Steny Hoyer: Same-Sex Couples Are Endowed ‘By God’ With Right to Marry

By Staff | April 24, 2015 | 3:25pm EDT

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer speaking on the House floor on April 23, 2015. (Screenshot)

( - Citing the Declaration of Independence, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) argued on the House floor yesterday that same-sex couples are endowed by “their Creator—by God” with a right to marry.

“Our Declaration of Independence, as all of us quote so often, says: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men’—of course, if Jefferson were writing today, it would be either all people or all humankind—‘are created equal, that they are endowed by’—not a Congress, not by a Constitution, not by a will of the majority—‘their Creator’—by God—‘with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’

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“That, of course, has not always been America’s performance, notwithstanding it has been its promise,” said Hoyer. “Next week, the highest Court in our land will be asked to consider whether these words apply to same-sex couples who love one another. Many courts have already said that it does.”

“Born equal, endowed by God with certain unalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Is there a happier time in one’s life than when one pledges themselves to another?” said Hoyer, later in his speech. "We all gather, we all celebrate, we all wish them well. LGBT Americans now have the right to marry and have their families treated equally in 37 States and the District of Columbia. In the remaining States, however, LGBT residents are watching the Supreme Court with great anticipation.”

“We need to bring those words of the Declaration of Independence closer to their full realization, Mr. Speaker. Hopefully, the Court will do that,” said Hoyer.

The entirety of Hoyer’s speech can be read in the April 23, 2015 edition of the Congressional Record, which can be found by clicking here.

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