WWW Opinion Times

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Marriage Debate Heated on Floor of Congress

The Federal Marriage Amendment debate on the floor of Congress heated up before the vote fell short of the two-thirds majority necessary to pass. According to Micah Clark of the American Family Association of Indiana, Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) took the lead in the debate in support of the amendment. Cong. Barney Frank (D-NY) was furious when Cong. Pence brought relevant facts including charts and graphs with facts about The Netherlands' experiment with "gay marriage."

Here's an excerpt of the account from the AFA, Indiana website:

One of the highlights of the floor debate occurred when Indiana Congressman Mike Pence repeatedly went to the floor of the house to counter arguments made by the opponents of the measure. It was satisfying to watch Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank blow a gasket when Pence returned to the floor with several charts showing how marriage rates declined and out-of-wedlock births skyrocketed in the Netherlands following that country’s dismantling of traditional marriage. Just moments before, Frank had claimed that same-sex marriage had no negative impacts upon that nation. House leader Tom Delay asked Rep. Pence to return to the floor to make several points following Mike’s passionate speech begging his colleagues to consider the importance both mothers and fathers play in the lives of children.

Kudos to Mike Pence for carrying the banner. He was citing information from various sources including The Heritage Foundation which show an alarming trend in Holland since they legalized gay marriage in 1998. To be certain, a change in the legal structure of marriage alone cannot be the cause of family breakdown. It is a lagging indicator of a much deeper problem within the heart of a nation.

This is a critical debate for the future of our country. Healthy marriage is one of the foundations of free, civil society. And the potential for a redefinition of marriage in this country has arisen out of a much broader problem in society. The state of marriage and the social health of our country has suffered under "no-fault" divorce. The rise of single parenthood as a result has brought about many ills upon the country including an increase in out-of-wedlock births, physical abuse, health problems, etc.

Cong. Pence's passionate defense of marriage is welcomed. I hope we hear much more on this subject as the elections fade and the new Congress comes into session.