Press Room

March 22, 2004

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HRC: Changing the Constitution Can’t Be Concealed with Tweaks and Maneuvering

"This is an attempt to change the Constitution from a vessel for freedom to a tool of discrimination," said HRC President Cheryl Jacques.

WASHINGTON - An announcement Monday from the authors of the Federal Marriage Amendment to tweak the language of their proposal won't disguise this dangerous ploy to change the Constitution, said the Human Rights Campaign.

The announcement by Colorado Republicans Sen. Wayne Allard and Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, lead sponsors of the amendment, doesn't change the amendment's discriminatory intent.

"This is an attempt to change the Constitution from a vessel for freedom to a tool of discrimination," said HRC President Cheryl Jacques. "For more than 200 years, the Constitution has been amended to expand individual rights, not restrict them. No matter how you word it, this amendment discriminates against millions of Americans."

There is broad opposition to this effort, including Republicans Bob Barr and Alan Simpson, the NAACP, civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis and the National Women's Law Center.

Earlier this year, President Bush, facing decreased public support for his economic and foreign policies, endorsed writing discrimination into the Constitution, betraying its historic role as a vehicle for freedoms.

"Fair-minded Americans oppose changing the Constitution to discriminate," added Jacques. "President Bush wants to change the Constitution because he can't change his falling poll numbers."

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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