President Bush Endorses Marriage Protection Week

Melanie Hunter | Deputy Managing Editor | Thursday, October 9, 2003

President Bush Endorses Marriage Protection Week

( - A conservative, pro-family group Thursday thanked President Bush for endorsing Marriage Protection Week with a presidential proclamation.

"This president and his wife have done more to exemplify good marriage to a nation of broken families than any couple in recent times," said Sandy Rios, president of Concerned Women for America. CWA and other groups have designated Oct. 12-18 as Marriage Protection Week.

During that time, like-minded conservatives are urged to contact their elected officials to express support for a federal marriage amendment that would define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

CWA and other groups say a constitutional amendment is needed to back up a federal law, which, they say, may be undermined by an activist judiciary.

"Marriage is the support beam of society," Rios said in a press release. "The President understands this both in his personal life and his public policy, and we thank God for that."

DNC enraged by Marriage Protection Week, encourages 'Coming Out Day'

Meanwhile, Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe lashed out at conservatives for their support of the Marriage Protection Week.

"These groups, who have formed 'The Coalition to Protect Marriage,' last week declared that with Bush's support they would begin lobbying all members of Congress for the passage of the anti-gay 'Federal Marriage Amendment,'" McAuliffe said in a statement.

"The DNC has already declared its opposition to this amendment, which legal experts from both ends of the political spectrum have acknowledged would be used to repeal hundreds of laws enacted by state legislatures to provide basic benefits and rights to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) Americans," McAuliffe added.

Instead, the DNC has recognized October 11, one day before the Marriage Protection Week begins, as the 16th Annual National Coming Out Day. McAuliffe calls "coming out" a "tremendous act of courage."

"In most states, GLBT Americans do not have the full protection of the law from violent attacks motivated by hate and misunderstanding. In 36 states, it is legal to fire someone who is otherwise qualified simply because they identify as GLBT," McAuliffe said.

"While President Bush continues to use attacks on GLBT Americans as a political strategy, Democrats continue to work toward creating an environment that makes it easier for all GLBT Americans to come out," McAuliffe said in a statement.

Read the president's proclamation

Read the DNC statement on Marriage Protection Week

Read the DNC statement on National Coming Out Day

( Morning Editor Susan Jones contributed to this report.)

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