.- Prominent members of the U.S. House of Representatives spoke about the importance of defending life, marriage and religious freedom at a summit in the nationâs capital on Oct. 7.
âRespect for life has never been a political issue for me,â said Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio).
He explained that he has 11 siblings and was raised in a household that valued life.
Speaker Boehner was one of several members of Congress who spoke at the Values Voter Summit at the Omni Shoreham hotel in Washington, D.C.
The speaker also expressed his âdisappointmentâ over the Justice Departmentâs refusal to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act.
âAs the Speaker of the House, I have a constitutional responsibility,â Speaker Boehner said. He explained that he would work to uphold the act, which was passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) called for a renewed effort âto once and for all eliminate government funding to any and all organizations that perform abortions.â
âDuring the debate over Obamacare, the president promised that no taxpayer dollars would be used to pay for abortions under the bill,â he said. âUnfortunately, this is not the way things played out.â
âNext week, weâll stand up again,â Rep. Cantor said. âWe will bring to the floor a bill to ensure that no taxpayer dollars flow to health care plans that cover abortion and no health care worker has to participate in abortions against their will.â
Rep. Cantor also called on the nationâs leaders to âstand up and uniteâ to defend principles of religious freedom in the face of the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.
âAs we sit here today, Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani is literally fighting for his life in Iran, simply for refusing to denounce his Christianity,â he said.
âFor us in America, it is unthinkable that someone should be put to death because of their faith.â
Rep. Cantor called on America âto stand up and lead for the pastor Yousefs of the world.â
He urged them to fight âagainst the assault that weâre witnessing on the very values we cherish here at home.â
Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) also spoke at the summit, emphasizing the need to support strong marriages in America.
Rep. King, who helped author Iowaâs Defense of Marriage Act, called marriage âa sacred relationship.â
âItâs established by God,â he said.
âAll of our human experience points to marriage as being the essential foundation stone to civilization,â said the congressman.
âWe pour through marriage all of our values.â
Rep. King promised to continue the fight for marriage, which he described as being âunder assault today.â
The congressman also reaffirmed his commitment to protecting the âgreat gift of life,â which he called the âhighest priorityâ outlined by the Declaration of Independence.
âWe can do all things to expand our liberty, provided we donât trample on life,â he said.