Press Room

January 25, 2005

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HRC on Extremists’ Threats over Discriminatory Amendment

'This amendment was conceived to divide the American people but over and over has done nothing but divide the Republican Party,' said HRC Political Director Winnie Stachelberg.

WASHINGTON - Human Rights Campaign Political Director Winnie Stachelberg made a statement today concerning a New York Times article in which a group on the extreme right insisted President Bush push the discriminatory constitutional amendment or he risked losing their support for Social Security reform.

"This amendment was conceived to divide the American people but over and over has done nothing but divide the Republican Party," said Stachelberg. "President Bush promised discrimination to his extremist base and now they want him to deliver. This should come as no surprise. Instead of bartering between divisive proposals, the so-called family leaders should focus on the health and safety of all American families. This amendment would deny responsibilities and protections to millions of Americans. There's nothing family-friendly about that."

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.

A group of conservatives known as the Arlington Group, including representatives from Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council, wrote that the administration's lack of clear support for the amendment has made it "impossible for us to unite our movement on an issue such as Social Security privatization where there are already deep misgivings."

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