Cornyn Calls For Action To Protect Marriage

In: All News   Posted 09/17/2003

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, sent a letter to his Senate colleagues Wednesday calling for action to defend marriage between a man and a woman. Cornyn presided over a hearing of the Constitution Subcommittee earlier this month on the importance of the Defense of Marriage Act and the principles it embodies, as well as the extent of the threat of judicial activism to the legislation.“Americans instinctively, and laudably, support two fundamental truths: that every individual is worthy of respect, and that the traditional institution of marriage is worthy of protection,” Sen. Cornyn said in the letter. “A recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court dramatically changes the legal landscape, however. That decision presents a significant threat to traditional marriage laws – a threat that no state, on its own, can thwart. The hearing confirmed that marriage does meet the standard for a constitutional amendment.” The hearing was titled: What is Needed to Defend the Bipartisan Defense of Marriage Act of 1996?, and examined what legal action, if any, is needed to strengthen and protect DOMA. “The hearing started a helpful discussion, and one that I hope will continue in earnest. The American people deserve at least that much,” Cornyn said. “What the American people do not deserve, however, is for their desire to protect and defend traditional marriage to be dismissed, disparaged, and disrespected by red herring arguments.” Seven years ago this month, the Congress passed, and President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The bill defined in simple terms that marriage for purposes of federal law is “only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.” This policy of reaffirming and defending traditional marriage was approved with overwhelming bipartisan support of Congress (85-14 in the Senate, 342-76 in the House) and reflects the legislative or traditional will of all 50 states.Sen. Cornyn chairs the subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights & Property Rights, and is the only former judge on the Judiciary Committee. He also serves on the Armed Services, Environment and Public Works, and Budget Committees. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.