2Sharpen Your 10/10/10/20 = 50 Vision

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. . . . Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”

—James Madison

ON MAY 10, 2005, Freedom to Marry founder Evan Wolfson, GLAD attorney Mary Bonauto, and a handful of other LGBT movement leaders quietly gathered at the invitation of mega-donor Tim Gill for a closed meeting in Jersey City, New Jersey. The outlook for the same-sex marriage movement on that day looked dour: Seventeen U.S. states had proposed constitutional amendments that explicitly banned gay marriage—thirteen of them freshly adopted after President Clinton had signed into law the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denied federal recognition of any state-issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The California Supreme Court had voided same-sex marriages in 2004. And while the Massachusetts Supreme Court had just allowed the first state-sanctioned marriages of same-sex couples, a vigorous opposition ballot referendum was under way, spearheaded by conservative leaders like then-governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney, Catholic Church officials, and other conservative and anti-gay groups. A few rays of hope remained in Vermont and two other states, which had passed either civil unions or similar relationship-recognition laws.1 But these developments were considered by some a dubious half-step toward full marriage, evoking the ignominious ...

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