House leaders highlight importance of life, marriage at summit

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 nation’s capital on Oct. 7.

“Respect for life has never been a political issue for me,” 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 “disappointment” over the Justice Department’s refusal to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act.

“As the Speaker of the House, I have a constitutional responsibility,” 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 “to once and for all eliminate government funding to any and all organizations that perform abortions.”

“During the debate over Obamacare, the president promised that no taxpayer dollars would be used to pay for abortions under the bill,” he said. “Unfortunately, this is not the way things played out.”

“Next week, we’ll stand up again,” Rep. Cantor said. “We 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.”

Rep. Cantor also called on the nation’s leaders to “stand up and unite” to defend principles of religious freedom in the face of the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.

“As we sit here today, Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani is literally fighting for his life in Iran, simply for refusing to denounce his Christianity,” he said.

“For us in America, it is unthinkable that someone should be put to death because of their faith.”

Rep. Cantor called on America “to stand up and lead for the pastor Yousefs of the world.”

He urged them to fight “against the assault that we’re witnessing on the very values we cherish here at home.”

Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) also spoke at the summit, emphasizing the need to support strong marriages in America.

Rep. King, who helped author Iowa’s Defense of Marriage Act, called marriage “a sacred relationship.”

“It’s established by God,” he said.

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“All of our human experience points to marriage as being the essential foundation stone to civilization,” said the congressman.

“We pour through marriage all of our values.”

Rep. King promised to continue the fight for marriage, which he described as being “under assault today.”

The congressman also reaffirmed his commitment to protecting the “great gift of life,” which he called the “highest priority” outlined by the Declaration of Independence.

 “We can do all things to expand our liberty, provided we don’t trample on life,” he said.

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