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. GINGREY. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to rise today in support of the marriage protection amendment, which is before the House today. Over the past several years, the traditional family has been under attack. The survival of the American family is of crucial importance because it serves as the backbone to our Nation as the primary protector and educator of our children.
Studies overwhelmingly suggest that children have a greater chance at success in life when a mother and a father are both present in the home. It is true that the recognition of the family unit has been traditionally a State issue. In fact, in my home State of Georgia, we will have a direct voice this November 2. In Georgia, we will vote yea or nay on a constitutional amendment banning so-called same-sex marriages.
However, with the recent onslaught against the traditional family in the courts, I believe it is now time for the Federal Government to act decisively as well.
Mr. Speaker, 44 out of 50 United States have already enacted laws that identify marriage as a union of a man and a woman, mother and father. Yet activist judges who look to enforce their own personal views continue to strike down laws passed by State legislatures and approved by our constituents. In fact, over 60 percent of the American people agree we need a Federal constitutional amendment. The citizens of the United States, our constituents, want us to support traditional marriage between one man and one woman. They do not want a court to decide the definition of marriage.
Therefore, if we do not pass a constitutional amendment on the Federal level, federally appointed judges will make their own definition without a single vote by the American people or their representatives. I believe this body has an important decision to make, a decision that is obviously a major concern to the majority of the American public.
To illustrate this, as of this morning, over 2,600 constituents from Georgia's 11th Congressional District have written to me in favor of this amendment. They have voiced their concerns to me, and I believe they are right, and I strongly urge Congress to pass the marriage protection amendment.
As far as the gentleman from the other side of the aisle who questioned what our grandchildren will think of their grandparents some day, my four grandchildren will say thank God their granddad stood up for their moms and dads for the passage of this constitutional amendment.
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