More Rallies Take Place Before Mass. Issues Gay Marriage Licenses

( [email protected] ) May 17, 2004 09:26 AM EDT

Hartford, Mass. -- On Sunday afternoon, the last attempt was made to both stop and support gay marriage before the clock hit 12 midnight where Massachusetts officially became the first state to sanction gay marriage. Although gay activists groups outnumbered pro-family groups, around 115 people gathered on the Capitol in Hartford to continue speak out against gay marriage.

Family Institute of Connecticut Executive Director Brian Brown urged people to contact Connecticut's U-S Senator Joseph Leiberman to show their support of President Bush's proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

"Massachusetts will be the first state in the nation to radically redefine marriage to say that male and female do not matter, that it is not in the best interest of children to have a mom and a dad, and to upend the whole course of western civilization," he said. In addition he expressed his concern over possible gay marriage recognition outside of Massachusetts.

Brown will be at Lieberman’s Hartford office today at noon with a petition signed by 90,000 people supporting gay marriage amendment.

Judith Woodward, 64, of South Glastonbury said she opposes same-sex marriage because it's against the Bible.

"If you look at the physical makeup, the biological makeup of a man and a woman, you can see how god created us to have sexual relationships with one another," said Woodward, a volunteer at the Better Choice Women's Center in Middletown, a Christian pro-life center.

Although the first gay marriage license has been issued to a lesbian couple at midnight, the rest of America is still pending on the issue and the pro-family groups across the nation will continue fight to protect marriage and push harder for gay marriage amendment.

"What I’m starting to see is people who are apolitical, who never got involved before, saying, ‘This is too much -- we don’t want same-sex marriage foisted on us,’ " said Mathew Staver, president of a Florida-based legal group, Liberty Counsel, that is opposing gay marriage in numerous court cases.

Meanwhile various campaigns are expected to take place across the nation over the coming week organized by both opponents and supporters of gay marriage as many other states including Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Missouri and Utah are considering gay marriage amendment to be on the ballot in November.

Pastors who are against gay marriage will gather in Arlington, Texas to join “Not on My Watch” rally and pro-gay marriage rally will take place in Iowa City, Iowa, and Las Cruces, N.M.

About a hundred supporters of gay marriage rights rallied Saturday in Los Angeles to show their support.

Although Gov. Mitt Romney already declared that out-of-state gay couples would not be eligible to receive the licenses, many at the rally predicted an influx of gay couples to Massachusetts for wedding.

"People are going to go there from out of state," said Los Angeles activist Robert Blackmon. "We’ll know what happens with those when people go to their home states and file lawsuits."