WASHINGTON - June 7 - Following the U.S. Senate's vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment (SJR 1), Jody M. Huckaby, executive director of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), which represents more than 200,000 members and supporters in all 50 states, issued the following statement:
"This whole ordeal provided us with some great statistics.
"Forty-nine of our elected leaders voted to support legislation that would write discrimination against our loved ones into the Constitution. These people would deny gays and lesbians basic rights like healthcare and hospital visitation. Without a shred of credible evidence, they shamefully concluded that 'traditional' marriages would be torn apart if we were to grant all Americans equal rights, and used this as their justification for their extreme position.
"On the other hand, 48 of our legislators displayed great courage and wisdom in opposing the Federal Marriage Amendment. Whether they voted no because they believe that this bill is discriminatory, or because they believe that this should be left to the states and not a federal mandate, or because they believe this to be a deeply misplaced priority, they have made a tremendous statement. Their votes prove that this political pandering will not be tolerated.
"Over the course of the last three days, the U.S. Senate has wasted nearly 20 hours debating a bill that would make the Constitution a license for discrimination against the millions of gay and lesbian Americans. During this time, they could have been discussing issues that matter to all Americans -- the war in Iraq, immigration, rising fuel costs, and adequate funding for education, to name a few -- but they chose to appeal to extreme factions and carry out the demands of vocal constituents who would forever change the face of the Constitution."
Editors/Reporters: PFLAG leaders and members throughout the U.S. are available for comment on this issue. Contact Jean-Marie Navetta to get more information.
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is the nation's foremost family-based organization committed to the civil rights of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender persons. Founded in 1973 by mothers and fathers, PFLAG has 200,000 members and supporters in more than 500 chapters throughout the United States. To learn more, please visit http://www.pflag.org