In a letter to Laura Bush about her comments on the
same-sex marriage debate, HRC President Cheryl Jacques recently encouraged
the first lady to focus on the issues that the American people care
about during this election year, rather than a divisive national debate
about amending the Constitution.
On May 20, Mrs. Bush commented on the same-sex marriage debate, telling
the Boston Globe: "It's something people should talk about and debate."
Those comments were made three days after President Bush's public
statement reaffirming his support for an amendment that would enshrine
discrimination into the United States Constitution, denying our
community equal rights for generations.
"I do not believe, at this moment in our nation's history, that the
American people want a conversation about amending the Constitution on
this issue," Jacques wrote to Mrs. Bush. "Instead, they want a
discussion about the issues you care about most, like education. And
they want more focus on the challenges that face America every day, from
the cost of gasoline to our foreign policy and economic challenges."
It is believed the first lady made her comments on May 20 to soften the
President's image on this issue and deflect the President's
responsibility for attempting to change the Constitution.
"It is President Bush who is attempting to enshrine discrimination into
the Constitution and voters will hold him responsible." said Cheryl
TEXT OF LETTER TO MRS. BUSH FOLLOWS
ay 24, 2004
Mrs. Laura Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mrs. Bush:
Thank you as always for your leadership on increased reading in America.
You can be assured that my twin two-year-old boys will have library
cards the moment they're eligible!
I read with interest your comments about marriage for same-sex couples
and I wanted to share my thoughts.
There is indeed dissension about marriage for same-sex couples in the
states and in cities throughout America. We hope the events in
Massachusetts helped more and more people understand that gay and
lesbian Americans are simply trying to attain the same rights,
protections and responsibilities that every other American family has.
Indeed, we may have differences on this issue in the states for several
However, I do not believe, at this moment in our nation's history, that
the American people want a conversation about amending the Constitution
on this issue. Instead, they want a discussion about the issues you
care about most like education. And they want more focus on the
challenges that face America every day, from the cost of gasoline to our
foreign policy and economic challenges.
So, while I understand that you and many others are grappling with ways
to talk about the issue of marriage, I do not believe that a debate
about amending the Constitution in a discriminatory way is the way we
should start the conversation.
Thank you again for your hard work on behalf of our nation's children
and I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this issue with you.
Cheryl A. Jacques
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