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Stutzman Signs On in Defense of Marriage

This is a press release from the office of Marlin Stutzman:

Washington, D.C. –  Congressman Marlin Stutzman (IN-03) has signed on to cosponsor two bills to protect marriage and the traditional role it serves.  H. R. 875, the Marriage Protections Act of 2011, as introduced by Congressman Dan Burton of Indiana, states that courts created by Congress will not have jurisdiction on cases under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  This would leave same-sex marriage to be determined by the states and not the courts.  H. J. Res. 45 as introduced by Congressman Paul Broun of Georgia will propose an amendment to the United States Constitution to define marriage as a union of a man and a woman.

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is bipartisan legislation passed in 1996 by Congress and signed by President Clinton to set basic guidelines for the interactions of states in dealing with same-sex marriage.  DOMA‘s defense in court is the jurisdiction of the Attorney General of the United States. For the last 15 years Attorneys General from both parties have upheld their duties and represented the Federal Government on DOMA as they have on other issues.  Now, Attorney General Eric Holder is picking and choosing which laws he will represent.

“The Judiciary Act of 1789 created the office of Attorney General for the purpose of prosecuting and defending federal laws in court.” Stutzman stated “Attorney General Eric Holder has not met this fundamental obligation. He has let the American people down by refusing to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, contrary to his own job description.  The Justice Department is wrongly exercising its prosecutorial discretion. In effect, it is circumventing the process. Those who want to redefine marriage are free to introduce that legislation. Instead of working in the system, Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department are taking the coward’s way out.”
Congressman Stutzman represents the 3rd Congressional District of Indiana and serves on the House Committee on Agriculture, the House Committee on the Budget and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity.  Indiana’s 3rd District contains all of DeKalb, Kosciusko, Lagrange, Noble, Steuben, and Whitley counties; as well as parts of Allen and Elkhart counties.

Poverty Explodes, Root Cause Is the Collapse of Marriage

From The Heritage Foundation:

New data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau show the largest increase in poverty in U.S. recorded history. Under President Obama’s watch, an additional 3.7 million Americans fell into poverty in 2009.

Buried in the Census report are startling figures revealing the principal cause of child poverty: the collapse of marriage. Single mother families are almost five times more likely to be poor than are married couples with children; overall, nearly 70 percent of poor families with children are headed by single parents.

The big secret in the Census report is that marriage is America’s number-one weapon against child poverty. But marriage has been rapidly declining in our society as the number of women who have children without being married has skyrocketed.

Historically, unwed childbearing was rare. In 1964, when the federal government launched its War on Poverty, 6.8 percent of births were to single mothers. Today, the unwed birth rate has soared to 40 percent: four of every 10 births are to a single mother. For Hispanics and African Americans, it’s significantly higher.

This trend is extremely detrimental for society. When compared to children raised by married parents, children raised by single parents are more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems; be physically abused; smoke, drink, and use drugs; be aggressive; engage in violent delinquent and criminal behavior; have poor school performance; and drop out of school.

Read the rest at The Heritage Foundation.

Federal Judge Strikes Down Defense of Marriage Act

From The Heritage Foundation:

In 1996, by a vote of 342–67 in the House and 85–14 in the Senate, the United States Congress enacted the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and President Clinton signed it into law. Section 3 of DOMA defines marriage as the union of husband and wife for purposes of federal law.

Yesterday, a single federal judge in Massachusetts ruled that Section 3 of DOMA violates the U.S. Constitution. The judge concluded that there is no “rational basis” to support DOMA and that DOMA could only have been motivated by “irrational prejudice” and “animus.”

In 1996 Congress stated that protecting marriage as the union of husband and wife would advance the public interest in “responsible procreation and childbearing.” Previously the U.S. Supreme Court has stated that marriage is “fundamental to our very existence and survival” and has “more to do with the morals and civilization of a people than any other institution.”

Yesterday, the federal judge in Massachusetts concluded that the public interest in procreation and childrearing does not provide a rational basis for upholding DOMA. The judge also declared that, under the U.S. Constitution, “defending traditional notions of morality” is not a permissible basis for supporting DOMA.

In a related opinion, the judge also ruled that, by enacting and enforcing DOMA, the federal government “plainly encroaches upon the firmly entrenched province of the state, and, in doing so, offends the Tenth Amendment [to the U.S. Constitution].” Although the Tenth Amendment certainly does reinforce the limits on national authority in the Constitution, even influential liberal law professors, such as Jack Balkin, have expressed concern with this argument as applied to a federal statute like DOMA.

President Obama’s Justice Department should promptly appeal this decision with appropriate vigor. More than just the distribution of federal benefits is at stake in this litigation. In 2003 the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court redefined marriage in the Bay State because, it said, the traditional definition was “rooted in persistent prejudices” and supported by “no rational reason.” As The Heritage Foundation said at the time, such rulings alter marriage’s “core meaning, for to redefine marriage so that it is not intrinsically related to the relationship between fathers, mothers, and children would sever the institution from its nature and purpose.”

It is imperative for the American people, at every level of government and in every way necessary, to redouble their efforts in defense of the institution of marriage.

God Bless America

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