Platform supporting marriage gets initial GOP approval

Washington D.C., Aug 22, 2012 / 06:03 pm (CNA).- Platform drafters for the Republican Party have approved language asserting a firm commitment to the defense of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

“The institution of marriage is the foundation of civil society,” the draft document states. “Its success as an institution will determine our success as a nation.”

The document says that both experience and studies indicate that marriage has physical, emotional, academic and economic benefits for children.

It reaffirms the party's support for marriage as the union of one man and one woman, while also highlighting that all Americans should be treated with “respect and dignity” regardless of their sexual orientation.

An Aug. 21 statement from the D.C.-based Family Research Council said that president Tony Perkins, a delegate in the subcommittee dealing with family issues, played a role in helping “to reinforce the language on marriage.”

The language will receive a vote at the upcoming Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., and is expected to pass.

The draft document acknowledges marriage as “the institution which, for thousands of years in virtually every civilization, has been entrusted with the rearing of children and the transmission of cultural values.”

It warns of activist judges attempting to exercise power that rightly belong to other branches of government.

Judges in a handful of states have ordered that marriage be redefined to include same-sex couples, but in every state where the question has been put to a vote of the people, marriage as the union of one man and one woman has been upheld.

The approved GOP draft language reiterates the party’s commitment to the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman for federal purposes and affirms the right of states and the federal government not to recognize same-sex relationships from other jurisdictions.

The law, which received bipartisan support in Congress and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996, has come under attack in recent months.

In February 2011, the Obama administration announced that it believed the law was discriminatory and unconstitutional and would therefore stop defending it in court.

Last month, reports indicated that a Democratic drafting committee voted to add a plank endorsing “gay marriage” to the party's national platform.

The GOP draft document also applauds the efforts of states that have adopted constitutional amendments to define marriage as “the union of one man and one woman” and voices support for a similar amendment at the federal level.

While acknowledging the reality of one-parent households in the U.S., it insists that marriage as the union of one man and one woman “must be upheld as the national standard, a goal to stand for, encourage, and promote through laws governing marriage.”

The Republican Party’s platform committee has also drafted a resolution reiterating its opposition to abortion and support for a human life amendment to defend unborn children, while a Democratic committee rejected a request to recognize the pro-life stance of some of its members in its platform.

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