Press Room

September 27, 2004

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HRC: Republican Families Reject Politics of Division

'Attempts to divide and distract will backfire,' said HRC President Cheryl Jacques.

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign held a press conference today featuring Republicans who - like Vice President Dick Cheney - reject an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would discriminate against their own family members. The House of Representatives is expected to vote this week on the Marriage Protection Amendment/H.J. Res. 106, an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would deny marriage to same-sex couples.

"Attempts to divide and distract will backfire," said HRC President Cheryl Jacques. "Like the Cheneys, these families recognize that there's nothing conservative to this amendment. This is an attempt to use hard-working, tax-paying Americans as a wedge in the election, and it will boomerang."

The Marriage Protection Amendment (formerly known as the Federal Marriage Amendment) was introduced by Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo., and needs a two-thirds majority to win. A similar amendment was defeated in the Senate in July 2004.

"President Bush isn't getting my vote again this year," said Tami Decator, who attended the press conference with her brother, Terry Penrod, who is gay. Both live in Ohio. "This amendment battle is a divisive political ploy and it's not working. Living in Ohio, I see families concerned about the war and job losses. These are my priority issues. Attempting to divert our attention from America's challenges is a tactic that will fail."

"This will definitely influence my vote this fall," said Nancy Finfer, a registered Republican since 1971 who attended the press conference with her daughter, Melisa Finfer. "While I keep my voting private, I won't keep quiet about this divisive amendment. Like Vice President Cheney, I have a gay daughter. It's just plain wrong that our party wants to pass a law that would harm them both."
Added Jacques, "These families speak for millions of American families who reject the politics of division. I urge members of Congress to hear their voices as they vote this week."

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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