Press

Alabama voters approve anti-marriage constitutional amendment

Date: 
June 07, 2006

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

"This is not American democracy — it is tyranny of the majority and it is immoral."
— Matt Foreman, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"More than 170,000 Alabamians voted to not add discrimination to Alabama's constitution and stood with us in rejecting the amendment."
— Howard Bayless, Board Chair, Equality Alabama

WASHINGTON, June 7 - Alabama voters approved a state constitutional amendment yesterday to prohibit same-sex marriage and other forms of family protections for unmarried couples. Alabama is the 20th state in the past eight years to amend its constitution for the purpose of banning same-sex marriages. The vote was 81 percent to 19 percent (with 98 percent of precincts reporting). Voters in Alabama's neighbor state, Mississippi, passed a similar amendment in 2004 by an 86 percent to 14 percent margin.

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

"Yesterday's vote in Alabama comes as no surprise. It wasn't until 2000 that Alabama repealed its constitutional ban on interracial marriage, 33 years after Loving v. Virginia made such discrimination unconstitutional coast-to-coast. Similarly, 50.1 percent of voters opposed a 2004 measure to remove a constitutional provision mandating segregated public schools for 'white and colored children.'

"This vote put the right of a minority — a right that the majority takes for granted and sees as fundamental only for them — up for a popular vote. This is not democracy, it is tyranny of the majority and it is immoral. Our founders knew that basic rights should never be put to a popular vote and that is why we have the Bill of Rights.

"In the not-too-distant future, those involved in this injustice will look back with shame and regret, just as they do for other past inflictions of discrimination."

Statement by Howard Bayless, Board Chair
Equality Alabama

"Equality Alabama vows to continue the long-term work of changing the hearts and minds of the people of Alabama. More than 170,000 Alabamians voted to not add discrimination to Alabama's constitution and stood with us in rejecting the amendment."

To find out how to get involved in the struggle for equal rights in Alabama, please visit http://www.equalityalabama.org.

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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.