Its Job Done, Connecticut Gay-Rights Group Disbands
April 02, 2009
After working for a decade to change public policy and opinion regarding same-sex couples, the state's most prominent gay-rights group is calling it quits.
And that, say its supporters, is a good thing.
"We accomplished our core purpose," Anne Stanback, executive director of Love Makes a Family, said Wednesday, "and we want to end on a high note."
Surrounded by supporters and standing next to a large photograph of two men in tuxedos slicing a wedding cake, Stanback announced the group's decision to dissolve at year's end. It will still maintain a political action committee to support certain candidates.
Formed in 1999 to push for legislation permitting same-sex couples to adopt children, the group quickly became the public face of the movement to win what it calls "marriage equality" for gays and lesbians.
Its major victory came in October, when the state Supreme Court ruled in a landmark case that denying marriage to same-sex couples violates their constitutional rights. The lawsuit was brought by the Boston-based Gay and Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, or GLAD, but Love Makes a Family was instrumental in winning the support of politicians and the public.
Stanback and the group's other leaders helped shift public opinion through a strategy that focused on the similarities between same-sex and heterosexual couples. A Quinnipiac University poll taken two months after the court ruling found broad support for same-sex marriage.
"The barriers they've pushed through have had an impact on so many people," said Lori Pelletier, an official with the Connecticut AFL-CIO labor organization who was united with her partner in a civil union in 2006 and plans to marry her soon. "They were able to take this issue ... and make it personal."
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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