EDITORIAL: On gay rights, it’s good to be out of step

Baltimore Sun
May 4, 2008
The Rev. James Lawson is an icon of the civil rights movement; it was he who invited the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to Memphis to support the striking sanitation workers. He is also an advocate for marriage equality. (Link)

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Freedom to Marry Honors Mildred Loving Upon Her Passing

Freedom to Marry mourns the loss of Mildred Loving, a plaintiff along with her husband, in the historic 1967 case Loving v. Virginia which ended race discrimination in marriage in the United States. By simply getting married, Mrs. Loving became a civil rights leader and helped end restrictions on the freedom to marry in the historic court case bearing her name, and went on to speak out for that same freedom to marry for all loving couples, gay and non-gay. Just last year, upon the 40th anniversary of the Loving decision, Mildred Loving made a statement in support of the ongoing struggle for the freedom to marry.

Read Evan Wolfson's full statement honoring Mildred Loving.
Read Mrs. Loving's full statement on the 40th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia.

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Freedom to Marry Honors Mildred Loving Upon Her Passing

Mrs. Loving Stood Up for Her Love and Won Equality in 1967; Added Her Voice to Today’s Struggle for Equality

May 5, 2008 —Freedom to Marry issued the following statement today from Evan Wolfson, Executive Director, upon the passing of Mildred Loving, a plaintiff along with her husband, in the historic 1967 case Loving v. Virginia which ended race discrimination in marriage in the United States:

“Freedom to Marry mourns the loss of Mildred Loving, a woman of faithful conviction and an open heart. Called to civil rights leadership through the simple act of getting married, Mrs. Loving helped end restrictions on the freedom to marry in the historic court case bearing her name, and went on to speak out for that same freedom to marry for all loving couples, gay and non-gay.

Just last year, upon the 40th anniversary of the Loving decision, Mildred Loving made a statement in support of the ongoing struggle for the freedom to marry:

'When my late husband, Richard, and I got married in Washington, DC in 1958, it wasn't to make a political statement or start a fight. We were in love, and we wanted to be married.

...Not a day goes by that I don't think of Richard and our love, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the 'wrong kind of person' for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry.

...I am proud that Richard's and my name are on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight, seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That's what Loving, and loving, are all about.'
(Read Mrs. Loving's full statement here.)

Mrs. Loving’s actions remind us all of the power of love and the basic human right to choose the person whom you wish to marry. She will be remembered as an embodiment of our country's historic commitment to freedom, the pursuit of happiness, and equal justice for all. Our thoughts are with her family today.”

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Freedom to Marry is the gay and non-gay partnership working to win marriage equality nationwide. Launched in 2003, Freedom to Marry is headed by Evan Wolfson, nationally recognized as a central "architect of the marriage equality movement." Freedom to Marry guides and focuses this social justice movement on a nationwide level, serving as a strategy and support center for national, state, and local partners, a catalyst that drives and shapes the national debate on marriage equality, and an alliance-builder fostering support from non-gay allies.

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NY’s Next Governor: Lauded as Consensus Builder

DiversityInc
March 12, 2008
Paterson is considered a strong consensus builder, a man whose lifelong disability and status as a racial minority have made him sensitive to others' needs and a clear and empathetic communicator. Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, described Paterson as a staunch ally of the LGBT community. "He's been a long-time supporter of ending discrimination in marriage and I'm confident he would also be a strong advocate in the battles to come," Wolfson says. [Link]

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Freedom to Marry Voice of Equality Alice Huffman honored in CA

The Bay Area Reporter
February 28, 2008
At age 71, Alice Huffman has seen her fair share of bruising battles for equal rights in her lifetime. A longtime leader in the civil rights movement, Huffman has certainly paid her dues and earned the right to a peaceful retirement. Yet Huffman isn't sitting back on her laurels. She has become a key player in the LGBT community's fight for marriage equality. [Link]

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MD Senator Tirelessly Fought for Civil Rights

Baltimore Sun
January 13, 2008
Prince George's County senator and civil rights activist Gwendolyn T. Britt died early yesterday. She was 66. The five-year Democratic state senator was expected to introduce legislation this year that would legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland - and by agreeing to do so, she had become a "hero" to that community, wrote Dan Furmansky, executive director of Equality Maryland. "Thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Marylanders and their families only knew Senator Britt by name, and yet this name truly meant everything to them," he wrote. [Link]

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Freedom to Marry Voice of Equality Helps Bridge Gap

Get Underground
February 2, 2007
I'm beginning to understand that blacks assume a colonizer/colonized role when they view gays as "other," and attempt to deny them rights that they themselves fought hard to attain. Michael Eric Dyson, a scholar and ordained Baptist minister, wants us to resist such ways of thinking. "Ironically enough, blacks identify with mainstream sexual values — the very mainstream that has censored and castigated black heterosexuality — when they practice homophobia," Dyson says. "I am not arguing that homophobia has no homegrown black varieties; I am simply suggesting that such homophobia allows blacks to forge solidarity with a culture that has excluded them." [Link]

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OPINION: King’s legacy reaches beyond ‘I have a dream’

Springfield News-Leader
January 10, 2007
There's a lot about King's legacy that we can pretend we all agree on. That's nice. But fake unity never does anybody any good. And we should remember that King said injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. [Link]

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EDITORIAL: Marriage goes beyond the ballot

The Boston Globe
November 9, 2006
To those who would argue that the people should decide this issue by vote, I also value and defend the right to vote. Generations of my African-American brothers and sisters in the United States — and my own ancestors in Haiti — died for the right to vote. However, I know too that there are some issues that should never be decided by a majority. The abolition of slavery and the right for women and blacks to vote are but a few examples. [Link]

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Demonstrations of Solidarity

Workers World
October 17, 2006
When the National Executive Board of the United Farm Workers—a predominantly Latin@ union—announced its principled stance in support of marriage equality, UFW Southern California Political Director Christine Chávez restated her grandfather's support of gay rights. [Link]

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