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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Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time.
Mr. Speaker, why are we standing here today, wasting taxpayer dollars in an attempt to, for the first time in our history, amend our Constitution to deny a specific group equal rights? Why do we not leave it to the States, as our Constitution provides?
Frankly, I fail to understand why gay marriage threatens my wife's and my 24 years of marriage, or anybody else's marriage, or why it would undermine the Republic.
Gay and lesbian Americans want their secular government to legally recognize their committed relationships. They want their secular government to provide equal benefits in tax law, access to health care, Social Security, and death benefits. They want the same benefits as other Americans.
Some of my friends on the other side of the aisle are being disingenuous by saying they simply only want to define the institution of marriage. If that is their only motive, then why do they also oppose domestic partnerships and civil unions, which would give gays and lesbians the same rights as other Americans?
Why are we even dealing with this now? The Senate has defeated it. Could it be an attempt to divert attention from the failings of the Congress to do its work on appropriations and transportation; to divert attention from the war in Iraq, from a poor economy or from skyrocketing deficits; to force a blatantly political vote in this House; to whip up a frenzy in a specific group of voters one month before an election?
Let us stop playing political games. Vote down this amendment. We should not be dealing with something that is best being left to the States.
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