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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights No. 126

Adopted 1994
Reaffirmed 1995
Amended 1996
Reaffirmed 1997
Reaffirmed 1998
Amended 1999
Amended 2000
Reaffirmed 2002
Amended 2003
Amended 2004
Amended 2005
Amended 2006

ADA strongly supports federal legislation forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation.

ADA supports federal, state and local legislation to guarantee to lesbian, gay, transgendered, and bisexual Americans the same rights as those enjoyed by other Americans.

Marriage is an important personal choice and basic human right that should be decided upon by committed couples, not by discriminatory state or federal governments. Yet today only one state confers legal recognition to the marriages of same-sex couples conducted in that state. Other states decline to do so, no matter how long the partners have been together, how deep their commitment to each other and their relationship, and no matter how much these families need and desire the protections, benefits and responsibilities that come with marriage.

ADA urges federal legislation defining female genital mutilation as a felony.

ADA believes there is a fundamental Constitutional right of two individuals to marry or not belonging to every adult, regardless of race, economic status, sex/gender, or sexual orientation. In Loving v. Virginia (1967) the Supreme Court struck down a Virginia law banning interracial marriage, declaring that it violated the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection and Due Process clauses as an undue interference with the "fundamental freedom" to marry.

The federal Defense of Marriage Act, enacted in 1996, allows states to refuse to recognize gay marriages performed elsewhere. We believe that this violates the Full Faith and Credit Clause of Article IV of the U.S. Constitution.

ADA opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would deny same-sex couples the right to marry, invalidate state and local domestic partnership laws and nullify civil rights protections based on marital status.

ADA opposes the 2004 passage of gay marriage bans in eleven states, including bans on civil unions in eight states. Americans' protection from discrimination should not depend on sexual orientation or geography.

There is no evidence whatsoever to support the inflammatory assertion that same sex marriage poses a threat to heterosexual marriage.

ADA supports Canada's decision to allow the marriage of same-gender couples. ADA applauds the state of Massachusetts and counties, cities, and courageous individuals who have chosen to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. ADA also applauds the United States Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, striking down Texas' ban on private consensual sex between adults of the same sex.

ADA opposes bigotry, wherever it occurs, as a deterrent to achieving a just and civil society. ADA supports educational programs that instill a respect for the rights of all people including lesbian, gay, transgendered and bisexual Americans.

Therefore, ADA will support efforts to ensure full civil rights for all Americans.

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No. 126