Press Room

January 24, 2005

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Amendment Reintroduction Demonstrates Allard and Allies Are Out-of-Touch with American Public

'The American people value freedom, not discrimination,' said HRC Political Director Winnie Stachelberg.

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign denounced today's reintroduction of an amendment that would deny marriage to same-sex couples, emphasizing how out-of-touch Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo. his co-sponsors President Bush and the extreme right wing are with the American public on the issue of writing discrimination into the Constitution.

"The American people value freedom, not discrimination," said HRC Political Director Winnie Stachelberg. "Americans want laws that ensure the safety and stability of their neighbors, and that's what our policymakers should be focused on. Pushing an amendment that would deny protections to millions of Americans is completely out-of-step with our nation's values."

According to an article in The Rocky Mountain News, Allard today plans to reintroduce the so-called Marriage Protection Amendment, which would deny marriage to same-sex couples and deny the ability to provide any protections to same-sex couples, such as domestic partnerships and civil unions.

In a Jan. 16 interview with The Washington Post, President Bush acknowledged the lack of congressional support for the amendment and told reporters he "will not press senators to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage." After being pressured by the extreme right wing, the administration backtracked, declaring they would expend political capital to push the discriminatory amendment, despite knowing they lack the votes.

The amendment failed in both the House and Senate last year, by a 227-186 margin in the House in September and a 48-50 vote in the Senate in July.

"Sixty percent of Americans support either marriage or civil unions for same-sex couples," added Stachelberg. "Same-sex couples are already denied more than 1,100 federal protections that other families take for granted. This amendment would enshrine that discrimination into our nation's most cherished document of freedom. It would also threaten protections that states have enacted, and on which thousands of American families already rely. It's wrong. Congress should be spending time protecting Americans, not looking for ways to preserve our peril."

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