Providing For Consideration of H.J. Res. 106, Marriage Protection Amendment

Date: Sept. 30, 2004
Location: Washington, DC

PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.J. Res. 106, MARRIAGE PROTECTION AMENDMENT -- (House of Representatives - September 30, 2004)

Mrs. MYRICK. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on Rules, I call up House Resolution 801 and ask for its immediate consideration.


Mr. PENCE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the rule and of the underlying Marriage Protection Act, and consider this to be an extremely important day in the life of this institution and the life of this Nation.

Let me say to the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Frank) who just spoke, who I respect greatly as the national leader that he is, although I am a conservative and although I support a constitutional amendment to define marriage in the terms which the overwhelming majority of the American people wish to continue to define it, I have no distaste for love; and neither is it my desire to impose views or attack any individual or anyone in a relationship in America.

I am from south of Highway 40 in Indiana, but I do know the difference between defending and attacking. And the truth is, as legal scholars and millions of Americans know, the institution of marriage is under attack by activist judges; and it brings us, as the majority leader said so eloquently, to this place, by necessity, where a constitutional amendment is the only way we can express the will of 3 out of 4 or more Americans who desire to continue to have this fundamental institution of marriage defined as it has been throughout the millennia.

Activist judges have had successes since 1999 when they convinced the Vermont Supreme Court that they should order the State legislature to legalize same-sex marriage. A second major victory came when they convinced the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to force that State to give full marriage licenses.

The activists have literally plotted a State-by-State strategy to increase the number of judicial decisions mandating same-sex marriage, and the U.S. Supreme Court provided potent ammunition to activists when they decided the Lawrence v. Texas case in June of last year. In that case dealing with same-sex sodomy, the court strongly signaled that a right to same-sex marriage could be found in the Constitution. Scholars ranging from Supreme Court Justice Scalia all the way to Harvard liberal scholar and author Lawrence Tribe agree that the Lawrence v. Texas case paves the way for this Supreme Court in this Nation's Capital to recognize same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples are now challenging marriage laws in States across the Union, including my own little State of Indiana.

So we come here not to attack but, rather, in a spirit of civility to defend an institution that is cherished and is so essential to the American people in the life of our Nation.

In closing, we are here today because marriage matters; because, like millions of Americans, I believe it was ordained by God, instituted in the law, it is the glue of the American people, and the safest harbor to raise children. Let us adopt the rule, defend the institution of marriage, and ensure that our society's most cherished social institution is defined by we the people and not unelected judges.