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Democracy for America to ask members to support state marriage campaigns

MICHAEL K. LAVERS | Washington Blade
Friday, October 5, 2012
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The Washington Blade has learned that Democracy for America will ask its supporters to donate to the four statewide same-sex marriage campaigns.

“It happens that marriage equality’s not simply just an issue for progressives or sort of a lefty kind of issue anymore—it’s now become really more of a mainstream issue,” said DFA executive director Arshan Hasan in an exclusive interview on Thursday.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley at a recent D.C. fundraiser for Marylanders for Marriage Equality.
Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

The political action committee that former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean founded after his 2004 presidential campaign claims more than a million members across the country. “The people who stand opposed to it are becoming sort of a smaller and smaller and narrower and narrower group of people. It’s important for DFA to stand up for fairness and for equality.”

Hasan, who co-managed the canvassing program against the ultimately successful 2009 referendum that struck down Maine’s same-sex marriage law that state lawmakers had passed earlier that year, noted recent polls in both the Pine Tree State and Maryland that indicate a majority of voters would back nuptials for gays and lesbians at the ballot box.

A SurveyUSA poll last month showed Washington’s same-sex marriage referendum leads by a 56-38 percent margin. A Star Tribune Minnesota Poll in late September indicated the campaign over a proposed state constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between a man and a woman remains a statistical dead heat.

“Even if it weren’t this close, I think it would still be imperative for DFA to get involved and help out,” said Hasan. “Especially in the case of Minnesota, but in all of these cases I hope that our contribution will be enough to sort of push them over the edge. We’re not going to take it for granted that we’re doing well in Maine. We won’t take it granted that we’re doing well in Maryland too. We think that every little bit will help. We think for each of these campaigns more than a little bit. So I think it will get us closer to our goal.”

Josh Levin, campaign manager for Marylanders for Marriage Equality, welcomed DFA’s support.

“We’re thrilled at DFA’s endorsement of Maryland’s Question 6,” he said. “While we have the momentum, this will be a close race. We need a full-court press by all those who support fairness and equality under the law. Let’s make Maryland the first state in the nation to win marriage equality by popular vote.”

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