Press Room

November 03, 2004

Category: Civil Unions, Domestic Partners

HRC: Discrimination Never Belongs in a Constitution

'These amendments protect no one but instead discriminate against millions of American families,' said HRC President Cheryl Jacques.

WASHINGTON - Human Rights Campaign President Cheryl Jacques made the following statement today regarding results of votes on constitutional amendments in 11 states that deny marriage to same-sex couples, as well as civil unions and domestic partnership rights in some states:

"These amendments protect no one but instead discriminate against millions of American families. These amendments were put on the ballot to divide people during the heat of the campaign. We need a thoughtful conversation about ensuring that every family has the same rights and responsibilities. Fair-minded Americans know that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are their friends, their families, their co-workers, and we deserve equal protection under law.

"The closest margin on the amendments was in Oregon where thousands of same-sex couples there are married. These families - like millions of other Americans - educated their neighbors, families, friends and co-workers about the importance of fairness.

"These key conversations happened across the nation and helped us secure an extremely important victory in Cincinnati, Ohio, beating back a mean-spirited and discriminatory law on the books. The voters there repealed a law that banned the city from enacting non-discrimination laws for gay, lesbian and bisexual citizens. We are proud of that victory and we are proud of all of the GLBT Americans who had those long and difficult conversations that brought more and more straight Americans to the frontlines of the battle for equality.

"GLBT Americans and our allies are more united than ever before. Since the beginning of this fight, we knew it would be a long journey. We are committed and we will not give up. In challenging times, America has grappled with and ultimately stood on the side of fairness, and we will repeat this proud experience. History is on our side."

Amendments in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah passed. Cincinnati's discriminatory Article XII was repealed by a 54 percent vote.

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.