Talking Points on the Federal Marriage Amendment

February 25, 2004

Talking Points on Equality and Marriage

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Marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples

1.      Marriage is a commitment.  It is about sharing, love, trust, and compromise.  Two adults who make this personal choice to form a life-long commitment should not be denied the right to marry just because they are gay or lesbian.

2.      Gay and lesbian Americans are American citizens who pay taxes and protect our communities as fire fighters, police officers, and by serving in the military, and therefore desire the same rights and protections as other Americans.

3.      Denying gay and lesbian couples the right to marry takes away legal rights in pensions, health insurance, hospital visitations, and inheritance that other long-term committed couples enjoy. We should end this discrimination.

4.      Today we look back, almost disbelieving, on the time when many Americans did not tolerate marriage between Catholics and Protestants, or between blacks and whites.  Unfortunately, our laws continue to deny the right to marry to adults just because they are gay or lesbian.

5.      We are not asking people to change their religious beliefs. There are many things about modern society that religious organizations do not endorse. For example, we did not ask the Catholic church or other religions to accept divorce or birth control when they became legal in this country.

Federal Marriage Amendment

1.   The federal marriage amendment is messing with the Constitution.  It is unnecessary, unwise, and political.

2.   With all the many problems that Congress needs to address, it is unbelievable that some in Congress are spending time and resources to amend the U.S. Constitution to make a pronouncement about marriage.

3.   The U.S. Constitution is not the place to change morality every time someone in Congress has an idea about what morality should be.

4.  This Amendment takes away existing legal protections, under state and local laws, for committed, long-term couples, such as hospital visitation rights, inheritance rights, pension benefits, and health insurance coverage among others.

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