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When citizens lead their lives and run their businesses in accord with this belief, they deny no one equality before the law.As a result, such beliefs and actions deserve protection against government coercion.
Rightly understood, marriage is a comprehensiveunion. It unites spouses at all levels of their being: hearts, minds, and bodies, where man and woman form a two-in-one-flesh union.
It is based on the anthropological truth that men and women are distinct and complementary, on the biological fact that reproduction requires a man and a woman, and on the sociological reality that children benefit from having a mother and a father. Marriage is not just a personal relationship. Indeed, from the law’s perspective, marriage exists to unite a man and a woman as husband and wife to be equipped to be mother and father to any children that their union produces.
Professor David Upham points out: “As one jurist explained in 1883 …
‘[m]arriage is a natural right into which the question of color does not enter except as an individual preference expressed by the parties to the marriage.
Great thinkers throughout human history—and from every political community up until the year 2000—thought it reasonable to view marriage as the union of male and female, husband and wife, mother and father.