The Marriage Protection Amendment
WM 1231 PUBLISHED SEPT. 2004
ALSO: IMPORTANT SENATE VOTE / MARRIAGE PROTECTION ACT / IMPORTANT HOUSE VOTE
THE JUNE 26 SUPREME COURT DECISION-
In a 6-3 ruling on June 28, the US. Supreme Court not only struck down laws against sodomy in Texas and 12 other states, but its decision "effectively decrees the end of all morals legislation," the dissenting justices wrote. That is major news in the United States of America!
Regardless of which side you stand on, you will want to read this report.
The campaign to protect marriage in the United States Constitution has gained momentum in the wake of a recent Supreme Court ruling that some observers say could pave the way for homosexual unions.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Fist (R.-Tenn.) and others have endorsed, or reiterated, their endorsement of, the Federal Marriage Amendment. Reintroduced in May by Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R.-Colo.), the measure would limit marriage to "the union of a man and a woman." It also would prevent federal and state constitutions and laws from being Interpreted to mandate marriage or its benefits for homosexuals and other unmarried people.
"I very much feel that marriage is a sacrament and that sacrament should extend and can extend to that legal entity of a union between what (has) traditionally in our Western values been defined as between a man and a woman," said Fist on ABC's "This Week" program June 29, according to The Washington Times. "So I would support the amendment."
Southern Baptist ethics leader Richard Land and others restated their support for the FMA after the high court struck down a Texas law against same-sex sexual relations.
"This decision once again focuses attention on the desperate and immediate need for the Federal Marriage Amendment in order to keep the courts from forcing gay 'marriage' on the public the same way it is forcing the legalization of homosexual behavior on an unwilling public," Land said June 30.
Regarding the amazing US. Supreme Court June 28 decision, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, "Laws against fornication, bigamy, adultery, adult incest, bestiality, and obscenity" cannot survive the justices' reasoning in the decision. "Today's opinion dismantles the structure of constitutional law that has permitted a distinction to be made between heterosexual and homosexual unions. Insofar as formal recognition in marriage is concerned. If moral disapprobation of homosexual conduct is 'no legitimate state interest for purposes of proscribing that conduct . , what justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples exercising 'the liberty protected by the Constitution.' "
In the court's opinion, Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy said "people 'are entitled to respect for their private lives' and the state 'cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime.'"
"What's going to happen when an adult male brings a case saying that he is practicing a consensual sexual relationship with his biological adult sister, i.e. Incest? On what grounds, given this opinion by Justice Kennedy, will the Supreme Court uphold laws against adult biological incest? The court has opened a Pandora's box that is going to be very difficult to contain," Land said.
Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, told the New York Times, "We all were surprised by the scope and breadth of the opinion. It was a grand-slam homer for the other side."
THE FEDERAL MARRIAGE AMENDMENT-The Federal Marriage Amendment, H.R. Res. 88, says: "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution or the constitution of any State, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal Incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups."
Proponents of the FMA say the Lawrence decision is only one of several reasons such a constitutional amendment is needed.
Many legal observers expect the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to soon rule that there is a right in the state constitution for homosexuals to marry. If so, under the federal constitution, other states may have to recognize such "marriages" performed in Massachusetts.
Vermont already has legalized same-sex unions that include nearly all the benefits of marriage.
Recently, an appeals court in the Canadian province of Ontario legalized civil marriage for homosexuals. The Canadian government announced it would not appeal the decision.
Congress adopted the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996, to protect states from being forced to recognize same-sex marriages performed in another state. Supporters of the FMA, however, fear a court may strike down at least some applications of the DOMA, as well as state laws limiting marriage to a man and a woman. They also say the amendment is needed because the DOMA does not bar courts from recognizing same-sex unions entered into overseas by American citizens.
While the amendment would preclude judges from forcing "civil unions" and same-sex marriage-like benefits upon states, it would not prevent state legislatures from continuing to make such decisions. It also would not affect employee benefits provided by private businesses.
