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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Norm Coleman on the Federal Marriage Amendment

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tue, 6 Jun 2006 11:35:33 -0400
Subject: Re: www_email

Dear Mr. :

Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding the Marriage Protection Amendment (S.J. Res. 1).
I support a constitutional amendment that would constitutionalize the Defense of Marriage Act, ensuring that the citizens of a state, through their legislature, have the right to define marriage as they see fit. Moreover, I believe that state legislatures and citizens, not activist judges, should determine what constitutes a marriage.

I have not, however, agreed to support the Marriage Protection Amendment which was introduced on January 24, 2005, by Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO) and referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary where it was reported favorably by the Constitution Subcommittee on November 9, 2005. This resolution proposes a constitutional amendment holding that only marriages between men and women will be recognized as legal marriages in the United States . In addition, this resolution would prohibit any state or federal laws that seek to confer marital status to unmarried couples or groups.

My two chief concerns about this particular resolution are that the language may to go beyond the issue of defining marriage and interfere with things such as employer-provided health care programs, for example and that it substitutes the judgment that citizens of each state should make through their legislatures.
Though we may agree at times and disagree at times, I value your advice and will keep it in mind when the Senate returns to this topic.

I am humbled to serve as your Senator, and hope you will not hesitate to contact me on any issue of concern to you or your family.

Norm Coleman
United States Senate

So why did he tell the Star Tribune differently?

Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, who favors the amendment, said proponents fear the law might be thrown out by the courts and that the only way to protect marriage is to change the Constitution.

By voting for the amendment, Coleman said, he wants to make sure that "you can't substitute courts' judgments for the judgment of the legislatures."

Developing. . .