I sent this email out to several friends and family today requesting support for the fight for same-sex marriage here in MA. Thought I'd post it here, too, so folks who are inclined to help out can do so. Thanks in advance for any support.
As I'm sure most of you know, we're in the middle of a major fight over same-sex marriage here in Massachusetts. In November, the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) ruled that the Commonwealth's refusal to grant civil marriage to same-sex couples violated the Constitution's guarantee of equality. Just this week, in response to a request from the Senate, the Justices gave an advisory opinion that Civil Unions would not meet constitutional muster and that Massachusetts must grant full civil marriage to same-sex couples. Well, among certain circles this hasn't gone over well, to say the least. Next week, the Legislature will be in session in a Constitutional Convention. One of the issues up for debate is a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages (I realize many of you are going to be dealing with similar issues in your own states). The process here in Massachusetts is rather extended: the legislature must pass the amendment in two consecutive conventions and then it gets sent to the voters for their approval. It looks as though, because of the advisory opinion of the SJC, marriage for same-sex couples will become a reality before the citizens of Massachusetts will be voting on any amendment--that's good news, in my opinion, because we will have two years of same-sex couples marrying (and showing that the world isn't collapsing into complete chaos) prior to the vote. There's an opportunity here for "normalization" of same-sex marriage and a further moving of public opinion toward support for it (right now, the population of Mass. appears to be evenly split or slightly favorable on the issue).
OK, that's the background for this note. I'm mainly writing to ask for support. The Right is pouring money and resources into MA to try and turn back this historic development. We're in for a BIG fight. The Catholic Church (an ever-present and powerful force in MA politics) is throwing all of its weight into the battle and organizations such as Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council are also coming into the state. We need assistance from outside as well. If you can, please consider helping us by contributing any kind of resources you can to these organizations, who have been bravely leading this fight. I'm including web pages for them, plus a brief description of the work they've been doing. Thanks in advance.
Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders
These are the folks who have been doing most of the legal work. Similar to Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, their main focus is on the courts. GLAD filed the lawsuit (Goodridge v. Department of Public Health) and argued it in court.
Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus
These folks are working at the Capitol to engage in lobbying work. Right now, they're on the front line as we face the Constitutional Convention and other legislative attempts to turn back the SJC's ruling.
Massachusetts Freedom to Marry Coalition
A grassroots group working with the public and communities. In some ways a coalition, they also do work educating the public, training community members and the like.
Again, I hope you can help us out. I know some states (like MN) are facing their own constitutional amendments, so resources must be spread around. But at this moment we're ground zero and can really use them. If you know others who are interested in this issue, please forward this information to them.