On July 8, 2009, the Attorney General of Massachusetts, Martha Coakley, filed a lawsuit against the Defense of Marriage Act:
Massachusetts, the first state in the nation to legalize gay marriage, has become the first to challenge the constitutionality of a federal law that defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman, saying Congress intruded into a matter that should be left to individual states.
“Our familes, our communities, and even our economy have seen the many important benefits that have come from recognizing equal marriage rights and, frankly, no downside,” Attorney General Martha Coakley said this afternoon at a news conference announcing the lawsuit. “However, we have also seen how many of our married residents and their families are being hurt by a discriminatory, unprecedented, and, we believe, unconstitutional law.”
On December 8, 2009, Martha Coakley won the Democratic nomination to run for the Senate seat vacated by the death of Ted Kennedy. In Massachusetts, that virtually guarantees Coakley will be the next Senator, but she must win the special election on January 19, 2010. Her conservative Republican opponent, Scott Brown, would be a disaster for us. (Although, he did pose nude in Cosmopolitan magazine.) Brown is an ardent opponent of same-sex marriage:
On social issues, he supports abortion rights, and opposes same-sex marriage, which is legal in Massachusetts but controversial in much of the rest of the country. Unlike some of his fellow Massachusetts Republicans, he has spoken out forcefully against same-sex marriage, supporting a Constitutional amendment to ban such unions, and he has opposed the repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Massachusetts can’t fill Ted Kennedy’s seat with Scott Brown. And, we definitely need unabashed supporters like Coakley in Congress.