Press

Judiciary Committee sends anti-marriage amendment to Senate floor

Date: 
May 18, 2006

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force urges senators to denounce measure as attack on gay America and real family values

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
media@theTaskForce.org
646.358.1465

"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

WASHINGTON, May 18 — 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."

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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.