House Republicans Push Divisive Bill To Distract From Voters' Priorities

By a 233 to 194 vote, the House today passed the Marriage
Protection Act, a dangerous and discriminatory measure that would strip
the federal courts of jurisdiction over challenges to the Defense of
Marriage Act and block access for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgender community to the judicial system. This vote took place just
after the 9/11 Commission issued its final report sharply criticizing
Congress. Also, polling data released this week affirms that the
American public opposes the politics of division.

"Congress today was sent an historic message to focus on terrorism and
it focused on discrimination instead," said HRC President Cheryl
Jacques. "We will work to ensure that this measure is soundly rejected
in the Senate. Like the Federal Marriage Amendment, this bill attempts
to undermine our constitutional system for political gain."

A memo released this week by pollster Stan Greenberg warns President
Bush and Republicans that politics of division is hurting them in very
tangible ways. Any gains being made for President Bush among the
religious-conservative extremist base are being exceeded by gains for
Senator Kerry among even larger groups of voters, including Republican
moderates – who are 40 percent of electorate and over 50 percent of the
persuadables. Behind the shifts of theses groups to Kerry, Greenberg
cites Iraq and "discomfort with the president's cultural politics."

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

"While some politicians push discrimination, American voters have no
appetite for division," added Jacques.

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