Washington, D.C.,–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – U.S. Newswire) –July 30, 2003—LLEGÓ the National Latina/o Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Organization–said President Bush’s remarks today about same-sex marriage and sexual-minority Americans promote inequality and intolerance.
During a press conference on a variety of issues, Bush said he opposes gay marriage and that government attorneys are working on legislation to define marriage as only between men and women. Bush also said the United States should be a “welcoming country,” and that “it is important for our society to respect each individual, to welcome those with good hearts.”
“I am mindful that we’re all sinners and I caution those who may try to take a speck out of the neighbor’s eye when they got a log in their own,” Bush also said.
Martín Ornelas-Quintero, LLEGÓ executive director, said that while the president attempted to convey a note of tolerance, Ornelas-Quintero is disappointed that the president continues to view sexual minorities as second-class citizens and “sinners.”
“Tolerance means equality under the law,” Ornelas-Quintero said. “It means equal benefits for everyone, not just some.”
“Love is not a sin,” Ornelas-Quintero added, “and the president should not distort spiritual belief to support inequality. It’s important that the state simply recognize same-sex couples in the same way that it recognizes opposite-sex couples. Religion is not a part of that.”
Legally sanctioned same-sex marriages are not currently performed anywhere in the U.S., although courts in several states are considering challenges to marriage laws which recognize only male-female relationships. A decision by Massachusetts’ highest court on such a challenge is expected any day.
Vermont grants gay couples civil unions, which provide state benefits. Two Canadian provinces recently legalized full same-sex marriage.
Support for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution declaring marriage as only between men and women has gained support since last month’s Supreme Court decision striking down sodomy laws. Federal law already denies federal benefits to same-sex couples.
LLEGÓ is the United States’ only organization devoted to organizing Latino LGBT communities on a local, regional, national and international level. A nonprofit group, LLEGÓ addresses social, health and political disparities based on sexual orientation, gender identity and ethnicity affecting the Latino LGBT community. LLEGÓ is home to various programs providing infrastructure development to Latino LGBT communities in the U.S. and Latin America.
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