#Scotus Justice Elena Kagan drew gasps in #DOMA arguments Wednesday, when she quoted from the House report that voiced "moral disapproval" of homosexuality. The visceral reaction in the courtroom to what now sounds like an archaic phrase suggested how public sentiment may have changed.
So imagine how the Supreme Court audience would have reacted to a recitation from the July 11-12, 1996 House of Representatives debate on the Defense of Marriage Act. Here, from the Congressional Record transcript, are a few highlights that indicate the flavor of the bill's supporters:
Henry Hyde, R-Ill.: The homosexual movement has been very successful in intimidating the psychiatric profession. Now people who object to sodomy, to two men penetrating each other are homophobic. They have the phobia, not the people doing this act. That is a magnificent accomplishment for public relations.
Bob Barr, R-Ga.: We have a basic institution, an institution basic not only to this country's foundation and to its survival but to every Western civilization, under direct assault by homosexual extremists all across this country, If we were to succumb to the homosexual extremist agenda on the other side, and this is part of a plan, then we would be the first country to do so. ,,,The very foundations of our society are in danger of being burned. The flames of hedonism, the flames of narcissism, the flames of self-centered morality are licking at the very foundations of our society: the family unit.
Steve Largent, R-Okla. First, we need to step back from trees and look at the forest and try to take a long view of our culture, and we can look at history and show that no culture that has ever embraced homosexuality has ever survived.
Charles Canady, R-Fla.: I believe that the traditional family structure--centered on a lawful union between one man and one woman--comports with nature and with our Judeo-Christian moral tradition. It is one of the essential foundations on which our civilization is based....Our law should embody an unequivocal recognition of that fundamental fact. Our law should not treat homosexual relationships as the moral equivalent of the heterosexual relationships on which the family is based. That is why we are here today.
Tom Coburn, R-Okla.: I come from a district in Oklahoma who has very profound beliefs that homosexuality is wrong. I represent that district. They base that belief on what they believe God says about homosexuality. It is what they believe God says about it. What they believe is, is that homosexuality is immoral, that it is based on perversion, that it is based on lust. We hear about diversity, but we do not hear about perversity, and I think that we should not be afraid to talk about the very issues that are at the core of this. This is a great debate that we are going to have in our country, and it is not going to end with the debate on this bill. The fact is, no society that has lived through the transition to homosexuality and the perversion which it lives and what it brought forth.
John Ensign, R-Nev.: During a time when the traditional two parent family is becoming the exception, I believe it is important to reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that moms and dads are encouraged and strengthened in the task or raising their children.
Steve Buyer, R-Ind. Permit me to be theological and philosophical, for a moment. I believe that as a people, as a people, as a God-fearing people, at times, that there are what are viewed, what I believe are called depraved judgments by people in our society. ...e as legislators and leaders for the country are in the midst of a chaos, an attack upon God's principles.
David Funderburk, R-N.C.: If homosexuals achieve the power to pretend that their unions are marriages, then people of conscience will be told to ignore their God-given beliefs and support what they regard as immoral and destructive....As the Family Research Council points out: Homosexuality has been discouraged in all cultures because it is inherently wrong and harmful to individuals, families, and societies. The only reason it has been able to gain such prominence in America today is the near blackout on information about homosexual behavior itself