ACLU Wants You to Phone Home

October 4, 2004 12:00 am

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National Campaign Encourages People from States with Anti-Gay Family Amendments on the Ballot to Speak Out

NEW YORK – Today, the American Civil Liberties Union launched a nationwide push to encourage people with ties to the 11 states that will be voting on anti-gay family constitutional amendments this November to phone their friends and relatives back home and speak out about these harmful amendments. A copy of the e-mail blast developed for this campaign is available at

“”Gay people and their families are being attacked like never before,”” said Matt Coles, Director of the ACLU’s Lesbian and Gay Rights Project. “”Most of the amendments being voted on this November go much further than just limiting marriage between a man and a woman. Many were deceptively drafted to block gay people from obtaining any protections for their families.””

“”But Americans value fairness,”” he added, “”and when they see how these laws will harm families, they won’t support them. That’s why it’s critical that everyone reach out to their family and friends and explain that these amendments could result in same-sex couples being treated as legal strangers.””

The “”Phone Home”” campaign targets people who have ties to as well as people within the 11 states with amendments on the November ballot, which include Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Utah. While the sponsors of these amendments have largely claimed that they are necessary to protect “traditional” marriage, the amendments in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah could potentially ban any type of same-sex relationship recognition including civil unions and domestic partnerships.

The ACLU is urging people to make the following points when speaking out against these amendments:

  • Same sex couples are committed and take responsibility for each other just like heterosexual couples.
  • It is cruel and unfair for same-sex couples to be treated as strangers from one another, especially if one is sick or dying.
  • America welcomes everyone; we don’t use our state constitutions to pass judgment on each other.

The “”Phone Home”” initiative is a part of a broader “”Fighting for Marriage”” campaign developed by the ACLU to encourage activists to fight for marriage equality. The ACLU developed a comprehensive online toolkit, available at, which provides practical advice and resources designed to make the case for, and counter arguments against, marriage equality. The kit includes talking points in support of marriage equality and against anti-gay relationship amendments, successful lobbying strategies, arguments for countering opponents’ rhetoric, resources to aid in building local coalitions to defeat anti-gay amendments, and ideas for community mobilization.

While the battles over same-sex relationships are being fought, the ACLU also encourages people to push for domestic partnership policies in their communities and places of employment. Detailed instructions for advocating for domestic partnership policies are available by visiting and clicking on “”Relationships.””

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