Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Peeking into MassEquality's Playbook

Over at Left Ahead! yesterday, we had a good time with Marc Solomon. For our podcast, the Campaign Director of MassEquality reprised his what's-next role and more.

Here, I feel a much lesser version of the letdown following the defeat of the anti-marriage-equality amendment in June. For MassEquality, the same-sex-marriage issue is almost settled, although they are in the process of seeing how they can be useful here and elsewhere. Look for an announced strategy is coming months.

Meanwhile, they have not forgotten the 11 legislators who joined the good guys by switching votes, as well as the whole 75% plus one of the legislature. MassEquality and its members are working as volunteers and with contributions to ensure their reelection in the face of threats from the dwindling party of anti-gay/any-equality folk.

It's a wide-ranging podcast. Some of the highlights posted on Left Ahead! follow.

Solomon spoke of their strategy during the battle and what may be next for his organization. We also ranged on what local progressives can do now, to what may happen next in states with DOMA laws and amendments. He also confirmed our feeling that within a few years we may see marriage equality throughout New England.

Among the highlights are:
  • "There's no reason why every state in New England shouldn't have mull marriage equality within five years."
  • Legislators have seen the repercussions of voting for marriage equality, "where were none."
  • In California, marriage equality opponent and law vetoer Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger — "He's a wimp. You can tell him I said so...I'd put Deval (Patrick) up against Schwarzenegger in an action movie any day."
  • Senate President Therese Murray was essential to the amendment defeat. She worked hard from the beginning. "She was very, very dedicated to making this outcome happen." Marc detailed his interactions with her.
  • Massachusetts had a great advantage in having marriage equality, something to defend rather than just trying to defeat a DOMA law or amendment.
  • MassEquality "asked our legislature legislative leaders to go out on a huge limb for us" and did not push immediately to overturn the 1913 laws forbidding out-of-state same-sex-couples from marrying here. Yet, Marc expects the legislature to get to repealing them at the end of this session or early next year.
  • He iterated that his group's prime goal was supporting all legislators who voted against the amendment, starting with the 11 who switched, but keeping all in office in light of anti-equality folk who pledged to defeat them. This includes volunteering and contributing to campaigns.

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