Pelosi: 'Marriage Protection Act Undermines Supreme Court and Our System of Checks and Balances'
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke this afternoon on the House floor in opposition to H.R. 3313, the so-called Marriage Protection Act of 2004, which would strip jurisdiction from federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, preventing them from ruling on challenges to the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The bill was later approved by a vote of 233 to 194. Below are Pelosi's remarks:
On Marriage Protection Act:
"This bill will impact the very foundation of our government -- it impedes the uniformity of federal law, it sets a dangerous precedent, and it does grave damage to the separation of powers."
"Mr. Speaker, I have been married for over 40 years. And I cannot, for the life of me, think how this legislation that is on the floor today, the so called Marriage Protection Act, is any protection for my marriage. In fact, I think it is not a protection of the rights of Americans.
"Every Member of this body has taken a solemn oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. That is our oath of office.
"All Members should consider that this bill has far-reaching consequences for the separation of powers that has been the hallmark of our Constitution,our government, and our rights as American citizens. We must today honor our oath of office and oppose this legislation.
"This court stripping bill is not about reaffirming the Defense of Marriage Act, or even about gay marriage. The fundamental issue in this bill is whether we want to undermine the Supreme Court, the federal judiciary and our system of checks and balances.
By Nick Redmond
NATIONAL Party Candidate for Calare Robert Griffith has posted an apology on his website to the gay community but maintains same sex marriages should be banned.
In response to growing criticism and a complaint lodged with the Anti Discrimination Board, Mr Griffith has removed a web page about the Marriage Act of 1961.
The page said the society of the day would have found the idea that "same-sex partners could masquerade as real parents and be responsible for raising children as abhorrent to most people."
Nepalese Supreme Court’s Proposed Ban
Letter to the Minister of Home Affairs
The Hon. Purna Bahadur Khadka
Minister of Home Affairs
Ministry of Home Affairs,
Singha Durbar, Kathmandu, Nepal
We are writing to express grave concern over the Nepalese Supreme Court’s proposed ban on activities, including advocacy, by or on behalf of lesbians, gay men, transgender people, and men who have sex with men. The threatened ban comes in the wake of repeated recent allegations of police misconduct against these communities. We urge your Ministry to respond to the Court’s recent writ by affirming that the basic freedoms of association, expression, and assembly must be enjoyed by all without discrimination. To do otherwise would be to endorse a flagrant violation of fundamental human rights. It would also silence those who document and defend against human rights abuses, and would send a dangerous message to those who perpetrate such abuses that they can do so with impunity.
As you are aware, on July 12, 2004, Nepal’s Supreme Court issued a writ demanding that the Ministry of Home Affairs show cause within fifteen days why “open homosexual activities” should not be banned. The writ came in response to a petition by a private attorney, dated June 18, requesting a ban on the activities of the Blue Diamond Society, a non-governmental organization working in the areas of sexual health and human rights. The petition accused the group of trying to “make homosexual activities legal.” The petition demanded the organization be barred on the grounds that homosexual conduct is prohibited by law in Nepal.
The Blue Diamond Society has engaged in outreach around issues of HIV/AIDS and other health concerns to communities of men who have sex with men and metis (transgender persons). It has also documented instances of police violence against these communities, called for official investigations, and raised public awareness about these abuses. These activities have frequently subjected the Blue Diamond Society and its constituencies to retaliation. Most recently, a demonstration organized by the Society on July 5 to protest recent alleged police abuses against metis was disrupted by police while marching peacefully from the Bhadrakhali Temple toward Singha Durbar to present a petition to the Prime Minister. Police reportedly dispersed the group violently, beating several of the protesters.