-Amending the Constitution to “define marriage as the union of a man and a woman” would actually deny more than 1,100 rights, protections and benefits to millions of devoted couples and their children.
-Amending the Constitution is very rare and is only done to address great public policy needs. In our Constitution's 214-year history, it was first amended to include the Bill of Rights in 1791. Since then, it has only been amended 17 times.
-Throughout American history, the Constitution has been amended to protect the rights and liberties of the American people. It has been amended to abolish slavery, to keep the government out of people's lives, and to give women and young people the right to vote. It should not be used to single out some Americans for discrimination.
-Many of the major civil rights advances of the last century have resulted from the judicial branch stepping in to ensure that all Americans are provided equal protection under the law. From Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 to Loving v. Virginia in 1967, the courts have provided a necessary and constitutional check on governmental abuses of power and violations of individual rights. Adopting this amendment would take away the constitutional power of the courts to protect individual rights.
-Such a cynical amendment illustrates a cruel irony about groups that call themselves "pro-family." The amendment proposed in the 108th Congress goes beyond defining marriage and seeks to deny gay families fundamental protections such as hospital visitation rights, inheritance rights and health care benefits. There is nothing pro-family about that.
-This amendment not only attempts to deny equal rights to gays and lesbians, but it also attempts to undermine legislative and legal efforts to protect American families who are gay and lesbian couples and their children.
Several leading Republicans and conservatives, such as George Will and Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., oppose the amendment, seeing it as a clear violation of federalist principles.
-Leading legal scholars agree that the amendment could forever invalidate civil unions or other legal protections for same-sex couples, like the right to partner health benefits or fair taxation upon the death of a partner – even if state legislatures passed them and voters approved them.
-In a post-Sept. 11 world, it is very telling and shameful that the far right has nothing better to focus its energies on than introducing a gratuitous anti-gay constitutional amendment.
-There is no groundswell of support for such an amendment except from anti-gay extremists. More than half the country, or 51 percent, favors allowing same-sex couples to form civil unions and receive the same basic legal rights as married couples, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released March 10, 2004. Fifty-two percent of those polled in the March 4-7 survey oppose amending the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriages and say the issue should be left up to the states. Same-sex marriage ranks as the least important of a dozen issues, including the economy, health care and the war on terrorism, it found.
-A majority of Hispanics in the United States oppose amending the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriages, according to an NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll. Fifty-three percent of Hispanics surveyed said they are against such a move, the March 6-8, 2004, survey found. In addition, Catholics are evenly split, on the amendment, with 48 percent opposed and 48 percent supportive of the amendment.
-A Gallup Poll released in May 2003 showed that six in 10 Americans support giving same-sex couples the same legal rights as married heterosexual couples "regarding health care benefits and Social Security survivor benefits." The poll also showed that the country is evenly split, 49 percent in favor and 49 percent against, on allowing same-sex couples to legally form civil unions, giving them some of the legal rights of marriage. This is the strongest support to date in favor of gay and lesbian relationship recognition. In a Gallup Poll from May 2002, 46 percent of Americans favored civil unions, while 51 percent opposed them.
-Although anti-gay forces are trying desperately to make marriage a divisive election issue, a September 2003 Gallup poll showed that only 12 percent of Americans felt that policies toward gays and lesbians were an important election issue, while almost half of those polled cited the economy, the war on terrorism, the situation in Iraq, creating jobs and education as the important issues in the 2004 election.
-Past polling has shown that 90 percent of voters support hospital visitation for same-sex partners; and 66 percent support inheritance rights for same-sex couples.
Next week, the U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA). This coming Monday (7/12) has been unofficially dubbed "Call Your Senator Day" -- literally hundreds of thousands of conservatives nationwide will be calling in to tell their Senators how to vote on the FMA. YOU need to be the counter balance!
After you sign the petition, in the "Write your reps" block in the lower right side bar you can locate your Representative's and Senator's contact information. (This is located on the mainpage of Any Which Way ) Contact them this Monday, 7/12/04 and let them know you believe marriage is a right, not a privelege that can be granted or taken away. Even convicted murderers, rapists, and criminals of the worst kind can be married. Even, in some states,young teenagers can be married. But the evangelical religious right makes the case, based on their bible, that gay marriage is wrong.
Don't let them force their religious beliefs on the rest of the country. With everything going on at this time in our country's history, Congress has better things to worry about than whether or not the love of two people for each other will be recognized by the state. Let them know you want them to kill this amendment and get back to work!
Keep your bible off my laws!
Thanks for all you do!
deuddersun & damagster, scroff & ruthalla