February 03, 2005

Crapo: Statesâ?? Rights Behind Marriage Vote

Senator says courts would overturn existing marriage laws

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo voted in favor of a cloture motion to allow a vote on Senate Joint Resolution 40, saying a Constitutional Amendment may be the only way to uphold statesâ?? rights in determining marriage laws from state to state. Crapo had resisted efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution over the marriage issue, but said he became convinced states will be forced into accepting guidelines from the courts without a constitutional amendment giving states the right to make their own marriage law decisions. The cloture effort failed by a vote of 48-50. â??I had been of the opinion that the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibits federal recognition of same gender marriages and grants to each state the power to refuse recognition of such unions performed elsewhere, would be sustained from court challenges. However, it has become evident to me over the past few months that activist courts are likely to overrule DOMA, thereby making it necessary for Congress to propose a federal constitutional amendment that unambiguously defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman,â?? Crapo said. â??While amending the Constitution should be done only when absolutely necessary, I agreed to become a co-sponsor of S.J.Res. 40 because the sanctity of marriage has become threatened by these recent court decisions and action must be taken to preserve marriage as the institution we know it to be today,â?? he added. â??It is important to note that while this amendment defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman, it has been modified from previous proposals to take statesâ?? rights into consideration. Under its provisions, each state can make its own decision about authorizing civil unions between persons of the same sex,â?? Crapo concluded. Crapo said he has heard from thousands of Idahoans about this issue and they have been bitterly divided about it, although an overwhelming majority is in favor of the amendment. Crapoâ??s comments on the proposed marriage amendment are available via satellite:1:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Mountain Time / 12:45 p.m. Pacific Galaxy 3 (C-Band)Transponder 7 HorizontalDownlink 3840Standard Audio # # #FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at .