The amendments supporters face a daunting task in order for it to become part of the Constitution. An amendment requires approval by two-thirds of the House of Representatives and Senate, as well as ratification by three-fourths of the state legislatures or by conventions in three-fourths of the states.
The Most Important Senate Vote in 2004
Everyone in America is gradually joining one side or the other in the liberal debate over abortion, homosexuality, etc. The recent attempt to enact a Marriage Amendment in the U.S. Senate was pivotal. And every U.S. senator well-understood the issue: Either vote "Yes," in order to protect marriage as being only between one man and one woman, or "No," which would permit the liberal courts of America to declare that homosexuals could also marry. Both sides brought very strong pressure to bear on each senator; so much so that, by this one vote on the July 14 motion, to terminate filibuster, each senator stated on which side he stood in the conservative-liberal battle in America.
Therefore, that vote is given below. (1) Those of our readers who favor the strengthening of homosexual rights in America, and related liberal positions, will appreciate senators who voted "No" ("Nay"). (2) Those of our readers who wish to protect the traditional view of marriage, and related conservative issues, will appreciate those who voted "Yes" ("Yea").
(A vote of 60 (3/5s) was needed to close debate ("cloture") in order to proceed to the vote. A vote of 67 (2/3s) was needed for the U.S. Senate to vote in favor of the Marriage Amendment.) Here is the official PUBLIC Senate record for all Americans to read:
U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 108th Congress - 2nd Session, as compiled by the Senate Bill Clerk under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate.
Vote Summary: Question: On the Cloture Motion (Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to Consider S. J. Res. 40). Vote Number: 155. Vote Date: July 14, 2004, 12:13 PM. Required For Majority: 3/5. Vote Result: Cloture Motion Rejected. Vote Counts: YEAs 48. NAYs 50. Not Voting 2.
GROUPED BY VOTE POSITION
Alexander (R-TN) / Allard (R-CO) / Allen (R-VA) / Bennett (RUT) / Bond (R-MO) / Brownback (R-KS) / Bunning (R-KY) / Burns (R-MT) / Byrd (D-WV) / Chambliss (R-GA) / Cochran (RMS) / Coleman (R-MN) / Comyn (R-TX) / Craig (R-ID) / Crapo (R-ID) / DeWine (R-OH) / Dole (R-NC) / Domenici (R-NM) / Ensign (R-NV) / Enzi (R-WY) / Fitzgerald (R-IL) I Fnst (R-TN) / Graham (R-S C) I Grassley (R-IA) / Gregg (R-NH) / Hagel (R-NE) / Hatch (R-UT) / Hutchison (R-TX) / Inhofe (R-OK) / Kyl (R-AZ) / Lott (R-MS) / Lugar (R-IN) / McConnell (R-KY) / Miller (DGA) / Murkowski (R-AK) / Nelson (D-NE) / Nickles (R-OK) / Roberts (R-KS) / Santorum (R-PA) / Sessions (R-AL) / Shelby (R-AL) / Smith (R-OR) / Specter (R-PA) / Stevens (R-AK) / Talent (R-MO) / Thomas (R-WY) / Voinovich (R-OH) / Warner (R-VA) /.
