Soulforce Applauds US Senate for Rejecting the Proposed Federal Marriage Amendment

Declares that there is still much work to be done to end the spiritual violence against GLBT individuals, couples, and families

Press Release: July 14, 2004
For Immediate Release
Contact: Laura Montgomery Rutt
Cell 717-278-0592

Soulforce, a national interfaith movement committed to ending spiritual violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, praised the US Senate for rejecting the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) to the US Constitution.

According to the Associated Press, a cloture vote taken to keep the FMA alive was defeated 48-50, 12 votes short of the 60 votes needed.

“This is a wonderful step in the right direction, and people of faith and faith communities played a large role in the defeat of the amendment by letting our senators know that this is not an acceptable measure,” declared Karen Weldin, Soulforce Director of Operations. “However, we still have much work to do in guaranteeing full equality and ending spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings against GLBT people.”

Conservative religious/political groups tried to rally supporters last week through Protect Marriage Sunday, an attempt to get pastors to urge their congregations to support the FMA and call their senators asking for support. Soulforce, in turn, urged those attending churches that participated in Protect Marriage Sunday to stand in silent nonviolent protest because Soulforce felt that using the pulpit to demean the loving relationships between two people was wrong.

Soulforce, as well as other progressive organizations, both faith-based and secular, have been encouraging supporters and members to ask their Senators to vote against the FMA which would codify discrimination into the US Constitution and violated religious liberty. Some senators, however, stated the opposition to the amendment on other grounds, including the rights of states to determine marriage laws.

“To have this come up just before the elections shows that the religious/political conservatives are playing politics with peoples’ lives and using GLBT people as political pawns. This is simply wrong,” stated Laura Montgomery Rutt, Director of Communications for Soulforce. “ Even though the FMA died in the Senate, we can not rest until we achieve full equality for GLBT couples and their families.”

Soulforce is actively working to secure equal marriage rights for same-gender couples and end discrimination in religious institutions and civil society.

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