Cornyn Statement On Federal Marriage Amendment Vote

In: All News   Posted 07/14/2004

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the Constitution subcommittee, made the following statement Wednesday regarding the Federal Marriage Amendment. An up or down vote directly on the amendment was blocked by not allowing the end of debate. The cloture vote, or move to end debate, failed by 48-50, with 60 votes needed for passage: “Let’s be clear, the question before the Senate today was simple: Do you believe traditional marriage is important enough that it deserves full legal protection? Although I would have preferred up or down votes on various proposals to preserve traditional marriage, I think this process has been a positive one. “First, a debate on the importance of traditional marriage and the American family is long overdue, and we have all benefited by the discussion. Second, we have directed the American people’s attention to the erosion of these fundamental institutions by judges who seek to enforce their personal political agendas under the guise of interpreting the Constitution. “This is an important debate and one that is just beginning. The assault on traditional marriage is not going away, and I hope that Congress will act to protect the most fundamental building block of our society.“In 1996, a bipartisan majority of 85 Senators joined together to pass the Defense of Marriage Act. It is my sincere hope that with DOMA under threat from the courts, a bipartisan majority can again come together to protect traditional marriage and the family – so that the American people can decide the definition of marriage.“The American people were watching today’s vote, and Senators sent a message to their constituents that a ‘yes’ vote was a vote in favor of traditional marriage, and a ‘no’ vote or a ‘I didn’t care enough to show up’ vote will be perceived as against traditional marriage.“This is a national problem and it requires a national response. Marriage is worth it; marriage is important enough to warrant the full legal protection of our laws.” Sen. Cornyn has chaired three hearings on marriage in the Senate, including one last September on whether the bipartisan Defense of Marriage Act is in peril, another in March on whether an amendment to the Constitution is necessary, and the third hearing, also in March, addressed specific amendment language that had been introduced in the Senate. Legal experts and senators across the political spectrum agree that the only way for Congress to reverse an incorrect federal constitutional ruling is an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.   Sen. Cornyn chairs the subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights & Property Rights, and is the only former judge on the Judiciary Committee. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.