Republican Senate Leadership Trades Equality for Bigotry to Win Votes, Says PFLAG
WASHINGTON, July 9 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), our country's premier family grassroots organization, strongly opposes the Republican Senate's leadership attempts to trade people's lives for political partisanship by trying to force a ban on marriage equality through the Congress.
"This is clearly a ploy designed to play on bigotry and incite fear to win votes," said Ron Schlittler, executive director of PFLAG. "Many Senators, Republicans and Democrats, believe that our Constitution should not be used as a tool of government enforced discrimination; however, the Republican leadership that supports the Federal Marriage Amendment is not interested in a substantive debate of the issue. Their goal is to placate a radical right-wing faction by altering the Constitution to suit their own personal prejudice."
The families of gay and lesbian couples are also speaking out against the Amendment push. "I have come to expect that some people, including my representatives in Congress, will never look at my daughter as an equal citizen," says Perry Norton, PFLAG Dad and father of Heidi Norton, one of the litigants in the Massachusetts marriage case. "But it pains me to no end that they would go as far as forcing a vote on this shameful law. They don't have to do it, but they will because this is an election year. How can these people trade the lives of my daughter, her partner and my dear grandchildren to shore-up votes from the far-right? It is unconscionable."
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is the nation's foremost family-based organization committed to the civil rights of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender persons. Founded in 1973 by mothers and fathers, PFLAG has 250,000 members and supporters in over 500 chapters throughout the United States.
Park event to celebrate gay pride
The event celebrates gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender pride, but organizers emphasize that everybody is welcome to Saturday in the Park, marking its 10th year at Vancouver's Esther Short Park.
Opening activities will include a flag ceremony and invocation by a representative of the Metropolitan Community Church of the Gentle Shepherd in Vancouver. Speakers will include Vancouver Mayor Royce Pollard, State Rep. Bill Fromhold, D-Vancouver, County Commissioner Craig Pridemore, State Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, and County Commissioner Betty Sue Morris.
This year's theme, "Our World is Your World: Freedom, Faith and Equality," is reflected in the musical entertainment planned for the afternoon. It begins at 12:30 p.m. with an appearance by the Rose City Swing Band; other performers are soloist Terry Smith, singer-songwriter Amy Wells, the band Colorfield, The Gay Washingtons, Chris Mix and Dezhon.