I'm in Washington, trying to convince myself it's the 7:30 a.m. on the alarm clock rather than the 4:30 on my body clock. My work today will be to take part in the Capitol Hill response to President Bush's pushing for the passage of the Federal Marriage Amendment being considered this week by legislators.
From the Integrity press release sent out yesterday:
Integrity President Susan Russell will join other clergy and human rights activists on Capitol Hill on Monday, June 5th, to urge the Senate to resist writing discrimination into the Constitution through the Federal Marriage Amendment—which is due to be voted on Tuesday or Wednesday this week. "As an Episcopal priest I have taken vows to respect the dignity of every human being and as an American citizen I have pledged to uphold liberty and justice for all," Russell said. "The Federal Marriage Amendment violates both of those principles and so I believe it is imperative that people of faith opposed to legislating inequity step up and make their voices heard in this critical debate."
Russell urged all Integrity members and Episcopalians to contact their senators and President Bush to express their opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment. Contact information for senators can be found at www.senate.gov. President Bush can be contacted at 202-456-1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why bother when nobody expects the vote to succeed? Because gay and lesbian families once again being scapegoated on the altar of partisan politics by a president so desperate to rescue his evaporating poll numbers that he'll do or say anything to secure his conservative base needs to be named for what it is: an attack on ALL Americans committed to the equal protection guaranteed by the Constitution. This has nothing to do with defending marriage and everything to do with exploiting it.
Last October I sat in the bleachers in Columbia, South Carolina as my son's graduation from Army boot camp and heard all those brave, young soldiers swear to "defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic." It never occurred to me that a few months later I'd be heading for the steps of the U.S. Capitol to add my voice to those defending the Constitution from a president willing to exploit it for for personal political gain. My son and his colleagues deserve better than that. America deserves better than that. Never mind the vote count on the hill -- THIS is worth bothering with, worth speaking out against, worth getting up at 4:30 a.m.
"Film at eleven" as they say!