Senator John Doe, Chair
Senator Jane Do, Vice Chair (if known)
From: (your name)
Date: (date of your testimony)
Subject: Support/opposition for (bill number), (name or description of the bill) - for example: Support for SJR 3, the state marriage amendment
My name is (your name), and I live at (your address).
I am here today to express my support for SJR 3, which would allow the people of our state the opportunity to vote on the definition of marriage.
The failure of the legislature up to this point to pass a marriage amendment has denied the people of our state the opportunity to vote on this issue.
States that lack constitutional protection are already seeing threats to freedom. For example, a United Methodist camp meeting association in Ocean Grove, N.J., recently lost part of its tax exempt status because it denied two lesbians use of its wedding pavilion for a “civil union” ceremony. And in Massachusetts, Catholic Charities, the largest non-profit adoption agency in the state, was forced out of the adoption ministry because it would not comply with the state’s demand that it place children with homosexual couples.
One argument we hear from those opposed to this amendment is our state already has a Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that defines marriage as between one man and one woman, so there is no reason to define marriage in the constitution. But our DOMA, just like similar laws in other states, is one only court decision away from being invalidated. In Iowa, this is precisely what happened when their legislature refused to send a marriage amendment to the voters.
The only way citizens can protect the definition of marriage -- one man and one woman -- is at the ballot box, just as citizens in 31 other states have done.
Fortunately, you have another opportunity this year to pass the marriage amendment to allow the people to vote on marriage.
Because of this, I firmly believe that we, the voters, should decide the definition of marriage for our state and respectfully ask you to vote yes on SJR 3.
Thank you for this opportunity to testify.