It’s been four years since Massachusetts legalized same-sex unions. Now, as the bay state’s gays enjoy unprecedented freedom, a movement dedicated to democracy closes its doors.
Founded in 1993, the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry worked to achieve true equality in Massachusetts. What began as a small party of pious activists became a Coalition of over 1,000 members.
Activists of all faiths came together to move Massachusetts closer to constitutional equality and Representative Barbara L’Italien credits the Coalition with playing an essential role in the legislative and social battle:
The Religious Coalition For the Freedom To Marry provided a necessary spiritual context to the acknowledgement that all people should be allowed the basic human right to love and commit to another person. The coalition opened their doors in welcome to all and also offered dialogue and support to legislators like myself who were not being supported by their own particular faith community.
It’s all about the dialogue, baby!
Gay activist and Episcopal Bishop Tom Shaw echoes L’Italien’s sentiments, saying,
The work of the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry has been vital to securing marriage for gay, lesbian and transgendered people in Massachusetts and has also been a remarkable beacon as to what people of faith working together ecumenically can do to bring about the justice of God.
Despite the fact that they’re closing their doors, Coalition board president Reverend Anne C. Fowler insists that a few battles remain, like getting the aforementioned conservatives to get on the gay marriage bandwagon: “We are keenly aware that, while civil marriage has been secured in the Commonwealth, much education and outreach remains to be accomplished in our various denominations and faith traditions.” As the Coalition closes it’s doors, a new mission emerges.