Marriage

  • I support and have consistently supported passage of a federal constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
  • As Governor of Arkansas, I led the successful effort to pass a similar state constitutional amendment in 2002.
  • As Governor of Arkansas, I led the successful effort to make our state only the third to adopt "covenant" marriage.
  • Our true strength comes from our families.

I support and have always supported passage of a federal constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. As President, I will fight for passage of this amendment. My personal belief is that marriage is between one man and one woman, for life.

No other candidate has supported traditional marriage more consistently and steadfastly than I have. While Massachusetts was allowing homosexuals to marry, I got a constitutional amendment passed in Arkansas in 2002 defining marriage as between one man and one woman. I got Arkansas to become only the third state to adopt "covenant" marriage. My wife Janet and I upgraded our vows on Valentine's Day, 2005. Today, many churches in Arkansas will perform only covenant marriages, so I'm hoping we'll see a decline in our divorce rates.

The late Cardinal O'Connor decried a domestic partnership law (which provided that all couples who signed up, whether heterosexual or homosexual, would be treated the same as married couples) as legislating that "marriage doesn't matter." I agree with the Cardinal that marriage does matter, I would add that nothing in our society matters more. Our true strength doesn't come from our military or our gross national product, it comes from our families. What's the point of keeping the terrorists at bay in the Middle East if we can't keep decline and decadence at bay here at home? The growing number of children born out of wedlock and the rise in no-fault divorce have been a disaster for our society. They have pushed many women and children into poverty and onto the welfare, food stamp, and Medicaid rolls. These children are more likely to drop out of school and end up in low-paying, dead-end jobs, they are more likely to get involved with drugs and crime, they are more likely to have children out of wedlock or get divorced themselves someday, continuing the unhappy cycle.

My wife Janet and I celebrate our thirty-third wedding anniversary this spring. For us, every anniversary is a miracle. When we were both twenty and married just over a year, when I was in my last semester of college, Janet was diagnosed with cancer of the spine. I can't tell you what a stunning blow it was - two kids just starting out, you don't think something like that can happen when you're so young. Yet there we were, staring death in the face. At first, they told us that even if she lived, she might be paralyzed from the waist down, so I'd be a young man with an invalid wife. After I learned she wouldn't be paralyzed, I was told that because of the radiation she had to receive following surgery, we'd probably never have children. I wanted children very much, I couldn't imagine never being a father. During that time, a lot of things went through my mind. But one thing never did - the thought of leaving her. If Janet were in a wheelchair today, if we'd never had children, I can tell you this - she would still be my wife.