- May 16, 2014
Post submitted by Julie Verratti and Emily Bruno, former MassEquality field staff.
Emily and I met in 2004 running canvass programs during the presidential cycle. We continued that work at MassEquality in 2005 to establish the first door-to-door, direct constituent advocacy canvass program in support of gay marriage. Many of our friends and colleagues from that time are leading this fight in other states across the country. When we worked on the campaign in Massachusetts, our relationship was new, and the issue was new for the nation. It was an exciting time for us as a couple, and exciting to be a part of this burgeoning movement. We worked with inspiring people, young and seasoned, straight and gay, religious and secular, conservative and liberal. Though we were working together to achieve something new and bold, and though we faced multiple rounds of votes in the state legislature, we knew we could not fail. The country was watching and the rights of LGBT people in Massachusetts and nationally were at stake. Walking into work every day and knocking on each door to begin another conversation with a fellow citizen, we could feel the weight and momentum of being the first state to secure marriage equality.
Three years later we married in California, the first state to allow out-of-state same-sex couples to legally wed, and stood in San Francisco’s beautiful city hall, grateful for the opportunity. Today, we are still married, living in Maryland and are able to enjoy the many benefits and privileges that this status gives us at both our state and federal level. After nine years together, we are more seasoned in our relationship and have a deeper understanding of the value of marriage. Back in 2005, we never expected the change to happen so quickly, but, then again, change is inevitable, especially when you stand on the right side of history.
Thank you to the plaintiffs, GLAD attorneys, and MassEquality's coalition of 17 organizations that helped to make Massachusetts marriage a reality.