Your Answer Matters Quick Facts
- Your Answer Matters is a project of Pennsylvania For Marriage, a statewide coalition of concerned citizens and organizations committed to protecting the definition of marriage in the Commonwealth. Learn more about this grassroots effort at http://www.paformarriage.org/.
- The goal of this website is to promote awareness about an upcoming campaign by national activists to replace the legal definition of marriage in Pennsylvania with one that includes lifestyle and relationship definitions other than “the union of one man and one woman.” Beyond educating the public about these efforts, our team is building crucial grassroots support for the Pennsylvania Marriage Amendment.
- Eleanor Rossman, executive director for Pennsylvania For Marriage, along with other pro-family organizations are speaking out on behalf of marriage. Pennsylvania For Marriage invites you to contact us regarding speaking and volunteer opportunities in your region of Pennsylvania.
- “Established in 1681″ refers to the year William Penn was granted a land charter from King Charles I. Since its foundational days, Pennsylvania has recognized marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Voters in states as diverse as Arizona, California and Florida passed ballot measures to preserve one man, one woman marriage in their state constitutions. The result shows that the importance and value of marriage transcends ethnic, religious, geographical and political backgrounds. And voters do not want the will of the people thwarted by activist judges.
The PA For Marriage Coalition is working to give Pennsylvanians a similar chance to vote, so that Pennsylvania can now join the 30 other states that have an amendment to protect marriage between a husband and wife.
Q. What is the Pennsylvania Marriage Protection Amendment?
A. With pressure on all sides for same-sex marriage to be legalized, those who believe in traditional families must be vigilant in protecting what we had always taken for granted. Those seeking to drastically redefine marriage will work through the courts and in public opinion to get what they want. To prevent the destruction of marriage in Pennsylvania, several groups have joined together to lobby for an amendment to the state constitution which would limit marriage to one man and one woman. This would keep Pennsylvania’s courts and a few activists from overturning the definition of marriage against the will of the citizens. The current language of the amendment not yet available to the public.
Q. What will the amendment do?
A. The amendment will:
-Prevent courts from imposing a new definition of marriage on PA without the consent of her citizens
-Prevent courts from forcing recognition of other states’; same sex marriages
-Prevent a court’s “finding” a constitutional right to same-sex marriage
-Prevent automatic granting of rights under definition of marriage
-Prevent local governments from recognizing marriage independently
The amendment will not:
-Prevent private employers from granting benefits to couples
-Prevent petitioning of the government for other rights (legislatively)
-effect current Supreme Court rulings
Q. Is amending the constitution really necessary? Don’t we already have a DOMA?
A. It’s true that Pennsylvania, like 37 other states, already has a law which limits marriage to one man and one woman. Legal experts agree, however, that in the event of a lawsuit, the DOMA is likely to be overturned or struck down. It is also possible that court rulings at the national level could render such laws “unconstitutional”;. An amendment to the state constitution is much more likely to withstand such challenges.
Q. What’s the big deal about same-sex marriage?
A. If same-sex marriage were permitted, the definition of marriage would be lost entirely. Marriage would no longer be recognized as the crucial, indispensable building block of society, responsible for preparing future generations. Instead, marriage will be one option, no more or less beneficial or acceptable than cohabitation, single parenting, or homosexual households. The next generation would suffer most under this new policy. Our children’s psyches are not an acceptable subject for experimentation.
Q. Isn’t this about civil rights?
A. No. There is no constitutional right to marry whomever you please. Marriage is a contract extended to those who qualify. No one can marry a close blood relative, or a child, or someone who is already married, or someone of the same sex. Society can and does place conditions on the institution of marriage. If, as Andrew Sullivan says, “The right to marry whomever you want is a fundamental civil right,” how do we say ‘no’ to a woman who wants to become the third wife of a polygamist”?
It is also interesting to consider that no one is restricting the access any qualifying individual to marriage. If a single homosexual adult wishes to marry, he may. But he must meet the standards of the contract: he must marry someone who is not currently married, he must marry someone who is of legal age, and he must marry someone of the opposite sex. If he chooses not to meet those qualifications, then he is willingly refusing to enter the contract – it is not denied to him.