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Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment Introduced in the House

The Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) to the US Constitution was introduced today in the House of Representatives. Drafted by an anti-gay, anti-lesbian, self-proclaimed “multicultural coalition” called the Alliance for Marriage, the amendment explicitly defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The FMA would also nullify existing domestic partnership laws in eight states and over 100 counties, cities, and towns. Rights such as hospital visitations, medical decisions, health insurance, adoption, foster care, or kinship care could be invalidated.

The implications of this amendment are substantial. Most importantly, incorporation of its narrow language into the US Constitution threatens the Constitution’s fundamental protections on individual liberty. Christopher Andrews, legislative counsel to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) warned, “This amendment is the legal equivalent of a nuclear bomb. It will wipe out every single law protecting gay and lesbian families and other unmarried couples.”

The amendment, co-sponsored by Reps. David Phelps (D-IL), Ralph Hall (D-TX), Sue Myrick (R-NC), Jo Ann Davis (R-VA), and Chris Cannon (R-UT), requires two-thirds majority in the House and Senate as well as ratification by 38 state legislatures. Several organizations have already opposed the FMA, including the Feminist Majority (FM), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the National Organization of Women (NOW), and the Human Rights Campaign.

TAKE ACTION: Tell your member of the House of Representatives to oppose sexual orientation discrimination and vote AGAINST the Federal Marriage Amendment.

Sources:

United Press International, 5/14/02; ACLU Freedom Network, 7/11/01 & 7/12/01; National Organization for Women, 7/12/01

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