Wicker Introduces Constitutional Amendment To Protect Marriage
Senator’s Proposal Would Define Marriage as a Union Between One Man and One Woman
Monday, June 30, 2008
Since the beginning of man, marriage has been understood to be a union between two people of the opposite sex. This is a definition that remains widely accepted today. In fact, 45 states have either a constitutional provision or statute defining marriage as a union of a man and a woman. However, unelected judges are trying to change that. These judicial activists have opted to ignore the will of the people and have ruled against traditional marriage laws.
I have introduced legislation that would protect our nation’s most sacred institution. My legislation would amend the U.S. Constitution to declare that marriage is only between one man and one woman.
MARRIAGE PROTECTION AMENDMENT
My legislation, the Marriage Protection Act, amends our Constitution to reflect what the vast majority of Americans believe – that marriage is only between a man and a woman. My amendment simply states: “Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.”
To amend the Constitution, the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate must approve the proposed amendment by a two-thirds margin, and then three-fourths of the states (38 states) must also ratify it. While this is a cumbersome and difficult process, I believe it is the only option left in order to preserve the sanctity of marriage in our country.
DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT
Congress tried to address this issue 12 years ago when it passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The legislation, which I cosponsored, barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages and allowed states to do the same.
Before it was signed into law, DOMA was approved with overwhelming support – by a vote of 342 to 67 in the House of Representatives and 84 to 14 in the Senate. In passing DOMA, supporters of traditional marriage believed we had acted sufficiently to preserve the sanctity of marriage. We now know we must take additional action. As recently witnessed in California, activist courts are overturning these laws and allowing same-sex marriages.
QUICK AND DECISIVE ACTION
Thomas Jefferson once said: “The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.” Our state and federal governments have passed legislation declaring marriage as a union between a man and a woman, only to be thwarted by judges who are legislating from the bench. Now more than ever, it is important that we take quick and decisive action to pass the Marriage Protection Act in order to stop these unelected officials from unilaterally rewriting the definition of marriage.