Issue Position: Marriage

Issue Position

Date: Jan. 1, 2016
Issues: Marriage Family

I believe that marriage is intended to be between one man and one woman for life.

Marriage is one of civilization's oldest institutions, and the family is our most local form of government. When a person is in need, the spouse and family should be the first line of support. Therefore, any law that breaks down the marriage relationship or the family structure places more responsibility on government. For this reason, promoting marriage and the family must be a top priority of lawmakers.

In 2009, Oklahoma voters approved a constitutional amendment to uphold traditional marriage, which was challenged later that year. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Oklahoma's law violated the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in July 2014. This was an incorrect ruling.

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court redefined marriage in the case Obergefell vs. Hodges. By doing so, the Supreme Court undermined state authority in matters of marriage and family law. As Chief Justice Roberts pointed out in his dissent: "This court is not a legislature…whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us. Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be." He further stated, "Allowing unelected federal judges to select which enumerated rights rank as "fundamental' -- and to strike down state laws on the basis of that determination -- raises obvious concerns about the judicial role."

Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution enumerates federal powers. Marriage is not mentioned. The 10th Amendment says that all powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved for the states or the people. The definition of marriage is a matter which clearly lies under the 10th Amendment and should remain with the states.

In addition, I want each citizen's view on marriage protected by the First Amendment. In the 114th Congress, I have co-sponsored H.R. 2802, the First Amendment Defense Act. This bill would prevent discriminatory treatment of any person on the basis of views held with respect to marriage.

As the husband to a wonderful wife and father to three great kids, I have personally experienced the benefits and blessings of having a strong marriage and family. By all accounts, strong marriages and families greatly benefit our society as a whole. I will do all I can to ensure that the Federal government follows the Constitution and leaves the issue of marriage to the states.