Alliance for Marriage
The Alliance for Marriage (AFM), founded in 1999, is a non-profit organization based in the United States. The organization describes itself as "dedicated to promoting marriage and addressing the epidemic of fatherless families in the United States." The group was founded by Matt Daniels and is headquartered in Virginia. The Alliance for Marriage is most prominent for their role as the organization that drafted the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) to the United States Constitution, introduced originally by Rep. Ronnie Shows (D-MS). The amendment would define marriage in the United States as the union of one man and one woman. The amendment has been renamed the Marriage Protection Amendment.
Founder and History
The Alliance for Marriage exists in large part as a response to perceived legal and social challenges to traditional views of marriage, and therefore promotes socially conservative policies. Unlike some other organizations considered part of the Christian right, the Alliance for Marriage has significant support from Catholics, Jews, and Protestants, as well as leaders from minority faith communities, civil rights figure Walter E. Fauntroy, the Rev. Ray Hammond, a prominent Boston pastor, and several religious leaders in the Latino community such as Rev. Samuel Rodriguez who serves on their Board of Advisors.
According to a 2004 profile in USA Today, this diverse support is credited in large part to the unique upbringing of AFM President Daniels, who was raised by a single mother in Spanish Harlem. This also apparently provided his primary motivation for founding AFM:
Daniels' views on family, he says, are based in large part on personal experience. He insists he wants to protect what he did not have himself: a dad who stuck around to raise him in a traditional family.
Daniels' two sister organizations Alliance for Marriage (lobbying) and Alliance for Marriage Foundation (education) shared boards and staff. Flying high in 2004–2005, Daniels was interviewed as Power Player of the Week on FOX News and garnered major profile pieces in the Los Angeles Times, the Atlantic, and USA Today. However, after the defeats in Congress of the Federal Marriage Amendment and the later renamed Marriage Protection Act, the real marriage battle moved out of DC and into the states.
After peaking in 2006 at $2.6 million according to IRS 990 tax returns available at Guidestar which reveals consultants continued to work with AFM until 2008 building and maintaining their 1.2 million person database of national supporters.
An analysis of the IRS 990 tax forms available at Guidestar shows that as revenues plunged by two-thirds from their 2006 peak to only $817K combined AFM/AFMF in 2009 (last year of available 990s), salary and benefit expenses of $365,000 consumed 44.6 per cent of all organizational income. Daniels received more than half that total at $188,592.
Updates on AFM and AFMF can be viewed at: http://www.afmusa.org
Federal Marriage Amendment
For information about the amendment, see Federal Marriage Amendment.
For arguments for and against same-sex marriage in general, see Same-sex marriage#Controversies. The Alliance for Marriage’s amendment introduced in 2002 consisted of two clauses. It stated:
"Marriage in the United States of America 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."
Controversy surrounding the second sentence of the original amendment has led to an alternative version that only includes the first sentence. However, only the original amendment was debated in the Senate when it came up for a vote on July 14, 2004. The Federal Marriage Amendment was widely considered a significant issue in the 2004 presidential election, and the continued political disagreement over the definition of marriage has become an important and divisive issue in American politics. For more information on this controversy, see Same-sex marriage in the United States. In the wake of the Democratic takeover of Congress (see United States general elections, 2006) and the new leadership that does not share their views, the Alliance for Marriage announced they were shifting their focus from the Congressional level to the state level. They plan on building a nationwide network of state lawmakers who would support the Federal Marriage Amendment. Ultimately, three-fourths of the state legislatures would have to approve any federal constitutional amendment.
- Federal Marriage Amendment
- Same-sex marriage in the United States
- Same-sex marriage legislation in the United States
- Culture war