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nChrist
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« on: October 05, 2004, 12:24:07 AM »

House Vote Reveals 'Who's Where' on Defense of Marriage

by Jody Brown and Allie Martin
October 1, 2004

(AgapePress) - Why push for a vote on a piece of legislation that, for all practical purposes, has little to no chance of being passed? Perhaps for no other reason than to make sure that on the eve of an election, voters know where their elected officials stand on a critical issue -- and now they know.

When Thursday's House vote on a proposed constitutional amendment protecting traditional marriage was tallied, the results were not surprising. Needing 290 votes to pass, the Marriage Protection Amendment (H.J.R. 106) received only 227 -- a definite majority, but not the two-thirds needed of measures dealing with constitutional amendments. A similar bill also came up short in the U.S. Senate in July. Both houses of Congress must pass such legislation before going to the states for ratification.

As expected, the final vote (227-186) was pretty much along party lines; the majority of Republicans (191) voted for the measure, while the majority of Democrats (158) opposed it. Twenty-seven GOP members and one Independent voted against H.J.R. 106, and 36 Democrats favored it. [See complete roll call vote]

Debate before the vote reflected strong emotion on both sides of the issue. Minority Democrats accused GOP House leaders of trying to drag out their favorite conservative causes in the lead-up to the election.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) described the proposed constitutional amendment as divisive. "We call ourselves one nation under God. Surely we know from the Bible that a city, a house, or a nation divided against itself cannot stand," he said. "This amendment divides our nation. This amendment creates two classes of people based on sexual orientation."

And Democratic Representative Congressman Jerrold Nadler of New York likened it to a political stunt. "It saddens me that this great institution would sink to these depths, even on the eve of an election," Nadler stated from the floor. "We know this is not going anywhere. We know its merely political exercise. Shame on this house for playing politics with bigotry."

But supporters of the measure held their ground during the debate, firing back with their own emotion rhetoric. "God created Adam and Eve. He didn't create Adam and Steve," said Maryland's Roscoe Bartlett, pointing out that same-sex "marriage" is unprecedented and unfounded. "A union between other than a man and a woman may be something legally, but it just can't be a marriage."

And Mike Pence (R-IN), who led an hour-long special order debate on the House floor in support of the amendment on Wednesday evening, maintained that traditional marriage must be protected in the Constitution. "Like millions of Americans, I believe [marriage] was ordained by God, instituted in the law. It is the glue of the American family, and the safest harbor to raise children," he said. "Let us adopt this rule, defend the institution of marriage, and ensure that our society's most cherished social institution is defined by we the people -- and not un-elected judges."

Voters Now Informed
"The people" in almost a dozen states will have an opportunity on November 2 to amend their constitutions, defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Several states have already done so, most recently Missouri and Louisiana. In both of those cases, the constitutional amendment protecting traditional marriage passed overwhelmingly with more than 70 percent of the vote.


Marilyn Musgrave  
However, state constitutional amendments limiting marriage to people of the opposite sex will remain vulnerable to the whims of federal judges. That is one of the major reasons Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) sponsored the Marriage Protection Amendment, which she first introduced in May 2003. She remains confident "the people" will prevail -- eventually.

Thursday's vote on H.J.R. 106, she says, "marks the beginning of a dialogue with the American people regarding the defense of traditional marriage."

"It is still very clear that a large majority of Americans support traditional marriage as it has historically been defined," she continues. "They now know more today where their elected representatives stand on this critical issue."

Musgrave admits her reluctance to introduce legislation amending the U.S. Constitution, acknowledging that it is a serious issue. But recent events, she says, show marriage needs to be protected.

"One way of another, our Constitution will be amended to define marriage in America," the Colorado Republican says. "It will either be de facto by activists judges seeking to impose same-sex marriage, or it will be amended by the will of the American people who overwhelmingly support the tradition of marriage."

 
Tony Perkins
'The Battle Will Continue'
It is apparent Musgrave will not stand alone in her continuing fight to defend marriage. Pro-family leaders across the country, while disappointed that the Marriage Protection Amendment failed to gain the two-thirds vote it needed to move on, see it as just a step in a long process.

"We may not have won by two-thirds, but momentum is on our side," says Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. "We have a majority of congressional members on record now who are seeking to protect marriage [and] we have a president who supports this amendment." The FRC president also notes that several states will be voting on marriage protection amendments in just a few weeks.

"We've known from the beginning that this was going to be a long fight," he adds, "and I'm here to tell you that Family Research Council will continue an all-out effort to protect and promote traditional marriage."

Groups like FRC, Focus on the Family, and the American Family Association have been urging their constituency for weeks to contact their congressional members on behalf of legislation proposing a federal marriage amendment. AFA executive Buddy Smith is convinced the actions of concerned citizens has had an effect.

