May 17th: A Day to Celebrate Equality

Dear Friend of MassEquality,

Today, May 17th, is a day when we celebrate three important events in the struggle for justice and equality for all people. On this day...

14 years ago, the first legal same-sex marriages took place in Cambridge, MA. On May 17th, 2004, just after midnight, former MassEquality Board member Marcia Hams and her partner, Susan Shepherd, became the first same-sex couple to be legally married in the United States. Some 262 couples obtained marriage licenses in Cambridge that day, followed over the years by thousands more.

• 50 years before that, the landmark Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education, was decided. On May 17, 1954, the Court ruled unanimously that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." This decision was a major victory in the Civil Rights movement, paving the way for the desegregation of schools and other public institutions.

And every year since 2004, on May 17th, people around the world celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. The day was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.

On this day of hope and celebration, we thank you for all of your hard work in support of equality. You've made calls to your elected officials, signed petitions and postcards, stood on the steps of the State House to make your voice heard and more to protect LGBTQ rights. We're grateful for friends like you who have stood with us and supported our work—some since before the historic day that the first legal same-sex marriages in the country took place.

We need your help again to keep fighting strong to protect LGBTQ rights. We face turbulent times ahead, and ​​your donation​ now ensures that MassEquality will be ready to take action throughout 2018 on issues that are critical to the LGBTQ community.

Please give today to ensure we have the resources to keep fighting for equality and justice for all LGBTQ people in Massachusetts! Whether you can give $10 or $10,000, every gift helps us stand strong against discrimination and injustice. Please join me in supporting MassEquality today.

Thank you for standing with us!

Signature of Deborah Shields

Deborah Shields, JD, MPH
Executive Director, MassEquality


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