'The harm done to thousands of Kansas families is incalculable,' said HRC President Joe Solmonese.
WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign today condemned the passage of a state constitutional amendment in Kansas that defines marriage as solely between a man and a woman - denying same-sex couples the rights and protections of marriage and possibly even civil unions and other protections. Kansas now becomes the 17th state to explicitly amend its state constitution to ban marriage rights for same-sex couples.
"The harm done to thousands of Kansas families is incalculable," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "As voters come to understand the real consequences of this amendment, we hope they understand how wrong this amendment is."
Of the 11 states that passed constitutional marriage amendments last November, three of them - Michigan, Utah and Ohio - are facing complicated issues ranging from whether or not the amendments strip away a state's ability to grant domestic partner benefits to employees, or if the state can even intervene in domestic violence disputes between unmarried couples.
"These amendments are bad news for everyone, not just same-sex couples," said Solmonese. "In some cases, they have even inhibited a state's ability to fight domestic violence between straight, unmarried couples."
Exit polls last November showed that roughly 60 percent of the voters support marriage, civil unions or some other form of relationship protections. In 2004, 13 state constitutional amendments were passed into law, while 15 other measures were defeated.
"The assistance from HRC was vital to the long-term efforts of Kansans for Fairness as well as this short term fight," said Braidy O'Neal, the campaign manager for Kansans for Fairness. "While we may have lost at the ballot box today, HRC has helped us win at the water coolers, the church pews and in our neighborhoods."
"While this is a sad day for Americans who value equal rights, we know that in the long run, the people of this nation always side with fairness, and there will come a day when all the families and couples of this nation are treated equally," said Solmonese.
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