Press Release Marriage and government ‘by the people’ at stake in Marriage Protection Amendment By Staff Jun 5, 2006 NASHVILLE, Tenn., June 5, 2006—Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, commented today about President’s Bush’s support of the Marriage Protection Amendment, following the president’s speech at the White House.“The president of the United States has once again illustrated by his Saturday radio address and today’s speech that he understands what’s at stake in the Marriage Protection Amendment debate: two absolutely critical elements of our society,” said Land.“The first is the definition of marriage. Marriage is the basic building block of human society. If we allow the federal judiciary to redefine it, it will shatter the definition beyond recognition and it will have disastrous effects on marriage, on children and on society. Our forefathers reserved for the American people, not American judges, the right to determine social policy for the nation. And when the judges get it wrong, our forefathers gave us a method to give the judges further instruction on how we would be governed. It’s called a constitutional amendment.“The second issue the president clearly understands is that not only marriage, but also ‘government of the people, by the people’ and ‘for the people’ is at stake here. The American people in significant majorities have made it amply clear they do not want same-sex marriage. Yet, judiciaries at the state and federal level are trying to force upon the American people something they find abhorrent.“Are we going to continue to have ‘government of the people, by the people’ and ‘for the people,’ or government of the judges, by the judges and for the judges? The president believes it ought to be the people.”The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest non-Catholic denomination with more than 16.3 million members in over 43,500 churches nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC's ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C.