2003-09-04, 9:52 a.m.
Action Alert from NOW
Say No to Marriage Discrimination in the Constitution
September 2, 2003
Email your Senators and Representative TODAY to oppose the right wing fundamentalists who want to amend the Constitution in order to permanently exclude lesbians and gays from the right to marry. The House has introduced HJ Resolution 56, a staunchly anti-gay proposed Amendment that would define marriage, in the U.S. Constitution, as strictly between a man and a woman.
We cannot stand by idly while our opponents attempt to insert marriage discrimination into our Constitution. The Constitution subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding hearings this Thursday, September 4, to review the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996. Now is the time to send a loud and clear message to Congress in support of same-sex marriage and in firm opposition to the proposed "marriage discrimination" Constitutional amendment.
In a knee jerk reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling outlawing sodomy laws, Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.) along with five co-sponsors introduced HJ Resolution 56, a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would permanently exclude gays and lesbians from marrying. Under this resolution the Constitution would be modified to include the following language: "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman." Ratification of such an amendment would set the dangerous precedent of amending the Constitution to restrict, rather than protect, civil rights.
This divisive and discriminatory federal proposal, following on the heels of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), would have a profoundly devastating effect on the lives of lesbian and gay families across the country if it is passed by Congress and ratified by the necessary number of states.
We need to stop this proposal in Congress, before it starts down the path of ratification in the 50 states--where it will be harder and more costly to stop. The right to marry is a crucial civil rights issue, and has been deemed a "fundamental right." Without marriage rights, gay and lesbian couples are denied well over 1,000 rights, benefits and responsibilities available to married couples, including such fundamental protections as hospital visitation rights, health care benefits, inheritance rights, social security, immigration rights, tax benefits, and parenting rights. Gay and lesbian couples are also denied the intangible benefit of the peace of mind that comes from having your commitment and your family legally recognized.
This anti-gay and anti-marriage initiative comes from the same right-wing crowd that claims to be pro-marriage and pro-family. This mean-spirited attempt at enshrining marriage discrimination in the Constitution reveals that their true agenda is not marriage and family promotion but discrimination and exclusivity. Use the message below to say no to the marriage discrimination amendment.
"Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation." - Martin Luther King, Jr.