Statement from Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund on Proposal for Anti-Marriage Amendment
(NEW YORK, Thursday, July 12) — The group called the Alliance for Marriage says that it is dedicated to promoting marriage because marriage is important for families. Lambda agrees that marriage is important, and that is why we support the right of committed couples, gay or non-gay, to marry. Many families can be strengthened by the legal rights and responsibilities that civil marriage provides. For example, with marriage a spouse can:
- protect children through a strengthened parent-child relationship;
- rely on financial support from the other spouse;
- participate in health care and medical decisions, and have hospital visitation;
- take medical leave to care for an ill spouse;
- automatically inherit the home and personal possessions.
Marriage is not strengthened or promoted by preventing same-sex couples from marrying. That discrimination only makes the stability and benefits of marriage available to fewer people. Same-sex couples want the same things that other couples do for their families, and it is wrong to make it harder for them to commit to each other, support each other, stay together, and protect their children.
As more and more fair-minded Americans consider the value of marriage protections for their own families, they understand why committed same-sex couples should be able to marry. That may be one reason why two-thirds of Americans believe that same-sex couples will win the freedom to marry (Wall Street Journal/NBC, September 1999). And that is why we are confident that any effort to amend the United States Constitution to divide our country, into families we help and families we hurt, will fail.