Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ned Flaherty Marriage Equality USA Update

Produced by Charlotte Robinson

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In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Ned Flaherty, Project Manager Election 2012 for the national LGBT organization Marriage Equality USA. We talked to Ned about the map he has created revealing the encouraging news that 42% of Americans now live in the 21 states that offer some form of legal recognition at the state level for same-gender relationships. The map illustrates the states offering partial equality as well as itemizing the 30 states where various bans on marriage by law, by constitution, or both law and constitution that remain in effect.

Ned Flaherty lives in Massachusetts where gay marriage is celebrating its eighth anniversary in May. When asked what his reaction has been to the recent momentum of gay marriage passing in Washington state, Prop 8 being found unconstitutional in California by the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and the possibility of marriage equality passing in New Jersey and Maryland, Flaherty stated, “I expect that every state that passes marriage equality in any significant way is going to have the same experience we’ve had for the last eight years in Massachusetts and that is first of all none of the dire consequences threatened by the religious evangelicals or the rightwing Republicans have ever occurred here. The second thing is a couple of dramatic improvements. One is there’s more business revenue and more tax revenue into the state government simply as the result of the additional marriage business going on here. And the third thing is Massachusetts has one of the lowest divorce rates now in the nation. The nation hasn’t had such a divorce rate as low as Massachusetts for decades. So I think that among those states you mentioned and the others that you didn’t mention, as they all move closer towards marriage equality, they’re going to find more business, more government tax revenue and none of the frightening harms that the equality opponents always talk about.”

As Project Manager Election 2012 Flaherty has also created the Election 2012 Project at Marriage Equality USA to show twelve major ways in which LGBT people still are not equal citizens, to expand the national dialogue and to provide usable data to candidates, journalists and voters. Since the project began some presidential candidates have gradually increased their overall support for LGBT equality.
For More Info & View Map & Chart: marriageequality.org

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