ADL Criticizes House Approval of ‘Marriage Protection Act Of 2004’
Washington, DC, July 22, 2004… The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today criticized passage by the House of Representatives of the “Marriage Protection Act of 2004,” legislation which would preclude the Supreme Court and other federal courts from hearing challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act.
“By eliminating the possibility of judicial review of these cases, this measure circumvents our nation’s time-honored system of checks and balances,” said Barbara B. Balser, ADL National Chair and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “Fundamental rights should not be subject to geographical boundaries or the passions of ever-changing political majorities. The Senate should reject this dangerous and unnecessary end-run around the normal process of judicial review.”
Under this misnamed measure, gay and lesbian people would be barred from pressing in federal court claims regarding the legal status of their marriages in different states and for the purposes of federal law. Instead, the determination of such questions would be left to the highest court in each of the 50 states – resulting in a patchwork of rights and privileges for individuals that begin and end at state borders. This proposed legislation targets a single group of people for discriminatory access to the federal courts, and the League had written to members of the Judiciary Committee and House leadership in opposition to the bill.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.