Staff Spotlight: Thomas Wheatley, Director of Organizing

Freedom to Marry has a dedicated and diverse staff working each day to secure the freedom to marry nationwide, and we want to help you get to know each of us a little bit better. This week, we hear from Thomas Wheatley, Freedom to Marry's Director of Organizing. Thomas works in our Oregon office, where he provides strategic guidance to state-level marriage campaigns in the western part of the country while formulating tests for messaging and strategy. Previously, Thomas served as Deputy Campaign Manager for the successful congressional campaign of Suzanne Bonamici to fill an open seat in January 2012. Thomas has worked on a diverse range of campaigns, from labor-centric movements to LGBT legislative initiatives. 

1) Where are you from, and what brought you to Oregon?

I've lived all over, but mostly I grew up on the West coast. My wife and I moved here to be closer to family, the mountains and the Pacific Ocean.

2) You studied sociology at the University of California, San Diego - what intrigues you about the field and what are some of your favorite topics within the discipline?

Wow. That feels like a lifetime ago. I was always interested in labor and the workplace and why some people have great jobs and an easy path in life while others never get a fair shake. I guess that's one reason I support the freedom to marry movement - because I believe everyone should have the same chance at happiness and opportunity in life.

3) What do you like to do in your free time?

I spend time with my family, and I love to cook and read trashy mystery novels. I would say that I love to exercise, but that would mostly be a lie.

4) What has been your favorite "freedom to marry" moment - a time in the movement that has particularly resonated with you?

I love the stories we get to hear everyday, listening to couples talk about a lifetime of love and commitment. I was at a community event in Seattle recently where same-sex couples were talking about why they want to be married and I thought to myself that this why I am so proud to do this work.

5) Why does the freedom to marry matter to you?

Getting married was one of the most important moments of my life. No one should be told they can't marry the person they love.

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