Discrimination Amendment Fails
Planned Parenthood Applauds U.S. Senate for Defeating Discriminatory Constitutional Amendment; Senate Vote Upholds American Principle of Equal Rights
Washington, D.C. — Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) today applauded the U.S. Senate for standing up for the rights of all Americans regardless of their sexual orientation. In a vote scheduled by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), the Senate stopped an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would have prevented states from recognizing the right of same-sex couples to marry.
"Planned Parenthood believes strongly that families should be able to make personal decisions free from government interference. Today's vote is a major step forward for the American principle of equal treatment under the law," said PPFA President Cecile Richards.
Today's vote underscores the seamless web of U.S. Supreme Court rulings interpreting the constitutional right to privacy that support an individual's right to freedom from government interference in the most personal, private decisions. In Griswold v. Connecticut, the court struck down a state law that criminalized the use of birth control by married couples, which became the basis for later decisions recognizing privacy rights, including Roe v. Wade. The court reaffirmed these constitutional protections most recently in Lawrence v. Texas, striking down the Texas law that made it a crime for individuals of the same sex to engage in certain intimate sexual contact.
PPFA opposes any attempt to amend the Constitution to undo the effects of Supreme Court decisions that articulate the constitutional guarantee of fundamental privacy rights or to undermine the Constitution's principles of equal protection. We advocate an end to inequality and discrimination that are barriers to realization of the right to make private reproductive decisions. We trust individuals to make responsible choices, we support loving families in all of their relationship forms, and we work to ensure that they are strong and secure. For these reasons, Planned Parenthood opposes attempts to limit the rights of same-sex couples through this unprecedented effort to write discrimination into the Constitution of the United States.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America is the nation's leading sexual and reproductive health care advocate and provider. We believe that everyone has the right to choose when or whether to have a child, and that every child should be wanted and loved. Planned Parenthood affiliates operate more than 860 health centers nationwide, providing medical services and sexuality education for millions of women, men, and teenagers each year. We also work with allies worldwide to ensure that all women and men have the right and the means to meet their sexual and reproductive health care needs.