The Heritage Foundation’s Ryan Anderson mounted a vigorous defense of traditional marriage last night on “Piers Morgan Live” during a debate with Morgan and Suze Orman, who both back same-sex marriage.

Anderson, who serves as Heritage’s William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society, opened the segment by stating his view on marriage:

I think marriage exists to bring a man and woman together as husband and wife, to be mother and father to any children their union produces. And the Supreme Court, in the cases they’re hearing today and tomorrow, should really not cut short the democratic debate that we’re having. Citizens all across the country are discussing what marriage is and why it matters. And what we want to see the court do is uphold our constitutional authority to have that debate.

When Orman called him uneducated and ignorant for his views, Anderson politely responded:

Why do you assume that I’m ignorant? You say I just don’t know. I don’t assume anything badly about you. I just think we disagree. President Obama himself has said there are people of good will and sound mind on both sides of this issue. I agree with the President.

I’m not going to call you names and I’m not going to say you’re ignorant or don’t understand. But up until the year 2000, no political community on the face of earth had ever defined marriage as anything other than a male-female relationship. I think there are good reasons for that.

Anderson stated facts and never lost his calm, even as Suze Orman and Piers Morgan kept raising their voices. And he successfully explained what many conservatives are concerned about: “Marriage is based on the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and on the social reality that children need a mother and a father.”

The audience’s response was in line with Morgan and Orman’s views, but Anderson remained stoic. He said he while he may be in the minority in that audience, “in America there are lots of people who agree with me and we should have this conversation.”

Read more Heritage research in favor of traditional marriage.

Do you agree with what Ryan Anderson said about marriage on “Piers Morgan Live”?

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