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, 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.
This week, Dan Savage launched "Straight Up Thanks," a great new Tumblr designed to acknowledge and applaud the straight people who stood up and fought for the freedom to marry in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington.
A woman gets married to the love of her life, and her mother posts a wedding photo to her personal Facebook page. These formal presentations of family members' love for each other are what today, National Coming Out Day, is all about.
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.