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Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA)

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Critics claim that recent gay rights victories, legal marriage in Massachusetts, stricken sodomy laws, the appointment of a gay bishop and the opening of a gay high school, prompted a backlash to the gay rights movement. One such example is the proposal of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution called the Federal Marriage Amendment or FMA, which would take The Defense of Marriage Act a step further by reserving the rights of marriage for a man and woman only. Read the latest developments on The Federal Marriage Act.

Latest Developments

To date, no vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment has taken place. The amendment requires approval by a two-thirds majority in the United States House of Representatives and the Senate, and then ratified by three-fourths or 38 of the state legislatures.

View the status of FMA in the Senate here.
View the status of FMA in the House of Representatives here.

Background

What is The Federal Marriage Amendment?

Prompted by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to strike down sodomy laws in the U.S., President Bush proposed a 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution called the Federal Marriage Amendment or FMA which states:

"Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution or the constitution of any State, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups."

Passage of The Federal Marriage Act (FMA) would create a federal definition of marriage as "the union of a man and a woman." Up until now, marriage has been defined by each state. The amendment would also limit judiciary power by overriding anti-discrimination guarantees. Language within the act can be used to overturn local domestic partnership benefits and other rights given to unmarried couples by individual states. This applies to homosexual and unmarried heterosexual couples.
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