OPINION: Preaching is costly work

Washington Blade
August 1, 2008
"I am from Utah, not California. I have no marriage prospects. To be honest, I don’t plan on getting married again. I don’t even have any close friends in California who are getting married. But what about my kids? And their kids? My nieces, nephews and extended family?" [Link]

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LGBT Organizations Urge Couples Marrying in California to “Make Change, Not Lawsuits”






PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: June 10, 2008

MEDIA CONTACT:
Evan Wolfson, Executive Director
212-851-8418
evan@freedomtomarry.org
Mobile: 646-263-5552

NEW YORK - Four LGBT legal organizations and five other leading national LGBT groups have issued a statement entitled “Make Change, Not Lawsuits.” The statement explains that while couples who go to California to marry should ask friends, neighbors and institutions to honor their marriages, they generally shouldn’t sue. The statement says that ill-timed lawsuits are likely to set the fight for marriage back, and that there are other ways to fight which are more likely to win.


Access the advisory online at: http://www.freedomtomarry.org/pdfs/ca_joint_advisory.pdf

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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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California Ends Gay Couples’ Exclusion From Marriage

California Supreme Court Leads the Way Yet Again in Historic Ruling Upholding the Freedom to Marry


New York, May 15, 2008 —Earlier today, the California Supreme Court handed down a historic decision upholding the freedom to marry in In Re: Marriage Cases. The second state high court to rule in favor of ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage said, “in view of the substance and significance of the fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship, the California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right [marriage] to all Californians, whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples.”

“This righteous decision of this most respected state high court will give Americans the chance to experience what they've begun to see for the last few years in Massachusetts, South Africa, Canada, Spain, Belgium, and the Netherlands – the lived reality that ending exclusion from marriage helps families and harms no one,” said Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry and author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality and Gay People's Right to Marry. “California's sun will illuminate the nation.”

The milestone California ruling comes as the country marks the 60th anniversary of another historic ruling, Perez v. Sharp. In Perez, the California Supreme Court became the first court in the country to strike down race restrictions on marriage, also by a vote of 4-3, at a time when polls showed 90% opposing interracial marriage. Wolfson noted, “Today, the justices of the California Supreme Court again lived up to their oath to uphold the Constitution for all, and as with their courageous past stands against discrimination in marriage, we will all be the better and history will vindicate them.”

Noting that opponents of equality have submitted signatures that may trigger a November vote on an anti-gay measure aimed at amending the state constitution to bar committed same-sex couples from the equal freedom to marry, Wolfson said, “Thanks to the Court's just decision, voters will get to make an informed decision, having the chance to see actual married couples and realize it is wrong to put obstacles in their path.”

Freedom to Marry salutes the leadership of National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, Heller Ehrman LLP and the Law Office of David C. Codell, and the City of San Francisco, who represented fifteen same-sex couples, Equality California, and Our Family Coalition in this case.

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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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PRESS RELEASE: Religious, civil rights, and child advocacy groups support same-sex couples in legal

ACLU
September 26, 2007
"We are not treating all Californians equally if some can marry and others cannot," said Alice Huffman, President of the California Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "The law should protect all people equally, and all Californians should have the choice to marry," she said. "I am honored to join other civil rights leaders in calling on our state to end its ban on marriage for lesbian and gay couples." [Link]

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PRESS RELEASE: CA legislature again passes bill giving same-sex couples choice to marry

Equality California
September 7, 2007
For the second time in two years, the California Legislature has passed legislation that would grant same-sex couples the ability to marry. With a 22-15 vote, the Senate on September 7 approved AB 43, authored by Assemblymember Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, and sponsored by Equality California. [link]

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Historic post-election results

Freedom to Marry Press Release
November 8, 2006
"Win or lose, we are involved in a steady campaign of engagement, based not on election cycles, but on patient and persistent conversations that give people the information they need, and the time required to absorb that information," said Evan Wolfson. "We are committed to engaging this conversation until we achieve an end to discrimination in all 50 states." [link]

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Service Industry Labor Union, SEIU, Passes Marriage Equality Resolution

Pride at Work Press Release
June 28, 2004
Following the lead of several of their local unions, the AFL-CIO's largest and fastest growing union adopted a marriage equality resolution at their annual conference. [Link]

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