Freedom to Marry announces 2013 drive to invest $2 million in Win More States Fund
February 07, 2013
Today, Freedom to Marry announced a 2013 drive to raise and invest $2 million through the Win More States Fund, with an initial goal of passing marriage bills in several states across the country. In the first wave of contributions for 2013, Freedom to Marry will invest $800,000 in states where marriage bills are being debated - Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Rhode Island - as we call on others to contribute to the exciting momentum around the freedom to marry by being a part of these victories through strategic and early Win More States Fund investment. You can donate to the Win More States Fund HERE.
Our founder and president Evan Wolfson explained the urgent need for the Win More States Fund today in a release. He explained:
Building on our 4 for 4 ballot victories in November, Freedom to Marry is calling on supporters to join us in continuing the momentum and winning still more states in 2013. With the clock ticking on the Supreme Court's review of marriage cases, we want to make as much progress as we can - and with battles already underway now in state capitals, we all need to put our money where our momentum is.
The Win More States Fund works to strategically channel early money into state marriage campaigns by supporting grassroots organizing, lobbying, paid and new media, and more - all aimed at ensuring that the campaigns are putting their most strategic foot forward. As we contribute through the Win More States Fund, we're also deeply embedded in the campaigns themselves by providing guidance and supporting every aspect of the state advocacy work.
In 2012, Freedom to Marry surpassed our initial goal for the Win More States Fund by August, which helped achieve to victory in all four states where the freedom to marry was on the ballot - Maine, Minnesota, Maryland, and Washington - defeat a marriage repeal measure in New Hampshire, and move a marriage bill through the New Jersey state legislature. In total, Freedom to Marry invested $4 million in these six key states in 2012. We are the leading funder of marriage work nationwide.
This year, we aim to achieve similar victories as we continue moving marriage forward.
Richard Carlbom, campaign manager for Minnesotans United for All Families, explained that the Win More States Fund contributions were essential to defeating an anti-gay marriage amendment in 2012 and will continue to be a crucial part of winning the freedom to marry in 2013. He said:
Freedom to Marry's continued commitment to Minnesota couldn't come at a more critical time. As we move toward securing the freedom to marry for our state, this investment shows the level of commitment and confidence that soon all loving and committed couples can join marriage in Minnesota. Freedom to Marry continues to be an outstanding leader and partner to all those who believe love is love and it belongs to everybody.
Ray Sullivan, campaign director for Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, also explained the impact of the Win More States Fund money. He said:
We are thrilled to have the support of Freedom to Marry, whose commitment to Rhode Island has been a driving force in the fight to win marriage for all loving, committed couples. Freedom to Marry has played an integral role in winning marriage for same-sex couples in our neighboring New England states and across the country, and their experience and support will be an invaluable resource for our coalition and the growing majority of Rhode Islanders who support marriage for same-sex couples.
Freedom to Marry's Win More States Fund is financed by a donor base that is both geographically and politically diverse, with contributors from progressive and conservative political affiliations across America. Last year Freedom to Marry's National Engagement Party raised over $500,000 towards the Win More States Fund through dozens of grassroots house parties as well as major fundraisers in six cities. In online donations, the 2012 Win More States Fund received contributions from over 800 donors in all 50 states as well as Canada.