As Marriage Advances Through Courts, Freedom to Marry Launches Midwest Campaign

5/14/2014

Group to Invest $500K in Ohio for Field Offices, TV Ads

New York – With marriage cases being considered by courts throughout the Midwest, Freedom to Marry today launched a public education campaign to highlight the bipartisan support for marriage for same-sex couples. Building on groundwork and partnerships over several years, Freedom to Marry will invest an additional $1.1 million this year in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana persuasion efforts, including advertising, strategic communications, and field operations.

“The growing legal consensus throughout the country – from last year’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court right through to the recent unanimous wave of decisions from federal district judges and state high courts – is that marriage discrimination is unconstitutional and needs to go,” said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry. “Marriage discrimination not only violates the Constitution’s guarantees of the freedom to marry and equal protection, but also runs counter to Midwestern values of fairness, family, and freedom. Our investment and engagement in Midwestern states will showcase those values and voices of support – families and clergy, business leaders and elected officials – as we make the same case for the freedom to marry in the court of public opinion as our advocates are making in the courts of law. With majority support now throughout the Midwest, alongside the national majority for marriage, it’s clear that all of America is ready for the freedom to marry.”

In Michigan, a federal judge struck down that state’s marriage ban, while in Ohio, a judge ruled in two cases that the state’s refusal to respect marriages performed in other states is unconstitutional. These cases are now in front of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. In Indiana, a judge ruled that the state must respect the marriage of a same-sex couple with a terminally ill spouse. For more information on the legal landscape of marriage in these states, visit 6thcircuit.org.

Freedom to Marry’s investment builds on and increases the ongoing campaigns it is part of in the region. In Ohio, the organization is investing more than $500,000 in "Why Marriage Matters Ohio" to enable that campaign to open four offices, hire a team of organizers, and create and air television ads. In Michigan, Freedom to Marry last week helped finance and launch “Michigan for Marriage,” a grassroots public education effort in the state to grow majority support for the freedom to marry, with a special focus on outreach to Republicans and people of faith.

Earlier this year, as a lead part of “Freedom Indiana,” Freedom to Marry helped keep a proposed anti-gay, anti-marriage constitutional amendment off the November 2014 ballot. Freedom to Marry is now working with partners to grow support for marriage in the Hoosier State.

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Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.