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Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
MARCH 2, 2004
 3:06 PM
CONTACT:  Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
Alice Leeds, 212-874-0675 or 917-523-5029
Taylor Thompson, 202-467-8180 ext. 213
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Appalled as Congressional Subcommittee Stacks Deck to Promote Homophobic Agenda

WASHINGTON - March 2 - Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), the nation's largest grassroots family organization, denounces the Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights for holding a hearing designed to showcase Sen. John Cornyn's (R-Texas) homophobic views. The hearing, entitled "Judicial Activism vs. Democracy: What are the National Implications of the Massachusetts Goodridge Decision and the Judicial Invalidation of Traditional Marriage Laws?" is scheduled for Wednesday, March 3, at 10 a.m. in Room 226 of the Senate Dirksen Office Building.

"The title for the hearing is a cynical rhetorical set-up that calls into question the legitimate role of our judiciary. And to make matters worse, the committee's effort is also to plant the idea that basic civil rights should be reduced to a popularity contest and call that democracy. This is shameful," said David Tseng, executive director of PFLAG. "To discuss 'judicial activism' in this way is offensive. It is a way to attack judges who demonstrate courage and principle in matters of civil rights. The same was said of Chief Justice Earl Warren when he wrote the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. the Board of Education. What we take for granted to day as clearly the right decision was derided in its time as 'judicial activism.' "

Republican representatives have stacked the witness list with speakers like Maggie Gallagher, President of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy (IMPP). IMPP regularly launches attacks against gay and lesbian families, such as their incomprehensible statement this week, "Same-sex marriage may downgrade the importance of fathers and delink marriage and parenthood, threatening the black community's attempt to deal with the problems of unmarried parenting and father absence." No witnesses scheduled to testify in support of marriage equality were announced on the subcommittee's Web site.


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