Statement on Marriage Amendment
On the Proposed Constitutional Amendment on Marriage
As Prepared for Delivery from the Floor of the U.S. Senate
June 6, 2006
Mr. President, the Constitution of the United States is an historic guarantee of individual freedom. For over two centuries it has served as a beacon of hope, an example to people around the world who yearn to be free and to live their lives without government interference with their most basic personal decisions. I took an oath when I joined this body to support and defend the Constitution. I am saddened, therefore, to be once again debating an amendment to our Constitution that is so inconsistent with our Nation's history of expanding and protecting freedom.
There are serious issues facing this Congress -- the war in Iraq, health care, high gas prices, relief and recovery after Hurricane Katrina, the economy. These are the issues on which the American people are demanding that Congress act. But instead, we are spending much of this week debating this poorly thought out, divisive, and politically motivated constitutional amendment that everyone knows has no chance of success in the Senate.
The proposed constitutional amendment before the Senate today, S. J. Res. 1, has no better chance of getting a two-thirds majority in the Senate than it did in 2004, another election year. There are no new court decisions that supporters of the amendment can legitimately argue make it any more imperative now than it was then that such an amendment be passed. Yet the Judiciary Committee was ordered to mark up this amendment to fit a schedule announced by the Majority Leader months ago.