The Man Behind the Marriage Amendment
At a press conference inside the U.S. Capitol to promote the Federal Marriage Amendment, 40-year-old Alliance for Marriage (AFM) founder Matt Daniels is easy to spot. At 6 feet 5 inches, he towers over everyone else in the room.
The Washington, D.C. lawyer is the man behind the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA), which would change the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as the union between one man and one woman. On a hot Monday afternoon in May-the first day homosexuals can legally marry in Massachusetts-Daniels and predominantly African American AFM supporters have gathered to decry homosexual "marriage" and hard-sell the amendment.
Since the Alliance for Marriage's inception in 1999, Daniels and his ethnically, religiously, and politically diverse coalition have been prominent voices in the battle to preserve marriage. Their motto-"more children raised at home with a mother and a father"-
drives their support for marriage tax exemptions, eliminating welfare penalties for married couples, promoting adoption-and, now, thwarting gay marriage.
Daniels saw in the mid-1990s that same-sex marriage would be decided in the courts and that nothing short of a constitutional amendment would stop it. "He's been a prophet of warning and preparation that this is a battle that's coming," says the Rev. John Jenkins, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Landover, Md. "And it's come exactly as he said it would."
Daniels takes pride in his coalition of African American, Hispanic, and Korean denominations, as well as Catholics, Muslims, and Jews. He learned the importance of rallying diverse support as a student at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he helped organize opposition to bringing casinos into Philadelphia, ...