Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

The Constitution and Gay Marriage

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

The Constitution and Gay Marriage

Article excerpt

Antigay activists propose a constitutional amendment to keep gay people from going down the aisle

Claiming that gay marriage rights would accelerate the "tide of family disintegration" in the United States, an ethnically and religiously diverse group of social conservatives called the Alliance for Marriage took the battle against gay rights up a notch in July--proposing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would ban gay marriage.

"Our nation cannot go forward unless our laws send a positive message to children about marriage, family, and their future," said Alliance executive director Matt Daniels, announcing the proposal in Washington, D.C., on July 12.

Gay activists and legal experts said the amendment would not just ban gay marriage but could also erode some civil rights protections as well as domestic-partnership privileges for unmarried straight couples. "It's a very sloppily but broadly written attack on gay people and our families and potentially others as well," said longtime civil rights attorney Evan Wolfson.

"States have always had the right to decide what their own marriage laws should be, [which] may very well be [the amendment's] downfall," noted Barbara Cox, a professor and associate dean at the California Western School of Law in San Diego. …

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