Akaka (D-HI) / Baucus (D-MT) / Bayh (D-IN) / Biden (D-DE) / Bingaman (D-NM) /Boxer (D-CA) / Breaux (D-LA) / Campbell (R-CO) / Cantwell (D-WA) I Carper (D-DE) / Chafee (R-RI) / Clinton (D-NY) / Collins (R-ME) / Conrad (D-ND) / Corzine (DNJ) / Daschle (D-SD) / Dayton (D-MN) / Dodd (D-CT) / Dorgan (D-ND) / Durbin (D-IL) / Feingold (D-WI) / Feinstein (D-CA) /
Graham (D-FL) / Harkin (D-IA) / Hollings (D-SC) / Inouye (DHI) / Jeffords (I-VT) / Johnson (D-SD) / Kennedy (D-MA) / Kohl (D-WI) / Landrieu (D-LA) / Lautenberg (D-NJ) / Leahy (D-VT) / Levin (D-MI) / Lieberman (D-CT) / Lincoln (D-AR) / McCain (R-AZ) / Mikulski (D-MD) / Murray (D-WA) / Nelson (D-FL) / Pryor (D-AR) / Reed (D-RI) / Reid (D-NV) / Rockefeller (D-W V) / Sarbanes (D-MD) / Schumer (D-NY) / Snowe (R-ME) / Stabenow (D-MI) / Sununu (R-NH) / Wyden (D-OR)
Not Voting - 2 Edwards (D-NC) / Kerry (D-MA) [afraid to vote]
GROUPED BY HOME STATE
Alabama: Sessions (R-AL), Yea / Shelby (R-AL), Yea / Alaska: Murkowski (R-AK), Yea / Stevens (R-AK), Yea / Arizona: Kyl (R-AZ), Yea / McCain (R-AZ), Nay / Arkansas: Lincoln (D-AR), Nay / Pryor (D-AR), Nay / California: Boxer (D-CA), Nay / Feinstein (D-CA), Nay / Colorado: Allard (R-CO), Yea / Campbell (R-CO), Nay / Connecticut: Dodd (D-CT), Nay / Lieberman (D-CT), Nay / Delaware: Biden (D-DE), Nay / Carper (D-DE), Nay / Florida: Graham (D-FL), Nay / Nelson (D-FL), Nay / Georgia: Chambliss (R-GA), Yea / Miller (D-GA), Yea / Hawaii: Akaka (D-HI), Nay / Inouye (D-HI), Nay / Idaho: Craig (R-ID), Yea / Crapo (R-ID), Yea / Illinois: Durbin (D-IL), Nay / Fitzgerald (R-IL), Yea / Indiana: Bayh (D-IN), Nay / Lugar (RIN), Yea / Iowa: Grassley (R-IA), Yea / Harkin (D-IA), Nay / Kansas: Brownback (R-KS), Yea / Roberts (R-KS), Yea / Kentucky: Bunning (R-KY), Yea / McConnell (R-KY), Yea / Louisiana: Breaux (D-LA), Nay / Landrieu (D-LA), Nay / Maine: Collins (R-ME), Nay / Snowe (R-ME), Nay / Maryland: Mikulski (D-MD), Nay / Sarbanes (D-MD), Nay / Massachusetts: Kennedy (D-a4A), Nay / Kerry (D-MA), Not Voting / Michigan: Levin (D-MI), Nay / Stabenow (D-MI), Nay / Minnesota: Coleman (R-MN), Yea /Dayton (D-MN), Nay / Mississippi: Cochran (R-MS), Yea / Lott (R-MS), Yea / Missouri: Bond (R-MO), Yea / Talent (R-MO), Yea / Montana: Baucus (D-MT), Nay / Burns (R-MT), Yea / Nebraska: Hagel (RNE), Yea / Nelson (D-NE), Yea / Nevada: Ensign (R-NV), Yea / Reid (D-NV), Nay / New Hampshire: Gregg (R-NH ), Yea I Sununu (R-NH), Nay / New Jersey: Corzine (D-NJ), Nay / Lautenberg (D-NJ), Nay / New Mexico: Bingaman (D-NM), Nay / Domenici (R-NM), Yea / New York: Clinton (D-NY), Nay / Schumer (D-NY), Nay / North Carolina: Dole (R-NC), Yea / Edwards (D-NC), Not Voting / North Dakota: Conrad (D-ND), Nay / Dorgan (D-ND), Nay / Ohio: De Wine (R-OH), Yea / Voinovich (R-OH), Yea / Oklahoma: Inhofe (R-OK), Yea / Nickles (R-OK), Yea / Oregon: Smith (R-OR), Yea / Wyden (DOR), Nay / Pennsylvania: Santorum (R-PA), Yea / Specter (RPA), Yea / Rhode Island: Chafee (R-RI), Nay / Reed (D-RI), Nay / South Carolina: Graham (R-SC), Yea / Hollings (D-SC), Nay / South Dakota: Daschle (D-SD), Nay / Johnson (D-SD), Nay / Tennessee: Alexander (R-TN), Yea / Frist (R-TN), Yea / Texas: Comyn (R-TX), Yea / Hutchison (R-TX), Yea / Utah: Bennett (RUT), Yea / Hatch (R-UT), Yea / Vermont: Jeffords (I-VT), Nay / Leahy (D-VT), Nay / Virginia: Allen (R-VA), Yea / Warner (RVA), Yea / Washington: Cantwell (D-WA), Nay / Murray (DWA), Nay /West Virginia: Byrd (D-WV), Yea / Rockefeller (DWV), Nay / Wisconsin: Feingold (D-WI), Nay / Kohl (D-WI), Nay / Wyoming: Enzi (R-WY), Yea / Thomas (R-WY), Yea
The Marriage Protection Act
The problem with the Marriage Protection Amendment is that it requires a two-thirds vote by both houses of Congress. As indicated by the July 14 Senate vote (page 2 of this report), it is unlikely that a two-thirds vote will be obtained in the Senate.
