PALLONE OPPOSES REPUBLICAN EFFORTS TO WRITE DISCRIMINATION INTO U.S. CONSTITUTION
U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) today issued the following statement in opposition to the Constitutional Amendment to Prohibit Same Sex Marriages. The Joint Resolution, which has already been defeated in the Senate, proposes the following amendment to the Constitution: "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman."
Resolutions to amend the Constitution require two-thirds majority for passage in the House and Senate, and ratification by three-fourths of the state legislatures. On June 7th, the Senate failed to invoke Cloture (49-48) on the motion to consider an identical proposal to this joint resolution.
"This amendment is nothing more than red meat for the Conservative right four months before an election. It's not going anywhere. The Senate couldn't even muster a simple majority to bring the Amendment to the floor. The Amendment is therefore dead. And yet, the House Republican leadership would rather distract and divide than deal with the issues of real concern to the majority of Americans.
"I oppose this Constitutional Amendment because it would etch discrimination against gays and lesbians into our nation's Constitution. This amendment not only prevents gays and lesbians from marrying, it also restricts civil unions.
"Over the last couple of years, polls in New Jersey have shown the majority of the state's residents support both civil unions and gay marriage. Today, the New Jersey Supreme Court is considering whether or not same-sex marriages should be allowed. This Constitutional Amendment specifically prevents New Jersey from deciding how it treats its own citizens.
"Fortunately, this amendment is going nowhere. I hope the Right Wing of the Republican Party enjoys its red meat. That's all it's getting from this House today."