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Defense of Marriage - Contacting the Court

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Contacting the Court

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  • Antonin Scalia
  • Anthony Kennedy
  • Clarence Thomas
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • Stephen Breyer
  • John G Roberts (Chief Justice)
  • Samuel Alito
  • Sonia Sotomayor
  • Elena Kagan

 

Talking points for letters taken from: http://www.usccb.org/news/2015/15-011.cfm

Archbishop Cordileone  noted, “It’s hard to imagine how the essential meaning of marriage as between the two sexes, understood in our nation for over two hundred years, and consistent with every society throughout all of human history, could be declared illegal…One must ask: when did the Constitution suddenly mandate a novel and unfounded definition of marriage? To ask such a question is not a judgment, but a matter of justice and truth. The central issue at stake is: what is marriage? The answer is: a bond which unites a man and a woman to each other and to any children who come from their union. Only a man and a woman can unite their bodies in a way that creates a new human being. Marriage is thus a unique and beautiful reality which a society respects to its benefit or ignores to its peril.”

Why can’t marriage be “redefined” to include two men or two women?

The word “marriage” isn’t simply a label that can be attached to different types of relationships. Instead, “marriage” reflects a deep reality – the natural union that is only possible between a man and a woman. As oxygen and hydrogen are essential to water, sexual difference is essential to marriage. The attempt to “redefine” marriage to include two persons of the same sex denies this reality.  Just as the essence of water cannot be redefine, so also, marriage cannot be redefined to mean what it is not

Why does a person’s gender matter for marriage?

Gender matters for marriage because the body matters for love. My identity as a person (my “I”) is inseparable from the reality of my body. It is a deeply personal reality, not just a biological fact. Loving as a human person means loving as a man or as a woman. The body is not simply an object or a tool; it is intrinsically linked to the person.  Marriage is intrinsically opposite-sex.

Why is a child meant to have both a father and a mother?

The fact is every single child, without exception, does have a mother and a father. Sexual difference between a husband and wife is necessary to conceive a child, and the importance does not end there.  Men and women bring unique gifts to the shared task of parenting, as father and mother.  Only a woman can be a mother. Only a man can be a father. Each contributes uniquely in nurturing children to understand their identity as male or female. Respecting a child’s dignity means affirming his or her need for – and right to – a mother and a father.

What harm will result of same-sex “marriage”?

Marriage has great public significance, and laws always promote a vision of “the common good.” Because of this, redefining civil “marriage” to include two persons of the same sex would have far-reaching consequences in society.  Law is a teacher, and such a law would teach many bad lessons, backed by the moral authority, financial resources, and coercive power of the state, such as the following:   that marriage is only about the romantic fulfillment of adults and has nothing to do with legally attaching parents to the children they procreate, so that each child may have his or her right to a mother and father safeguarded, and his or her development and well-being served to the greatest extent possible; that mothers and fathers are wholly interchangeable and, in turn, that gender is inconsequential, both to the development of children and more broadly; that same-sex sexual conduct is not merely morally permissible, but a positive good equal in moral value to marital sex, and so worthy of the same protection and support of society by law; that people who adhere to the perennial and universal definition of marriage are bigots, whose beliefs can only be explained by hatred for persons with a homosexual inclination, and whom, in turn, the state has a duty to punish and marginalize for persisting in those beliefs.

Is this an issue of equality or discrimination?

Treating different things differently is not unjust discrimination. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman. There’s nothing else like it. Only a man and a woman are capable of giving themselves to each other so that “the two become one flesh,” and only a man and a woman are capable of sexual activity that may yield children.  The government has a very strong interest in protecting the right of those children to a mother and a father, and in reducing the likelihood that those children will become wards of the state.  The civil law of marriage serves both these interests by legally bonding adult couples to any children they may create, and to each other.  The sexual activity of two persons of the same-sex never yields children, so the government’s interest in bonding same-sex “couples” is different and weaker.  Government is thus eminently reasonable, and in no way unjust, in distinguishing between two persons of the same sex and a different-sex couple in conferring the rights and duties of legal marriage.