Understand and Promote the Many Benefits of Marriage. Married men and women tend to have better financial and physical health, more savings, and greater social mobility than unmarried individuals. Children raised in families headed by a married couple have a greater chance of experiencing economic stability, high academic performance, and emotional maturity. Teens from families with married parents are less likely to be sexually active and also less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol, exhibit poor social behaviors, or participate in violent crimes. Consistent parental involvement, especially from fathers, is also related to decreased likelihood of teen pregnancy.
Given the positive influence of marriage on significant indicators of individual well-being—from employment and earnings to avoidance of delinquency, school dropout, and abuse—public policy should promote, rather than undermine, the institution of marriage.
Restore the Constitutional Authority of Citizens and Their Elected Officials to Make Marriage Policy that Reflects the Truth About Marriage. Marriage brings a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces. The institution is based on the anthropological truth that men and women are distinct and complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the social reality that children deserve a mother and a father. Government recognizes marriage because it is society's most efficient and effective means of ensuring the well-being of children. State recognition of marriage protects children by encouraging men and women to commit to each other and take responsibility for their children. The overwhelming conclusion of social science studies over the course of decades is that children tend to have better outcomes—in all areas—when raised together by a married mother and father.
The Supreme Court's mandate that all 50 states redefine marriage has further distanced marriage from the needs of children, and has denied, as a matter of policy, the notion that a child needs both a mother and a father. There is nothing in the Constitution that required the redefinition of marriage in all 50 states. We should promote policy that protects those who believe in traditional marriage. The First Amendment Defense Act and similar policies at the state level are a good place to start. These prevent the government from discriminating against any person or group in regard to contracts, grants, licensing, accreditation, or the award or maintenance of tax-exempt status, on the grounds that they speak or act on the belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are reserved for such a marriage.
Protect the True Understanding of "Sex" as Distinct from "Sexual Orientation" and "Gender Identity." Men and women are different, and this has implications for public policy beyond the marriage debate. With widespread discussion of the idea of "gender identity," Congress must continue to acknowledge that biological sex matters, and oppose policies that deny this fact. This means that Congress should oppose policies, regulations, and guidance that provide special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). All citizens should oppose discrimination—and regulations and laws making SOGI new protected classes are bad public policy. SOGI laws, such as the proposed federal Equality Act, threaten fundamental First Amendment rights. They create new, subjective protected classes that will expose citizens to unwarranted liability. Furthermore, SOGI laws would increase government interference in labor markets in ways that could harm the economy. The damage caused by SOGI policies is not only economic. Such policies further weaken the marriage culture and the freedom of citizens and their associations to affirm their religious or moral convictions, such as that marriage is the union of one man and one woman and that maleness and femaleness are not arbitrary constructs but objective forms of being human. SOGI laws treat expressing or living out these beliefs in employment, business, school, and health care, among other fields, as actionable discrimination.
Refute the Redefinition of "Sex" as "Gender Identity" in Order to Protect the Privacy, Safety, and Rights of Women and Girls. Men and women are biologically distinct, and this biological distinction matters. In recent years, many efforts have been made to redefine male or female "sex" as "gender identity" and, in doing so, the privacy, safety, and rights of women and girls has been violated. In forcing girls to share bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, sports teams, and scholarships with biological males, women and girls are on the losing end of "gender identity" policies. Solutions should be sought by parents, teachers, and local school administrators that accommodate the concerns of people who identify as transgender while also addressing the concerns of all other Americans, particularly women and girls.
The Civil Rights Uniformity Act is a good place to start when it comes to implications in federal law. This act would state that for the purpose of existing federal civil rights laws, the word "sex" does not mean "gender identity" unless Congress specifically says so. This would prevent agency redefinition of existing civil rights laws, ensuring that unelected bureaucrats and judges cannot reshape policy affecting women and girls. Elected officials should allow local parents, schools, and teachers the time, space, and flexibility to find solutions that work for everyone, instead of imposing a one-size-fits-all policy from the top down. State governments can also create policies that would protect the privacy and safety of women and girls in intimate facilities.
Facts and Figures
FACT: Children who live in intact families with married parents are healthier, more financially secure, and engage in fewer destructive behaviors.
* Fathers' involvement is an important factor in children's well-being, from health and behavioral outcomes to school performance.
* Adolescents who do not live in intact families are more likely to engage in substance abuse, exhibit behavioral problems, have poor academic performance, and engage in risky behavior, including becoming sexually active at an early age.
FACT: The decline in marriage is alarming, given the many economic and character-building benefits of marriage.
* In 1964, only 7 percent of births in America happened outside marriage. Today, this number has climbed to more than 40 percent.
* Over the past six decades, the percentage of married adults has declined steadily among all Americans. The decline has occurred more rapidly among African American adults, fewer than 40 percent of whom are married.