Last updated: Feb. 11, 2004

Stop the Radical Religious Right from Amending the U.S. Constitution

From: Matt Howes, National Internet Organizer, ACLU
To: ACLU Action Network Members
Date: February 11, 2004

1) Stop the Radical Religious Right from Amending the U.S. Constitution
2) Urge Congress to Oppose Overreaching and Punitive Crime Laws
Spurred by the recent Massachusetts State Supreme Court decision against discrimination, the Bush Administration and some members of the radical religious right are aggressively campaigning to amend the U.S. Constitution to deny the right to marry to same-sex couples in committed relationships. Just today, the Bush Administration signaled that the President will endorse this mean-spirited measure.
The Massachusetts ruling recognized that gay and lesbian Americans serve in our military, keep our communities safe as firefighters and police officers, staff our hospitals, build our cities and pay taxes. The Massachusetts court ruled that the state cannot deny to gay couples the same marital legal rights in pensions, health insurance, hospital visitations and inheritance that other committed couples enjoy.
The radical religious right wants to write intolerance into the U.S. Constitution and forbid equality to these citizens. As a nation we have periodically struggled with the question of marriage -- the last law prohibiting people from different races from marrying was overturned only 35 years ago -- but we have never taken the step of amending the Constitution to define marriage. Revising the Constitution to incorporate discrimination is wrong and should be rejected.

Take Action! Urge your Members of Congress to reject efforts to write discrimination into the Constitution!
Click here for more information and to send free faxes to your Members of Congress:

http://www.aclu.org/LesbianGayRights/LesbianGayRights.cfm?ID=9977&c=101

2) Urge Congress to Oppose Overreaching and Punitive Crime Laws
Less than 18 months after the Senate passed rational and balanced federal juvenile justice legislation, two Senators have introduced a new punitive bill that would expand the use of the death penalty and create new ill-defined crimes.
Under this proposed legislation, people could be convicted and sentenced to death for ill-defined illegal ìparticipationî in a ìgang,î which could be as few as three people. The lawís loose definitions and expansion of the death penalty would increase the probability that people are wrongly convicted and possibly even convicted.

This legislation would interfere with the right to a fair trial. Astounding as it sounds, this measure could also allow people to be given felony convictions for hanging out with people who later go out and commit a crime.
Take Action! Tell your Senators to oppose this punitive and irrational legislation.
Click here for more information and to send a free fax to your Senators:
http://www.aclu.org/CriminalJustice/CriminalJustice.cfm?ID=14925&c=15

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