Formal opposition to Alito builds

The Alternatives to Marriage Project officially opposes the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.

Published January 9, 2006 2:00PM (EST)

The Alternatives to Marriage Project on Sunday night sent out a press release announcing its decision to formally oppose the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. The group fights discrimination against and provides support for unmarried people, "including people who are single, those who choose not to marry, cannot marry, or live together outside of marriage."

"As an organization committed to the rights of single and unmarried people," reads the release, "we are deeply troubled by [Alito's] prior decisions endorsing discrimination against unmarried partners."

Citing Alito's dissenting opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in which he supported required spousal notification before abortion, the organization feels that the judge's "stance on reproductive rights is part of his history of support for discrimination on the basis of marital status."

The release also makes reference to immigration case Cai Luan Chen v. Ashcroft, in which "Alito concluded that the Bureau of Immigration Appeals' decision to deny asylum applications to unmarried partners was rational because extending such protection to unmarried partners 'would create numerous practical difficulties.'"

Jennifer Gaboury, a member of the board of directors for the Alternatives to Marriage Project, is quoted in the press release as saying, "Practical difficulties' are insufficient grounds for treating people unfairly under the law ... Do we want the Supreme Court to take the nation backwards, or do we need the Court to acknowledge that families do not conform to one exclusive model and to uphold legislation that facilitates a variety of successful family models?

Noting that discrimination against non-traditional families and unmarried people is a legal issue in areas like taxes, wills, inheritance, insurance rates, employment benefits, adoption rules, and survivor benefits, the press release concludes that "the next Supreme Court justice will likely hear many of these issues. Given Alitos track record on marital status discrimination, AtMP urges the Senate to oppose his confirmation."

By Rebecca Traister

Rebecca Traister writes for Salon. She is the author of "Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women" (Free Press). Follow @rtraister on Twitter.

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