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November 18, 2008

5 Years After Goodridge, GLAD Announces “6x12”

Marriage Is Possible in All Six New England States by 2012, says GLAD

Five years ago today, the world changed for the better when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued its decision in GLAD’s marriage equality case, Goodridge v. Department of Public Health.  Six months later, same-sex couples started marrying, strengthening families, communities, and the Commonwealth itself.

And on October 10, 2008, GLAD won the right of same-sex couples in Connecticut to marry when the state’s highest court ruled in Kerrigan & Mock v. Department of Public Health.  Couples started marrying in that state last Wednesday, November 12.

Today on the fifth anniversary of the Goodridge decision, GLAD announces the goal of “Six by Twelve”:  ensuring that same-sex couples in all six New England states will be able to marry in their home state by 2012.

“We can make New England a marriage equality zone by strategically combining existing legal, electoral, and on-the-ground know-how to fast-track marriage in every New England state,” said GLAD Executive Director Lee Swislow. “By 2012 we not only can have marriage equality throughout New England, we can have a road map for the rest of the country.”

GLAD will achieve this goal through litigation and by working with statewide equality groups and with MassEquality.  MassEquality defended the Goodridge decision with electoral, political, and lobbying work through three years of election cycles, constitutional conventions, and legislative sessions.

“The route to marriage equality looks different in each state—not every state is ripe for a marriage lawsuit like Massachusetts and Connecticut,” said Swislow. “Through our collaboration with MassEquality we can add value to the state equality groups.  To the state groups’ local knowledge, grassroots experience and organizing strength, GLAD brings legal and communications expertise and MassEquality brings proven experience in legislative, political, and electoral strategy.  This combination will accelerate the pace to marriage equality .”

For three decades, GLAD has collaborated with state-based organizations to work towards marriage equality, providing support in strategy development, litigation, and public education. Collaboration with Love Makes a Family in Connecticut was critical to the win in that state. 

In addition to GLAD and MassEquality, collaborators in the 6 x 12 effort include Equality Maine, Marriage Equality Rhode Island, Vermont Freedom to Marry, and a variety of allies in New Hampshire.

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Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders is New England's leading legal organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender identity and expression.