Carper Statement on Gay Marriage Amendment

WASHINGTON, DC (July 14, 2004) – Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., issued the following statement on the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, which was rejected today by the U.S. Senate. Carper voted with 50 Democratic and Republican senators to block consideration of the amendment. “Throughout our country’s history, some 11,000 constitutional amendments have been proposed, but only 17 have passed since the Bill of Rights. One hundred and twenty-nine constitutional amendments have been proposed on marriage, but none has come to close passing because we’ve allowed states to control and grant marriage rights. This amendment, however, would usurp that longstanding tradition. When I was governor of Delaware, I signed a law that would define marriage as between a man and a woman. President Clinton also signed a federal law in 1996 that would prohibit states from having to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. As such, I believe we don’t need to amend the Constitution at this time to ensure that Delaware’s law is sustained. After today’s divisive vote on gay marriage, it’s my fervent hope that we turn to issues that can unite the country and the two political parties.”