|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
JANUARY 21, 2004
|CONTACT: National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Task Force Response to President Bush's State of the Union Address, from Matt Foreman, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
WASHINGTON - January 21 - "We are appalled by the President's direct attack on the fundamental principle of American democracy, an independent judiciary. Contrary to the President's statement, our courts were not created to enforce the will of the people, but to enforce and interpret the law. Mr. Bush ought to understand this, given that he sits in the White House because of court action, not the will of the people.
We urge the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts not to give in to these crass manipulative threats, and continue to uphold the constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the birthplace of American liberty.
We are also disgusted by the President's sanctimonious hypocrisy in saying how the debate around denying gay people the right to marry is conducted. He and the extreme religious and political right to which he is pandering are saying that we - lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans - are not entitled to equal rights. It doesn't matter how you say that, it is wrong. At the very least, the President needs to have the guts to call it for what it is: utter disdain for and discrimination against gay people."
Selected quotes from the George W. Bush State of the Union address on January 20, 2004:
"A strong America must also value the institution of marriage. I believe we should respect individuals as we take a principled stand for one of the most fundamental, enduring institutions of our civilization. Congress has already taken a stand on this issue by passing the Defense of Marriage Act, signed in 1996 by President Clinton. That statute protects marriage under Federal law as the union of a man and a woman, and declares that one state may not redefine marriage for other states.
Activist judges, however, have begun redefining marriage by court order, without regard for the will of the people and their elected representatives. On an issue of such great consequence, the people's voice must be heard. If judges insist on forcing their arbitrary will upon the people, the only alternative left to the people would be the constitutional process. Our Nation must defend the sanctity of marriage.
The outcome of this debate is important -- and so is the way we conduct it. The same moral tradition that defines marriage also teaches that each individual has dignity and value in God's sight."
And one other quote we find particularly ironic:
"I believe that God has planted in every human heart the desire to live in freedom. And even when that desire is crushed by tyranny for decades, it will rise again."