Why Marriage Matters: Fueling the conversation on marriage across the country

In conjunction with our Roadmap to Victory and commitment to growing public support for the freedom to marry to over 60% by 2016, Freedom to Marry’s state-based Why Marriage Matters public education effort has continued to thrive by expanding to new states and welcome new partners. 

When I joined Freedom to Marry this summer as the Public Education Program Manager, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with state equality organizations to help fuel the conversation about why marriage matters to same-sex couples and their families in all 50 states.

It's a natural follow-up of work I've been engaging with for the past two years: In 2011, I was working for the Republican caucus of the Minnesota State Senate when an anti-marriage constitutional amendment was placed on the ballot, and while I had never talked much about marriage with my colleagues before, I knew that I didn’t support something that did such irreparable harm to so many families in Minnesota. In November of that year, I went to work with Minnesotans United for All Families – the campaign that historically defeated that hurtful amendment in 2012. And I was honored to continue working with Minnesotans United as Communications Director during our successful legislative push this year to win marriage for all Minnesotans.

Now at Freedom to Marry, I'm working closely with state groups and our Why Marriage Matters partners to execute public education strategies and grow the majority for marriage nationwide. With an undeniable majority of Americans already supporting the freedom to marry, it’s time to increase that number to more than 60% and put an end to the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage once and for all.

Freedom to Marry’s Why Marriage Matters program is dedicated to educating Americans on the importance of marriage and why it matters to same-sex couples in similar ways that it matters to different-sex couples. Marriage says “we are family” in a way that no other word does, and it gives committed couples the tools to build their lives together, be a part of their community, and protect their families.

In the last month, we’ve launched Why Marriage Matters campaign in two new states:

We launched Why Marriage Matters Arizona, a grassroots, coalition public education campaign to grow support for the freedom to marry, on September 17 with press conferences in Phoenix and Tuscon. Freedom to Marry, in partnership with Equality Arizona, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, and the Human Rights Campaign, is prepared to equip marriage supporters with the resources they need to engage their communities in a conversation about the freedom to marry.

In Ohio, we launched a similar campaign this month alongside the Equality Ohio Education Fund, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Ohio: Why Marriage Matters Ohio. A recent poll of voters in Ohio conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute demonstrates growing support for marriage in the state, with support at 47% on both sides. Why Marriage Matters Ohio will bring the freedom to marry to the forefront of the conversation across the state and continue championing that progress in public opinion. 

The Why Marriage Matters program has also added seven new state partners in the last 3 months, bringing the total number of Why Marriage Matters partner organizations to 40! Please join us in welcoming these state equality organizations to the Why Marriage Matters partnership, and stay tuned for exciting developments in these states and many more as we continue to grow the majority for marriage nationwide:

  • Equality Arizona
  • Equality Florida
  • Georgia Equality
  • Equality Michigan
  • South Carolina Equality
  • Equality Texas
  • Equality Utah

For more information on the Why Marriage Matters program, visit the Why Marriage Matters website. There, you’ll find stories, facts, and important resources to help you start the conversation about marriage for same-sex couples in your own community.