EAGLE rallies behind gay marriage

By Caitlin Kenney

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled yesterday that only civil marriage for same-sex couples would satisfy the requirements of last year’s landmark decision.

Although yesterday’s decision was an important win for gay and lesbian advocates, the state legislature may still be able to prevent same sex couples from entering into civil marriage by passing a defense of marriage (DOMA) amendment.

Legislators will vote this Wednesday on amendment H3190, which states: “In order to promote, among other goals, the stability and welfare of society and the best interests of children, only the union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Massachusetts.”

With the vote only a week away, Emerson’s Alliance for Gays, Lesbians and Everyone (EAGLE) is urging students to take action.

“We are coming from a position where the Supreme Court has already ruled and I think that gives us the confidence to say that we know that eventually we are going to win, but it’s crucial to defeat this as soon as we can,” said EAGLE President Maggie Crowley. “The most important thing that anyone can do right now is to contact their legislator.”

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Since the November SJC ruling that excluding same-sex couples from civil marriage is unconstitutional, EAGLE has worked with Emerson students writing letters to local representatives.

EAGLE is stressing public input because even if H3190 passes, the legislature will need to pass the amendment again next year before it could come to a public vote in 2006. Therefore, even if the amendment is approved next week, marriage licenses will become available to same-sex couples within 100 days.

But EAGLE isn’t only focusing on the gay and lesbian community. Crowley has been working with Emerson’s Student Government Association on passing a resolution stating their position on the issue.

“We can send it to the legislature, we can send it to our representatives,” she said. “They will listen to that and that will have more impact than twelve individual letters.”