Press Room

July 13, 2004

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Politics of Division Fails in Senate

Federal Marriage Amendment defeated by a vote of 48-50

'This was an attempt to divide Americans that backfired and divided Republicans,' said HRC President Cheryl Jacques.

WASHINGTON - By a stunning bipartisan vote of 48 to 50, the Senate today rejected the Federal Marriage Amendment. This was a crucial victory sending a strong message in Washington and throughout America that politics of distraction will fail. The 48 senators who backed this divisive amendment couldn't even muster a simple majority.

"This was an attempt to divide Americans that backfired and divided Republicans," said Cheryl Jacques, president of the Human Rights Campaign.

The defeat of the FMA occurred following a stunning week on Capitol Hill. After a year of monopolizing precious Senate time on Colorado

Republican Sen. Wayne Allard's Federal Marriage Amendment, the Republican leadership retreated.

"Faced with an embarrassing defeat, the Senate leadership rejected an up or down vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment," added Jacques.
"This debate has always been about politics and undermining the Constitution is their tool."

Every poll shows the American people want Congress focused on issues like rising health care costs, the hemorrhaging of jobs and the war in Iraq. Same-sex marriage and the Federal Marriage Amendment rank last on the list.

"The optimism and fairness of the American people will prevail," added Jacques.

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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