Freedom To Marry

The gay and non-gay partnership working to win marriage equality nationwide

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Why Marriage Matters to Non-Gay Allies

No civil rights movement is ever won solely by those who are the primary targets of discrimination. Gay rights are merely non-gay rights made available to all, and all Americans have a stake in a nation that treats us all fairly.

Suppose that every gay man or lesbian in America can call upon at least two heterosexual friends, family members, or coworkers to actively support their struggle for equality... If this amount of support currently exists, right now twenty million heterosexual allies stand ready to support gay rights in the United States.

— Ian Ayres and Jennifer Gerarda Brown, in Straightforward: how to mobilize heterosexual support for gay rights

View ads from Let California Ring that appeared recently across California featuring non-gay allies.

Use the key resources below to learn more about why marriage matters to non-gay allies.

 


 

FROM EVAN WOLFSON:

A Tearful Republican Mayor Comes Out — For the Freedom to Marry
The Huffington Post
September 20, 2007

Complete with video, Evan Wolfson highlights an emotional press conference by San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, a Republican former police chief, at which he announced his intention to sign a resolution supporting the freedom to marry, a reversal from his prior public opposition. Mayor Sanders said his change of heart and mind was due to soul-searching and personal conversations with gay people he knows, including his lesbian daughter, showing how powerful it is to make the conversation about real people, not just legalisms or hypotheticals. He also described how he has come to understand that his prior support for civil union, rather than marriage, was inadequate and wrong. San Diego now joins the other major California cities in calling on the Governor and State Supreme Court to follow the legislature's lead in embracing marriage equality.

Advancing toward equality in marriage
Unitarian Universalist Association
April 1, 2004

Non-gay allies are vitally needed and have much to offer in the civil rights struggle for marriage equality for same-sex couples. It is crucial that diverse non-gay people, clergy, and opinion-leaders who support the goal of marriage equality speak out in the public arena.

ANALYSIS: Why should I be for 'gay marriage'?
Evan Wolfson
December 3, 2003

A key primer, especially helpful to non-gay readers, in which Wolfson explains why its so important to support equal marriage for same sex couples. "We are asking for marriage, not "gay marriage," says Wolfson, "the same rules, the same responsibilities, the same protections, the same dignity, the same commitment, the same opportunity to declare your love for another person with whom you build a life." We are asking for marriage, not "gay marriage" — the same rules, the same responsibilities, the same protections, the same dignity, the same commitment, the same opportunity to declare your love for another person with whom you build a life.

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WHERE YOU CAN GO TO GET INVOLVED OR LEARN MORE:

Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays (PFLAG)
PFLAG promotes the health and well-being of LGBT persons, and their families and friends, through support, education, and advocacy with the intention of ending discrimination and securing equal civil rights.

Atticus Circle's Seven Straight Nights for Equal Rights
Stories of friendship and political transformation emerged across the country during Seven Straight Nights for Equal Rights, a week of vigils led by straight allies in support of civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans. Through Seven Straight Nights, the power of straight ally voices resonated in thirty-eight cities and towns across the country.

Lambda Legal's "I Do" Campaign
The fight for marriage equality is taking place across America — and not just in LGBT communities. Different-sex couples are standing up and saying "I do" again. They're saying "I do" believe in marriage equality for same-sex couples. You can join them by signing the "I do" pledge and then telling your friends about Lambda Legal's "I do" campaign .

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THE NUMBERS: POLLING & STATISTICS:


The Gallup Poll
May 29, 2007
The graph shows how public opinion has grown in support of marriage for same-sex couples over the years.

Marriage Equality Matters
Freedom to Marry
October 2007

Public opinion continually increases toward supporting the freedom to marry. Various social demographic and state majorities already support ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and majorities also think marriage equality is inevitable.

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PUBLICATIONS:

Why People with Disabilities Should Support the Right of Gays and Lesbians to Marry
Marc Dubin, Esq.
June, 2008

The civil rights movement of people with disabilities has a long history, as does the civil rights movement of gays and lesbians, and people with disabilities should recognize many of the parallels to the effects of discrimination experienced by gays and lesbians as a result of laws prohibiting marriage.

Non-gay people have a stake in this struggle, too.
Freedom to Marry
Marriage matters to America — all of America. So does what each one of us does to make equality a reality. This unique resource offers helpful tips and crucial answers about why non-gay people care about the freedom to marry and what we all can do to help.

American Psychoanalytic Association Position Statement in Support of Marriage Equality
American Psychoanalytic Association
January 2007

The American Psychoanalytic Association supports the legal recognition of civil marriage for same-sex couples with all the rights, benefits and responsibilities conferred by civil marriage, and opposes discrimination against same-sex couples, and the denial to same-sex couples these same rights, benefits and responsibilities.

