Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

  1. Why is the Massachusetts Protection of Marriage Amendment necessary?
  2. What is the text of the Protection of Marriage Amendment?
  3. Is the definition of marriage an appropriate topic for the constitution?
  4. What is the history of marriage protection efforts in Massachusetts?
  5. What can I do to help assure the amendment's passage in the Legislature?
  6. What about alternature ways to provide benefits?
  7. Is the Benefits Fairness Act fair?















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1. Why is the Massachusetts Protection of Marriage Amendment necessary?

Marriage as the union of a man and a woman is the universal model and predates all nations, religions and laws. The heterosexual marital relationship reflects the fundamental essence of laws of nature and anatomy, and ensures procreation and the nurturing of children. Tens of thousands of studies have proven that the best environment for raising children is a father and a mother living in a lasting, committed marriage relationship.

No-fault divorce, the last social experiment to which the institution of marriage was subjected, has been a 30-year disaster. More than 50 percent of marriages now end in divorce and half the nation's children are living in motherless or fatherless homes. Children living without a father or a mother are more likely to be vulnerable to health problems and are much more likely to be treated for emotional and behavioral problems. Efforts are needed to strengthen the institution, not to further erode it.

Redefining marriage to accommodate homosexuals rejects and changes the proven formula for healthy families and children to satisfy the sexual desires of a small percentage of adults. Homosexual marriage - by definition - creates motherless and fatherless families. There is no substitute for having both a mother and father; it takes a mother and a father to create a child and every child has the right to be raised by a mother and a father. No child should be deprived of these inalienable rights as a matter of public policy.

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2. What is the text of the Protection of Marriage Amendment?

When recognizing marriage entered after the adoption of this amendment by the people, the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall define marriage as only the union of one man and one woman.

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3. Is the definition of marriage an appropriate topic for the constitution?

Yes, absolutely. The Massachusetts state constitution specifically mentions marriage. The constitution is the place to enshrine fundamental rights, basic liberties and the limitations of government. In some respects the Massachusetts Protection of Marriage Amendment does all of these things. Granted, the founders of our country would have readily held these truths regarding marriage to be "self evident". However, today marriage is under attack by a small minority of people and judges who are usurping their role and authority by making new policy from the bench instead of interpreting the law.

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4. What is the history of marriage protection efforts in Massachusetts?

In 2001, the citizens of Massachusetts began the fight to protect the institution of marriage from the efforts of homosexual activists to redefine marriage to include same-sex partners. A citizen petition signature drive was conducted in order to place on the ballot a constitutional amendment defining marriage as exclusively the union of one man and one woman. Despite several attempts to thwart the effort, nearly 130,000 signatures were collected in the fall of 2001.

The first Protection of Marriage Amendment then proceeded to pass all the legal challenges necessary to come before the Constitutional Convention in 2002. The petition was killed, however, with a procedural maneuver by then Senate President Tom Birmingham. The amendment never received a vote, and the will of the people was thwarted by those elected to represent them.

Rep. Phil Travis (D-Rehoboth) filed a new marriage amendment called the Marriage Affirmation & Protection Amendment (MA & PA) in 2003. As a legislative amendment (as opposed to a citizen initiative), it required a majority vote in two consecutive constitutional conventions, not the 25 percent required with a citizen petition.

In 2004, over the course of a Constitutional Convention that lasted three days and spread across two months, the amendment was modified and rewritten to include the establishment of homosexual civil unions with full equality to marriage. This distorted amendment, known as the Travaglini-Lees amendment after its two sponsors, Sen. Robert Travaglini (D-East Boston) and Sen. Brian Lees (R-Indian Orchard), was approved in the Constitutional Convention by a vote of 105-92. This flawed amendment was defeated at a Constitutional Convention in September, 2005.

Volunteers collected a record number of over 170,000 signatures in 2005 to advance the current Marriage Amendment to the legislature. It received the first of two required legislative approvals on January 2, 2007. The Amendment awaits a second legislative vote before it can go to the voters on the statewide ballot so all the people can decide.


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5. What can I do to help assure the amendment's passage in the Legislature?

To be successful, we must have the vote of 50 legislators during the Constitutional Convention. Otherwise, our entire effort fails. Therefore EVERY concerned citizen needs to:

  • Join the pro-vote movement at our website at www.VoteOnMarriage.org and sign up to receive updates and to volunteer. Much of our activity will be coordinated online, so it is crucial that we have everyone sign up online.
  • Make a phone call to your state representative and state senator immediately and urge them to "Let the People Vote" on Marriage, and to support our ballot initiative. (See "key messages" page for what you might say)
  • Pass out and collect postcards at your church or other organization to be mailed to legislators.
  • Schedule a meeting at your church, community center or home to raise awareness about the right-to-vote effort and enlist others you know personally to sign up online and get involved in right-to-vote activities.
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper asking people to join the movement to "Let the People Vote" on marriage
  • Write a personal, handwritten letter to your state representative and senator, Urge them to hold the Constitutional Convention and a full up-or-down vote on the Protection of Marriage Amendment.
  • Help fund the fight. Freedom comes at a price, and your help is needed right now. Help pay for TV and radio ads, direct mail efforts, Website technology and rallies statewide to defend marriage. Donating has never been easier. Give securely online at www.VoteOnMarriage.org. Or make your check payable to VoteOnMarriage.org and mail to: 100 Sylvan Road, Suite 625, Woburn, MA 01801. There is no limit to the amount of money we can accept, so please give generously.
  • Keep us informed. Whenever you make contact with an elected official or the media, it's important that you let us know. Send a quick email to info@VoteOnMarriage.org or call 781-569-0509. We're keeping careful track of all outreach efforts.

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6. What about alternative ways to provide benefits?

VoteOnMarriage.org supports the "Benefits Fairness Act," which is based on need, not sexual preference. The Benefits Fairness Act entitles two Massachusetts adults who are ineligible for marriage to enter into a legal arrangement for reciprocal hospital visitation, health care proxy designation, after-death decisions, inheritance and estate designation, and mental health decisions. The legislation also gives employers the option to include this new designation in their life, health and other benefits programs. It's a win-win solution: offering important benefits to those in need while affirming marriage as one man and one woman.

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7. Is the Benefits Fairness Act fair?

The "Benefits Fairness Act" is fair because it serves all citizens who have needs equally and does not discriminate based on sexual preference. Any two adults ineligible for marriage are welcome to participate.

Our goal is to protect the rights of all people: the right of children to a mom and a dad, the right of adults ineligible for marriage to appropriate benefits, and the right of citizens to a vote on marriage!



2005-2006 VoteOnMarriage.org. All Rights Reserved. Paid for by VoteOnMarriage.org. Robert H. Bradley, Treasurer.