Press Room

December 08, 2004

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HRC Awards American Constitution Society and Professor Seidman

'The American Constitution Society and professor Seidman stood up for our Constitution and for equality,' said HRC Political Director Winnie Stachelberg.

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign will be awarding the 2004 National Ally of Justice Award to The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy and professor Louis Michael Seidman for their significant contributions in opposition to putting discrimination in the Constitution.

"The American Constitution Society and professor Seidman stood up for our Constitution and for equality," said HRC Political Director Winnie Stachelberg on their efforts in opposition to a constitutional ban denying marriage to same-sex couples. "They join a distinguished group of allies whose contributions to our community are important and lasting."

In March, ACS held an event on "Federalism and the FMA," bringing together high-profile legal scholars from both ends of the political spectrum (including Seidman) to discuss the Federal Marriage Amendment. ACS student and lawyer members were energized by the group's programs and worked personally to oppose the amendment.

"ACS was a shining example of a progressive organization that understood the dangers to our constitutional system posed by the discriminatory amendment," said HRC General Counsel Kevin Layton. "We are indebted for their work in educating the public about these dangers."

"We are truly honored to receive this award from HRC and will continue working to advance the fundamental American values of human dignity, individual rights and liberties and genuine equality," said ACS Executive Director Lisa Brown.

Seidman, of the Georgetown Law Center, was a critical ally in opposing the FMA. He provided written testimony to Congress, made press appearances and worked with the HRC legal team, challenging and refining HRC's arguments about the meaning of the amendment.

"We are so grateful to professor Seidman for giving of his time, energy and considerable intellect in opposition to the FMA," said Layton.

"I could not in good conscience fail to join the fight against this wrong-headed amendment," said Seidman.

The HRC National Ally of Justice Award was created to recognize legal allies, coalition partners and others in the legal profession who have made significant contributions to HRC's work in support of equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans. Past recipients include: Arnold & Porter, LLP Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy and Latham and Watkins.

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

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