I am not American and have no representative to contact. I also happen to live in a country where same-sex marriage is legal (despite the desire of our current prime minister and some of his supporters that it were not). However, I feel very strongly about this issue.
I feel so strongly in fact, that I sit on the board of the Alternatives to Marriage Project and organization that provides information for those who are not married and advocates for an end to marital status discrimination. AtMP put out a press release about the Defense of Marriage amendment. We have also appointed an intern to do research for us this summer to help us with our campaigns against this and similar state amendments that are cropping up all over the place.
This issue is not just about same sex marriage. These amendments often also make it difficult or impossible to provide domestic partner benefits and make it very difficult for thsoe who make commitments to each other but are not married to have those commitments honoured or to provide for those who they consider to be their family. Many Americans (like those in other western industrialized countries) now live in non-marital relationships for part of their adult lives whether before marriage, between marriages, or after the death of a partner (yes, the elderly cohabit, too). This type of amendment may affect you directly, or someone you know and care about.
I would ask you to go to the Alternatives to Marriage website and sign the Affirmation of Family Diversity. You may also want to make a donation to help us with the important media work we do raising issues of family diversity.
And all you Canadians, don’t be too complacent. Remind your MP that we have constitutional protection from marital status discrimination. Don’t let the social conservatives in Harper’s camp use same-sex marriage to try to get that out of there. Because I don’t believe for one minute that they don’t think it is right that married people should be treated differently from the rest of us.