FAQs

INITIATIVE LANGUAGE:

“A marriage between a man and a woman is the only legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.”


1.      What is the ProtectMarriage.com Coalition?

Answer: ProtectMarriage.com is a broad-based coalition of national, state, and local pro-family organizations, churches and individuals united to amend the California Constitution to protect the institution of marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman. To date, the coalition represents over 1 million people in California .  Click here for a list of coalition members.


2.      Why is a coalition necessary?

Answer: Working together as a coalition solidifies widespread support across California and the nation. The combined resources - both in funding and volunteer - can accomplish the huge task of passing a statewide constitutional amendment protecting marriage.  Working together as a coalition also ensures that the traditional meaning of marriage is promoted in a manner consistent with the broad range of cultural, religious and political beliefs of Californians who all support traditional marriage in different ways and for different reasons.


3.      Why is a constitutional amendment necessary? Didn’t Californians already vote on something like this?

Answer: In the March 2000 election, the voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 22 by over 61% of the vote.  Prop. 22 added a regular statute to the California Family Code to keep marriage between a man and a woman and prevent the state Legislature from redefining marriage without a vote of the people. Since then however, politicians and judges have chipped away at Prop 22 and ignored the will of the voters. For

example:


·        Last year San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom thumbed his nose at California voters by issuing marriage licenses to thousands of homosexual couples in open defiance of Proposition 22.  Ultimately, the courts declared those so-called “marriages” to be invalid, but left the door open to a future constitutional challenge against traditional marriage.

·        Additionally, the courts have undermined Proposition 22 and marriage by upholding an act of the Legislature that gave homosexual “domestic partners” the full legal status of married spouses.  Most recently, a San Francisco judge ruled that Proposition 22, a regular statute, violates the California Constitution and ordered the licensing of same-sex “marriages.” That decision is currently being appealed in the courts.

·        The Legislature is now considering legislation to allow licensing of homosexual "marriage."


An amendment to the California Constitution, which requires a vote of the people, is the only way to stop the politicians, and especially the courts, from re-defining marriage against the will of the majority of Californians. 


4.      What would the Protect Marriage constitutional amendment do?

Answer: If passed, the Protect Marriage Amendment would add the following to the state constitution:


“A marriage between a man and a woman is the only legal union
that shall be valid or recognized in this state.”


Eighteen other states have voted to amend their constitutions in a similar way.


5.      How is the ProtectMarriage Amendment different from Prop 22?  Can the California courts still overrule a constitutional amendment?

Answer: Proposition 22 added a regular statute to the California Family Code.  Regular statutes are a “lower” law than the state constitution.  By adding the ProtectMarriage Amendment to the state constitution, which is the highest source of law in the state, the California courts would be required to uphold marriage because there is no other source of “higher” state law than the California Constitution.


6.      Would the ProtectMarriage Amendment allow “homosexual marriage by a different name”?

Answer:  No.  By recognizing marriage between a man and a woman as the only legal union in California , this amendment would prevent any law from recognizing, or giving rights on the basis of, other personal relationships that attempt to imitate marriage, such as homosexual “domestic partnerships” or “civil unions.”


7.      Would the ProtectMarriage Amendment allow the Legislature to give, or require private employers to give, the legal rights and benefits of married spouses to other relationships, such as “domestic partnerships”?

Answer:  No.  Since marriage would be the only legal union that may be recognized under the ProtectMarriage Amendment, no other adult relationships that attempt to imitate marriage could be legally recognized.  Since no other type of intimate union would be legally recognized, it logically follows that there would also be no basis upon which to confer rights, benefits, or obligations on such un-recognized relationships.


8.      Would the ProtectMarriage Amendment interfere with private domestic agreements between unmarried adults?

Answer:  No.  California will still continue to recognize the ability of all individual couples to enter into private, enforceable agreements for mutual support and joint ownership of property (sometimes called Marvin agreements).  Such agreements only involve rights and obligations as between two individuals; they do not implicate government recognition of those relationships or rights and benefits conferred by law. 


9.      Would the ProtectMarriage Amendment preserve the rights, benefits, and legal status of marriage for only a man and a woman?

Answer: Yes! Since traditional marriage would be the only legally recognized union in California , no other type of relationship could be given the legal status of married spouses. 


10. What is the process for passing a Constitutional Amendment?

Answer:

Step 1:  The official proponents of the ProtectMarriage Amendment provide an official petition proposing the amendment to the voters.  The campaign must then obtain over 600,000 valid signatures of registered California voters within just 150 days after the Attorney General issues the Official Title and Summary of the measure. That’s 6,700 signatures per day!

Step 2: When all the signatures have been gathered, the official proponents submit the signatures gathered in each county to the local elections official to verify the number of valid signatures.

Step 3:  Local elections officials report the total number of verified signatures to the Secretary of State. If there are enough valid signatures, the Secretary of State puts the amendment on the next statewide election ballot for a vote.

Step 4:  If the amendment receives more than 50% of the vote, it becomes part of the state constitution immediately.


11. How much will all this cost? How will money be raised?

Answer:

To ensure that at least 600,000 signatures are valid, the campaign must gather at least 1 million raw (unverified) signatures.  This is an enormous task.  The cost of gathering sufficient signatures is estimated to be roughly $1.6 million.

Once the amendment is placed on the ballot, the campaign to urge voters to vote “yes” will likely exceed $10 million.


Contributions, large and small alike, will bring us closer to meeting this campaign budget.  Gifts are gladly accepted from organizations, churches, families, businesses, and individuals who support protecting marriage.  There is no limit on the amount of individual contributions to ProtectMarriage.com, a registered ballot-measure committee.  Contributions can be made online via credit card at www.protectmarriage.com. Contributions are not tax deductible.


12. How can I help?

a.      Sign your petition today!  Official petitions are available to download and print online, or contact the campaign office by phone or email to request a petition by mail.

b.      After you sign the petition, help collect more signatures from friends and colleagues who also support marriage.  To circulate the petition, you must be registered to vote or eligible to register to vote.  Only registered voters, however, may sign the petition. Go to the “How Can I Help” button at the top of this page and sign up as a volunteer circulator!

c.      Donate! This effort will take financial participation from everyone who cares about protecting marriage.  Please consider making a contribution.  You can donate online!

d.     Endorse the ProtectMarriage Amendment!  Fill out the form on this website and become part of the team.

© Copyright 2005 ProtectMarriage.com. All Rights Reserved. ProtectMarriage.com, a project of California Renewal (I.D. #1278111)
P. O. Box 2768 . Sacramento, California 95812-2768, info@protectmarriage.com ph: (916) 446-5031 fax (916) 446-5744