ACLUMâ€™s commitment to Courting Equality is but one example of the pivotal behind-the-scenes role the organization has played in the struggle to achieve and preserve marriage equality in Massachusetts. Itâ€™s a commitment that stretches back to the 1990s, when ACLUM lobbyist Norma Shapiro represented the organization in what was known as the “Group of Groups,” an informal coalition of LGBT and allied organizations that was planning, strategizing and negotiating to advance the cause of legal recognition for same-sex couples in the state legislature. Initially the Groupsâ€™ focus was domestic partnership legislation; in the early 2000s it shifted to civil unions. Along the way, they also fended off attempts to pass DOMA legislation. Most notably, they helped coordinate the strategy in which legislators, led by then-Senate President Tom Birmingham, killed the anti-gay constitutional amendment via parliamentary maneuvering at a 2002 constitutional convention. More
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