Freedom to Marry’s “Summer for Marriage” has begun

On Wednesday, Freedom to Marry teamed up with local, state, and national equality organizations to launch “Summer for Marriage”, a series of pro-marriage events across the country in July and August. The tour was launched to counter the anti-gay bus tour sponsored by National Organization for Marry (NOM). 

In announcing the tour last month, Freedom to Marry’s executive director, Evan Wolfson said: 

“Anti-gay groups like NOM rely on diversion, division, and fear-mongering to distract from the reality that when committed couples join in marriage, families are helped and no one is hurt.  Americans are now witnessing that reality in five states and the District of Columbia, and with our Summer for Marriage tour, Freedom to Marry and our partners are going to show what being for marriage really looks like.” 

At each stop on the “Summer for Marriage” tour, events will spotlight loving and committed same-sex couples and their families. 

The first stop on the tour was in Augusta, Maine. Its success is an exciting indicator of what to expect for the rest of the summer.  

Key observations of the event include: 

  • There was a surprise visit from Governor Baldacci. On the marriage movement he said, “It was one of the most passionate, committed causes that I've been a part of, and proud to be a part of. I know what the future looks like, and I know that we're going to have an opportunity to make sure that everybody will be able to enjoy that equally and without discrimination."
  • Betsy Smith, executive director of EqualityMaine spoke about her personal experience with her 7-year old son on Election Day 2009 that saw the defeat of Maine’s freedom to marry bill. "I couldn't find the words to answer his question, because I knew the answer was going to hurt," she said. "When I finally shook my head and said, 'I'm sorry sweetheart, we lost the campaign,' he couldn't comprehend it."

As expected, anti-gay rhetoric at the NOM sponsored event evidenced by the sign below:

We will keep our presence strong and our message clear at these events to counter NOM's string of lies. 

Upcoming events for the “Summer for Marriage” tour:

July 16th - Providence, RI
10am, Press Conference led by Marriage Equality Rhode Island
Rhode Island State House, 82 Smith Street, Providence

July 17th - Albany, NY

11.30am-1:30pm, Picnic for couples and families who support the freedom to marry, Reflecting Pools at Albany Plaza

July 20th - Trenton, NJ
Details TBA 

Additional events are planned through mid-August.  Stay tuned - and visit http://www.freedomtomarry.org/summer-for-marriage - for more details as they become available.