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Announcement :: DNC
Protest for Equal Marriage Rights during the Democratic Convention
16 Jul 2004
Demand Equal Marriage Rights
- Regardless of Party -
Protest for Equal Marriage Rights during the Democratic Convention
8:30 PM, Monday, July 26
Outside the Avalon, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston
After its July 14th defeat in the Senate, the threat of an anti-gay Constitutional amendment at the federal level has receded for the time being.

Unfortunately, other threats are beginning to loom larger. Chief among them is the threat to equal marriage rights in Massachusetts, the one state where we've won it.

John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic nominee for President, says that while he opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment, he also OPPOSES gay marriage and says he SUPPORTS a proposed anti-gay amendment to the Massachusetts State Constitution.

In other words, he calls for destroying equal marriage rights in the only state where we have it!!

Democratic office holders in Massachusetts are in the forefront of a move which could once again ban gay marriage there as early as 2006.

Rather than forthrightly saying that the civil rights of millions of Americans should be defended, most Democratic politicians have treated our equal marriage rights as at best, an unfortunate "diversion" in their election campaigns. In response to the July 14th victory over the Federal Marriage Amendment, Tom Daschle, the Democratic leader in the Senate, loudly proclaimed his own "family values," which explicitly exclude us:

"Marriage is a sacred union between men and women. That is what the vast majority of Americans believe. It's what virtually all South Dakotans believe. It's what I believe. In South Dakota, we've never had a single same-sex marriage, and we won't have any . . . There is no confusion. There is no ambiguity."

These attitudes are an insult to the humanity of every Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered person in this country. Unfortunately, the leading political organizations in our community have chosen to politely downplay the Democrats' attacks on equal marriage rights, all while using the marriage issue in fundraising letter and fundraising letter to swell their treasuries.

Shouldn't we be demanding better from our organizations and "our" politicians? Can you imagine the NAACP endorsing a candidate who OPPOSED legal equality for African-Americans? Can you imagine NOW endorsing a candidate who OPPOSED legal equality for women?

Some will say that with the threat of George W. Bush, we should take a pass on protesting the anti-gay Democratic politicians. This is the same approach used when, early on in the first Clinton administration, conservative Republicans led the charge against gays in the military. Our movement's failure to confront Clinton, even when it became clear he was going to sell us out, meant that we were saddled with his "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, which led to far greater numbers of anti-gay purges from the military than under the previous policy.

By contrast, when ACT-UP Philadelphia and other east coast anti-AIDS groups continually confronted Presidential candidate Al Gore over his siding with the pharmaceutical industry to prevent low-cost AIDS drugs for Africa, their repeated protests and pickets led him to greatly change his backwards policies on the issue.

Our movement can either decide to follow the failed strategies of the Clinton years, which gave us the Defense of Marriage Act and "Don't Ask Don't Tell," or we can confront those who oppose our equal rights, regardless of their party affiliations.

We can either allow our rights to be a political football of the two parties, or we can stand up and demand them. Please join for a picket of the Stonewall Democrats/HRC/NGLTF reception for Democratic Party delegates:

Monday, July 26
8:30 pm
The Avalon
15 Lansdowne St.
Boston, MA

For more information on the protest, email ATDontAmend (at)
See also:

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