National Gay and Lesbian Task Force salutes U.S. Sen. Russell Feingold for supporting marriage equality

April 04, 2006

'Taking an unequivocal stand is the right thing to do, morally and politically.'

Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications

Task Force to honor Feingold with National Leadership Award

WASHINGTON, April 4 — In a statement released today, United States Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) announced that he supports giving same-sex couples the freedom to marry. According to the statement, Feingold said over the weekend that he strongly opposes the proposed civil unions and marriage ban facing Wisconsin voters and supports the right of same-sex couples to marry: "As I said at the Kenosha County listening session, gay and lesbian couples should be able to marry and have access to the same rights, privileges and benefits that straight couples currently enjoy. Denying people this basic American right is the kind of discrimination that has no place in our laws, especially in a progressive state like Wisconsin. The time has come to end this discrimination and the politics of divisiveness that has become part of this issue."

As a result of this announcement, Feingold becomes the fourth U.S. senator to support marriage equality, along with Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.), Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"Senator Feingold's announcement today is more than an important step forward in the struggle for equal rights. At long last, progressive and fair-minded Americans have a leader taking the ethically and morally correct stand for marriage equality — no equivocation, waffling or hairsplitting. And it comes as no surprise that the same senator who long ago recognized and successfully battled the corrupting effect of out-of-control-money in political campaigns has stepped forward to recognize and support a fundamental civil rights truth. This is the kind of courageous, principled and clear leadership this country so desperately needs."

In recognition of Feingold's announcement, the Task Force will present its 2006 National Leadership Award to the senator at its national dinner in Washington, D.C., on May 6, 2006.


The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.