Soulforce Responds to Bush’s Endorsement of Proposed Anti-Gay Constitutional Amendment

Calls President Bush’s actions “divisive, unjust, and abusive”

Press Release: 02/24/04
For Immediate Release
Contact: Laura Montgomery Rutt
Cell: 717-278-0592

(Lynchburg, VA) – Soulforce leaders today condemned President Bush’s endorsement of a Federal Marriage Amendment, asking people of faith and others to speak out against the blatant attempt by the government to make 2nd class citizens of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people (GLBT).

President Bush stated that he supports an amendment to the Constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman because the recent actions in San Francisco and Massachusetts have, “created confusion on an issue that requires clarity." He also stated that “marriage” could not be separated from its “cultural, religious and natural” roots.

Rev. Jimmy Creech, Chair of the Soulforce Board of Directors disagrees, “Legally sanctioned marriage is fundamentally a legal contract between two people who commit themselves to each other to share there lives and their possessions in the creation of a family. This does not need clarification. Adding gender requirements to marriage, and amending the U.S. Constitution, does not clarify, it only creates injustice and inequality.”

“The only thing that needs clarified is that the U.S. Constitution is not a document for abusing U.S. citizens,” said Laura Montgomery Rutt, spokesperson for Soulforce, Inc. “The purpose of the Constitution is to protect citizens from being abused by the government, and any Constitutional Amendment that makes 2nd class citizens of millions of Americans is not only abusive, but it is divisive and unjust as well. We appeal to all fair-minded citizens, religious leaders, and people of faith, to speak out against this kind of abuse!”

The proposed Amendment introduced by Marilyn Musgrave, (R-Co) states: “Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.”

Many organizations that support equal marriage rights believe that this sweeping amendment will not only take away existing rights, but roll back any gains made in the last 30 years.

“Ironically, this amendment is NOT about ‘protecting marriage’,” stated Mel White, Founder of Soulforce, Inc. “It is an attempt by the President and fundamentalist Christians to deny permanently the civil rights of GLBT individuals, unmarried couples, and their families, and rob them of the more than1,000 rights and protections that can be obtained through civil marriage.”