Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Family Institute today expressed disappointment in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) seeking to radically redefine marriage and overturn Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act.
That law, passed overwhelmingly by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Tom Ridge in 1996, states that marriage in Pennsylvania is the union of one man and one woman, and that unions from other states or jurisdictions that do not meet that definition are not recognized as marriage under Pennsylvania law. This Defense of Marriage Act simply defines marriage as it has always been defined across Western Civilization.
“The lawsuit claims that there is no governmental interest in limiting marriage to one man and one woman,” said Michael Geer. “This is clearly not true: government recognizes the uniqueness of marriage between one man and one woman because it is an institution that benefits society in a way no other relationship does.
“When government recognizes marriage, it protects children by encouraging men and women to commit to each other and to be responsible for the children they bear,” added Geer. “A mom and a dad play vital and irreplaceable roles in the lives of children – something eons of human history and reams of social science data proves.”
Pennsylvania Family Institute has long stated that policy decisions related to the definition of marriage should be made by the people and not the courts – through the political process and not by unelected judges. For the ACLU to ask the Federal Courts to redefine marriage short circuits the democratic process on an issue of ultimate importance.
It now falls on our elected officials, including the Attorney General, to defend the duly-enacted Defense of Marriage Act in the Federal Court, which we hope and expect they will do with vigor.
Pennsylvania Family Institute is a non-profit research and education organization that focuses on cultural trends and public policies that impact families. Founded in 1989, its mission is to strengthen families by restoring to public life the traditional, foundational principles and values essential for the well-being of society.