Freedom To Marry

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

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Why Marriage Matters to Young People

Young people are increasingly raising their voices in the national debate over the freedom to marry. Discrimination in marriage is very much a youth issue, on many different levels. For example, there are thousands of kids right now who have parents of the same sex, and don't get the same rights, benefits, or social acceptance as their friends and classmates. For them, marriage equality isn't a theoretical question, but a very real, very important issue for their moms or dads.

Furthermore, there are many young people who know that one day they will want the freedom to marry someone of their choice. The work being done now to secure the freedom to marry will set the stage for complete adoption and recognition of LGBTQ rights in the years to come.

Youth today can help create the future they will inherit. Whether speaking out for marriage equality or fighting against attacks on families, it is crucial to work towards equality now.

Use the key resources below to learn more about why marriage matters to young people.

 


 

FROM EVAN WOLFSON:

The freedom to marry: Keep dancing
The Advocate
July 10, 2006

Against the power of our truth and the inevitable rise to ascendancy of younger people who favor the freedom to marry, opponents of equality have only increasingly hollow appeals to "intuitions" and "traditions" that merely perpetuate rather than justify discrimination, present but curable discomfort that manifests itself in illogic and—here's where the ball is in our court—inertia that results from the failure of those who care to speak up and take action.

APPENDIX B: DISCRIMINATION: PROTECTIONS DENIED TO SAME-SEX COUPLES AND THEIR KIDS
Why Marriage Matters
Here are just some of the ways in which government's denying the freedom to marry punishes couples and families by depriving them of critical tangible as well as intangible protections and responsibilities in virtually every area of life.

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VOICES OF EQUALITY:

Meet two of Freedom to Marry's young Voices of Equality

Dakota Fine
Dakota Fine, 24, based in Washington, DC, is employed by the Human Rights Campaign, division of Public Education and Outreach. Dakota has been an outspoken and valued member of the VOE/COLAGE radio tour, speaking out across our nation on behalf of our families.

 

Marina Gatto
Bay Area resident Gatto has been a constant fixture in the media as a spokesperson for the LGBT community since the age of eight. As a child of two lesbian moms, she has served as an activist for Equality California/Marriage Equality California, COLAGE, Immigration Equality, Love Sees No Borders, and GLSEN.

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WHERE YOU CAN GO TO GET INVOLVED OR LEARN MORE:

Children Of Lesbians And Gays Everywhere (COLAGE)
COLAGE is the only national organization in the world specifically supporting children, youth and adults with LGBT parents.

Young People For
In 2004, People For the American Way Foundation launched a strategic, long-term leadership initiative, Young People For, to invest in the next generation of leaders and build a long-term national network for young progressives. Young People For is committed to protecting and promoting our nation's core values by identifying, engaging and empowering young leaders and activists and equipping them to work toward positive social change in their communities and across the nation. Young People For provides a national infrastructure to support young leaders' ongoing activism on the frontlines and facilitates connections to leaders and organizations in the progressive movement.
Read Young People For Marriage Equality

SoulForce's Equality Ride
During 2006's inaugural Equality Ride, participants traveled to nineteen schools and engaged students, faculty, and administrators in conversation about the damaging effects of homophobic doctrine, the false notion that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender identities are sick and sinful. This year, the journey continues with fifty young adults going to thirty-two Christian colleges and universities. Two buses are taking the group on two distinct routes around the country in creative pursuit of social justice. In doing so, they are empowered to change countless lives.

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THE NUMBERS: POLLING & STATISTICS:

Support for marriage equality is overwhelming — 62 percent — among voters under 35.

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PUBLICATIONS:

Gay and Lesbian Youth Want Long-Term Couple Relationships and Raising Children
Rockway Institute
April 23, 2008

Dr. Green of the Rockway Institute commented:  “We seem to be witnessing the mainstreaming of lesbian/gay youth, with many of them wanting exactly what heterosexual youth have always wanted - the whole American dream complete with kids and the minivan.  This should not be surprising when one considers that most lesbian/gay youth also have been raised in very mainstream heterosexual families with similar values and parental models.” He continued, “Although some lesbian/gay adults may prefer less conventional lives, most agree that the primary issue is whether these youth will be given the equal legal rights to realize their couple and family aspirations just like their heterosexual peers.”

A Portrait of "Generation Next"
The Pew Research Center
January 9, 2007

About half of Gen-Nexters say the growing number of immigrants to the U.S. strengthens the country — more than any generation. And they also lead the way in their support for marriage equality and acceptance of interracial dating.

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NEWS:

Read articles about how young people are helping win the freedom to marry.

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MULTIMEDIA:

Gay marriage: What's the big screaming deal?
YouTube
March 6, 2007

A college student asks "Why do people care about other people's marriage?"

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Dakota Fine

Dakota Fine, 24, based in Washington, DC, is employed by the Human Rights Campaign, division of Public Education and Outreach. Dakota has been an outspoken and valued member of the VOE/COLAGE radio tour, speaking out across our nation on behalf of our families.

Marina Gatto


Bay Area resident Marina Gatto has been a constant fixture in the media as a spokesperson for the LGBT community since the age of eight. As a child of two lesbian moms, she has served as an activist for Equality California/Marriage Equality California, COLAGE, Immigration Equality, Love Sees No Borders, and GLSEN.

Children Of Lesbians And Gays Everywhere (COLAGE)

COLAGE is the only national organization in the world specifically supporting children, youth and adults with LGBT parents.

SoulForce's Equality Ride

During 2006's inaugural Equality Ride, participants traveled to nineteen schools and engaged students, faculty, and administrators in conversation about the damaging effects of homophobic doctrine, the false notion that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender identities are sick and sinful. This year, the journey continues with fifty young adults going to thirty-two Christian colleges and universities. Two buses are taking the group on two distinct routes around the country in creative pursuit of social justice. In doing so, they are empowered to change countless lives.

A Portrait of "Generation Next"

The Pew Research Center
January 9, 2007

About half of Gen-Nexters say the growing number of immigrants to the U.S. strengthens the country — more than any generation. And they also lead the way in their support for marriage equality and acceptance of interracial dating.