Why the Supreme Court marriage decision is good news

Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review two decisions of lower federal courts that had struck down two laws preserving the definition of marriage as the union of a husband and wife.

One of the laws was the Defense of Marriage Act, passed by large bipartisan majorities of Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996. The law simply provides that when marriage and related terms are used in federal law, it will continue to mean what it has invariably meant across time and across cultures—the union of a husband and wife. Fifteen years later, the ACLU challenged this law in a sympathetic federal court. The district and circuit courts both said the law was unconstitutional because the U.S. Constitution mandates a redefinition of marriage.

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