“This election is going to determine whether or not the very moral fabric of our country will be upheld or whether it will be torn apart,” Cantor told the audience at the Values Voters Summit, which is sponsored by two anti-gay hate groups, the Family Research Council and the American Family Association.
“Now, in talking about moral fabric, in talking about who we are as a people, I can’t do it any better than my fellow Virginian Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson wrote that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
“Now, pursuit of happiness,” Cantor continued. “We all know, as do most Americans in their hearts know, that the way for us to allow the pursuit of happiness is through individual effort. It is not through government program. And that is why we believe in traditional marriage, because marriage, more than any government program ever has or ever will, has lifted up people out of poverty, even those who felt there was no hope. Marriage has proven to be that formula which has been more successful at allowing for that pursuit of happiness. And that is why we stand tall and stand proud for traditional marriage.”
Greg Noth at Think Progress analyzed Cantor’s speech and offered this:
For starters, as the Economic Policy Institute noted, when it comes to poverty, “the problem is a jobs and employment problem, not a marriage problem, as some commentators have suggested.” But this particular line of reasoning is interesting coming from Cantor, who has such a well-documented history of standing against same-sex marriage, despite its economic benefits.
When Washington state legalized same-sex marriage, conservative estimates of its potential economic effect were that it would add $88 million to the state and local economies in just three years and an additional $8 million in tax revenue. Even more impressive, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg announced in July 2012 that same-sex marriage generated $259 million for the NYC economy in just one year.
Despite undeniable economic benefits, Cantor consistently acts against same-sex marriage, votingin favor of amending the Constitution to ban same-sex marriage and also to define marriage as an institution between one man and one woman. The Human Rights Council gives him a 0 percent rating on support for gay rights.
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