June 18, 2004
WASHINGTON, JUNE 18, 2004-The Heritage Foundation today released the following statement by former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III, chairman of Heritage's Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, on the announcement that the U.S. Senate plans to take up the Federal Marriage Amendment in July:
"We welcome the announcement that the U.S. Senate plans to debate and act on a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would uphold the institution of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. We urge the Senate to act quickly and decisively to take the issue away from activist judges and put it before the court of public opinion.
"We place our trust where America's founders placed theirs - in the good sense and the good will of the American people. The people and their representatives in the nation's state legislatures, should be the "court" of first resort in this matter - not activist judges who somehow find "no rational reason" to preserve marriage in its traditional form, then attempt to impose their quite personal views on the nation.
"After thousands of years, the benefits of traditional marriage should be obvious. Families are the bulwark of society. Men and women in marriage are healthier, wealthier, more secure and happier by every measure. The benefits to children of growing up with a married mother and father in the home are manifold and well documented.
"Marriage is the means by which families are created and society extends itself into the future. The benefits of traditional marriage extend back to the dawn of history and hold the promise - based on the factors listed above - of the brightest possible future. Conversely, the notion of alternative forms of marriage and family structure has a history of destroying the societies that embraced them and a future we should make every effort to avoid."
NOTE: For more information go to heritage.org/research/family/issues2004.cfm.