(Photo by Michael Sandoval)

(Photo by Michael Sandoval)

Today, the Supreme Court failed to uphold two important laws defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. At the same time, the Court also refused to fabricate a new right to same-sex marriage, as the proponents of redefining marriage through the courts had hoped to do.

In other words, the debate about marriage will continue. States will lead the way even as we work to restore clear marriage policy at the federal level. And in the states, support for marriage as the union of a man and a woman remains strong.

We’ll be joining with millions of Americans to ensure that support for marriage gets even stronger. Citizens and their elected representatives have the constitutional authority to make policy that recognizes marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

That’s why it was a bad decision for the Court to strike down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The Court failed to recognize that, just as the states have constitutional authority to make state policy about marriage, Congress can pass a federal statute defining a term used in federal law—and that’s what DOMA has done for marriage. Because Section 2 of DOMA still stands, no state will be required to recognize another state’s redefinition of marriage.

As for Proposition 8, citizens should be able to count on their elected officials to stand up for initiatives passed by the people. But the governor and attorney general of California refused to do their duty to defend Proposition 8. Today, the Court declared that if the executive refuses to defend those laws, the people can’t stand up for themselves. That’s not government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

But the Court didn’t redefine marriage for the nation. We will work to restore clear marriage policy at the national level and get our laws defended at every level. But in the meantime, today’s decision from the Court means that our national debate about marriage will continue.

Here at The Heritage Foundation, we’re ready to help you. Go to TheMarriageFacts.com today to download your free copy of our e-book on marriage. And continue to speak out boldly about why marriage—that union of one man and one woman—is important for children, civil society, and limited government.