Blog Entries by Megan Kinninger

Bill Clinton Backs Marriage Equality

The Nation
July 14, 2009

Former President Bill Clinton has come out in support of same-sex marriage.

After speaking at the Campus Progress National Conference in Washington, DC, on July 8, the former president was asked if he supported the freedom to marry. Clinton, in a departure from past statements, replied in the affirmative. (Link)

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Former President Bill Clinton Supports the Freedom to Marry

Freedom to Marry Press Release
July 14,2009

Former President Bill Clinton Supports the Freedom
Joins Ever-Increasing List of High Profile Political Leaders Speaking Out for Equality

Former President Bill Clinton now favors the freedom to marry. Following a speech on July 8th, the former President was asked if he supported marriage equality and he responded for the first time in the affirmative. He joins a list of other high profile political leaders including the U.S. Conference of Mayors, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and Christopher Dodd (D-CT), former NY Senate leader Joe Bruno, Republican operatives Roger Stone and Steve Schmidt, and former Vice President Dick Cheney who have all within the past few weeks endorsed the freedom to marry.

“President Clinton’s support for the freedom to marry has evolved over time, and shows the power we each have when we talk about why marriage matters to the people we know and help them rise to fairness,” said Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry and author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality and Gay People's Right to Marry. “President Clinton has grappled with this question for a long time, and clearly he, like the country, has come a long way since fear and politics brought about such discriminatory measures as the so-called ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ that he signed and now has moved past.” (Link)

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The Marriage Equality Debate: Where It Stands

Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
July 10, 2009

David Masci, Senior Research Fellow at Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life, discusses the latest achievements for the freedom to marry and how the public perceives these events. (Link)

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Iowa becomes a freedom to marry destination

USA Today
July 8, 2009

Since the Iowa Supreme Court legalized marriage equality in April, Iowans have been adjusting to their state's new status as a wedding destination for gay and lesbian couples. Some Iowa communities and businesses are eager to attract gay and lesbian visitors. The Iowa City/Coralville Convention and Visitors Bureau is developing an advertising campaign aimed at out-of-state gay couples. [Link]

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Gay Catholics discuss marriage equality

Bay Area Reporter
July 9, 2009

Reaching out to people of faith is seen as one of the most important aspects of working for marriage equality, and that was one of the topics addressed as Dignity USA, a group for LGBT Catholics, held its biennial convention in San Francisco last weekend. “It's easy to be opposed to an issue, but it's another thing to be opposed to a person,” said Father Geoff Farrow, a former Fresno priest, "so I think the greatest thing that all LGBT people or their families and loved ones can do is simply to make themselves visible, to tell their stories." [Link]

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Letter from mother of gay son tells Irish minister civil partnerships are not good enough

July 8, 2009

Helen Doody’s letter to Irish justice minister Dermot Ahern on behalf of her son is fast becoming a hit on the internet. “Your Civil Partnership Bill is not good enough for my family, and hundreds, thousands of other families in this country. Revise this bill so everyone can be equal." [Link]

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Barbara Raab of NBC News to Interview Freedom to Marry Leader Evan Wolfson at exclusive OP Forum

Out Professionals
June 24, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009
7:30PM - 9:00PM

You've seen him on the news. Now, you can ask Evan Wolfson your own question about the future of marriage rights at this exclusive Out Professionals forum.

One of the true civil-rights leaders of our era, Wolfson is founder and executive director of the marriage-rights advocacy group Freedom to Marry. In a thought-provoking conversation with NBC News senior newswriter Barbara Raab, Wolfson will talk about our victories, losses - and what the future holds for marriage equality.

The interview will take place at the CUNY's new Graduate School of Journalism. The School is just one block from Times Square and next door to The New York Times. And that's not all. The School of Journalism will also videostream the event live. So if you can't be there in person, you can watch from home... or wherever. Just go to either of the addresses below. And viewers will be able to ask questions as well.

Evan Wolfson is founder and Executive Director of Freedom to Marry. Recognizing his longtime civil rights leadership in the movement for marriage equality, TIME magazine named Evan one of the "100 most influential people in the world" in 2004. Evan was co-counsel in the historic Hawaii marriage case, argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, served in the Peace Corps in West Africa, and is the author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality and Gay People's Right to Marry.

Barbara Raab is senior newswriter at NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams and an adjunct broadcast professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has freelanced for many years across all platforms, including SiriusXM OutQ News, for which she is currently national legal correspondent. Barbara has a B.A. from Brown University and a J.D. from the NYU School of Law.

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Paterson Vows Vote on Marriage Equality Before Break

New York Times
June 22, 2009

Gov. David A. Paterson said in an interview Sunday night that he would make sure that the State Senate votes on freedom to marry legislation before it breaks for the summer. (Link)

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Senator Dodd: Rights, responsibilities and love

Meriden Record Journal
June 21, 2009

US Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut writes in support of the freedom to marry:
"Public officials aren’t supposed to change their minds. But I firmly believe that it’s important to keep learning. Last week, while I was in Connecticut meeting with members of the gay and lesbian community from across the state, I had the opportunity to tell them what I’ve learned about marriage, and about equality.

While I’ve long been for extending every benefit of marriage to same-sex couples, I have in the past drawn a distinction between a marriage-like status (“civil unions”) and full marriage rights.

The reason was simple: I was raised to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. And as many other Americans have realized as they’ve struggled to reconcile the principle of fairness with the lessons they learned early in life, that’s not an easy thing to overcome.

But the fact that I was raised a certain way just isn’t a good enough reason to stand in the way of fairness anymore.

The Connecticut Supreme Court, of course, has ruled that such a distinction holds no merit under the law. And the Court is right.

I believe that effective leaders must be able and willing to grow and change over their service. I certainly have during mine – and so has the world. Thirty-five years ago, who could have imagined that we’d have an African-American President of the United States?

My young daughters are growing up in a different reality from what I did. Our family knows many same-sex couples – our neighbors in Connecticut, members of my staff, parents of their schoolmates. Some are now married because the Connecticut Supreme Court and our state legislature have made same-sex marriage legal in our state.

But to my daughters, these couples are married simply because they love each other and want to build a life together. That’s what we’ve taught them. The things that make those families different from their own pale in comparison to the commitments that bind those couples together.

And, really, that’s what marriage should be. It’s about rights and responsibilities and, most of all, love.

I believe that, when my daughters grow up, barriers to marriage equality for same-sex couples will seem as archaic, and as unfair, as the laws we once had against inter-racial marriage.

And I want them to know that, even if he was a little late, their dad came down on the right side of history.

I have always been proud of my long record fighting for the civil rights of the LGBT community. I’ve co-sponsored legislation to strengthen hate crime laws and end discrimination in the workplace. I’ve spoken out against “don’t ask, don’t tell” and always supported equal rights for domestic partnerships.

But I am also proud to now count myself among the many elected officials, advocates, and ordinary citizens who support full marriage equality for same-sex couples.

I understand that even those who oppose discrimination might continue to find it hard to re-think the definition of marriage they grew up with. I know it was for me.

But many of the things we must do to make our union more perfect – whether it’s fighting for decades to reform our health care system or struggling with a difficult moral question – are hard. They take time. And they require that, when you come to realize that something is right, you be unafraid to stand up and say it.

That’s the only way our history will progress along that long arc towards justice."

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Take Action Now for Maine

Evan Wolfson, Executive Director of Freedom to Marry, posted today on Facebook:
"As we work to win marriage in NY, NJ, and DC, I made a personal contribution to Maine Freedom to Marry, knowing that early money is key to defending the victory we won there against the anti-gay forces seeking to take it away in November. Please join me in donating now:

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