11 gorgeous photos and a video of Shannon and Susan promising commitment in Kansas City

"When you fall in love - real love - marriage is the highest form of recognition of that love," Shannon Feldt said, explaining why couples like her and Susan McSpadden, who promised their commitment to each other last year in Kansas City - couples across the Midwest, couples across the South, and couples nationwide - need the freedom to marry.

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For Summer and Celeste, DOMA repeal means protection for their daughter

Although they have been together for almost three years, Summer says that she and fiancé Celeste struggle to have their relationship recognized by the Army. This is largely due to the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which forces the U.S. military to discriminate against same-sex couples and their families because it denies federal respect of marriages between same-sex couples.

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11 State Democratic Party Chairs endorse freedom to marry plank

Today 11 State Democratic Party chairs from across the country joined in support of a freedom to marry plank in the party’s national platform. The chairs include John Burton (CA), Jay Jacobs (NY), John Walsh (MA), Ken Martin (MN), Meredith Wood Smith (OR), Boyd Richie (TX), Jake Perkinson (VT), Mike Tate (WI), Dwight Pelz (WA), Jon Wisniewski (NJ), and Joan Wagnon (KS).

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Editorial: Fair Courts in the Cross-Fire

The New York Times editorial board criticizes campaigns against justices around the country, including an anti-gay campaign against the three Iowa Supreme Court justices who ruled in favor of marriage for lesbian and gay couples in the state.

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For same-sex couples, a patchwork of marriage laws

Many lesbian and gay couples struggle with the classification and recognition of their relationships due to varying marriage equality laws and freedom to marry bans throughout the United States.

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Voice for Equality: Professor Maggie Childs

Maggie Childs is the chair of the Kansas Equality Coalition and an associate professor at the University of Kansas. Maggie received her B.A. from Gettysburg College, her M.A. in Japanese from Columbia University, and her Ph.D. in Japanese from the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Childs has served as the chair of the University of Kansas, Department of East Asian Languages. She has also taught at Southern Illinois University, Columbia University, and the University of Michigan. Learn more here.

Maggie has been the chair of the Kansas Equality Coalition since being elected to that position in 2005. Before that, she served as the chair of the Lawrence Chapter of the Kansas Equality Coalition. As chair of the Lawrence chapter, Childs supported a local registry for same-sex couples to help secure marriage privileges for Lawrence couples. As Edge Boston reported,

Childs said she hope[d] a registry would provide a toehold in eventually overturning the state ban on marriage equality, saying gay couples should have the same rights as straight people when it comes to child custody, insurance or making medical decisions for a partner. [Link]
Freedom to Marry salutes Professor Maggie Childs as a Voice for Equality!

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

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Vermont residents stand up to Kansas anti-gay protestors

Burlington Free Press
September 1, 2009
In response to protesters from Kansas yelling anti-gay messages outside Montpelier High School, students encouraged people to give $1 to GLAD, a New England gay rights group, for every minute the unwelcome protestors remained at the school. [Link]

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BLOG: The hidden nastiness of anti-gay marriage bans

In This Moment
June 6, 2007
When we fought the Kansas ban on same sex marriage in 2005, I was struck by how vigorously our opponents claimed that the ban would never hurt a soul. [Link]

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BLOG: KS Attorney General OK’s Lawrence domestic partnership ordinance

Leonard Link
April 10, 2007
Kansas Attorney General Paul J. Morrison has issued an opinion letter to the City of Lawrence, which requested his advice as to whether a proposal to enact a domestic partnership registration ordinance for the city would be within its legislative powers, in light of the recently-enacted Kansas Marriage Amendment. [Link]

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In the heartland and out of the closet

New York Times
December 28, 2006
A Kansas woman was moved to come out to fight a discriminatory anti-gay marriage amendment. She then found that the more she opened herself up, the more she found solace. The day after the amendment passed, her handyman, a Rush Limbaugh fan who came to install her air conditioner, expressed his sympathies. "He came upstairs and said 'I'm just so sorry, Cyd, I know how hard you worked on this,'" she said. "He put his arm around me and it was just about as touching a thing that happened around this whole issue." [Link]

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