most pro-family policies (like marriage amendments) are actually freer than those that have redefined marriage.

In this latest report, the freest state is North Dakota, followed by South Dakota, Tennessee, New Hampshire, and Oklahoma. Investors Business Daily analyzed the results and found that the more restrictive states are also losing people–as more Americans migrate to “red states” (which are +2.2% in population to “blue states” -.3%). As FRC has argued for years, the stronger our families, the less need there is for big intrusive government. Interestingly enough, Forbes helped validate that theory earlier this year when it released its “Best States for Business” report. Every state in the top 10 has protected natural marriage from redefinition except one (Iowa)–and its court ordered it. If you want to improve the local economy and preserve freedom, protect marriage.

Congressmen Tim Huelskamp (R-Kans.) obviously understands that. He wrote an excellent column in the Washington Times, “The War on Marriage and Motherhood,” defending our timeless unions from “the high priests and priestesses of political correctness.” In reference to the President's flip-flopping on marriage, Rep. Huelskamp writes, “Sen. Obama was right; President Obama is wrong. There is overwhelming social science evidence to corroborate the benefits of raising children in homes with both a mom and a dad. Who among us does not know there are differing parenting styles between men and women and children deserve both?”

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Courage is breeding courage, as more conservatives speak out on behalf of natural marriage. Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) also issued a statement making it clear that “Regardless of any ruling, referendum, or law, marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Washingtoncannot redefine marriage any more than it can govern gravity.”

Even Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), whose son identifies as a homosexual, proved that you can have unconditional love for your child and still hold fast to sound public policy. “I don't support gay marriage,” he told a local TV station. “I'm just not there as far as believing in my heart that we should change 2,000 years of social policy in favor of a redefinition of the family,” Salmon said. “I'm not there.” For other members of Congress speaking out for marriage, check out: Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa)Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

This article originally appeared on the Family Research Council and is reprinted with permission.