FMA supporters vow to continue fight after defeat in House of Representatives
By Allen Palmeri
October 12, 2004
JEFFERSON CITY – In the second test of support for the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA), the U.S. House of Representatives Sept. 30 voted, 227-186, to back the amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman, falling 63 votes short of the two-thirds (290) needed for passage.
In June, FMA supporters failed to see the issue come to a vote in the U.S. Senate as 52 senators defeated it procedurally. Supporters are vowing to bring the measure back for votes in 2005 and if passed by two-thirds of the House and two-thirds of the Senate, it must then be ratified by three-quarters of the states.
Political observers like Rodney Albert, chairman, Christian Life Commission, Missouri Baptist Convention, and pastor, Hallsville Baptist Church, were not dismayed by the Sept. 30 vote and vowed to keep on fighting.
“If we lose this battle, we’ll lose this culture,” Albert said. “Missouri did a great job getting a state constitutional amendment to protect marriage. It’s not enough. The federal judges’ tyranny looms over us, and without the Federal Marriage Amendment we’re doomed. So we’ve got to keep fighting. We may lose this round, but let’s come at ’em again.
“This has got to be the Roe vs. Wade of our generation. We have got to make this the single issue of whether or not we vote ‘yes’ for a politician’s re-election or vote ‘no.’ No politician will be elected by a Missouri Baptist who is not in favor of protecting marriage.”
U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-St. Louis, was one of six Missouri congressmen to vote in favor of the FMA. He drew an analogy from his days in the Missouri State Capitol as a state representative, from 1988-2000, to illustrate a larger point about the current FMA struggle.
“Back when I started as a legislator, we were told that the Missouri Legislature is pro-life,” Akin said. “We’d go down there and put a pro-life amendment up and it’d fail. We’d go, ‘Huh? Pro-life, huh! Well, how about that?’ And all of those rural legislators would go home and say, ‘I’m pro-life.’
“So we started by trying to push a pro-life vote, and we’d get our fannies handed to us. We wouldn’t win it, but we created a record legislatively of people having to take a stand, and then that’s out there for the public. That allowed people to run campaigns and say, ‘He says he’s pro-life but look at this, boom, boom, boom, this is in the record, this guy voted pro-choice.’ So you start that way, and within a few years we had two-thirds pro-life, and they voted pro-life, too.
“So you start where you are and you just keep working. That’s what we’ve got to do with activist judges.”
The FMA states that “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, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union or a man and a woman.” A total of 44 states have enacted laws that are structured this way in that they protect the definition of biblical marriage.
A Coral Ridge Ministries survey in July indicated 94 percent support for an FMA. The National Morality Poll was answered by more than 24,000.