While some may question the need to address this issue at this particular time, the simple answer is that the institution of marriage continues to be under assault by a coordinated campaign of legal activists. Since 2004 alone, state courts in Washington, New York, California, Maryland, and Oregon have found traditional marriage laws unconstitutional, and a federal judge in Nebraska has struck down a state constitutional amendment.

Numerous other lawsuits have been filed and will continue to be filed across the nation – even as voters take to the polls in support of laws protecting marriage. The question presented to this committee today was simple: Do you believe traditional marriage is important enough that it deserves full legal protection? In my view, the answer to that question is also simple. Yes.

Marriage must be protected by the Constitution, and the American people should be able to choose, not have invalidation of traditional marriage laws forced on them by courts. The amendment we passed will provide that protection. It will define marriage as the union of a man and a woman and protect against judicial activism.