New campaign continues conversation about why marriage matters in Pennsylvania

Today, Freedom to Marry and the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania joined together to launch Why Marriage Matters Pennsylvania, a grassroots public education that will help build support for the freedom to marry in PA. The campaign is designed to spark conversations about same-sex couples and their families and share stories of why all loving couples should be welcomed and treated fairly in Pennsylvania.

Why Marriage Matters Pennsylvania launched with two press conferences today - one in Pittsburgh at 10:30a.m. and one in Philadelphia at 1:00p.m.

Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, explained more about the campaign, and referenced his personal connection to PA, today in a statement. He said:

"Gay people are part of the families of Pennsylvania; I know, because I grew up here with my loving family, now including my niece and nephews as well as my parents, siblings, and sisters-in-law. But Pennsylvania is not doing right by gay Pennsylvanians and their loved ones, denying couples who’ve made a commitment in life the commitment under law that is marriage."

Speakers from across the state joined together for the press conferences today. In Philadelphia, Mayor Michael A. Nutter; Rev. Jeffrey Haskins of the Unity Fellowship of Christ Church; Equality Pennsylvania executive director Ted Martin; and ACLU Pennsylvania executive director Reggie Shuford spoke about the importance of the campaign. Helena Miller and Dara Raspberry, plaintiffs in the ACLU's marriage lawsuit Whitewood v. Wolf also spoke about why marriage matters to their family. 

Robert Hanson, CEO of American Eagle Outfitters, spoke at the Pittsburgh event about the importance of treating all PA families equally. He said:

American Eagle Outfitters is committed to diversity and treating all workers with fairness and respect. We are more productive as a workforce and as a society when everyone can live authentically, with honesty, bringing our true selves to work each and every day. With our collective efforts, we can fight, together, for equal rights and for marriage equality that will enhance the ability of Pennsylvania businesses, including ours, to recruit and retain talented employees and ensure a more equitable working environment. It’s the right thing to do. And, it’s the right thing for business.

In Pennsylvania, a state statute prohibits same-sex couples from joining together in marriage. But across the state, a majority of Pennsylvanians support the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, with 53 percent saying they approve of marriage protections for same-sex couples. 

You can also follow Why Marriage Matters Ohio on Twitter @MarriagePA and become a fan on Facebook.

Learn more about Why Marriage Matters PA HERE, and make sure to sign the pledge HERE.