Today, the ACLU of Massachusetts is honored to share the recognition bestowed by the Boston History & Innovation Collaborative's "Social Innovation" award for establishing and protecting equal marriage rights in Massachusetts. Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), MassEquality, the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, the Freedom to Marry Coalition, and the ACLU of Massachusetts will all share the award.
November 18 marks the fifth anniversary of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health that allowed lesbian and gay couples to begin marrying in the Commonwealth. Mary Bonauto of GLAD served as lead counsel on the case, and GLAD and the other organizations have each played key roles in defeating proposed constitutional amendments that would have taken away equal marriage rights.
"The American Civil Liberties Union is proud of its work to defend marriage equality -- particularly today," said Carol Rose, Executive Director of the ACLU of Massachusetts. "On the same day that we celebrate the fifth anniversary of the breakthrough for equality here in Massachusetts, the American Civil Liberties Union is at work in California, challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8, which took away equal marriage rights when it passed on Nov. 4. It is wrong to vote on rights, and we must remain vigilant to protect marriage equality here."
The American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights filed a writ petition before the California Supreme Court on Nov. 5, urging the court to invalidate Proposition 8. The petition charges that Proposition 8 is invalid because the initiative process was improperly used in an attempt to undo the constitution's core commitment to equality for everyone by eliminating a fundamental right from just one group -- lesbian and gay Californians.