Conservatives, Pro-Family Groups Call For End to Judicial Activism

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:21 PM EDT

( - Pro-family groups are joining Republican senators in calling for an end to judicial activism that they say led to Massachusetts' same-sex marriage ruling.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) is holding a hearing Wednesday on judicial activism and its impact on the issue same-sex "marriage" in the U.S.

The hearing comes on the same day that a commissioner in Multnomah County, Ore., and the mayor of Nyack, N.Y., have announced plans to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

"Over the past few months we have seen how four unelected judges in Massachusetts and a court paralyzed by political agendas in California have thrown the state of marriage and family in America into uncertainty," said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins in a statement.

"We cannot allow a few unaccountable judges to redefine marriage for the rest of our nation," he said. "Recent polls suggest that an increasing number of Americans oppose same-sex 'marriage' and almost 60% now support the passage of a federal marriage amendment.

"This clear will of the people, however, is falling on deaf ears as the legislative and executive branches of our government are being steamrolled by an out-of-control judiciary," Perkins added.

At a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing, Cornyn said a ban on same-sex "marriage" would not be discriminatory.

"Millions of Americans who support the traditional institution of marriage should not be slandered as intolerant," said Cornyn. "The institution of marriage was not created to discriminate or oppress, it was established to protect and nurture children."

"We simply will not let activist judges redefine that definition of marriage," Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) said to marriage amendment supporters Wednesday. "We will not let activist judges redefine - I would say radically redefine - what marriage is, and that is a union between a man and a woman."

Frist urged Congress not to wait until states make a final decision on the issue of same-sex marriages before approving a federal marriage amendment.

"The wildfire will begin and in many ways it already has begun," he said. "Same sex marriage is likely to spread through all 50 states in the coming years. It is becoming increasingly clear that Congress must act."

The Traditional Values Coalition commended Cornyn for his support of a marriage amendment.

"Senator Cornyn's hearing is an important part of the national debate on the dangers of out-of-control judges in imposing their own political agendas on the American people," said TVC Chairman Rev. Louis P. Sheldon.

"This debate must focus not only on judicial tyranny but upon the right of Americans to determine if they wish to legalize same-sex marriages. This decision must be in the hands of the people-not judges," he said.

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