Lessons for Other Movements
For more than ten years, Freedom to Marry made the case for the freedom to marry for same-sex couples nationwide, driving the strategy that leveraged a movement and changed hearts, minds, and the law. Here are some resources summarizing key elements of how we succeeded and offering lessons for other movements to consider and adapt.
Columbia Human Rights Law Review • April 2014
At this symposium, Freedom to Marry president Evan Wolfson shared lessons learned from the marriage movement, brainstorming ways that the right to housing movement can learn from the effort and successes.
Columbia Journal of Gender and Law • March 2015
“We had great clarity about the vision,” Evan Wolfson said at this Columbia Law Symposium on gay rights and reproductive rights. “If you can’t say what winning is, you’re not going to be able to get there as effectively as you need to.”
The Aspen Institute • May 2015
Evan Wolfson participated in this panel discussion on marriage advocates’ success in turning around public opinion in states around the nation while working on litigation to make the legal case for the freedom to marry. The panel examined the two-pronged approach to change-making used in the marriage fight and how it is being studied by other advocates.
The Center for American Progress Action Center • November 2014
Watch video from this panel featuring Evan Wolfson discussing federal court decisions in favor of the freedom to marry, and how they impacted Election Day races during the 2014 Midterm elections. The panel takes a look at the political landscape for political organizations and examines the issues moving forward.
Open Society Foundations • January 2014
Listen to audio from this conversation between Freedom to Marry founder Evan Wolfson and David Keene, the former president of the National Rifle Association, on the challenges each campaign faced and the strategies they deployed to protect the right to which they are committed: the freedom to marry for same-sex couples and supporters of the right to bear arms.
The Huffington Post • June 2015
Following a victory for the freedom to marry nationwide at the U.S. Supreme Court, Marc Solomon breaks down ten key lessons for other movements about how we won, including conveying a bold, inspirational vision; following an overarching strategy; finding the right messengers; working with bipartisan attention; and building momentum each and every day.
The Atlantic • July 2015
This in-depth, beautifully narrated piece by Molly Ball tracks the history of the marriage movement, examining the leading role that Evan Wolfson and Freedom to Marry played in this “improbable campaign that finally tipped the U.S. Supreme Court.” The story checks in with the plaintiffs from the early 1990s Hawaii marriage case, top White House officials, and pioneering writer Andrew Sullivan.
Politico • April 2015
As the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the case that could bring the freedom to marry nationwide, historian Josh Zeitz highlighted the work of movement architect Evan Wolfson and political strategist Marc Solomon. He wrote, “What Evan Wolfson and Marc Solomon learned may well provide the roadmap for every major rights campaign over the next 50 years.”
The Atlantic • Dec. 2012
As marriage supporters across the country celebrated the first-ever victories for the freedom to marry at the ballot in four states — Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington — Molly Ball wrote the exclusive, inside story about Freedom to Marry's work in each of the states, detailing how we changed the conversation about same-sex couples, their families, and marriage.