Hoyer: Bush Cynically Exploits Wedge Issue to Divert Attention from His Abysmal Record

For Immediate Release:

February 24, 2004

Contact:Stacey Farnen
202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in response to President Bush’s statement that he will support a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage:

“It’s official.  President Bush, the self-proclaimed compassionate conservative who came to Washington pledging to change the tone and to be a uniter not a divider, is kicking off his re-election campaign by cynically exploiting a wedge issue that panders to his political base and diverts attention from his abysmal record in office.

“With unprecedented concern about our national security, the lack of a ‘success’ strategy in the reconstruction of Iraq and the loss of 2.3 million jobs during the last three years, no wonder George W. Bush wants to shift attention away from his record and ignite a national debate on same-sex marriage.

“George W. Bush and Republicans will rue the day that they tried to enshrine in our celebrated Constitution – a document admired world-wide for its guarantee and protection of fundamental individual rights – an amendment that at its core is based in intolerance and divisiveness.  I voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, and believe – just like Vice President Cheney – that this is an issue that should be regulated by the states.”

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