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Nadler Denounces Decision to Hold Hearings on Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Washington, DC, March 3, 2004
Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, today denounced plans by Republican leaders of the House Judiciary Committee to hold hearings to consider a Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Nadler's statement follows:

The Constitution should not be used as a political tool by George W. Bush, and as the Ranking Democrat on the Constitution Subcommittee, I will fight tooth and nail to protect the Constitution. I firmly believe that many of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle will stand with me to preserve our nation's most sacred document.

The proposed amendment would, for the first time in our nation's history, change the Constitution to deny, rather than to expand, the civil rights of a large number of Americans. Congress should reject the President's election year call to undermine this country's historic commitment to the guarantee of equal protection under the law for all Americans.

The truth is that the President's egregious attempt to enshrine discrimination in our Constitution is no more than a search for a wedge issue in the 2004 campaign to distract the American public from the fact that the President and the Republican Congress have failed to address the historic loss of 3 million jobs, the largest deficit in American history, and inequities in public education and health care.

I am very troubled that this matter will be taken up by the Judiciary Committee, but I will proudly fight to defend our Constitution from being the subject of partisan politics.

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