Subject: strictly fyi: marriage
From: "Reis, Beth" <>
Date: 7/26/2011 1:35 PM

Dear Safe Schools Coalition Members and Friends:
(1) Keeping classrooms safe when marriage comes up
(2) Jennifer Chrisler of the Family Equality Council on the so-called Defense of Marriage Act & what legal marriage means to children
(3) About the U.S. "Defense of Marriage Act" and the "Respect for Marriage Act"
(4) About state laws
(1) Keeping classrooms safe when marriage comes up
What does your class think about marriage? Ask them. Give them a chance to think it through, but use these tools to keep everyone safe.
Beth Reis' Suggestions on Keeping Classroom Debates on civil Marriage Civil:
Regon Unsoeld's Guidelines for a Courageous Conversation about Marriage Equality:
The FLASH curriculum's Value Question Protocol:
(2) Jennifer Chrisler of the Family Equality Council on the so-called Defense of Marriage Act & what legal marriage means to children
Watch Sen. Al Franken (D) Minnesota and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D) Vermont take on Thomas Minnery of Focus on the Family in a hearing last week. And see Jennifer Chrisler comment on the hearing on MSNBC's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell:
(3) About the U.S. "Defense of Marriage Act" and the "Respect for Marriage Act"
A law called the "Defense of Marriage Act" (aka DOMA), passed in 1996 by congress and signed into law by President Clinton defined marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman and ruled that U.S. government agencies would not recognize the legal marriages of two women or two men. It also permitted states not to recognize those marriages although they were legal in the state where the couple got married. More here: Results: Legally married male-female couples enjoy 1,000+ federal rights that other married couples do not get. For example, a widow can't claim her late partner's social security. A man could be required to testify against his husband in court. And when they travel or move to another state, their marriage may be considered void.
This year (2011) a bill called the "Respect for Marriage Act" was introduced. It has not yet been made law. It would repeal part of DOMA. It would allow U.S. government agencies to recognize any legal marriage. It would still not require states to honor same-sex couples' marriages performed in other states. More here:
(4) About state laws
See descriptions of each state's laws regarding marriage here:
See a map of relationship recognition under state law here:
See a map of state laws prohibiting recognition of same-sex relationships here:
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