The “Respect for Marriage Act,” S. 598, was introduced in March by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.). On the same day, exactly the same bill was introduced as H.R. 1116 by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) in the House. By mid-July S. 598 had already received a hearing in the Senate Judiciary committee, and seems to be moving smoothly toward a vote in the full Senate. But does the bill really promote “respect” for marriage in the traditional sense, or is it an attempt to overcompensate homosexual couples, subsidizing their same-sex unions courtesy of taxpayers? Will there be any other hidden or not-so-obvious legal ramifications for individual states?
The tactics that will be used to advance the arguments for overturning the 15-year-old Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) signed by Pres. Bill Clinton, besides forceful vulgarity, mockery of Christian marriage, and the usual refrain of “hatred, fear and intolerance” by the homosexual community, were apparent at the committee hearing. Proponents are now likening the gay marriage movement to the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a well-known supporter of homosexual behavior, went so far as to say that DOMA was a stain on democracy. Lewis has been pushing his civil rights/gay rights connection for many years.
In contrast, here is Ron Paul's (R-Texas) stand on the Defense of Marriage Act and attempts to redefine marriage:
If I were in Congress in 1996, I would have voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, which used Congress's constitutional authority to define what official state documents other states have to recognize under the Full Faith and Credit Clause, to ensure that no state would be forced to recognize a “same sex” marriage license issued in another state. This Congress, I was an original cosponsor of the Marriage Protection Act, HR 3313, that removes challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act from federal courts' jurisdiction. If I were a member of the Texas legislature, I would do all I could to oppose any attempt by rogue judges to impose a new definition of marriage on the people of my state.
Peter Sprigg at the Family Research Council believes that Feinstein's S. 598 bill could actually force those states that haven’t yet legally recognized same-sex marriages to do so. “Without the federal Defense of Marriage Act, the radical redefinition of marriage in a handful of states could be forced upon all the other states.” DOMA provides protection to such states and ensures that one state could not impose its same-sex marriage approval on any other state. But Section 2 of S. 598 would strike down DOMA and that protection..
Senate Bill 598 would not only validate same-sex marriage and require taxpayers in states that support only traditional marriage laws to subsidize federal benefits for same-sex unions, but it would pave the way for polygamous and polyamorous unions, says Edward Whelan, a lawyer who directs a constitutional program for the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Whelan testified at the hearing on S. 598 that, “If the male-female nature of traditional marriage can be dismissed as an artifact and its inherent link to procreation denied, then surely the distinction between a marriage of two persons and a marriage of three or more is all the more arbitrary and irrational,” which he says would cause serious legal complexities.
The support for S. 598 and H.R. 1116 can be quietly and effectively countered, if only the majority of citizens would have the courage to stand up to the noisemakers. The numbers indicate most Americans value and honor traditional marriage, procreation, and wholesome lifestyles. Currently 44 states define marriage as the union of a man and a woman; 29 of those states have seen fit at some time or another to have that definition of marriage placed in their state constitutions. Contact your Senators and Representative and insist they support traditional marriage, and not undermine it with S. 598 and H.R. 1116.