Zach Wamp: The Rest Of The Story

Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - by Zach Wamp

While serving the Third District in Congress for 16 years was one of the greatest privileges of my life, I have tried to “mind my own business” and stay out of the way since I left Washington and returned to the private sector. But sometimes issues come up that I voted on and the savvy young reporters call wanting perspective. This happened two weeks ago when the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, which I voted for in 1996, defining marriage on a federal level as only between a man and a woman.   A recent headline in a Chattanooga publication was somewhat misleading by implying that I had changed my position on the issue of so called “same-sex marriage.” Therefore, I submit what Paul Harvey used to call “the rest of the story.” 

 When asked if I would vote against DOMA today, I responded that if I were in the Tennessee Legislature today I would certainly, again, vote to define marriage as only between a man and a woman because that is the forum in which this issue should now be decided.  Regardless of DOMA, and as we all know, many states have held referenda and decided this issue for themselves since 1996.  Two weeks ago, the Supreme Court reaffirmed that the state level, and not the federal, is the proper venue for same-sex marriage issues to be decided. Furthermore, I went on to point out that defenders of traditional marriage could be pleased with this ruling by the Supreme Court because in opining that this issue should be decided at the state and not the federal level, the Court effectively foreclosed on the possibility that either it, or Congress, would in the future federalize same-sex marriage. This protects our right to define marriage as we wish here in Tennessee. While supporters of same-sex marriage may view this recent ruling as monumental, realistically it will have little effect on same-sex marriage laws. Undoubtedly, some states will continue to recognize same-sex marriages while others, like Tennessee, will not.  

The article correctly states that my view of this and other social issues is based on my Biblical worldview of the definition of what a marriage should be. However, as a matter of public policy, the people of the United States should insist more and more on the “rights of the respective states” to determine certain policies for their own citizens under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution. One thing we can all agree on is that the federal government is out of control, too onerous, too powerful and must be reined in. We do not need so many “one size fits all” laws of the land. One of the major reasons I left Congress to run for governor is because now more than ever, it is important for states to reclaim their autonomy under the Constitution – for states to take a stand against the steamrolling agenda of the federal government. Both parties, on the national level, have let us down by allowing the extremes to dominate the major policies of the day. What we need is a more libertarian view of the role of government in each of our lives and respect for the states to establish policies and solutions for their people. 

Zach Wamp
Member of Congress 1995-2011


Remembering Mitch Beard On Memorial Day

A little over two years ago, my friend Mitchell "Mitch" Beard passed away from injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident at 24 years old. This was not as it should be. Mitch had made it through war. He was a combat-decorated United States Marine who served in Afghanistan. I first met Mitch when I was a college student at Tennessee Temple in 2004. Mitch’s parents, Steve ... (click for more)

Trump's Messaging

I have been an ardent supporter of Trump since he first entered the race.  O'Reilly's special with him last evening, which I saw very early this morning, has turned me around and left me on empty.  Thanks to Bill, he finally was successful in goading Trump to explain what he plans to do specifically to put his expressed commitments to the people in place if he is elected. ... (click for more)

Large Hole Develops In Lane Of I-24 Eastbound Over Chestnut Street; Emergency Repair Undertaken

A large hole developed in the I-24 eastbound bridge over Chestnut Street in Chattanooga on Sunday evening. Jennifer Flynn of TDOT said, "The hole is such that we are having to close a lane to protect traffic.  This will cause a significant backup in traffic, especially given the holiday.  "This is the same bridge, but different location that we recently did an emergency ... (click for more)

12 Lost Hikers Rescued At Rainbow Lake, Edwards Point

Eleven adults and a child were briefly lost at Rainbow Lake and Edwards Point trails on Signal Mountain on Sunday. A 911 call was made at 9:45 p.m. from one of the hikers reporting the group lost sunlight hiking out of the trails at Edwards Point. Th Signal Mountain Fire Department and the Walden's Ridge Emergency Services have responded to the scene to ... (click for more)

Seth Ruhling Wins Chattanooga Chase 8K And One Mile

It has been six years since Seth Ruhling ran the Chattanooga Chase and maybe he had forgotten just how tough that 8K course really is, but that’s didn’t seem to matter Monday morning as he celebrated Memorial Day with victory in the Chattanooga Track Club’s oldest race. Ruhling graduated from Collegedale Academy in 2013 and is now a 21-year-old student at Southern Adventist ... (click for more)

Tennessee-Georgia All-Star Football Classic Set For Saturday at CCS

The 13th Annual Tennessee-Georgia All-Star Football Classic, presented by Great Clips, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday June 4 at Chattanooga Christian School in Chattanooga. Tennessee defeated Georgia 38-14 last June at McCallie School in Chattanooga. It was Tennessee's fourth consecutive victory in the series that dates back to the first game held at Ridgeland High in ... (click for more)