Proposed Law Would Strip Words ‘Husband’ and ‘Wife’ from Federal Code

By Penny Starr | July 17, 2015 | 11:41 AM EDT

(AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – Last week, Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) introduced a bill that would remove the words “husband” and “wife” from the language used in federal law – a move that had drawn ire from faith leaders and family advocacy groups that see this legislation as expected fallout from the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in June that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.

“It is as if a collective madness has settled over our nation's elite and they are trying hard to bring everyone under the same cloud of confusion,” Bishop E.W. Jackson, president of STAND (Staying True to America’s National Destiny), told CNSNews.com. “They can change 1,000 laws and 10,000 dictionaries.

“Marriage was, is and always will be only a union between one man and one woman,” Jackson said. “If the emperor has no clothes, it matters not that the whole world compliments him on his outfit.

“Perceptions change, but reality remains the same,” he added. “I will oppose any effort to sanitize our legal system of the words husband and wife.”

“Redefining the terminology in marriage now of ‘husband and wife’ proves that the gay lobby is only out to completely destroy marriage between one (naturally born) man and one (naturally born) woman,” Sam Rohrer, president of the American Pastors Network, told CNSNews.com. “If everything that marriage represents is eliminated, including the language, why did they not just settle for civil unions? 

“Instead, they pushed for marriage redefinition and will continue to push until marriage as we once knew it is completely unrecognizable,” Rohrer said. “There is nothing equal between a man and a woman getting married, and two homosexual men or two lesbian women getting married. 

“Nothing they ever do will ever make that so. Therefore, they want to entirely destroy it,” Rohrer said.

“It's unnecessary for Congress to vote to endorse the court's ruling when many members believe the court engaged in judicial activism, which removed the ability of states and citizens to debate and decide marriage policy,” David Christensen, vice president for government affairs at the Family Research Council told CNSNews.com.

“The real need is for Congress to pass a law to prevent the federal government from discriminating against individuals and entities, those who believe marriage is between one man and woman one,” Christensen said.

“While court-created same-sex marriage is the new legal definition, charities shouldn't lose government contracts while helping the poor, or non-profits lose their tax-exempt status, which will unfairly punish many who continue to believe in natural marriage,” Christensen said.

Capps wrote on her congressional website about sponsoring the bill – the Amend the Code for Marriage Equality Act of 2015, which was introduced on July 8 and has been referred to committee -- that the legislation was inspired by the SCOTUS 5-4 ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. The bill has 23 co-sponsors.

“The Amend the Code for Marriage Equality Act of 2015 would strike the use of gendered terms such as ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ from the federal code and replace them with more gender-neutral terms, such as ‘spouse’ or ‘married couple,’” Capps’ website states.

“The Amend the Code for Marriage Equality Act recognizes that the words in our laws have meaning and can continue to reflect prejudice and discrimination even when rendered null by our highest courts,” Capps said of her bill. “Our values as a country are reflected in our laws.

“I authored this bill because it is imperative that our federal code reflect the equality of all marriages,” Capps said.

Capps’ website states: “The proposed legislation would not only ensure that the code reflects marriage equality, but it could also make several positive changes to the U.S. Code by removing areas of gender discrimination written into federal law.

“For instance, it is currently illegal to threaten the President’s wife – but not the President’s husband. Capps’ bill would update the code to make it illegal to threaten the President’s spouse. The bill would correct a number of these types of discrepancies in the code,” it added.

“Where will the assault on biblical marriage end?” Rev. Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said in a recent post on his Facebook page. “Now liberal politicians in California want to ban the words ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ from being used in federal law.

“They say these are ‘gendered terms’ that discriminate against homosexuals,” Graham said. “You’re absolutely right they are gendered terms—because marriage was created to be gendered!

“The One who created marriage defined it as between a man and a woman,” Graham said. “They have already succeeded in deleting husband and wife from California law last year, now they want to take it to the national level.

“This is shameful,” Graham said.


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