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Public Statements

Issue Position: Marriage

Issue Position

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As you may know, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which was signed into law by President Clinton in 1996, prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages and allows other states to refuse to recognize such marriages. This law, however, has been undermined by same-sex couples who travel to jurisdictions that ignore DOMA and approve same-sex marriages. These same-sex couples now expect their home jurisdictions to recognize their marriages.

In response, several bills were introduced and considered during the 108th Congress to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman and preserve the rights of states to implement and enforce marriage laws, which I supported but were not enacted. In the 109th Congress, I, along with a majority of members, voted in favor of a constitutional amendment, H.J. Res 88, defining marriage as between a man and a woman, but the amendment failed to garner the two-thirds majority that is required to amend the Constitution. Another bill, H.R. 1100, the Marriage Protection Act of 2005, would reserve the rights of states to implement and enforce marriage laws, has not been considered. I voted in favor of a similar bill during the 108th Congress.

I believe the authority of states to determine, implement and protect their own marriage laws should be preserved. I also do not believe that defining traditional marriages as being a union between one man and one woman does anything to discriminate against homosexuals. Several bills have been introduced to achieve these goals but have not been considered.


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