Register Radio: Defense of Marriage / Catholic Witness Needed

A Defense of Marriage

Last Friday on Register Radio I talked with Ryan Anderson co-author of the book What is Marriage? Man and Women: A Defense about the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage.

The conversation began by discussing what the Court ruled and what it didn’t rule. We started with what the court didn’t rule.

According to Anderson, “The underreported fact is that the court didn’t give Ted Olson and David Boies, [the lawyers presenting the cases] what they wanted: the court refused to redefine marriage for the entire nation. The court refused to discover a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.”

“Citizens and their elected representatives remain free to discuss, to debate and vote about marriage policy in all 50 states, even in California,” explained Anderson.

He explained that the Supreme Court didn’t strike down California’s Proposition 8, which defines marriage as between a man and a women, rather the court ruled that the citizen group that rose to defend the law didn’t have standing to defend the law in court. Importantly, explained Anderson, the court didn’t say the Prop. 8 is unconstitutional, although the parties to the lawsuit won their suit. As a result more lawsuits on California’s marriage law can be expected.

Regarding the Defense of Marriage Act decision, Anderson said, the court ruled that now the federal government has to accept the redefinition of marriage when the states redefine marriage. He called this a misunderstanding of federalism and pointed out the concerning logic behind Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority decision, which sets up traditional marriage definitions as discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Anderson encouraged concerned citizens to “redouble our efforts to explain the rational basis for marriage laws…why citizens have defined marriage in the traditional sense for good reason.”

The amicus brief filed to the Supreme Court by the Anderson, Sherif Grigis, and Robert George, the authors of What is Marriage?,” explained their defense of marriage. Anderson summarized in on the show in this way:

“We explain what marriage is…not just of hearts and minds, not just an emotional union but also of body. … It unites man and women in the type of action, the type of union that nine months later requires a name; nine months later gives birth to a child. It has in its kind of intrinsic intelligibility a fruitfulness …The act that unites a man and a woman is the same exact act that creates new life.”

Said Anderson, “Government is not in the romance business. If marriage was just about romance we could take the government out of the bedroom. The reason that the government is in the in the marriage business is because that new life, that child needs a mother and a father.  And by promoting marriage as an ideal the state in a non-coercive, non-intrusive non makes sure that children have a mom and a dad because when this doesn’t happen social costs run high: the outcome for children are not as good when they are not raised by a married mother and father and…the outcome for the community are not as good.”

Listen to the show to hear more about how to defend the longstanding definition of marriage.

Here is more Register coverage of the Supreme Court decision:

More information on Ryan Anderson’s work can be found at the Heritage Foundation's blog or the Web site for the book  What is Marriage?


Catholics Called to Witness

In the second part of the show, Dan Burke spoke with Adriana Gonzales, co-founder of Catholics Called to Witness and Catholic Witnesses in the Public Square.

Catholic Witness in the Public Square is a new program to help Catholics by informing them and inspiring them in parish groups during this critical time—where we are faced with assaults to religious liberty.

Gonzales explained the purpose of Catholics Called to Witness: “We are inward focused—we drink deeply of the sacraments, but then we are outward focused [going out and sharing our faith with others]. And when we don’t we aren’t fully Church.”

The program is based on the four pillars of prayer, education, fellowship and action. Explained Gonzales, “prayer is really the central pillar…we want to be sent by Christ…he opens doors for us.”

Catholic Witness provides parish groups with ideas, suggestion and scripture suggestions that are meant to guide groups into prayer.

On the education front, Catholic Witness releases monthly videos on the non-negotiable issues of religious liberty, life, marriage and the right of parents to education children.

The videos feature messages from Catholic leaders. Upcoming videos include a cast of characters, including: Dan Burke, Michael Warsaw, Gloria Purvis, Dean Milhizer, Father Michael Orsi.

For more info and to get involved, go to and sign up for the newsletter and watch the webcasts.

Listen to the show to hear more about Catholic Witnesses in the Public Square.