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Federal Marriage Amendment is Discrimination Into the Constitution

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The American Civil Liberties Union today strongly condemned President Bush for publicly supporting a proposal to amend the Constitution to deny marriage protections to gay and lesbian couples and their children. Both houses of Congress overwhelmingly rejected a similar Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004, and the Senate is expected to consider the proposal on Wednesday.


"The Federal Marriage Amendment is neither compassionate nor conservative," said Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. "Lawmakers rightly rejected it in 2004, but election year politics and Republicans pandering to their base have resurrected this mean-spirited amendment. Congress must -- and will -- reject this anti-family proposal again. Discrimination has no place in America, and certainly not in our founding document."


The Federal Marriage Amendment, offered by Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO), would amend the Constitution to deny states the ability to define marriage themselves - mandating that marriage be only between one man and one woman - and would deny all benefits of marriage to all unmarried couples. It is identical to the proposed constitutional amendment that was considered - and rejected - by Congress in 2004.


If adopted, the amendment’s broad language would attack marriages, civil unions, domestic partnerships and other legal protections for gay and lesbian American families. Similar state-level constitutional amendments have already been used to undermine important protections for gay and lesbian couples and their families, such as health insurance and other benefits.


Opposition to the amendment has come from a diverse crowd, including conservative sources: former Congressman Bob Barr (R-GA), the author of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, Vice President Dick Cheney, former Senator John Danforth (R-MO), columnist George Will, Senator John McCain (R-AZ), and others have all spoken out against the measure.


The Senate will likely vote on Wednesday on whether to invoke "cloture," or limit debate, on the amendment. Even proponents of the measure agree that support for Federal Marriage Amendment falls short of even a simple 51-vote majority, far less than the 67 votes needed to amend the Constitution.


"President Bush underestimates the goodness of Americans by once again pushing divide and conquer politics;" said Christopher Anders, an ACLU Legislative Counsel. "Personal decisions on marriage and family should be made in each family’s house, not in the White House. America - and all Americans - deserve better from their president."


To read more about the ACLU’s concerns with the Federal Marriage Amendment, go to: www.aclu.org/marriageamendment

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Guest Up yours ACLU

1. Homosexuality is not natural, much like polyester is not natural.


2. Heterosexual marriages are valid because they produce children.


3. Obviously gay parents will raise gay children.


4. Gay marriage is not supported by religion.


5. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay.


6. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage license.


7. Children can never succeed without both male and female role models at home.


8. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society.


9. Civil unions, providing most of the same benefits as marriage with a different name are better.



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