Frist Rallies Support For Constitutional Gay Marriage Ban

Mon. June 30, 2003 12:00 AM by

Washington, D.C. - Senate Majority leader Bill Frist (R-Tennessee) Sunday called for both houses of Congress to support a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Frist told ABC's This Week that he will support a House bill that would begin the process of amending the Constitution to prevent gays and lesbians from marrying and bar states from recognizing marriages performed in other countries.

Frist called last week's Supreme Court decision ( story) striking down the Texas sodomy law a line in the sand, saying the ruling threatens to make the American home a place where criminality is condoned. The Leader said that while he respects the Supreme Court decision he feels the justices overstepped their bounds.

He also said he feared that the ruling could open other areas of LGBT civil rights including marriage.

The bill to amend the Constitution to prevent gay marriage was introduced the day before the Supreme court ruling came down.

It was referred to the House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution on Wednesday, the day before the high court ruled.

As drafted, the proposal says:

"Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any state under state or federal law shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups."

Frist said he would support the legislation in the Senate.

"I very much feel that marriage is a sacrament, and that sacrament should extend and can extend to that legal entity of a union between what is traditionally in our Western values has been defined as between a man and a woman. So I would support the amendment."

Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania) is echoing Frist's call to action. Santorum, who angered gays by comparing homosexuality to incest and bestiality earlier this year ( story) called the Supreme Court ruling a mistake "that will haunt this nation in years to come."
“We have now laid the framework for rewriting marriage statutes across the country,” Santorum said.

To amend the Constitution, the proposal must be approved by two-thirds of the House and the Senate and ratified by three-fourths of the states.

by Paul Johnson Newscenter
Washington Bureau Chief
©® 2003

This article originally appeared on Republished with permission.