The Marriage Protection Act would nicely solve the problem, by a simple Congressional majority. It is sponsored by Rep. John Hostettler (R-Indiana, 8th). Here are the facts about this:
The Marriage Protection Act is an insurance policy that will protect the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) from reckless federal judges who exceed their authority. It invokes procedures spelled out in the Constitution to withdraw from the federal courts jurisdiction over cases that might arise under DOMA.
The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was enacted in 1996 to accomplish two purposes: First, it defined marriage "for all purposes of federal law" as the union of one man and one woman. Second, it protected states, under the Constitution's "full faith and credit" clause, from being forced to recognize as a marriage any "union" other than that of one man and one woman. (This presumes that one or more states would legalize phony "marriages.") The problem was that, since 1998, civil courts in America have been overturning DOMA.
The purpose of the Marriage Protection Act is this: It would prevent federal courts from hearing any case challenging the right of Congress to prescribe that the "full faith and credit" clause may not be used to force a state to recognize a pseudomarriage performed in another state.
What then would happen to those cases? Cases that arise under the "full faith and credit" clause will be decided in state courts, which is exactly what Congress intended under DOMA. Again, even a bad court decision would have limited impact and could not set a precedent that would redefine marriage for the whole country.
Would the Marriage Protection Act have any effect on state matters? It would not affect the states at all (nor does DOMA); so it will have no effect on challenges to state marriage laws currently in progress in Massachusetts (Goodridge vs. Department of Public Health), New Jersey (Lewis vs. Harris) and Indiana (Morrison vs. Sadler). But even if one of those cases should result in the establishment of same-sex unions, the Marriage Protection Act would guarantee that this tragic decision could not be exported to other states via the federal courts. How does the Marriage Protection Act compare to a federal marriage amendment?
A constitutional amendment would probably be required to prevent a state from redefining marriage. Passing a constitutional amendment, however, requires two-thirds supermajorities in both the House and the Senate, plus ratification by three fourths of the states. The Marriage Protection Act requires only simple majorities in both Houses of Congress plus a presidential signature. Amending the Constitution is a long-term process; but the Marriage Protection Act can provide immediate protection against the most imminent threat to the definition of marriage -judicial overreaching.
Robert Knight of the Culture and Family Institute declared: "Homosexual activists have threatened to go to federal court to have DOMA struck down. H.R. 3313 (The Marriage Protection Act) tells federal judges to keep their hands off this vital piece of federal law." And as for those lawmakers who still argue marriage protection legislation is unnecessary at this time, he had this analogy about the great Chicago fire. "We're told by prohomosexual lawmakers that we should just wait until a federal judge dispenses with DOMA."
