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.
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.
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.
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.