Friday, June 02, 2006

Vote NO on the Marriage Amendment

I reserve my post today for some political pleading. On Monday, June 5th both the PA legislature and the Senate will be considering "Marriage Protection" Amendments. I urge all of you to call your Senators and protest this ridiculous move to codify discrimination into the Constitution, thereby cheapening this important document. If you want to find out the number of your Senator, you can go here. If you need background on the Amendment and Talking Points, NOW has two good sites here and here.

If you are a Pennsylvania resident, I suggest you call one of Spector's regional offices.

PA is also considering a "Marriage Protection" Amendment next week. Here is the language of the bill(this is the house version).

"Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this Commonwealth, and neither the Commonwealth nor any of its political subdivisions shall create or recognize a legal status identical to or substantially equivalent to that of marriage for unmarried individuals."

The definition of marriage imposes one constituents' view of marriage and a particularly religious view--both of which are anti-democratic and blatant violations of the separation of church and state. But, what is equally worrisome is that if this bill passes, then anyone in a relationship that is like marriage, that is Power of Attorney over your partner, Wills, Joint Adoptions, will no longer be recognized legally. This affects untold numbers of people, including senior citizens, like my grandmother who might choose to live with a man, but not get married so as to not lose Social Security or Federal Pension benefits.

I myself am philosophically opposed to marriage, and therefore my commitment to my partner and all legal agreements would be null and void if this bill passes. This is just plain lunacy.

Furthermore, Ohio passed a similar marriage protection amendment, which lead the state's Supreme Court to find Order of Protections against abusive partners to be unconsitutional if the couple wasn't married. So, the unintended consequences of this bill are futher reaching than just bigotry. They prevent protecting women from abusive partners. They deny any legal protections and benefits to couples, like myself, who choose not to marry. They put in jeopardy health benefits to all couples--elderly to young.

These ridiculous, ill thought out laws are just a ploy of the right wing to get their conservative base back for the 2006 and 2008 elections. The waste of time and the horrific consequences of these amendments should spur all of you to call your legislator and demand that he or she vote NO on HB 2381 and SB 1084!

Find your State Senator here and your House Representative here.

Get to your phones now, because the Pennsylvania Family Institute has already contacted all of its members to call and vote YES. Don't let their voices be the loudest ones.