Julian Bond on the freedom to marry
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
November 4, 2006

The longtime civil rights leader and NAACP chairman addressed the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force in Miami, saying "One lesson of the civil rights movement of yesterday — and the ongoing civil rights movement of today — is that the simplest of ordinary acts — taking a seat on a bus or a lunch counter, registering to vote, applying for a marriage license — can have extraordinary ramifications. It can change our world, change the way we act and think.

Letter from a non-gay ally, David P. von Ebers, Illinois
July 5, 2005
I am straight, married, a father of three, and was raised Catholic — but I want you to know I wholeheartedly support you and the Freedom to Marry cause...

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NEWS:

Read about the work of non-gay allies in the fight for the freedom to marry.

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MULTIMEDIA:

VIDEO: N.Y. Governor David Paterson Pledges to Bring Full Marriage Equality to New York
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
April 7, 2008

Honored at a Task Force dinner, NY Gov. Paterson reiterated his support for marriage equality and said in a video statement, "I am proud to have run on a ticket...that became the first ticket in this country to actually advocate for marriage equality for all citizens, and to win on that premise, and last year we passed a marriage equality bill in the Assembly...marriage equality in New York may not come just this moment, but it is no longer an issue mostly for conviction, it is an issue for courage...We will push on and bring full marriage equality to New York state."

Barkley speaks out against "fake Christians"
AlterNet
February 16, 2008

"I think they want to be judge and jury," Barkley said. "Like, I'm for gay marriage. It's none of my business if gay people want to get married. I'm pro-choice. And I think these Christians, first of all, they're not supposed to judge other people. But they're the most hypocritical judge of people we have in the country. And it bugs the hell out of me. They act like they're Christians. They're not forgiving at all."

Gay Men and Women Should Have the Same Rights
Current TV
January 17, 2008
In a personal video post, Al Gore speaks out in favor of the freedom to marry.  The former vice president stated: “I think that gay men and women ought to have the same rights as heterosexual men and women, to make contracts, to have hospital visiting rights, to join together in marriage, and I don’t understand why it is considered by some people to be a threat to heterosexual marriage to allow it by gays and lesbians.”

VIDEO: San Diego mayor rethinks his position on marriage CBS5
September 19, 2007
Watch this very touching video of the Republican mayor of San Diego rethinking his position on marriage, rejecting civil union, and deciding to sign, not veto, a resolution adding San Diego to the other major California cities calling on the supreme court (and governor) to support the freedom to marry. He talks about his gay staffers, and his lesbian daughter, and being unable to look them in the face and say their love is unworthy or unequal.

VIDEO: "Marriage Training Institute" at NGLTF's Creating Change Conference
Non-gay leaders share key lessons learned in their work to engage constituents in the fight for the freedom to marry. Panel held at Freedom to Marry's "Marriage Training Institute" in Oakland, CA, 11/10/05, at the Creating Change Conference, a program of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

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A Tearful Republican Mayor Comes Out — For the Freedom to Marry

Huffington Post
September 20, 2007

Complete with video, Evan Wolfson highlights an emotional press conference by San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, a Republican former police chief, at which he announced his intention to sign a resolution supporting the freedom to marry, a reversal from his prior public opposition. Mayor Sanders said his change of heart and mind was due to soul-searching and personal conversations with gay people he knows, including his lesbian daughter, showing how powerful it is to make the conversation about real people, not just legalisms or hypotheticals. He also described how he has come to understand that his prior support for civil union, rather than marriage, was inadequate and wrong. San Diego now joins the other major California cities in calling on the Governor and State Supreme Court to follow the legislature's lead in embracing marriage equality.

Non-gay people have a stake in this struggle, too. Freedom to Marry

Marriage matters to America — all of America. So does what each one of us does to make equality a reality. This unique resource offers helpful tips and crucial answers about why non-gay people care about the freedom to marry and what we all can do to help.

Lambda Legal's "I Do" Campaign

The fight for marriage equality is taking place across America — and not just in LGBT communities. Different-sex couples are standing up and saying "I do" again. They're saying "I do" believe in marriage equality for same-sex couples. You can join them by signing the "I do" pledge and then telling your friends about Lambda Legal's "I do" campaign .

VIDEO: San Diego mayor rethinks his position on marriage CBS5

September 19, 2007
Watch this very touching video of the Republican mayor of San Diego rethinking his position on marriage, rejecting civil union, and deciding to sign, not veto, a resolution adding San Diego to the other major California cities calling on the supreme court (and governor) to support the freedom to marry. He talks about his gay staffers, and his lesbian daughter, and being unable to look them in the face and say their love is unworthy or unequal.