Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Public Policy Action

Opposition to Marriage Protection Amendment

OPPOSITION TO THE “MARRIAGE PROTECTION AMENDMENT”
PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO BAN SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

PROBLEM

The “Marriage Protection Amendment” would amend the PA Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, civil unions, and other legal recognition or benefits to same-sex partners. A similar provision enacted in Ohio resulted in the denial of domestic violence protections for unmarried couples. In 2006, the PCADV Board voted both to oppose the “Marriage Protection Amendment” and any other legislation that would support only one man and one woman as a recognizable marriage in PA. PCADV joined the Value All Families Coalition to coordinate our opposition efforts with allied groups.

In February 2008, the Marriage Protection Act was again introduced, again bringing with it the unintended consequence of jeopardizing the safety of unmarried PFA plaintiffs, as well as its intended consequence of discriminating against LGBT persons.

PROGRESS

PCADV lobbied aggressively each time the same-sex marriage ban bill advanced, alerting legislators to the dangers the bill posed to the PFA Act’s protections for unmarried victims, as well as our opposition to continued discrimination against LGBT persons. Our lobbying, in conjunction with that of other groups, helped turn the tide in the momentum of the bill and the bill has not passed, nor is there much will among legislators to renew the issue again.

2012 ACTION STEPS ON THE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE BAN

  • Continue legislative advocacy to oppose the Marriage Protection Act and to support legislation that promotes equal treatment of all families and persons;
  • Continue participation in the Value All Families Coalition;
  • Continue to monitor activity on this and like legislation, and if it begins advancing through the legislature, PCADV will advocate strongly against it, based on the potential consequence of jeopardizing the safety of unmarried PFA plaintiffs and on our principled opposition to ending oppression, including discrimination against LGBT persons.
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