Task Force applauds U.S. House’s rejection of Federal Marriage Amendment

July 18, 2006

Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications

Pedro Julio Serrano
(Cell) 787.602.5954

“In spite of intense lobbying, the right wing failed to get this appalling amendment through the House — just as it failed in the Senate. Clearly, there’s no traction in this issue.”Matt Foreman, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

WASHINGTON, July 18 —  The U.S. House of Representatives today failed to secure the votes necessary to pass a proposed constitutional amendment that would prohibit the recognition of same-sex marriage and preclude courts from extending other types of family protections to same-sex couples. The measure failed in the Senate on June 7 by a vote of 49 to 48, and today’s 236-to-187 vote in the House fell far short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass.

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

“Once again, a bipartisan bloc has soundly rejected this immoral constitutional amendment that sought to dehumanize lesbian and gay Americans and their families. In spite of intense lobbying, the right wing failed to get this appalling amendment through the House — just as it failed in the Senate. Clearly, there’s no traction in this issue.

“We commend Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and the entire minority leadership, and especially Reps. Tammy Baldwin, Jerrold Nadler, James McGovern and Barney Frank for their work in organizing opposition to this amendment, as well as all the others who stood up for our community and our families.

“We hope this vote today will be the basis for a working majority in Congress to press forward on basic fairness for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, including protection from hate crimes and discrimination and access to the same protections enjoyed by all other families.

“Finally, as we move beyond yet another sound defeat of this un-American proposal, we hope all members of Congress and the American people think hard about what truly is at stake here: Denying one group of Americans the family recognition granted to others would reverse the course of our nation’s history of expanding equal rights. It would condemn one group to a lesser citizenship and deny them the social support our society has constructed to help families and children flourish. Gay and lesbian families need and deserve the kind of protection and support we currently extend to other families. Let’s start acknowledging that truth. Let’s start talking about it, and let’s start doing it because it is the right thing to do.”


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.