Marriage Protection Amendment

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

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 801, proceedings will now resume on the joint resolution (H.J. Res. 106) proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to marriage.


Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in full support of this body's effort to preserve the sacred institution of marriage.

Children are best served when they are raised and influenced by a mom and a dad, and marriage must continue to be the institution to best raise children and not simply for the desires of adults.

Mr. Speaker, I am the youngest of four boys who feel we were blessed to have a mom that we could look to for her loving and nurturing ways, and a dad to be there, well, when boys will be boys, to know that we had a dad.

And now I am a dad today with a wife and two young girls of my own, two young girls who are blessed to know that they can look to their mom when they need a mom, and they know that they can look to have a dad there when they need a male influence in their lives.

Marriage exists for the well-being of children. It is the only institution that gives kids a mom and a dad. Where do grownups get the right to give their own desires higher priority?

If we redefine marriage, it will harm everyone, especially the children. It will legally repudiate the idea that marriage has anything to do with a family, and will legally embrace the idea that marriage is just an arrangement for the convenience of the grownups.

Now, I am here today to support what is best for the kids. The ideal situation for a child is to grow up with a mom and a dad in a loving, committed marriage. Mothers are better able to provide certain lessons than fathers can, and fathers in turn can provide role models in ways that moms simply cannot.

I think it is time that we rip away all the rhetoric that we have heard and know that this debate comes down to this: it is a choice of being what is in the best interests of our children over the choice of what is in the best interests of a select few adults. The choice is clear. I urge all Members to support our children by supporting the Marriage Protection Amendment.