States Need the Federal Defense of Marriage Act to Maintain Marriage Integrity
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the minority voices of those calling for the repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Mathew Staver released the following statement: “The sovereignty of each state to preserve the integrity of marriage must be maintained. Marriage as the union of one man and one woman is the first foundation of a stable and healthy government. Same-sex unions would establish the unwise policy of saying that children do not need moms and dads. The federal Defense of Marriage Act preserves state sovereignty and prevents one state from rewriting the definition of marriage for every other state. DOMA was passed overwhelmingly by a bipartisan Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. It is an extreme position to advocate the repeal of DOMA.”
Staver is the Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel and the Dean of Liberty University School of Law. Over the past five years Staver has defended DOMA and the definition of marriage in almost 50 cases in state and federal courts. He and Anita Staver, President of Liberty Counsel, authored the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment, which passed in November by over 62 percent of the vote.
Staver issued his statement in response to former Republican Representative Bob Barr, the author of the U.S. House version of DOMA. Barr is now a Libertarian and no longer serves as an elected official. Barr says he now agrees with President-elect Barack Obama that DOMA should be repealed. DOMA was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives in May of 1996. Two months later the House passed the law by a vote of 342-67. In September 1996 DOMA passed the Senate with a vote of 85-14. Within two weeks, former President Bill Clinton signed the bill into law.
The first section of DOMA defines marriage for the purpose of federal law as one man and one woman. DOMA reaffirms that each state’s decision on marriage is protected: “No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory, possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship.”
There are 30 states which have passed marriage amendments protecting marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Many more states have passed laws that expressly reaffirm marriage as one man and one woman.?
(Printed courtesy of Liberty Counsel.)
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