MARRIAGE PROTECTION AMENDMENT -- (House of Representatives - September 30, 2004)
(BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT)
Mr. VITTER. Mr. Speaker, today I rise in support of the constitutional amendment to protect marriage as between one man and one woman. This is a very important issue for congress to address, and I am glad to have been part of the movement to bring this legislation to the House floor.
Marriage is a core institution of societies throughout the world and throughout history. It's something that has provided permanence and stability for our very social structure. Today, statistics clearly show that couples who are married are happier and better off economically, and that children who are raised in homes with a traditional, two-person married couple are better off. The societal benefits to protecting and promoting traditional marriage are, in fact, numerous.
In my home state of Louisiana, we voted just recently on a statewide constitutional amendment to define marriage in the traditional sense as between one man and one woman. The amendment passed with 78 percent, which clearly shows that an overwhelming majority of Louisianians want to see this legislation passed today.
Some opponents of this measure claim that states should decide. I strongly believe in letting states decide issues for themselves, and Congress tried this approach in 1996 with the Defense of Marriage Act. It passed and was signed into law, but today that law, and with it the clear will of the American people, is being chiseled away by opponents.
States-and more importantly, the people-will soon have their rights to decide this issue taken from them, by judges from some other part of the country. Not one state has decided by either popular referendum or legislative action to agree to anything other than marriage as between a man and a woman.
So I encourage and implore my colleagues today to support and vote for this measure, so that our states and our citizens can decide these matters for themselves.