Love Makes a Family (LMF) is a statewide coalition of organizations and individuals working for equal marriage rights for same-sex couples in Connecticut. We carry out our mission through community education, grassroots organizing and legislative advocacy and lobbying.

LMF was created in November 1999 by five statewide organizations to develop a grassroots movement and a lobbying strategy in order to pass a co-parent adoption law in Connecticut. In 2000, we not only passed that law with an overwhelming margin of legislative support, but we also defeated a DOMA ("Defense of Marriage" Act). Our success with co-parent adoption made Connecticut one of only two states at that time to have achieved such rights legislatively. In addition, we were then one of only 15 states that had not passed a state DOMA.

Because of the success of LMF in its first year, the group decided that instead of disbanding, we would officially incorporate and begin working on the next logical step in the struggle for full equality for LGBT families: Marriage.

Given the entrenched homophobia of our society, there is no illusion that this will be an easy battle. Nationally, however, Connecticut is seen as a state that can take such a step. We have a history of passing legislation prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation; we have an equal rights amendment in our state constitution; we have unique marriage statutes that are gender neutral in terms of the requirements of marriage and who may marry; and we do not have a DOMA.

The organization has steadily grown over the past two years in terms of name recognition, membership and influence. Because of the work of LMF, the Connecticut General Assembly has held significant public hearings on marriage and civil union, and the topic of marriage for same-sex couples has begun to be debated much more visibly in the media and in the general public.

  • LMF spearheaded a legislative victory in 2002 with the passage of a bill granting same-sex couples certain rights related to serious illness and death (e.g. right to make medical decisions for an incapacitated partner; right to have private visits in a nursing home; right to receive coverage as immediate family member under the crime victim statutes). Equally as important as the rights section of the bill was a section that required the legislature to hold public hearings before January 2003 on the public policy implications of marriage and civil unions for same-sex couples.

  • LMF organized a powerful network of religious leaders (100+) and in March 2002, we organized a clergy press conference to support the freedom to marry. The press conference was an extraordinarily powerful affirmation that there is widespread support in the faith community for same-sex marriage, despite what we often hear from our opponents.

  • LMF volunteers have organized a number of well-attended educational forums across the state. We have also spoken at hundreds of churches, synagogues, professional associations, non-profit organizations, workplaces, high schools and colleges and community forums.

  • In the Spring of 2002, LMF commissioned a poll from the University of Connecticut to gauge public support for granting same-sex couples certain legal rights that come with marriage. The poll results showed that a significant majority of Connecticut residents support passing laws to protect same-sex couples (e.g. 88% supported allowing a partner to make medical decisions if the other partner is incapacitated; 82% supported allowing private visits in a nursing home; 81% thought that a same-sex partner should have a say in their partner's burial at death.) Support held true regardless of religion, race, sex or age.

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