Single minded political activism
June 5, 2006 10:25 AM   Subscribe

Political Activism Question: I want to oppose the marriage amendment.

Is there an organization/group of likeminded citizens/whatever that basically takes the position that "hey, it's none of the federal government's business who marries who"? Most of the organizations I've found also deal with other political areas that I may or may not agree with.
posted by dpx.mfx to Law & Government (10 answers total)
The folks who previously did the Stop Doctor Laura campaign have organized a website called that seems fairly single-purpose. I'm not sure if my "other politcal areas" you mean gay rights generally, or the more left-wingedness of any of the anti-amendment folks. Their links page has a number of state orgs that do the same thing. The more local you get, the more you can often focus more narrowly. Here are a number of Ohio anti-ban meetups [if your profile information is accurate] that might be good places to start.
posted by jessamyn at 10:32 AM on June 5, 2006

You can do some activist stuff alone, most notably writing (or typing) a letter to each of the following: your senators, your representatives, the President, and the local paper's letters to the editor section.

Talking points here.

Politicians won't closely read your letter (though their staff will read closely enough to reply). The point here is not to persuade, but to give them a sense of how many of their constituents are likely to change their vote or be pissed at them if they support the ban. Most governmental offices use a multiplier to determine how many people agree with you but couldn't be arsed to write a letter, and paper letters afaik usually get a higher multiplier than emails or phone calls, just because they involve more effort.

Consequently, it is most effective if you include a header like "Re: gay marriage ban - please vote against this bill" to make your position crystal clear to the secretary who will be logging your letter.

It is also effective to mention it if you voted for them and would not do so again if they support the ban, or if you voted for their opponent and plan to vote for them based on their opposition to the ban - i.e. appeal to their self-interest.
posted by joannemerriam at 11:23 AM on June 5, 2006

ACLU. Note that there are certainly causes or people that the ACLU has supported that you would disagree with (neo-Nazi groups' rights to free speech, Oliver North, spam, etc), but I think you might find that these are all consistent applications of the principles of the bill of rights, which is a good thing (just like your "hey, it's none of the federal government's business who marries who").
posted by tom_g at 12:51 PM on June 5, 2006

Moreover, you can use most organizations' materials/online activism tools/etc for just the one cause without becoming a member or donating to a general fund (you can specify where donations go and afaik registered charities are required to put the money in the specified account or towards the specified program).
posted by joannemerriam at 1:12 PM on June 5, 2006

Your preview line just sounded strange to me -- you "want" to oppose it, as if you don't currently. Do you or do you not oppose it? Do you need futher convincing of either aspect?
posted by vanoakenfold at 1:30 PM on June 5, 2006

I'd recommend against joining or supporting the ACLU — at least, based solely on the premise of your question. I bought a year's membership when I was young and naive, and their junk mail and telephone calls have followed me ever since. I've asked politely to be removed many, many times, both in writing and on the phone, but the letters and phone calls keep coming. (I just got another letter last week, in fact.) I'd advise against adding your name to their list unless you're absolutely certain that you want to support their organization indefinitely, because they have absolutely no respect for your right to say, "No."

To my knowledge, there is no significant organization opposing this proposed 28th amendment solely on the argument of conservative government. Your best bet is to take joannemerriam's advice and (figuratively) take up a rifle yourself. Frankly, taking direct and personal action like writing letters to your representatives will be far more effective than donating $100 to a small bureaucracy.

Having said that, you needn't worry. There's zero chance this amendment will pass; and if you want to involve yourself in politics, there are far more effective ways to spend your time and effort. You're not really going to make an impact on an issue whose fate is already decided.
posted by cribcage at 1:45 PM on June 5, 2006

Depending on your stance on domestic partnership, the Alternative to Marriage Project might be worth checking out. They pretty much believe government shouldn't care about who you marry, period (gay or straight), though most of their advocacy seems to be on behalf of straight unmarried couples.
posted by occhiblu at 2:51 PM on June 5, 2006

I got an email from HRC today-- you can tell a friend about the issue, email your senators, do some other stuff like signing a petition and learning some talking points.

None of it is quite "aux barricades!", but it's useful.
posted by ibmcginty at 3:11 PM on June 5, 2006

There's zero chance this amendment will pass; and if you want to involve yourself in politics, there are far more effective ways to spend your time and effort.

There are similar amendments on the state-level in many states (mine being one of them), some of which may pass. Expending your energy in that area - or in both areas - may be more productive.

Other than letters to editors, once you've written one letter, you can use it as a template for the rest.
posted by joannemerriam at 4:21 PM on June 5, 2006

The amendment is a political stunt and is dead in the water. Your most valuable contribution to political advocacy would be to convince religious voters and the rest of the Republican "base" to see through this charade and understand why the views of the Bush administration on domestic and foreign policy is counter to the best interests of the lower and middle classes.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 4:41 PM on June 5, 2006 [1 favorite]

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