In a ray of hope for traditional marriage, a federal judge has upheld a state constitutional amendment in Nevada that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. The pro-family victory comes just as the U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether to decide the fate of two landmark marriage laws — the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California's Proposition 8, both of which have been ruled unconstitutional by federal appeals courts. The High Court's decision on reconsidering those two rulings could determine if same-sex marriage eventually becomes legal in all 50 states.
The Nevada ruling also comes less than a month after three states — Maryland, Maine, and Washington — passed voter initiatives legalizing homosexual “marriage,” and Minnesota voters overturned that state's marriage protection amendment.
In his November 26 decision, Judge Robert C. Jones ruled against homosexual activist group Lambda Legal, which had filed suit against Nevada's marriage amendment, passed by voters in 2002. In his 41-page opinion, Jones wrote that the state has a “legitimate state interest” in reenforcing the traditional definition of marriage, and that barring the recognition of same-sex “marriage” is “rationally related to furthering that interest.” He added that because “the family is the basic societal unit, the State could have validly reasoned that the consequences of altering the traditional definition of civil marriage could be severe.”
Jones wrote that the “perpetuation of the human race depends upon traditional procreation between men and women,” adding that should same-sex marriage be legalized, it is “conceivable” that a “meaningful percentage of heterosexual persons would cease to value the civil institution as highly as they previously had and hence enter into it less frequently ... because they no longer wish to be associated with the civil institution as redefined.” He speculated that such an attitude could lead to “an increased percentage of out-of-wedlock children, single-parent families, difficulties in property disputes after the dissolution of what amount to common law marriages in a state where such marriages are not recognized, or other unforeseen consequences.”
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