The national LGBT equality group Join the Impact hopes to galvanize sympathizers across the country to demonstrate in their home towns on Saturday, January 10, in protest of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The law, passed under the Clinton administration in 1996, defines marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman and denies federal recognition of same-sex marriages — even if they are legal in a same-sex couple's home state. Protesters hope to catch the attention and support of President-elect Barack Obama.
"That's why this protest is all the more important for Massachusetts — we now have to fight for federal benefits," says Paul Sousa, co-chair of the Massachusetts chapter of Join the Impact and one of the protest's organizers. "It would be great to get this on President-elect Obama's radar. I think this is a good way to call on him to come through on all of his promises for LGBT equality . . . and to make sure that he's not going to be another Bill Clinton, making promises but not coming through."
Though he supports civil unions, not gay marriage, Obama's political platform called for a full repeal of DOMA, and, per his Web site, new "legislation that would ensure that the 1100-plus federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally recognized unions."
Saturday's Boston rally will take place at 1:30 pm on City Hall Plaza. Congressman Barney Frank and Mayor Thomas Menino are scheduled to appear. For more information, visit jointheimpactma.com.
: News Features
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