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The Marriage Protection Act will come up for a vote in June

The Family Research Council is ecstatic over the official news that the Senate’s vote on a federal marriage amendment will be in June. The news on the vote contradicts the bleating of the American Family Association that it would occur in March. (US Newswire):

In response to today’s official announcement by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R- Tenn.) that the U.S. Senate will hold a cloture vote on the Marriage Protection Amendment the week of June 5, Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins released the following statement:

The U.S. Senate has stood by for two years watching the unrelenting judicial assault on marriage. However, the American people in overwhelming numbers have risen to the defense of marriage by enacting 19 state marriage amendments. Despite these valiant efforts on the state level, activist courts in several states including Nebraska have undermined the democratic process by throwing out laws which protect marriage.

This June, the American people will be watching to see if their senators will step up to the plate and take a stand in defense of marriage. The Marriage Protection Amendment is the only tool the American people have to ensure that the definition of marriage remains one man and one woman.

And Matt Daniels, president and founder of the Alliance for Marriage is hot and bothered as well:

“The Supreme Court of Washington State is poised at a moments notice to strike down marriage as a man and woman,” said Matt Daniels. “The fallout from an adverse ruling will have broad repercussions for America as Washington State does not require residency for a marriage license. Only AFM’s Marriage Protection Amendment can defend marriage as a man and woman.”

Daniels, left, with homophobe Kansas Senator Sam Brownback.

Americans believe that gays and lesbians have a right to live as they choose, but they don’t have a right to redefine marriage for our entire society,” Daniels added. “Americans want our laws to send a positive message to children about marriage, family, and their future.”

The Alliance for Marriage is a multicultural coalition whose Board of Advisors includes Rev. Walter Fauntroy — the D.C. Coordinator for the March on Washington for Martin Luther King Jr. — as well as other civil rights and religious leaders, and national legal experts.

To see Fauntroy’s name attached to this bigotry is sad. From a great post by Canaan Parker, “Thanks for nothing Reverend Fauntroy“:

Like all gay people, I’m dismayed when Walter Fauntroy, a key lieutenant to Martin Luther King and pastor of the New Bethel Baptist Church, holds a ballyhooed press conference with Bill Frist and the hateful likes of Rick Santorum in support of the Federal Marriage Amendment. But let me be crystal clear. Right now I’m speaking as a black man, not as a gay man. As a member of Fauntroy’s African American constituency, I think I’ve been sold out. Fauntroy knew damn good and well he was helping to re-elect George Bush. Fauntroy went to the Capitol Building and all I got was Republican hegemony.

Rev. Walter Fauntroy, supporter of the Marriage Protection Amendment and beneficiary of Bush’s faith-based largesse.

…As a black man, I feel culturally tarnished by Fauntroy’s peddling of his Civil Rights pedigree. A company can license its registered trademark for profit – it’s called franchising. McDonald’s make billions that way. By joining forces with the Republicans, Reverend Fauntroy in effect licensed the name of Dr. King like a trademark. Now whenever I see a debate on marriage, I see white conservative ‘franchisees’ brandishing Fauntroy’s Civil Rights credentials to shield themselves from charges of bigotry. The low point came when I heard right wing buzzsaw Ann Coulter invoke Civil Rights to attack gay rights. When you sell a license to Ann Coulter to speak for Martin Luther King, I’m sorry but that just stinks. Coulter, who publicized the possibility of ‘DNA evidence’ on Monica Lewinsky’s dress, befouls the legacy of Dr. King by even speaking his name. And the right wing has the audacity to accuse us of ‘highjacking Civil Rights’ when we march on Washington for gay equality.

Reverend Fauntroy’s argument against marriage equality is very feeble. First he claims that he’s defending the black family. Then he wanders off into the clouds to think up some vaporous link between gay marriage and the stability of Black families. He can’t find a link in concrete reality, so he has to wander way out into the moonie realms of existential sociological theory to find one. You want a link between gay rights and black families? AIDS destroys black families. Gay activists fight AIDS. There is nothing theoretical about that. Dick Cheney may not have a clue, but you won’t find a single gay AIDS activist who doesn’t know the mortifyng statistics on HIV reported by the Black AIDS Institute. I read the statistics in Gay City News. Reverend Fauntroy doesn’t read that paper or he’d know that when he attacks gay rights, he undermines the fight against AIDS. An army of gay and lesbian activists, some 10,000 strong according to Larry Kramer’s estimate, has been fighting a two-front war for 25 years. When Fauntroy attacks us on one front – the gay rights front – he weakens us on the AIDS front.

…Now, if Reverend Fauntroy claims that marriage equality is a greater threat to black families than HIV, he’s either seeing things or he’s taking money.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding