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Greens Praise Court Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage

GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES
http://www.gp.org

For Immediate Release
Thursday, February 19, 2004

GREENS PRAISE THE MASSACHUSETTS COURT RULING ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE RIGHTS

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Green Party members praised the recent Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling extending marriage rights to same-sex couples, and cheered for the numerous gay and lesbian couples in San Francisco who have taken advantage of the city's bestowal of marriage licenses on Valentine's Day.

Greens also spoke out against the backlash of panic and bigotry, especially President Bush's support for the proposed 'Marriage' amendment to the Constitution, and criticized presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) rejection of the Massachusetts court ruling and opposition to same-sex marriage.

"Mr. Bush calls for Congress to uphold the sacredness and sacrament of marriage, which would violate the First Amendment's prohibition against government establishment of religion," said Brandon Lacy Campos, chair of the National Lavender Green Caucus. "When politicians say they have a 'moral' objection to same-sex marriage, as President Clinton did when he signed the antigay Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, they imply that gay Americans are somehow inherently immoral and undeserving of rights."

Many Greens believe that President Bush and other supporters of the amendment are vilifying gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transexual Americans in order to distract from the growing unpopularity of the Iraq venture and realization that the American people were deceived, as well as the nation's economic problems, and to appeal to special interests among the Republican Party's base of support. "Democrats like Sen. Kerry have fallen into their trap," said Starlene Rankin, Lavender Green Caucus delegate to the Green Party of the United States.

"Sen. Kerry's position, that 'gay marriage' should not be sanctioned but government should make every benefit associated with it available to same-sex couples, makes no rational or legal sense," Rankin added. "It's like saying that Muslims, Mormons, or Methodists should be free to practice their religion as long as they don't call it 'religion.'"

The national Green platform has supported same-sex marriage rights since the platform was introduced in 2000. Greens stressed that the Constitution mandates equal protection for all Americans and noted that protection of human rights and freedoms is neither a majoritarian concept nor subject to the approval of religious institutions or doctrines. "Laws against interracial marriage were wrong and deserved repeal, even when most Americans believed interracial marriage should remain outlawed," said Tim Casebolt, a member of the Lavender Green Caucus.

Greg Gerritt, secretary of the Green Party of the United States, agreed. "What's missing from the current debate is the idea of freedom -- the principle that all Americans get to choose how they want to live their lives, fall in love, establish relationships and families, without government's judgement and approval or disapproval. The Green Party's position supports that freedom. To use the Constitution to repeal rights and freedoms is abhorrent -- it's un-American."

MORE INFORMATION

The Green Party of the United States
http://www.gp.org
1700 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 404 Washington, DC 20009. 202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN Fax 202-319-7193

Lavender Green Caucus http://www.lavendergreens.org

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