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Mass Equality forms to fight Massachusetts marriage amendment (11132)


Mass Equality forms to fight Massachusetts marriage amendment

A coalition of 20 local and national groups that is fighting to stop Massachusetts lawmakers from approving a constitutional amendment that would ban gay civil marriage in the state has launched a Web campaign and set up phone banks across the state to lobby lawmakers.

With less than three weeks before the legislature votes on whether they'll take away marriage rights despite a ruling to the contrary by the state's supreme judicial court, Mass Equality is urging family, friends, and coworkers to call their legislators and urge them to vote no on any amendment that would deny marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples.

"We know that most people in Massachusetts don't want to see discrimination put in the constitution," said Marty Rouse, Mass Equality campaign coordinator. "They need to be asked to pick up the phone and tell their legislators to vote against any amendment that would deny rights and protections to gay and lesbian couples and their children. We are giving people the information and tools they need to send that message."

Mass Equality also launched the Web site to help people contact legislators, donate to the campaign, sign up for phone banks, and send information on the antigay amendment to friends, family, and coworkers. The phone banks will allow people to bring their own address books and call everyone they know.

"It's not enough for people to call their legislators," Rouse said. "People need to call their friends, families, and coworkers and make a personal plea for them to call their legislators. Our message is simple: No discrimination in the constitution. Human rights should never be put to a vote."

Recent events show that the proponents of the antigay amendment are not able to turn out grassroots support but instead rely largely on resources pouring into the state from antigay organizations in Washington State and Colorado, such as the Traditional Values Coalition and Focus on the Family. Earlier this month Mass Equality held a rally with more than 2,000 people at the statehouse while the antigay Massachusetts Family Institute had fewer than 200 people at an event during the same week.

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