Why Marriage Matters to Non-Gay Allies
No civil rights movement is ever won solely by those who are the primary targets of discrimination. All Americans have a stake in a nation that treats everyone fairly, and many straight allies are couples who simply want others to share what they have—a loving and committed relationship.
The number of allies supporting the freedom to marry has risen significantly over time, as they interact more and more with openly gay couples. Between 1996 and 2010 alone, Gallup recently reported a 17-point rise in the number of Americans supporting marriage. According to another Gallup report, the moral acceptability of gay relationships crossed the symbolic 50 percent threshold in 2010, while the percentage of Americans who say such relationships are immoral dropped to 43percent, the lowest in Gallup's decade-long survey. From this data it is clear that what makes the key difference is real couples having sustainedinteraction with people in their community. The most important thing non-gay allies and supporters of the freedom to marry can do is speak up, share their support with others they know and continue the conversation on the importance of marriage for loving and committed couples.
"Suppose that every gay man or lesbian in America can call upon at least two heterosexual friends, family members, or coworkers to actively support their struggle for equality... If this amount of support currently exists, right now twenty million heterosexual allies stand ready to support gay rights in the United States."
—Ian Ayres and Jennifer Gerarda Brown, in “Straightforward: How to Mobilize Heterosexual Support for Gay Rights”
Blog Posts Related to Non-Gay Allies
Today’s oral arguments in the Oregon federal marriage case are the latest in a landmark series of cases (including arguments earlier this month before the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for cases involving federal challenges to marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma) that are poised to expand the number of Americans who, after decades of dedicated struggle, may soon be free to marry.
"It didn't bother me that Dustin was gay," Shana said. "What bothered me was that as far as I knew, if you were gay you weren't going to Heaven. So I saw that Dustin was still who he had always been. I came to that realization: If it's not Heaven without Dustin, then Dustin will be in Heaven. He'll be there."
Today, Freedom to Marry and OutServe-SLDN released a new video featuring three prominent straight allies in the military speaking out in support of gay and lesbian servicemembers and their spouses.
Resources Related to Non-Gay Allies
Recent public opinion data show that Latinos – especially Latino Catholics – widely favor the freedom to marry, both nationwide and in key states.
In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Freedom to Marry President Evan Wolfson was invited to the University of Michigan Law School to deliver a keynote address on the struggle for civil rights in the context of marriage for same-sex couples.
A poll released by the Rhode Island Marriage Coalition (RIMC) found a majority of Rhode Island voters support the freedom to marry.