poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Monday, May 17, 2004


Sheri A. Lunn – Director of Communications – 323.857.8751
Roberta Sklar – Press Secretrary – 917.704.6358


-Missouri Legislature Passes Anti-Gay Constitutional Amendment

-The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Task is on the ground in St. Louis helping to organize progressive voters to defeat this measure

St. Louis, MO - May 17, 2004 - The Missouri Legislature on Friday passed a proposed amendment to the state constitution that, if passed by voters, would only recognize marriages between a man and a woman and deny equal marriage rights - and the protections that come along with civil marriage - to same-sex couples. It passed the House by a 124-25 vote, after previously clearing the Senate by a 26-6 vote.

"The Missouri Legislature on Friday joined the national anti-gay right wing agenda - an agenda that is attempting to divert attention away from the real issues important to every Missourian, issues like healthcare, jobs, and terrorism. This proposed constitutional amendment is just another attempt to permanently make same-sex couples second class citizens by denying them equal marriage rights," said Matt Foreman, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director.

"We intend to fight this anti-gay state constitutional amendment by going door-to-door and talking to registered voters about the human costs to Missouri families if this measure passes," said Doug Gray, campaign manager for the Constitutional Defense League, the statewide campaign committee established to defeat this amendment.

Missouri is one of 38 states that has a so-called "Defense of Marriage" law already on the books defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Missouri voters may be among the first to vote on a referendum on gay marriage in the 2004 election cycle. According to the Associated Press, the question would be put to voters on the November ballot unless Gov. Bob Holden decides to place it on the ballot for August's political primary elections. Voters will be asked to add one sentence to the constitution: "That to be valid and recognized in this state, a marriage shall exist only between a man and a woman." Other states like Georgia, Mississippi, Utah, and Kentucky will be facing similar constitutional amendments.

"Our goal will be to support the statewide campaign effort as they begin organizing in every precinct in Missouri and help them build the largest list of progressive voters in the state," Foreman added. "Our community will have a very strong statewide campaign and target specific areas to maximize our community's base of support. The Task Force field team has already been working with local leaders and was on the ground in Missouri Friday running a training session. We will continue to work side-by-side with the Constitutional Defense League to defeat this discriminatory amendment."

More information on the struggle for marriage equality can be found online in the Task Force Marriage Information Resource Center, online at


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