The Heritage Foundation today published a short overview of the ramifications of this week’s Prop 8 and Defense of Marriage Act cases at the Supreme Court.
50 The number of states whose marriage laws remain the same after the Court’s marriage decisions.
38 The number of states with laws defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. That includes California, where the scope of today’s Prop 8 decision beyond the specific plaintiffs will be the subject of ongoing debate and, most likely, further litigation.
12 The number of states that can now force the federal government to recognize their redefinition of marriage. The Court struck Section 3 of DOMA, which means that it must recognize same-sex marriages in states that redefine marriage.
1 The number of sections of the Defense of Marriage Act struck down yesterday (Section 3). Section 2, which ensures that no state will be forced to recognize another state’s redefinition of marriage, is still law.
0 The number of states forced to recognize other states’ redefinition of marriage.
This week’s decisions have some impact, but ultimately the states are the ones with the power to decide what marriage is or is not. The fact is, if the federal government is granted the power to decide this point all people in all states would be bound by their rules. What would that look like under an even more liberal regime than we currently have?
One thing is certain, and that is that this debate is not going away anytime soon.
Marginalia: Marriage as an institution belongs to God and the Church, not government. So, regardless of legislation — federal, state, or local — Christians’ marriage laws will go unchanged and cannot be abolished by any temporal government. The best solution, though a point of contention among Christians, may be for the government to stay out of the business of the divine altogether.