Comments from: Rep. Bob Barr, Rep. Rosecoe BartlettRep. Tom DeLay, Rep. Steve Buyer, Gary L. Bauer, President of Family Research Council, Rev. Lou Sheldon, Traditional Values Coalition, Rep. Steve Buyer, Rep. Steve Largent - July 12, 1996
MARRIAGE: "The social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc." (Random House Dictionary of the English Language)
Today the House of Representatives voted to uphold the meaning of the word "marriage" as defined in dictionaries throughout the world and through custom, law and religious practice for thousands of years in the face of a seemingly well orchestrated plan to turn the meaning upside down by homosexual and lesbian members of the House and their supporters. Excerpts from the debate, and comments included:
Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA) - "As Rome burned, Nero fiddled. The flames of hedonism, the flames of narcissism, the flames of self-centered morality are licking at the very foundations of our society, the family unit. The courts in Hawaii have rendered a decision loud and clear. They have told the lower court 'you shall recognize same sex marriage. What more does it take, America? What more does it take, my colleagues, to wake up and see that this is an issue being shouted at us by extremists bent on forcing a tortured view of morality on the rest of the country?
Only in the Congress would we have people take the well and say that a provision that guarantees, by law, that each state retains its right to decide this issue is taking something away from the state. I suppose only in the Congress would we have people take the well and say that a law that simply guarantees the status quo in terms of the definition of marriage for federal purposes is taking something away from somebody. Yet here we have it. The red herrings are flying. We must be resolute. This is an issue of fundamental importance to this country, to our families, to our children. Enough is enough. "
Rep. Roscoe Bartlett: (R-MD) - WASHINGTON, D.C. -- "The fact that Congress must take dramatic action to protect the institution of traditional marriage is a sad sign of the decline of moral standards and values In our country,' said Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-6-MD) after the House voted overwhelming in support or H.R, 3396, The Defense of Marriage Act, The vote was 342 to 67 with two abstentions.
A pending court case in Hawaii that might legalize same-sex marriages would have far-reaching implications for the rest of the country because the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution would likely require states to recognize legal marriages in other states.
The term "marriage" currently appears in more than 800 sections of federal statutes and regulations while the term "spouse" appears more than 1,300 times. H.R.. 3396 defines it marriage" for the purposes of federal law only as the union between one man and one woman. H.R. 3396 provides that no state "shall be required to give effect" to a same-sex marriage issued by another state. It provides that under the Full Faith and Credit Clause, states are not required to recognize same-sex marriages or marriage licenses from other states. It does not prohibit Hawaii or any other state from recognizing same-sex marriages or same-sex marriage licenses from other states.
"New York Senator Daniel. Patrick Moynihan many years ago described the phenomenon of 'defining deviancy down' as the gradual process of whittling away civilized standards of morality and conduct," said Dr. Bartlett. "That is the process which has led to today's action."
"Constituents who have called my office overwhelmingly want the institution of marriage between a man and a woman to be. protected because they know that marriage has been the building block of every civilized society, Culture, and religion in human history," said Dr. Bartlett. "I am very glad that President Clinton has said that he will sign this important bill."
Gary L. Bauer - Family Research Council -"Defending normalcy is not an intolerant act. It is not intolerance to believe in traditional morality. The vast majority of Americans, from Hawaii - where this attack on marriage originates - to the other 49 states, all agree that marriage is the bringing together of the two sexes. Family Research Council applauds this historic affirmation of marriage.
"We commend those pro-family champions who voted today to protect marriage from the aggressive legal actions of homosexual activists and the ambitions of liberal judges. The House made an important first step in defending marriage form its attackers. Family Research Council calls on the Senate to also support the foundational fundamental union of marriage when the bill reaches it shortly. And FRC calls on the Senate to also support the foundational, fundamental union of marriage when the bill reaches it shortly. And FRC calls on the Senate to reject diversionary efforts - as the House did - to alter the bill."
Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) - "Polls in Hawaii and across the country show that a majority of peo;ple don't support legalizing same-sex marriage."
Rev. Lou Sheldon - Traditional Values Coalition - "There is no other issue on the American landscape where there is such a strong political consensus. Americans oppose homosexual marriage."
Rep. Steve Buyer (R-Ind) -A God-given principle is under attack."
Rep. Steve Largent - "Look at history. No culture that has ever embraced homosexuality has ever survived."