July 19, 2004
Dear United States Representatives,
Soulforce, Inc., a national interfaith organization committed to equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, urges you to oppose H.R. 3313, the "Marriage Protection Act of 2004."
After the defeat of the "Federal Marriage Amendment" in the Senate last week, this ill-conceived and misguided piece of legislation is another attempt to discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) people, as well as strip GLBT people of equal protection under the law and circumvent the "balance of power" which is so crucial to our country’s democracy.
The "Marriage Protection Act of 2004" would deny federal courts the jurisdiction to hear cases pertaining to the 1995 "Defense of Marriage Act," thereby greatly undermining the rights of one group of citizens. As the Supreme Court stated in Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996), "A law declaring that in general it shall be more difficult for one group of citizens than for all others to seek aid from the government is itself a denial of equal protection of the laws." Therefore, the "Marriage Protection Act" is not only unconstitutional, it is misguided and wrong.
As people of faith who support equal rights and protections for ALL people, we urge you to vote against H.R. 3313, and restore faith in our Congress to treat all persons equally, to respect the lives of all Americans, and to do what is right and just.