Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Federal Constitutional Marriage Amendment

Get ready to defend yourself or someone you love. Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO) will reintroduce the Marriage Protection Amendment on the senate floor today.

Please call or write your congressman (how to info below) and let them know that with a protracted war in Iraq, potential trouble in Iran and other countries, a flailing economy, rising gas prices, and potential terrorist threats you would like to see the senate worry about things that will keep you from getting blown away or ending up in the poor house rather than exploring ways to further marginalize a minority.

Why a federal amendment is a bad idea:

The passing of a federal MPA goes against federalist principles that allow states to decide these kinds of things for themselves. With 11 states banning equal protection for families of same-sex couples in the last year, no one seems to need any help from Allard and the right wing fundamentalists. The bigger point, however, is that letting states decide allows each state to figure out how they want to structure their experiment with allowing gay marriage or not. And it gives families who face descrimination options (though few) to move to places where they are protected should their state decide to ban them from ever receiving protection.

To send your senator an e-mail message now, go here.

The following people thank you for your help:

  • Spouses who are currently denied the right to make decisions on a partner's behalf in a medical emergency. If an individual is unmarried, the legal "next of kin" automatically assumes this right. This means, for example, that a gay man with a life partner of many years may be forced to accept the financial and medical decisions of a sibling or parent with whom he may have a distant or even hostile relationship.  

  • Spouses who are unable to take up to 12 weeks of leave from work to care for a seriously ill partner or parent of a partner. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 permits individuals to take such leave to care for ill spouses, children and parents but not a partner or a partner's parents. 

  • Spouses whose same-sex partners are not allowed to immigrate.

  • Spouses who have adopted children, but who are denied the right to assume parenting rights and responsibilities when children are brought into a family through birth, adoption, surrogacy or other means. For example, in most states, there is no law providing a noncustodial, nonbiological or nonadoptive parent's right to visit a child - or responsibility to provide financial support for that child - in the event of a breakup.

  • Families who are denied Social security benefits, income and estate tax benefits, disability benefits, family-related military and veterans benefits and other important benefits.

  • Spouses who do not have the right to inherit property from a partner in the absence of a will.

  • Families who are denied access to 1,138 federal rights protections, and responsibilities automaticaly granted to married heterosexual couples

These are just a few of the tens of thousands of Americans who are grateful for your help. Biggie up to the Human Rights Campaign for the family rights talking points.


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