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Yellowhammer - Palmer to SCOTUS: Avoid 'Judicial Overreach,' Respect States' Rights on Gay Marriage

News Article

Location: Washington, DC

By Elizabeth Beshears

Congressman Gary Palmer (R-AL6) is pleading with the Supreme Court to follow its own precedent when deciding whether or not states should be required to recognize and perform same-sex marriages.

"I believe that marriage is correctly defined as being between one man and one woman," Palmer wrote in a press release this week. "This definition is rooted both in sacred truths and in history. I believe the Supreme Court wrongly decided the Windsor case holding that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional.

"However, in Windsor, the Court correctly noted that the definition of marriage was an area traditionally left to the states. The overwhelming majority of Alabamians agree with me that marriage is between one man and one woman. We enshrined this truth in our State Constitution by more than a 4-1 margin in 2006.

"Now, the Supreme Court is being asked to invalidate all state laws that have a politically incorrect definition of marriage. If the Court strikes down as unconstitutional laws it specifically hailed as sacrosanct less than two years ago, we would see the height of judicial overreach. It would be legislating from the bench. The Supreme Court should honor its own precedent and respect the will of the people in the states which hold a traditional view of marriage."

Palmer has signed on to cosponsor the State Defense of Marriage Act, which would require federal agencies to recognize the definition of marriage in the state where a couple lives when considering federal laws that concern marriage.

During his time as President of the Alabama Policy Institute, Rep. Palmer advocated heavily for traditional marriage under the think tank's mission of the "preservation of free markets, limited government and strong families."

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in preparation of ruling on whether or not state bans against same-sex marriage are constitutional. Justice Antonin Scalia raised concerns of whether or not establishing a constitutional right to marriage would require clergy to violate their sincerely-held beliefs by performing marriages for same-sex couples.

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