Senate subcommittee votes to write discrimination into the Constitution

Constitution, Civil Rights, and Property Rights subcommittee sends anti-gay, anti-marriage constitutional amendment to full Judiciary Committee

A subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee voted today for an amendment to the Constitution that would deny lesbian and gay Americans equal rights under federal law and require states to discriminate against them.

The subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights, and Property Rights voted 5 to 4 to pass the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment, which will be considered by the full Judiciary Committee next week.

The proposed amendment would deny equal marriage rights under civil law to same-sex couples and jeopardize the limited legal safeguards for same-sex couples that are now in place in some jurisdictions. And it would undermine the states' traditional authority to regulate marriage.

“Today’s subcommittee vote shows that some senators will do the bidding of radical right activists on just about anything, including amending the Constitution to treat some Americans as second-class citizens,” People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas said. “It is appalling that this amendment is moving through the Senate. It would actually require discrimination against a group of Americans and reverse our nation’s long march toward full equality for all Americans. Enshrining discrimination in the Constitution would be unconscionable and immoral. Our Constitution should not be tarnished with this measure. The Judiciary Committee should stop this constitutional amendment in its tracks.”

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