Howie Hawkins for US Senate
Media Release
www.hawkinsforsenate.org

For Immediate Release: June 4, 2006
For More Information: Howie Hawkins 315-425-1019,  hhawkins@igc.org
Sally Kim, (518) 364-2968,  green_sallyk@yahoo.com

Hawkins Opposes Bush Push for Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party nominee for US Senate, called today for the Senate to reject a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

President Bush made support for the so-called Marriage Protection Amendment the focus of his Saturday radio address. The Senate is scheduled to vote on the amendment this week.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) also supports outlawing same-sex marriages, but opposes a constitutional amendment as the means to do so. Clinton has opposed same-sex marriages since her husband signed the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal recognition of same-sex marriages.

“It saddens me that politicians like Bush and Clinton feel the need to attack the rights of individuals to affirm their life commitment to one another. Our political leaders should be helping to build families, not tear them apart. The provision of full legal rights for all individuals regardless of their sexual orientation is long overdue in our country,” noted Hawkins.

The Green Party has a long tradition of promoting full civil rights to gays and lesbians. Jason West, the Green Party Mayor of New Paltz, helped launch the nationwide movement for marriage equality when he began performing marriage ceremonies for gay and lesbian countries.

Rev. Dan Rodriguez-Schlorff, the Green Party candidate for the Illinois State Treasurer, officiated a wedding ceremony uniting two women on May 27 in Chicago. Following the ceremony, the couple went to Canada for a marriage certificate. Canada made same-sex marriages legal five years ago.

“The right to marry is a fundamental human right. If two people love each other and wish to enter into a permanent legal relationship as equal partners in a marriage, they should be free to do so. As a Green, I am very proud of the leadership role played by New Paltz Mayor Jason West in refusing to participate in the denial of equal rights to all Americans,” Hawkins added.

The Empire State Pride Agenda, a civil rights organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, identifies 1,138 rights and responsibilities from the federal government and another 700 rights and responsibilities from New York government that are bestowed on partners in civil marriage. These rights and responsibilities include health insurance coverage, medical decision-making authority for a spouse, inheritance rights, divorce, child adoption, immunity from having to testify against a spouse in court, pensions, and Workers Compensation death benefits.

“President Bush is pushing for a ban on same-sex marriage because he wants to divert the American people’s attention from his disastrous military and economic policies. Let’s focus instead on prosecuting war profiteers and corporate criminals, not people who love one another,” said Hawkins.