March 07, 2004

support MassEquality

On Thursday, the Massachusetts Legislature reconvenes its constitutional convention in an attempt to pass an amendment banning same-sex marriage. Two amendments are expected to be voted on: one provides civil unions with all the same (state-granted) benefits of marriage, the other provides civil unions but lets the legislature define exactly what that entails.

While it's gratifying that civil unions have gone mainstream, gay families in Massachusetts stand to lose a great deal if either amendment passes:
While Vermont-style civil unions provide very real benefits to same-sex couples, they offer couples no access to federal benefits such as social security survivor benefits, joint income tax filing, and the ability to make tax-free gifts and property transfers to spouses. In addition, civil unions do not provide same-sex couples with any assurance that their relationship will be recognized in other states, leading to potentially devastating emergency room situations. In short, marriages are recognized universally and provide 1,400 state and federal benefits and protections, while civil unions provide only 350 state benefits and may not be recognized outside the state that issued them.
MassEquality is coalition of organizations, ranging from GLAD and the Log Cabin Republicans to the ADL and ACLU. They are working to defeat any proposed constitutional amendment limiting the right to marry. Right now they are raising money to fund an ad campaign. Check them out and give them your support.

UPDATE: Donate through this link and the Human Rights Campaign will match your contribution.