Thursday, May 18, 2006

Americans United Deplores Senate Committee's Closed-Door Vote For Federal Marriage Amendment

WASHINGTON - May 18 - Today’s Senate Judiciary Committee vote for a federal marriage amendment is deplorable, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

S. J. Res. 1, the so-called “Marriage Protection Act,” passed the committee on a party-line vote of 10-8. The action took place behind closed doors in a room off the Senate floor.

“This is an outrage,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. “It’s bad enough that the Senate is trying to wed church and state in unholy matrimony, but it’s even worse that they did it behind closed doors.”

Americans United has urged the Senate to reject the constitutional amendment, charging that it enshrines the marriage rituals of the country’s majority faiths in the Constitution and undercuts separation of church and state.

“Senate leaders clearly are bowing to the demands of the Religious Right,” said Lynn. “This is election-year grandstanding for the benefit of Pat Robertson, James Dobson and other disgruntled Religious Right leaders.”

The marriage amendment, which mandates that marriage in America “shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman,” now moves to the Senate floor where a vote is expected the week of June 5.

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.


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