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Marriage Protection Amendment

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


MARRIAGE PROTECTION AMENDMENT -- (House of Representatives - September 30, 2004)

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 801, proceedings will now resume on the joint resolution (H.J. Res. 106) proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to marriage.

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Ms. DeGETTE. Mr. Speaker, one of the most glaringly absurd aspects of this debate is that marriage has never been and should not be now a Federal issue. Marriage is quintessentially a State issue. States have always had the ability to determine what constitutes marriage and the protections that it affords the will of the citizens.

Not only does this proposed amendment turn the notion of Federalism on its head, though. It is antithetical to the spirit of our Constitution. This amendment would enshrine discrimination in our Constitution and be the only amendment that actually takes away a group's rights. It would not only take away the right to marriage, but also the right to provide basic fundamental rights, such as the right to visit a partner or child in the hospital.

And to those who say it will help children, I have this question: Why should we not instead ban divorce? Approximately 1 million children, the product of heterosexual marriages, are living in single-parent homes in this country. Fifty percent of heterosexual marriages will end in divorce. If a State allowed same-sex marriage, I do not think it would affect my own heterosexual marriage. We are proud of the fact that this body represents America.

So I would ask those who are divorced or those who have committed adultery, search in your soul and ask yourself, are you really ready to stand here today, today in this body, and cast the first stone?

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