Phil Burress, president of the Cincinnati-based Citizens for Community Values, notes that during the debate only one senator - Massachusetts' Ted Kennedy - voiced support for homosexual marriage. "That, alone, is huge," Burress says. He added that most of the other opposing senators confirmed their support for traditional marriage but did not feel the issue was serious enough to justify a constitutional amendment. In addition, many of those who ultimately voted against cloture stated they would support an amendment measure if DOMA - at either the federal or state level - were to be struck down by a judge. Burress expects that to occur somewhere down the road soon. "That was a concession that I did not expect," Burress says in reference to the senators' qualified endorsement of the amendment idea. Consequently, he is optimistic 67 Senate votes for a Federal Marriage Amendment is attainable. "I feel confident that we will have no problem getting the 19 votes that will turn this around," he says.
On July 22, the House of Representatives approved the Marriage Protection Act by a very large majority (see next page).
Regardless of which side you may be on in this battle over marriage, the information in this report is indeed significant, and of vital importance, to every American.
The Most Important House Vote in 2004
The House of Representatives has passed the Marriage Protection Act by a vote of 295-194 July 22, preventing federal courts from legalizing same-sex "marriage" nationwide. Following is how representatives voted on the bill, HR 9919. The bill will not become law unless the Senate also approves it, which may not happen. Nevertheless. the House vote, on this bill is extremely revealing.
The bill protects states by preventing federal courts - including the Supreme Court -- from reviewing the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law that gives individual states the option of not recognizing another state's same-sex "marriages" and prevents the federal government from recognizing homosexual "marriage."
By their votes, you will clearly know on which side everyone stands in regard to one of the most controversial political issues in our time. It is considered a test vote on the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment, which defines marriage as only between a man and a woman.
THOSE WHO VOTED FOR THE BILL
Aderholt, Akin, Alexander, Bachus, Baker, Ballenger, Barrett (SC), Bartlett (MD), Barton (TX), Beauprez, Berry, Bilirakis, Bishop (UT), Blackburn, Blunt, Boehlert, Boehner, Bonilla, Bonner, Boozman, Boucher, Boyd, Bradley (NH), Brady (TX), Brown (SC), Brown-Waite (Ginny), Burgess, Burns, Burr, Burton (Ill), Buyer, Calvert, Camp, Cannon, Cantor, Capita, Carson (OK), Carter, Chabot, Chandler, Choeola, Cable, Cole, Costello, Cox, Cramer, Crane, Crenshaw, Cubin, Culberson, Cunningham, Davis (TN), Davis (Jo Ann), Davis (Tbm), Deal (GA), DeLay, DeMint, DiazBalart (L.), Diaz-Balart (M.), Doolittle, Dreier, Duncan, Dunn, Edwards, Ehlers, Emerson, Everett, Feeney, Ferguson, Flake, Fbrbes, Fbssella, Franks (AZ), Frelinghuysen, Gallegly, Garrett (NJ), Gibbons Gillmor, Gingrey, Goode, Goodlatte, Gordon, Goss, Granger, Graves, Green (WI). Gutknecht, Hall, Harris, Hart, Hastert, Hastings (WA), Hayes, Hayworth, Hefley, Hensarling, Herger, Herseth. Hobson, Hoekstra, Holden, Hostettler, Hulshof, Hunter, Hyde, Isakson, Issa, Istook, Jenkins, John, Johnson (IL), Johnson (Sam), Jones (NC), Kelley, Kelly, Kennedy (MN), King (IA), King (NY). Kingston, Kline, Knollenberg. LaHood, Latham, LaTburette, Lewis (CA), Lewis (KY), Linder, LoBlondo, Lucas (KY), Lucas (OK), Manzullo, Marshall, Matheson, McCotter, McCrary, McHugh, McInnis, McIntyre, McKeon, Mica, Miller (FL), Miller (MI), Miller, Gary Moran (KS), Murphy, Musgrave, Myrick, Nethercutt. Neugebauer, Ney, Northup, Norwood, Nunes, Nussle, Osborne, Otter, Oadey, Pearce, Pence, Peterson (MN), Peterson (PA), Petri, Pickering, Pitts, Platte. Pombo, Porter, Portman,
Pryce (OH), Putnam, Radanovich, Rahall, Ramstad, Regula, Rehberg, Renzi, Reynolds, Rogers (AL), Rogers (KY), Rogers (MI), Rohrabacher, Ross, Royce, Ryan (WI), Ryun (KS), Sandlin, Saxton, Schrock, Sensenbrenner, Sessions, Shadegg, Shaw, Sherwood, Shimkus, Shuster, Simpson, Skelton, Smith (MI), Smith (NJ), Smith (TX), Souder, Stearns, Stenhoim, Sullivan, Sweeney, Tancredo, Tanner, Tauzin, Taylor (MS), Taylor (NC), Terry, Thomas, Thornberry, Tiahrt, Tiberl, Toomey, Turner (OH), Turner (TX), Upton, Vitter, Walden (OR), Walsh, Wamp, Weldon (FL), Weldon (PA), Weller, Whitfield, Wicker, Wilson (NM), Wilson (SC), Wolf, Young (AK), Young (FL).
