The pro-gay marriage group Love Makes A Family delivered special Valentines to state legislators today, reminding them marriage is LMF’s ultimate goal and promising a big fight next year. In the meantime, they’re looking to block any tinkering with Connecticut’s civil union statute, according to executive director Anne Stanback.
Connecticut’s gay rights community split last year over civil unions, with LMF refusing to settle for anything less than marriage. Other activists, including state legislators and political lobbyists like Betty Gallo, pushed for civil unions as an achievable goal.“Marriage is the ultimate Valentine, and we hope there will be support for it next session,” Stanback said.Stanback and Gallo are now working together again, as Gallo lobbies for the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union, which supports marriage. But a marriage bill won’t be introduced this year because of the short 12-week legislative session, Gallo said, and because civil unions just took effect. Legislators who voted for civil unions need to see that their votes will not cost them at the polls this November, Gallo said.However, Stanback fears anti-gay marriage forces will attempt a bill that would exempt religious affiliated groups from the civil union law. Such an amendment died in the state House last year 56-92.Senate Minority Leader Lou DeLuca (R-Woodbury) said he knows of no such plans, but blasted LMF for lobbying for gay marriage when the civil union law specifically defined marriage as a rite between a man and a woman. DeLuca feels the gay rights lobby assures legislators they want one thing, while really striving for more.“They tell you what you want to hear one year, but they’ve never been truthful during this entire process,” DeLuca said.