Meghan McCain continues to promote being Republican and Pro-Marriage Equality

CBS News
July 16, 2009
"There are a lot of people who have said, 'I'm Republican and I'm pro–marriage equality. Thank you for showing that you don’t have to support excluding people from the freedom to marry to be a Republican.'," McCain said. “Homophobia is the last socially accepted prejudice...it's my generation's civil rights movement.” [Link]

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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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Voice for Equality: Al Franken

Alan Franken is an American entertainer-turned-politician. In 2008, Franken ran as the Democratice-Farmer-Labor Party candidate for U.S. Senate from Minnesota. On June 30, 2009, the Minnesota Supreme Court upheld Franken's victory, and stated that he was entitled to be certified as the election winner. Hours later, former Republican Senator, Norm Coleman, conceded the race.

Franken has worked as a comedian, writer and liberal political commentator. He has also been a longtime champion for gay rights. In fact, in 2005 a blogger, wrote about a speech Franken delivered: “Franken first talked about gay marriage. He portrayed it as a basic issue of civil rights, invoking miscengenation.”

Freedom to Marry salutes Al Franken - a Voice for Equality as far back as 2005 - and now one of 14 marriage equality supporters in the U.S. Senate.

**Make your NOMINATION for a Voice for Equality today!

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It is time for us to make marriage equality in Rhode Island a reality

Bay Windows
June 17, 2009
Earlier this month, the New Hampshire legislature took another step in our country’s ongoing struggle to ensure full equality for gays and lesbians by voting to permit same-sex couples in their state to legally enter into civil marriages. The vote makes New Hampshire the sixth state in the country - along with Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and Maine - to provide equal marriage rights to all its residents, and it now leaves Rhode Island as the only New England state that does not permit the freedom to marry. To me, the issue of marriage equality boils down to a question of basic fairness. [Link]

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Marriage Equality: A Question of Fairness

Huffington Post
June 19, 2009

Former Sen. Lincoln Chafee writes, "Rhode Island legislators should follow in the footsteps of our fellow New England states and be true to our pioneering history of tolerance by advancing a marriage equality bill. But for that to happen, all of us in Rhode Island who believe in full equality need to do our part by voicing support for same-sex marriage loudly and clearly." (Link)

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Mr. Bruno gets it

Albany Times Union
June 17, 2009
Oh, for the days of Joe Bruno. It's hard to gauge how much influence a once very powerful and generally well-respected politician might have a year after his sudden retirement and five months after his indictment. But if Mr. Bruno's conversion could sway a vote or three on a freedom to marry bill languishing in legislative anarchy, let's welcome him to the cause. The issue: The former state Senate leader supports marriage equality. The Stakes: The 50,000 or so households in New York headed by same-sex couples would be liberated by such a law. [Link]

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Voice for Equality: Jennifer Brunner

Jennifer Brunner is the Ohio Secretary of State and has been a strong advocate for individual rights for decades.

On June 10, 2009, she wrote an Op-ed voicing her longtime support for marriage equality: “In 1988, I applied for an appointment to the City Council of Columbus, Ohio. I was not chosen, but I chuckle when I think of the calls I received to vet me for the post. One of them was from the leader of a very conservative sect of our local Democratic party. He wanted to know if I supported legislation being considered by city council to allow domestic partnership benefits. I told him that if same-sex couples were permitted to be married, we wouldn't need such special legislation, and that I would prefer to see that. I don't think that was the answer he was looking for or expected.”

Jennifer was elected Ohio’s first woman Secretary of State in 2006, in the wake of Ohio's troubled 2004 election process, pledging elections that were free, fair, open and honest. During the contentious 2008 presidential election in which Ohio was a key battleground state, Jennifer defended Ohioans' voting rights in numerous cases in both state and federal court, eventually winning in the United States Supreme Court to protect voters and their ballots from being targeted for election challenges by partisan operatives. Her achievement in reforming Ohio's election system earned her a Profile in Courage Award from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

As an Ohioan, I am proud to claim Jennifer Brunner as a Voice for Equality!

**Make your NOMINATION
for a Voice for Equality

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Voice for Equality: Joe Bruno

Joe Bruno is a businessman and Republican politician. He was the Temporary President of the New York State Senate and its majority leader.

Bruno, in an interview in June of 2009 about the freedom to marry bill pending in the New York legislature, said, "It's time. Now. For the government to back off, let people make their own life decisions, and about who they care about and who they don't care about...."

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Voice for Equality: Dennis Kucinich

US Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) was born in Cleveland, Ohio on October 8, 1946. He is the eldest of 7 children of Frank and Virginia Kucinich. Kucinich has held many jobs outside of politics including being a hospital orderly, newspaper copy boy, teacher, consultant, television analyst and author.

Since being elected to Congress in 1996, Kucinich has been a tireless advocate for worker rights, civil rights and human rights for all people including the LGBT community.

On July 16, 2003, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported: "Rep. Dennis Kucinich, whose political stances are attracting support from an array of liberal and celebrity donors, yesterday came out in support of same-sex marriage." They also quoted him as saying, "We cannot have states making separate rules with respect to basic human rights."
Again, during the 2007 Democratic primary debate when asked about gay marriage and LGBT rights: “When you understand what real equality is, you understand that people who love each other must have the opportunity to be able to express that in a way that is meaningful…the state should…make sure that love has the chance to be facilitated.”
Thank you Chaya Himelfarb for nominating Congressman Dennis Kucinich as a Voice for Equality!

**Make your NOMINATION for a Voice for Equality today!

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