"We know that because of those calls and letters and e-mails, we've had representatives and senators to have a change of mind and heart and vote in favor of a constitutional amendment to protect marriage," Smith says. And despite Thursday's vote, Smith is not sounding a retreat. "The battle is on -- and we need to remain vigilant. We need to continue to pray, and we also need to continue to communicate with our senators and representatives about this most important issue."

And Focus on the Family's Dr. James Dobson echoes Smith's call, declaring that "the battle for the traditional family will continue on." Part of that effort, he says, will be to hold accountable those in the House who voted against the Marriage Protection Amendment.

"It is our hope that America will carefully note the names of the congressmen who pandered to the homosexual lobby and took the easy way out on this issue of unprecedented importance," Dobson says.


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Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Talmadge
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« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2004, 06:35:01 PM »

I believe there should be some reworded federal guide lines , so the states can not wander like "lost sheep". Don't let there be 50 different state laws.
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nChrist
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2004, 12:42:37 AM »

I believe there should be some reworded federal guide lines , so the states can not wander like "lost sheep". Don't let there be 50 different state laws.

Hello Brother Talmadge,

I think there would be several schools of thought on that issue. The first school of thought would involve what the Constitution allows in terms of the Federal Government telling the states what to do. The Federal Government is supposed to be the servant of the States.

Another school of thought involves the Federal Government dictating something that is immoral and against the teachings of the Holy Bible to the States. They could do just that, even though we don't expect them to. It appears that the House and the Senate have taken this issue on because of rogue, activist Federal Judges who are actually trying to make law and force immorality down our throats. I would have never dreamed that gay and lesbian marriage would become a national debate. I'm also shocked that the Democratic Party has made this immorality part of their platform.

The real boss in America is supposed to be the people, and the people are beginning to stand up. There is currently a huge problem about who is in charge in America, and that question must be answered. The answer is supposed to be the people, not our servants we elect or appoint to represent us. The people will not tolerate gay and lesbian marriages, and they've already spoken in an overwhelming manner in several States. Many other States already have voting scheduled to address the same issue. However, Federal Judges have already ruled that the vote of the people is Unconstitutional and void of any meaning. We, the people, will send a message to these Federal Judges - they are our servants, not our rulers. If our other servants and representatives don't understand this most basic rule, we will also remind them they are simply our servants.

Love In Christ,
Tom
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Tim Vaughan
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« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2004, 11:49:32 AM »

There should not be a federal ban on homosexual marriage anymore than there should be a federal ban on banning abortions. It is a question of State's Rights.

The founders of our republic were wise, and they knew that the Federal Government had to have it's powers limited.

If we give the Federal Govenment power to legislate things like marriage, they will eventually use that power for evil, just like Galadrial rejected the one ring from Frodo.

Those who support a Federal ban on homosexual marriage are foolish, and have no understanding of human nature, nor of the political thought that went into the founding of this Republic.
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nChrist
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« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2004, 11:42:57 PM »

Tim,

Again, we can agree to disagree. The Federal Courts have already stuck their noses into these issues. The long-term answers must involve separation of power and our representatives cutting the legs off of the Federal Judges' thrones.

If you don't agree, fine. We each have one vote at the polls.

Love In Christ,
Tom
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« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2004, 06:11:38 PM »

Quote
If you don't agree, fine. We each have one vote at the polls.

Tom, there (currently) doesn't seem to be much differences between the Republican and Democrats on this issue. They both want the Federal Government's powers radically expanded.

There is a difference between Cheney and Bush, however, with Cheney seeing it the traditional conservative way, and Bush holding to the more modern "big government" philosophy.
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« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2004, 02:08:47 PM »

I still believe the Fedreal Government has to step in. To have, let's sat 50 different laws pertaining to marriage and abortion would really be something. I've got a little surprise for some of ytou; The Federal Government already tells the states what to do on 90% of the issues they face. We elect people from each state to go to DC and represent us. The problem comes to this, eventually if they are re-elected enough they get some power and they start pulling strings in the state leg. to get things done there that will be in favor of their party. BY the way , I am from Tx. and I did vote for Bush and I will not vote for Tom Delay, I voted against him the last time and I will this time. He is very power hunger.
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nChrist
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« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2004, 05:19:45 PM »

Brother Talmadge,

All I know is that most Christians have serious concerns about what's going on in this country, and they should. The turning away from God is the biggest concern, rightly so. There are smaller issues like abortion and gay marriage, and those issues obviously represent a turning away from God.

If the founding fathers saw what happened to their dreams for the future, they would be ready to fight the Revolutionary War over again. I'm certainly not suggesting violence of any type, but I am suggesting that Christians start standing up everywhere in this country and speaking up! If someone knocks them down, they need to get up and start over. I would also be suggesting that all Christians should be praying for this country and our leaders every day. Our nation can turn back to God, but it must start with us, Christians.

Many tell us to sit down and be quiet. That's what the devil wants. We should do the exact opposite. We need to:

STAND UP!!

AND SHOUT!!

Love In Christ,
Tom
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