Marc Solomon Joins Freedom to Marry as Senior Consultant
October 27, 2010
Proven Leader to Help Grow National Campaign
Marc Solomon, who led the historic campaign to defend the freedom to marry in Massachusetts and currently serves as marriage director for Equality California, will join Freedom to Marry, the campaign to win marriage nationwide, as a senior consultant and key member of its senior team. Solomon will officially join the Freedom to Marry team on November 4.
"With federal court cases challenging marriage discrimination possibly heading towards the U.S. Supreme Court, a nationwide majority for marriage to grow, and the freedom to marry shimmering within reach in several more states in 2011, we can and must expand the national marriage movement and the central capacities needed along Freedom to Marry’s Roadmap to Victory,” said Solomon. “I am thrilled to be joining Freedom to Marry in its singular mission of securing the freedom to marry nationwide.”
As executive director of MassEquality, Solomon led the campaign to defeat two constitutional amendments in the first freedom to marry state in the nation, beating back attacks by the Catholic Church, President George W. Bush, Gov. Mitt Romney, and the right-wing anti-gay industry. Following the victory in Massachusetts, Solomon consulted with state-wide equality organizations in Connecticut and Vermont as well as Freedom to Marry, as part of the nationwide effort to end marriage discrimination.
"Marc has an exceptional track record of success in building campaigns to change hearts and minds and win votes, and he knows that winning marriage requires both the political and the personal,” said Freedom to Marry founder and Executive Director Evan Wolfson. “I am delighted that this proven leader is joining Freedom to Marry’s growing dream team as we ramp up the national campaign needed on the Roadmap to Victory: winning marriage in more states, growing the nationwide majority for marriage, and ending federal marriage discrimination.”
Solomon will join Freedom to Marry’s leadership team on several signature projects, ranging from enlisting new and compelling public figures as Voices for Equality to supporting key states in the final push to win marriage. He will also continue guiding campaigns focused on persuading the next slice of reachable Americans, with an emphasis on building support in California along with Equality California and local partners.
During his tenure as marriage director of Equality California, Solomon led the largest state effort in movement history to make the case for marriage equality through face-to-face conversations. In that campaign, EQCA field organizers and coalition partners organized hundreds of thousands of conversations at people’s doors, moved 26 percent of opponents with whom they spoke to be significantly more supportive, and helped grow public support for the freedom to marry in California from 44 percent to 50 percent (according to annual polling conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California). Under Solomon’s leadership, EQCA placed special focus on building support in communities of color.
“Marc has led an exceptionally successful effort on the ground in California,” said Equality California Executive Director Geoff Kors. “I am pleased that he will be able to take what we’ve learned about persuasion and messaging to the national efforts, while continuing to help grow support for marriage equality in our ongoing efforts in California. EQCA and Freedom to Marry have a long-standing partnership which will only grow stronger in the months ahead.”
Solomon has extensive background in advocacy, public policy, and media, having served as a Senate policy adviser in Washington, D.C. and researcher for Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward. In May 2009, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick presented Marc with the Massachusetts Democratic Party’s prestigious Franklin Delano Roosevelt Award, given each year to someone who espouses FDR’s ideals “with respect to democracy, justice, individual freedoms, and citizenship.”
Solomon graduated Magna Cum Laude with Honors in Political Science and Economics from Yale University and holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. In 1999, the Rockefeller Foundation named Solomon as one of 24 of America’s next generation leaders and invited him to participate in its prestigious two-year Next Generation Leadership fellowship program.