Congressman Marlin Stutzman (IN-03) has signed on to cosponsor two bills to protect marriage and the traditional role it serves. H. R. 875, the Marriage Protections Act of 2011, as introduced by Congressman Dan Burton of Indiana, states that courts created by Congress will not have jurisdiction on cases under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). This would leave same-sex marriage to be determined by the states and not the courts. H. J. Res. 45 as introduced by Congressman Paul Broun of Georgia will propose an amendment to the United States Constitution to define marriage as a union of a man and a woman.
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is bipartisan legislation passed in 1996 by Congress and signed by President Clinton to set basic guidelines for the interactions of states in dealing with same-sex marriage. DOMA"s defense in court is the jurisdiction of the Attorney General of the United States. For the last 15 years Attorneys General from both parties have upheld their duties and represented the Federal Government on DOMA as they have on other issues. Now, Attorney General Eric Holder is picking and choosing which laws he will represent.
"The Judiciary Act of 1789 created the office of Attorney General for the purpose of prosecuting and defending federal laws in court." Stutzman stated "Attorney General Eric Holder has not met this fundamental obligation. He has let the American people down by refusing to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, contrary to his own job description. The Justice Department is wrongly exercising its prosecutorial discretion. In effect, it is circumventing the process. Those who want to redefine marriage are free to introduce that legislation. Instead of working in the system, Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department are taking the coward's way out."
Congressman Stutzman represents the 3rd Congressional District of Indiana and serves on the House Committee on Agriculture, the House Committee on the Budget and the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity. Indiana's 3rd District contains all of DeKalb, Kosciusko, Lagrange, Noble, Steuben, and Whitley counties; as well as parts of Allen and Elkhart counties.