THOSE WHO VOTED AGAINST THE BILL.
Abercromble, Ackerman, Allen, Andrews, Baca, Baird, Baldwin, Bass, Becerra, Bell, Bereuter, Berkley, Berman, Biggert, Bishop (GA), Bishop (NY), Blumenauer, Bono, Boswell, Brady (PA), Brown (OH), Brown (Corrine), Butterfield, Capps, Capuano, Cardin, Cerdoza, Case, Castle, Clay, Clyburn, Conyers, Cooper, Crowley, Cummings, Davis (AL), Davis (CA), Davis (FL), Davis (IL), DeFhzlo, DeGette, Delahunt, DeLauro, Deutsch, Dicks, Dingell, Doggett, Dooley (CA), Doyle, Emanuel, Engel, English, Eshoo, Etheridge, Evans, Farr, Fattah, Miner, Foley, Ford, Frank (MA), Frost, Gephardt, Gerlach, Gilchrest, Gonzalez, Green (TX), Grijalva, Gutierrez, Harman, Hastings (FL), Hill, Hinchey, Hinojosa, Hoeffel, Holt, Honda, Hooley (OR), Houghton, Hoyer, Inslee, Israel, Jackson (IL), Jackson-Lee (TX), Jefferson, Johnson (CT), Johnson (E.B.), Jones (OH), Kanjorski, Kaptur, Kennedy (RI), Kildee, Kilpatrick, Kind, Kleczka, Kolbe, Lampson, Langevin, Lantos, Larsen (WA), Larson (CT), Leach, Lee, Levin, Lewis (GA), Lipinski, Lofgren, Lynch, Majette, Maloney, Markey, Matsui, McCarthy (MO), McCarthy (NY), McCollum, McDermott, McGovern, McNulty, Meehan, Meek (FL), Meeks (NY), Menendez, Michaud, Millender-McDonald, Miller (NC). Miller (George), Mollohan, Moore, Moran (VA), Murtha, Nadler, Napolltano, Neal (MA), Oberstar, Obey, Olver, Ortiz, Ose, Owens, Pallone, Pascrell, Pastor, Payne. Pelosi, Pomeroy, Price (NC), Rangel, Reyes, Rodriguez, Ros-Lehtinen, Rothman, Roybal-Allard, Ruppersberger, Rush, Ryan (OH), Sabo, Snchez (Linda T.). Sanchez (Loretta), Sanders, Schakowsky. Schiff, Scott (GA), Scott (VA), Serrano. Shays, Sherman, Simmons, Slaughter, Smith (WA), Snyder, Solis, Spratt, Stark, Strickland, Stupak, Tauscher, Thompson (CA), Thompson (MS), Tierney, Towns, Udall (CO), Udall (NM), Van Hollen, Velazquez, Visclosky, Waters, Watson, Watt, % man, Weiner, Wexler, Woolsey, MN, Wynn.
Carson (IN), Collins, Greenwood, Kirk, Kucinich, Lowey, Paul, Quinn.