Judiciary Committee Sends Anti-Marriage Amendment to Senate Floor
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force urges senators to denounce measure as attack on gay America and real family values
WASHINGTON - May 18 -
"It's an election year, so it's time to bring on the anti-marriage amendment — so reads the right-wing playbook." — Eleanor D. Acheson, Director of Public Policy & Government Affairs
The Senate Judiciary Committee today voted along partisan lines to send the Federal Marriage Amendment to the full Senate for consideration. The proposed constitutional amendment restricts marriage to a union between a man and a woman. All 10 Republicans voted for the measure, and all eight Democrats voted against it. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has committed to bring the measure up for a full Senate vote in early June. In 2004, efforts in the Senate to reach a vote on the merits of the measure failed.
Statement by Eleanor D. Acheson, Director of Public Policy & Government Affairs
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
"It's an election year, so it's time to bring on the anti-marriage amendment — so reads the right-wing playbook. And once again the Republican-led Senate, driven by its extremists, is utilizing the time and resources of the Judiciary Committee to send this offensive proposal to the full Senate. While the committee vote was predictable, it in no way lessens the appalling fact that every majority member of the committee voted to advance a measure that would harm millions of lesbian and gay families.
"The proposed amendment would write discrimination into the Constitution, reversing the whole course of American history to erase discrimination from that charter and to expand rights under it. It would weaken our First Amendment religious liberty values by enshrining one egregiously intolerant religious view of marriage, and it would undermine our federalist system.
"Once again, lesbian and gay families are being used as political pawns, and the political opportunism of those pushing for the Federal Marriage Amendment is nakedly transparent.
"We trust that a vote on this damaging and dangerous proposal will again be rejected by the full Senate in early June, or whenever it is brought up. When this measure is debated on the floor, we call upon fair-minded senators to join Sens. Chafee, Feingold, Kennedy and Wyden in denouncing it for what it is: an attack on gay America and real family values."