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Marriage Protection Amendment

Location: Washington, DC

MARRIAGE PROTECTION AMENDMENT -- (House of Representatives - September 30, 2004)


Mrs. DAVIS of California. Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed that we are here today to debate this amendment.

As a strong supporter of civil rights protections, I am extremely concerned about the devastating implications of this legislation.

I am concerned because I believe that every individual deserves to be treated with respect, and our Nation's laws should be used to promote civil rights, not limit them.

In addition, the United States Constitution should be modified only in the most rare and necessary of circumstances, and those circumstances simply do not exist here today.

Amending this sacred document that has governed us for centuries has only been done 17 times in our Nation's history-and those changes have served to protect our rights as Americans.

Now is not the time to depart from that tradition by threatening the basic principle of equal treatment under the law.

And speaking of tradition, Mr. Speaker, we have heard a lot today about the value we should place only upon "traditional" marriage.

I would ask those who support this amendment so strongly to talk to the countless special needs children of this country, who have been adopted by caring and nurturing same-sex couples, what "traditional" means to them.

Although special needs children are a special gift to this world and to any family, it is often same-sex couples who are most willing to welcome these children into their homes.

If not for these couples, many of these children would never experience the value of a loving, stable home and the unconditional support of a family.

I am willing to venture that if any one of us asked any one of these special needs children if they would prefer two mothers-or two fathers-or no family at all, that choice would be simple.

And that is because there is no exact formula for creating a loving family. The only thing you need for certain is love.

Are we really challenging whether or not that love can exist in a home with two mothers or two fathers? I certainly hope not.

Mr. Speaker, we are still trying to bring peace and stability to Iraq and are losing more and more American lives in this process every day. Our economy is struggling under a $400 billion deficit. And we have a long way to go to get American workers back into meaningful work and to continue improving the education of our children.

It is regrettable that we have decided to overlook these pressing national needs to take up an amendment that I believe threatens healthy American families in our country today.

If it is truly our hope to protect the best interests of our children, we will join together to oppose this dangerous and unnecessary amendment.

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