July 26th, 2006


"Beyond Marriage" coalition statement released by national LGBT leaders

Statement released today and available at:


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Hoping to move beyond the narrow confines of marriage politics in the United States today, a coalition of leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists have issued a major statement titled, Beyond Same-Sex Marriage: A New Strategic Vision for All Our Families and Relationships. Endorsed by over 250 notable signatories, the statement offers a new vision for securing governmental and private institutional recognition of diverse partnerships, households, kinship relationships and families....

...Authors of the statement observe that the LGBT movement’s focus on marriage equality as a stand-alone issue has “left us isolated and vulnerable to a virulent backlash.” They back same-sex marriage equality as a way to secure rights and benefits for some LGBT families, but say that the LGBT movement must “respond to the full scope of the conservative marriage agenda by building alliances across issues and constituencies”.

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(as a side note, Joseph DeFilippis of Queers for Economic Justice just clarified for me what is meant by his group's use of 'virulent backlash'--) "If we'd been arguing all along for a wide menu of options for family recognition of all kinds, then it wouldn't have been 'a gay issue', it would have been an issue for African American communities, for HIV communities, for labor, for women's rights organizations...many different movements could have been behind this," said DeFillipis. "But instead it became about 'gay couples', and this left us isolated and vulnerable to attacks such as antigay ballot intiatives. I do believe that these initiatives are very much about a larger conservative agenda of defunding the social safety net, but the specific format--as antigay initiatives and policies--would Not have been the response to a much broader more progressive strategy."