Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Today, 6pm: "Rally to Protest Passage of Question 1 in Maine," at the Boston Common, Park St Station

Contact: Don Gorton: 617-285-8965
For Immediate Release: November 4, 2009

Maine Vote Overturns Equality 
Boston Rally Protests Passage of Question 1 in Maine

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality activists and supporters are gathering Wednesday, November 4th at 6pm near the Park Street Station on the Boston Common to speak out in support of marriage equality and the broader push for full LGBT equality. The rally will protest the results of the Maine vote on Tuesday and is sponsored by Join the Impact MA.

On November 3rd, Maine came down on the wrong side of history by overturning the new law recognizing marriages between same sex couples. Despite heroic efforts by the No on 1 campaign, the discriminatory ballot initiative passed due to a deceptive media campaign funded by out-of-state organizations—indeed many of the same forces of bigotry and intolerance that eliminated marriage equality in California with Proposition 8 exactly one year ago. Yet the grassroots mobilization inside Maine and from around New England to get out the vote in the final months is a model for the kind of movement necessary to win full equality, beyond the effort to defeat a single discriminatory ballot initiative.

Challenges and obstacles to full equality for all Americans remain. Federal laws like the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy in the military treat LGBT Americans as second-class citizens. Without federal repeal of DOMA and DADT and passage of a gender identity inclusive employment non-discrimination law, too many Americans are left behind.

Six years after the victory of marriage equality in Massachusetts , same-sex married couples still do not have access to the more than 1,049 federal benefits married heterosexuals enjoy. Hard-won victories like marriage equality in Massachusetts , Connecticut , Iowa , Vermont , and New Hampshire leave unrealized the broader vision of full equality in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states.

As Don Gorton, a board member of Join the Impact MA said, “The results of Question 1 are a temporary setback on the path toward full and equal protection in all matters of civil law. Our struggle continues to end discrimination against LGBT people in Maine , California and the states in between. Simply put, civil rights delayed are civil rights denied.” Gorton urged LGBT people and straight allies to seize the moment to join the grassroots campaign for full equality in all 50 states in all matters governed by civil law.

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For more information on this event and various opportunities to personally make a difference, please visit http://www.jointheimpactma.com/ or email info@jointheimpactma.com