People For the American Way and the affiliated People For the American Way Foundation support full equality for all Americans, including equal marriage rights for same-sex couples under civil law. PFAWF filed an amicus curiae brief in the Lawrence v. Texas case, which overturned laws that criminalized private adult consensual sexual activity, as well as in Goodridge, the Massachusetts marriage case.
The legal protections that have been afforded to couples in some states and localities through civil union or domestic partner laws are incredibly important to them and their families. But those provisions still do not provide all of the legal protections provided by marriage. And they still leave gay and lesbian people being treated differently, as second-class citizens. They leave families vulnerable. And that’s not right. Even many Americans who are uncertain about extending full equal marriage rights to same-sex couples support steps to reduce the inequities and dangers gay families face due to their inability to gain legal recognition. And many of them oppose amending the Constitution in a way that would restrict civil rights protections rather than expand them.
Our country will be stronger when all children and parents in all families have access to the legal protections that civil marriage provides. Our country is diminished by groups advocating that discrimination be enshrined in our Constitution and laws, and by the Bush administration’s willingness to seek short-term political gain by encouraging efforts that foment bigotry and division.