After years of failing to persuade a Republican-controlled Congress to pass a federal marriage amendment (FMA), Alliance for Marriage (AFM) founder Matt Daniels has decided to take his campaign to the states.
Despite bipartisan support, the FMA never mustered the two-thirds majority needed for ratification in both congressional chambers. Democratic control makes the amendment significantly less likely to pass.
"We want to go where the momentum is strongest," Daniels told CT.
AFM announced its strategy shift on February 27 by launching the Marriage Protection Caucus (MPC). Initially, lawmakers who make up the MPC will try to advance amendments in states without a constitutional definition of marriage. In states with amendments, the MPC will promote non-binding resolutions. Daniels said lawmakers in 14 states are already drafting model legislation.
Forty-five statesall but Massachusetts, Wyoming, New Mexico, New York, and Vermonthave enacted some type of protection for traditional marriage. Voters in 27 states have approved constitutional amendments.
Daniels said he still believes only federal action can protect marriage, but he hopes state action will force the issue for Congress. Passage in three-fourths of the states (38) is required for a federal amendment to become law.
"The ultimate solution has got to be a federal marriage amendment," said Tom Minnery, vice president of Focus on the Family. "We have to have one definition of family for the country."
The doomed effort to pass the FMA confirmed what former Family Research Council president Ken Connor suspected all along, he told CT.
"It is appropriate to go to the states and fight the battle," Connor said. "It's a much more prudent and manageable strategy that will ...1
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