Freedom to Marry’s Evan Wolfson looks at those polls showing Marriage Equality winning

Steve Weinstein talks with Evan Wolfson about the meaning in two recent polls showing support for marriage for same-sex couples continuing to rise in every state; reflecting a growing trend towards acceptance of gay and lesbian relationships.

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Listen: Evan Wolfson and David French debate the freedom to marry on Michael Medved radio show

Freedom to Marry Executive Director, Evan Wolfson, and David French of the Alliance Defense Fund debated issues surrounding the freedom to marry on Thursday, May 20th on the Michael Medved radio show.

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Evan Wolfson’s Oregon Appearances

Freedom to Marry
November 11, 2009
As noted in our blog last week, Freedom to Marry's Executive Director, Evan Wolfson, made a number of appearances in Oregon last week as part of Basic Rights Oregon's drive to put an initiative on the Oregon ballot as early as 2012 to lift the constitutional ban on marriage equality that was passed in 2004. At personal appearances in Portland, Bend and Eugene, as well as on various local radio and television shows, Mr. Wolfson made the case for Why Marriage Matters, and why it's so important for LGBT people to have conversations and share their stories.

A list of links to local coverage of Mr. Wolfson's appearances:

The Oregonian (Graves)
The Portland Mercury

The Source Weekly
The Oregonian Editorial Board


The Oregonian (Mapes)
Just Out
Loaded Orygun blog
Eugene Weekly
The Oregonian (Griffin) marriage_inf.html


KDRV (ABC – Medford)
KOMO (ABC – Seattle)

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Oregon Group Launches Drive for the Freedom to Marry

The Oregonian
November 2, 2009
Basic Rights Oregon, which plans to put an initiative on the 2012 ballot that would lift Oregon's ban on marriage equality, will hold rallies Monday night in Portland, Tuesday night in Bend and Wednesday evening in Eugene. Evan Wolfson, founder and executive director of Freedom to Marry, will speak at all of the Basic Rights kick-off events: "[Marriage] is one of the most important statements we make about who we are,” he said. “It is so important to commitment and love that most people wear the symbol of it on their hands.” [Link]

Get more information on Oregon events here.

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Guest Op-Ed: Evan Wolfson - Why Marriage Matters

October 30, 2009
Join Evan Wolfson and Basic Rights Oregon in kicking off this important dialogue in three locations next week:

Monday night 11/2: Due to a fire at SEIU HQ, the event has been moved to Portland State's Smith Center in the Vanport Room, #338
Tuesday night 11/3: Bend, Oregon at Old Stone Church, 157 NW Franklin Ave, at 7 p.m. -- and if
Wednesday night 11/4: Eugene, Oregon at the Public Library, 100 W 10th Ave, at 6 p.m. More event details here. And join the dialogue at

Christopher and Patrick, an Oregon couple, registered for a domestic partnership so they would be protected in the event of a crisis. But earlier this year, when Christopher was gravely ill in the hospital, Patrick was told that he couldn’t be at his partner’s bedside. Why? Because they were not married. The hospital staff said Patrick was not considered “family.”

One of the reasons partnership laws like Oregon’s aren’t good enough is that they pointedly – and pointlessly – withhold one of the main protections that comes with marriage: being married.

Marriage matters. When you say those simple words – “We’re married” – there’s no doubt what it signifies. It says “we’re family” in a way that no other word can. It’s a universally understood expression of love, commitment, and the heartfelt desire to take responsibility for the ones we love. Marriage is a building block for strong families and strong communities and, for most of us, a personal commitment so important and defining that we wear its symbol on our hand.

This is the common-ground starting point from which Oregonians can begin a meaningful conversation about why marriage matters to all couples in loving long-term relationships – including Oregon’s caring, committed gay and lesbian couples.

I’ve been all around the country and talked to thousands of gay and lesbian Americans and their families. I’ve seen gay couples raising great kids, struggling to make ends meet, worrying about their aging parents, and caring for one another in sickness and in health. They share everyone’s hopes and dreams, including the dream of a legal commitment to match the personal commitment they live out day-to-day, doing the work of marriage with the person they love.

Denied the freedom to marry, these families are denied the safety net marriage brings, touching every area of life from birth to death, with taxes in between. Yet legal protection isn’t the only concern; there is also the question of fairness. At its heart, the conversation about why marriage matters is as basic as the golden rule: Treat others as we would want to be treated.

Fairness and respect for each other are basic American and Oregon values. We honor these values when we ensure that all our neighbors have the opportunity to create a family with the love, commitment and protection that the freedom to marry offers. In America, we simply don’t make one set of rules for some, and another set for others.

These values of family, freedom, and fairness are why we need to start a conversation in Oregon – now, today – with our families, friends and neighbors, about why Oregon’s exclusion of committed couples from marriage must end.

This upcoming week, I am joining with Basic Rights Oregon to launch a grassroots effort to get Oregonians talking to each other about extending civil marriage to same-sex couples. The more we talk with the people around us – each of us the most effective ambassador to those in our lives – the more we help them think through how they’d feel if they were denied the freedom to marry the one they love, and how unnecessary this harmful exclusion is. Each one of us can, and should, engage people in conversation about why marriage matters. After all, there is no marriage without engagement.

Evan Wolfson is founder and executive director of Freedom to Marry, and author of "Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People’s Right to Marry." [Link]

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Freedom to Marry’s Evan Wolfson to Speak in Bend, Oregon on Tuesday, November 3rd
October 28, 2009
The Human Dignity Coalition announces a talk by Evan Wolfson, named by Time Magazine as "one of the 100 most powerful and influential people in the world." "He will give us all the confidence to speak about why marriage matters so that we can begin having crucial conversations...neighbor to neighbor, friend to friend."
Evan Wolfson
7 p.m. Tuesday, November 3
Old Stone Church, 157 NW Franklin Avenue
Bend, Oregon
385-3320 or


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Evan Wolfson, Executive Director of Freedom to Marry, Featured in July 2009 Issue of “Current Biogra

From Current Biography® Volume 70, Number 7, July 2009, published by The H.W. Wilson Company, Copyright © 2009.

Please visit for additional Current Biography® information.

Read full Evan Wolfson article [Here]

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Going on a jeep tour… as a marriage equality advocate

Freedom to Marry freelance contributor, Andrew Eddins, tells of his experience speaking about marriage equality while on a southwestern jeep tour with a group of strangers.

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Basic Rights Oregon (BRO) Launching Marriage Matters Campaign

Just Out
July 29, 2009
BRO Press Release: To win public support for the freedom to marry, we need to open up a real dialogue with Oregonians. This means talking to people face-to-face, and explaining why marriage matters to committed gay and lesbian couples. [Link]

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Coretta Scott King: Racism and Homophobia are the same thing

July 11, 2009
There's a reason the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force links the issues of African-American civil rights and gay civil rights: Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King's widow, told them to. Mrs. King has made clear on numerous occasions (excerpts in this article) that groups that try to speak on behalf of African-Americans about civil rights often have no idea what they're talking about. [Link]

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