MARRIAGE PROTECTION AMENDMENT -- (House of Representatives - September 30, 2004)
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Mr. BACHUS. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Georgia said what he wanted to do, he wanted to establish a homosexual marriage as a fundamental constitutional right that the Federal Government would have to not only secure but to protect. That is what he wants to do. When he does that, here is why we are opposed to that. When he does that, he undermines, he not just expands marriage, he alters it to the core. He totally severs it from its whole purpose, and that is the relationship between a man, a woman, and a child.
Marriage is one of the most fundamental institutions of a civil society. That would simply cripple it. We are not talking about expanding a right, extending rights or benefits. We are talking about destroying an institution which has preserved and protected us.
Our decision today will define us as a Nation. It will define us as a people. It will be a predictor of our future and where our future would be. The only responsible thing for us to do today is to defend the institution of marriage and send this amendment to the States for ratification.
A concerted legal and political effort, lead by activist judges, is attempting to affirm homosexual marriage as a fundamental civil right that the Federal Government has a constitutional obligation to secure and protect.
In doing so, they are undermining one of the most basic and sacred institutions that exist in an orderly, stable civil society-marriage.
What is happening is not a slight change in degree that merely extends benefit or rights to a larger class, but a substantive change in the essence of the institution. It does not expand marriage; it alters its core meaning, for to redefine marriage so that it is not intrinsically related to the relationship between fathers, mothers, and children would sever the institution from its nature and its purposes.
In response, the most important and responsible step Congress can take to reserve marriage is to send a constitutional amendment that protects the institution of marriage to the States for ratification.