Freedom To Marry

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

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Digging Deeper: How to Advance the Freedom to Marry

After understanding the basic issues involved in the struggle for the freedom to marry and fairness, it's time to dig deeper and learn more about the status, strategy, and flashpoints ahead in this movement, and how to get involved. Common questions include:

Q. How can we best move forward toward the vision of full marriage equality for all?

A. Marriage Equality is Within Reach, If We Do the Reaching (and Don't Under-Reach)
Originally adapted from a speech given to the Legal Marriage Alliance of Washington
Adapted and published in The Stranger
October 2005
By Evan Wolfson

Evan Wolfson discusses the importance of those who favor equality and inclusion to help explain to the "reachable middle" why, "The right way to end discrimination in marriage is to, well, end discrimination in marriage. Not create something new, different, lesser, or other."

All Together Now (A Blueprint for the Movement) [MISSING LINK]
Originally published in The Advocate
September 11, 2001

Laying out a plan for advancing marriage equality within a five-year framework, Evan Wolfson pulls together the key points and strategic approaches in one brief article.



Q. Are we winning or losing? What happens now that state laws are so divided on marriage? How can marriage equality supporters overcome defeats? Where will we see our next victories, building on the reality of couples married in places like Massachusetts, and the evidence that families are helped and no one hurt when marriage discrimianation ends?

A. From where I stand
Genre Magazine
June 1, 2007

Evan Wolfson describes the challenges of 2006, as well as the progress in 2007 and beyond. There are opportunities for good work in all states, whether they have anti-gay amendments or not. Marriage equality is within reach in all 50 states—if we do the reaching.

Pro-Marriage Legislators Win Elections
Freedom to Marry
January 2009

Contrary to some political expectations, this report proves voting to support the freedom to marry and opposing anti-marriage measures helps rather than hurts politicians.

The Scary Work of Winning (pdf)
Evan Wolfson's seminal document outlining the marriage equality movement in the context of our nation's ongoing evolution toward equality.



Q. Shouldn't this civil rights movement be put on hold, since opponents keep stampeding through bad ballot measures—and since the country is divided?

A. Why the Dems should NOT shut up about gays and marriage
The New Republic
August 18, 2007

Evan Wolfson responds to August 16, 2007's piece in The New Republic, explaining that, "As public support for marriage equality continues to evolve, Democrats, thus already perceived as the party of 'gay marriage,' have a winning issue on their hands, one that evokes the best traditions of their party—fairness and inclusion. The conversation will not stop. Candidates who want to move on to other questions ought to get the freedom to marry question right—for their sake as well as the country's."

If You Want to Be a Leader, You Can't Be Afraid to Lead
Huffington Post
July 26, 2007

Evan Wolfson critiques the Democratic Presidential candidates' "affirming," but still "incomplete and unconvincing" responses about the freedom to marry during the CNN/YouTube debate, offering the advice: "Ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage is the clear and correct answer to the question of how to achieve equality. What's more: it is achievable. Candidates who say they want equality (and the votes of those who believe in equality) should be prepared to live up to their values and lead the way."

What do the 2004 election results mean for the movement toward marriage equality?
November 3, 2004
Evan Wolfson analyzes the 2004 election and its impact on the marriage equality movement saying, "In a second Bush term, whatever our opponents do, we can and will win, if we engage."



Q. Is ending marriage discrimination important to poor people? to young people? to others? Is it a question of economic justice and need as well as fairness?

A. For Richer, For Poorer: The Freedom to Marry as a Matter of Economic Justice (pdf)
Excluding same-sex couples from the economic and social benefits of marriage harms the most vulnerable, those of lesser means, immigrants, people who are ill, and children.

Visit our Communities section to learn more about how marriage discrimination affects all different types of people and communities.



What states have which laws regarding marriage equality?

International progress toward the freedom to marry

Where Can Gay Couples Get Married?







Support the Respect for Marriage Act to Repeal DOMA

Support the Respect for Marriage Act by contacting your legislative leaders and friends.(Link)

Learn More About ‘Our Families Count’

Make sure LGBT families and people are accurately counted in the 2010 census.(Link)

A Decade of Progress on LGBT Rights

A new report shows the past 10 years have been a period of dramatic gains in equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in America, including sharp increases in the number of LGBT Americans protected by family recognition legislation at the state level. (Link)

Freedom to Marry Week 2010

Learn more about the 13th annual Freedom to Marry Week, February 8-14, 2010. (Link)