- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 30, 2001

A New England advocacy group is asking a judge to proceed without a trial in a same-sex "marriage" case and instead order Massachusetts to issue "marriage" licenses to seven couples.
The action comes just as foes of same-sex "marriages" are preparing state ballot initiatives that would recognize only "the union of one man and one woman."
Mary Bonauto, lead attorney for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), said yesterday she now seeks summary judgment to overturn practices that unfairly deny her 14 clients the civil rights that the lawsuit says are guaranteed by the state's constitution. A hearing on the motion is not expected before January.
Massachusetts has become a battleground for testing same-sex "marriage" bans in all 50 states.
Public interest in the same-sex "marriage" issue was heightened in mid-August when Cape Cod lawyers Heather Wishik and Susan Donegan returned to their Provincetown home after "marrying" in the Netherlands under an April 1 law establishing same-sex "marriage" there.
"Massachusetts is shaping up to be ground zero for this issue," said Matt Daniels, founder of Alliance for Marriage, an Alexandria group aimed at galvanizing support to keep marriage solely for heterosexuals. "A lot of people in the Massachusetts gay and liberal communities think our state should be the testing ground for alternative lifestyles, so we're out to find a means to build up marriage instead of deconstructing it," said Bryan G. Rudnick, who heads the marriagematters.org voter-initiative campaign.
Proponents of same-sex "marriage" who share the view that Massachusetts is pivotal include Evan Wolfson. He led the "marriage" project of Lambda, the homosexual activist group, and represented James Dale in his failed Supreme Court effort to force the Boy Scouts to accept homosexual leaders. He now directs the separate Freedom to Marry Project.
Massachusetts' "importance is underscored by the ferocious attack that right-wing groups have already begun organizing," Mr. Wolfson wrote in a commentary for the Sept. 11 issue of the Advocate, a homosexual publication. He stated, "What's at stake here, at heart, are seven real families who want the same legal and social protections as their neighbors."
He predicts victory within five years for advocates of same-sex "marriage."
"I mean that this is doable within five years, but the victory may happen later … or sooner," said Mr. Wolfson, who also had a court victory on same-sex "marriage" snatched from him in Hawaii.
The move to have the Suffolk Superior Court decide the issue without holding a trial comes as Attorney General Tom Reilly is considering two voter initiatives submitted Aug. 1 for the 2004 ballot seeking to write a definition of marriage into the Massachusetts Constitution.
The case is based on denial of marriage licenses from March 26 to April 4 at offices in Boston, Newton, Northbridge, Northampton and Orleans.
"We think that the case turns on legal issues that can be resolved without a trial," said Ms. Bonauto, civil rights director for GLAD and lead attorney in the case of Hillary and Julie Goodridge, et al, v. Public Health Commissioner Howard Koh.
She portrays the plaintiffs as responsible citizens who are denied important financial and legal rights involving homeownership, insurance and health coverage because they cannot marry.


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