In a video being promoted by social conservatives, Ryan T. Anderson of the conservative Heritage Foundation explained that allowing gay couples to marry would make marriage disappear.

In the 4-minute-25-second clip from a Stanford University event, Anderson is asked by an audience member why he should not be able to file a joint tax return if he legally marries his same-sex partner.

“The reason that you should not have the option of filing a joint tax return is that you can't get married, given what marriage is,” Anderson said.

“But I could in California,” he responded.

“You can be issued a marriage license in the state of California, but you can't actually get married. And I'm sorry to say it that way, but given what marriage is, a union of sexually complementary ...”

“How is that not discrimination?” he asked.

“It's not discrimination,” Anderson answered, “because everyone is equally eligible for entering into the marital relationship, where you understand marriage as a union of sexually complementary spouses, a permanent, exclusive union of man and a woman, husband and wife, mother and father. If you’re not interested in entering into that sort of a union, you’re not being discriminated against.”

“What you’re asking us to do is to redefine marriage to include the adult relationship of your choice. And the adult relationship of your choice happens to be a same-sex couple. There are other adults who want to have marriage redefined to include the relationship of their choice, which may be the same-sex throuple or the opposite-sex quartet. So what I’m asking you in response is, what principle are you appealing to when you say this is discrimination to vindicate your rights but not their rights? Because it seems to me that your position ultimately leaves to simply the dissolvement of the marital union.”

“It’s not that you don’t have a right to get married, it’s that you aren’t seeking out marriage. Marriage is by nature a union of sexually complementary spouses, a union of man and woman, husband and wife, mother and father. And based on just what you’ve said about yourself, it doesn’t sound like you’re interested in forming that sort of a union. It sounds like you’re interested in forming a union with another man, and that’s not a marriage. So that’s why I don’t think the law should treat the relationship that you want to form as a marriage.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

In promoting the video, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) called Anderson's response “charitable.”

Writing at Right Wing Watch, Miranda Blue interpreted Anderson as saying that “even legal, state-sanctioned marriages don't count because they violate his view of what marriage is, and therefore should not earn legal, state-sanctioned benefits.”