Pennsylvania Family Institute reaffirms its commitment to preserving the traditional definition of marriage in the wake of today’s Supreme Court decisions, which leave popularly-enacted state definitions of marriage intact.

At the federal level, the Court ruled that the federal government must respect state definitions of marriage, meaning that states that have redefined marriage can force that policy on the federal government.

“Today’s decisions in Hollingsworth v. Perry and U.S. v. Windsor maintain the role of the states in deciding marriage policy for themselves,” said PFI President Michael Geer.  “Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as it has always been defined across Western Civilization, remains intact, and Pennsylvania Family Institute will continue to defend it against political and legal assault.

“Pennsylvania’s marriage policy is worth defending because it encourages an ideal family structure—marriage—where children can be raised by both a mother and a father.  Same-sex marriage sacrifices that fundamental right of children in favor of notions such as the emotional fulfillment of adults.”

Randall Wenger, PFI chief counsel of the Independence Law Center, added: “Today’s decision, though it essentially maintains the status quo, is a stark reminder of the threat posed by same-sex marriage to our founding freedom: the freedom of religion.  Across the country, same-sex marriage laws have been used to marginalize and to persecute those whose religious convictions affirm the traditional definition of marriage.

“In failing to reach a substantive decision on state marriage laws, the Supreme Court today reminded us that the first responsibility for preserving our freedoms lies with the people, not judges or politicians.  Pennsylvania Family Institute will continue to stand with hundreds of millions of Americans of all faith and political backgrounds in opposition to any misguided policy that threatens that freedom.”

The decision has particular relevance for Pennsylvanians, as same-sex marriage activists are in the midst of challenging the constitutionality of the commonwealth’s statutory definition of marriage in the case Cozen O’Connor v. Tobits.  Today’s decisions do not substantially impact that litigation.

“The definition of marriage should be decided by the people and their representatives, not unelected judges,” said Wenger, who represents one of the defendants in the Pennsylvania marriage case.  “The people of Pennsylvania have spoken in the form of the commonwealth’s bipartisan Defense of Marriage Act, and that democratic process should be respected.”