Shenna Bellows on Civil Rights



Leader in Women's Leadership Coalition & women's rights

Shenna is a leader in women's rights. She has been recognized for her work to advance women's health and reproductive choice by awards from the University of Maine Women's Studies Department, Mabel Wadsworth Women's Health Center, the American Association of University Women, the Frances Perkins Center and the Maine Democratic Party.

Shenna believes that coalitions can change the world. In addition to working in coalition to advance voting rights and marriage equality, she was a leader in the Maine Immigrants' Rights Coalition, the Maine Choice Coalition, the Women's Leadership Coalition, and the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition.

Source: 2014 Senate campaign website, BellowsForSenate.com, "About" , Nov 14, 2013

ENDA is a good start; full marriage equality is next

Former leader on the Mainers United for Marriage campaign, Shenna Bellows, issued the following statement on the historic Senate passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act today.

"I appreciate--as we all should--that Susan Collins joined all of the Democrats in voting for ENDA today, but the measure falls short of full equality. I look forward to the day when both of Maine's US senators have the courage to stand up for full equality, including the freedom to marry, for all Americans."

Bellows was a leader in the 2005 Maine Won't Discriminate campaign when Maine passed a broad anti-discrimination law that prohibits discrimination in employment, credit, housing and education. "It is high time that all Americans are able to live and work freely, without fear of being fired because of who they are. It is, of course, also high time that all Americans enjoy the freedom to marry the person they love," said Bellows.

Source: 2014 Senate campaign website press release, "ENDA" , Nov 7, 2013

Battled to legalize same-sex marriage

Bellows has strong credentials in some Maine political circles for her high-profile roles in recent campaigns to legalize same-sex marriage. As executive director of the civil liberties union, Bellows was often front and center during legislative debates over constitutional issues. Her high-profile role in the battle to legalize same-sex marriage also earned her name recognition in progressive political circles.
Source: Kevin Miller in The Morning Sentinel / Press Herald , Oct 24, 2013

Postponed her straight marriage until gay marriage allowed

As some of you may know, I was married on September 21. My husband, Brandon Baldwin, is here with me today. And I promise, he knew what he was getting into when he said "I do."

Brandon and I made the decision to spend our lives together in 2010. But we had made a vow that we wouldn't get married until every loving committed couple could do the same, including our gay and lesbian friends and family members could be legally married.

Last November, Maine made history when our state became the first to pass the freedom to marry at the ballot box. It was an amazing day made even better when the first couples started to wed last winter. But it wasn't until June, when the Supreme Court overturned the outrageously named Defense of Marriage Act, which discriminated against gay and lesbian couples--I don't think they knew it at the time, but when the Supreme Court justices said DOMA was unconstitutional, they were also opening the door for Brandon and I to tie the knot.

Source: Campaign kick-off speech in Portland , Oct 24, 2013

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