Dr. Melinda Kovacs, an assistant professor of political science at Missouri Western, explained the position of a recent California case before the court.
"We really want to make sure marriage gets defined as between a man and woman, The Supreme Court said 'Well, tough, you can't do that,'" she said.
During debate at Missouri Western Thursday night, supporters of same-sex marriage said extending a license to marry, whether it's two men, two women or a man and woman, is a secular arrangement.
The debate comes the same week Hawaii became the 16th state to recognize same-same marriage. Those speaking in support of the issue say momentum is sweeping across the country.
"Gay marriage has changed little of the lives we know," said Dr. Johnathan Euchner, another MWSU assistant professor of political science.
"It is becoming increasingly more and more a non-issue. It is time to move on," Euchner said.
But those against same-sex marriage say it's a step backward.
"If that train's already left the station, it may be true, but the engineer must be careful, because the train is heading the wrong direction," said Dr. Steven Greiert, MWSU professor of history.
Greiert says same-sex marriage is morally, ethically and legally wrong. He points to the writers of our constitution.
"They deliberately left out any discussion of marriage," he said. "It was deliberately left out of these documents. The founding fathers did not believe that marriage was a civil right. It never has been, it never will be."
But others say that the nation has other worries much larger than same-sex marriage.
"National debt, entitlement reform, the budget mess. Improving healthcare access, affordability, cost containment," Euchner said.