As a devout Catholic and father of three children, I have a great appreciation for the role that traditional values of faith and family play in our lives and communities. As the representative for the 23rd District of Texas, I've been fighting to defend these traditional values from a hostile federal government.
Our Founding Fathers recognized the importance of faith in American life, which is why freedom of religion was enshrined in the First Amendment of our Constitution. Sadly, our religious freedom has come under attack in recent months. Earlier this year, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a rule using authority granted in Obamacare that would require all health insurance plans to provide coverage for contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs. This rule would force anyone providing health insurance, whether it is a Catholic hospital or a pro-life small business owner, to pay for services that directly violate their religious beliefs. This was nothing more than an aggressive intrusion upon religious liberties. While I have fought vigorously to overturn this ruling, the Current Administration has refused to back down and the rule went into effect on August 1st.
Unfortunately, the federal government's assault on traditional values doesn't stop there. Millions of Americans believe -- as I do -- that marriage is a sacred institution between one man and one woman, and that strong marriages lead to strong families, which are the cornerstone upon which our society is built. This widely-held belief is why, in 1996, a Republican Congress passed and Democratic President Bill Clinton signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act to protect traditional marriage. Over a decade later, the Defense of Marriage Act is still the law of the land. Despite this fact, President Obama has unilaterally decided that the Department of Justice will no longer defend this duly passed law in court because he personally opposes it. The President is entitled to his view, however, he should have sought legal channels and procedures if he wanted the law changed, instead of simply deciding to abandon its defense in court. As President, it is his constitutional obligation to defend the law of the land, notwithstanding his personal views. The presidential oath of office does not call for faithfully executing only those laws with which the President agrees. I've proudly supported efforts in the House of Representatives to protect traditional marriage and stop President Obama's attempts to redefine marriage via presidential order.
Our nation's traditional values should not be taken for granted. They are an integral part of the foundation of our society and I will continue fighting to protect them for future generations from the onslaught of big government.