The Human Rights Campaign denounced the introduction in the House of an amendment that would deny marriage and
likely civil union and domestic partnership rights to same-sex couples.
Introduced by Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., the bill would have the same
effects as last year's failed amendment.
"Plain and simple, discrimination doesn't belong in the Constitution,"
said HRC Vice President of Policy David M. Smith. "Congress can't dress
up discrimination. By any name, this amendment would still hurt American
families. Not only would this amendment trample the rights of millions
of same-sex couples and their children, but it would also deny any state
the ability to ensure its families are protected under state law."
The Proposed amendment reads:
"Marriage in the United States Shall consist only of a legal union of a
man and a woman.
"No court of the United States or of any State shall have jurisdiction
to determine whether this Constitution or the constitution of any State
requires that the legal incidents of marriage be conferred upon any
union other than a legal union between one man and one woman.
"No State shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or
judicial proceeding of any other State concerning a union between
persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage, or as having the
legal incidents of marriage, under the laws of such other State."
If passed, it would mark the first time the Constitution was amended to
single out a group of Americans for unequal treatment. According to exit
polling in November 2004, 60 percent of Americans support either civil
unions or marriage equality for same-sex couple.
"Americans don't want the Constitution turned into a tool for
discrimination," added Smith. "Congress should be spending its time
protecting families, not ensuring their vulnerability under law."
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