Begins Work on Anti-Gay Amendment
February 7, 2004
By Paul Johnson, 365Gay.com Newscenter, Washington Bureau
Washington, D.C.—The Senate has
begun work on a bill to amend the US Constitution to prevent same-sex
marriages and playing a key role will the former Texas Supreme Court justice
who dismissed challenges to the state’s sodomy law.
Republican Sen. John Cornyn voted to throw out
lower-court decisions that declared the state’s sodomy law unconstitutional.
The law was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court last year.
During his 2002 Senate campaign, Cornyn vowed if elected
he do all in his power to prevent making violence prompted by a victims’
sexual orientation a federal crime. Cornyn also is on record as opposed
adoption by gay couples.
He has been a vocal opponent to same sex marriage. Friday
he condemned the justices of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts for its ruling
on gay marriage, (story) and announced that as chairman of the Senate
Judiciary Committee he would take the lead in stewarding the amendment
legislation through the Senate.
The Judiciary Committee oversees legislation that affects
“The time has come for the appropriate committees in
this body to convene hearings to determine how best we can respond to this
startling display of judicial activism that so threatens our fundamental
institutions and our values,” Cornyn, said from the Senate floor.
Randall Ellis, executive director of the Lesbian/Gay
Rights Lobby of Texas, said the influence Cornyn could have on shaping a
constitutional amendment banning gay marriage is “scary.”
“History has judged people on the wrong sides of these
issues very harshly,” the Human Rights’ Campaign’s Mark Shields told
365Gay.com. “Eventually his past will catch up to him.
Shields said he hopes fair-minded members on both sides
of the isle will oppose the bill. “Any attempt to amend the Constitution to
deny people their rights is a dangerous thing,” said Shields.