Congressman Sanford Bishop

Representing the 2nd District of Georgia

Congressman Bishop Supports Constitutional Amendment but Opposes “Phony Bill”

Jul 1, 2004
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.  Congressman Sanford Bishop today reiterated his support for a Federal Constitutional Amendment limiting the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman. He also voted against the misnamed “Marriage Protection Act of 2004” (H.R. 3313), legislation which would strip the authority of Federal courts to rule on cases related to the Defense of Marriage Act passed in 1996.

“I stand ready to vote in favor of a Constitutional Amendment protecting the institution of marriage.  My constituents have overwhelmingly expressed their support for such a measure and the Constitution provides the legislative branch with authority to amend the U.S. constitution with the support of the American people.

“However I can not in good conscience vote for a bill that violates the U.S. Constitution and slams the checks and balances which define our system of government. This bill is not only unconstitutional it is not the most effective way to protect the institution of marriage. Only a Constitutional Amendment would create a national standard that could not be challenged in court,” said Congressman Bishop.

Congressman Bishop voted for the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, a law which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages and allows individual states to refuse to recognize such marriages performed in other states.

H.R. 3313 passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 233 to 194.