Hollywood, Tech, NFL Stars Urge President Obama to Support the Freedom to Marry



Hollywood Joins with Silicon Valley Execs, NFL Stars, Civil Rights Leaders to Urge President Obama to Support the Freedom to Marry

Civil Rights Leaders Bond, Chavez;
Hollywood stars including DeGeneres, Hathaway, Lynch, McCormack, Sheen;
High-tech entrepreneurs including Dorsey, Hughes, Parker, Pincus;
NFL stars Ayanbadejo, Fujita

Press Contact:
Jackie Yodashkin
Communications Manager, Freedom to Marry

(New York, NY, March 14, 2011) – Today civil rights and business leaders, Hollywood celebrities, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, NFL stars, and clergy launched Freedom to Marry’s Say, “I Do” campaign urging President Obama to support the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples.

“My wife and I were married in May of 2010, and I can say without a doubt that marriage matters,” said Emmy Award winning actor Jane Lynch.  “As President Obama continues his journey toward recognizing our right to equal taxation, protection and dignity under the law, I encourage him to listen to gay and lesbian couples and families so he can better understand how marriage equality affects us all.”

Freedom to Marry’s Say,“I Do” campaign kicks off with an Open Letter to the President first signed by a diverse set of VIPs and now open to Americans from every walk of life to sign.  The Open Letter calls for “leadership from the President” and urges him to “join us and the majority of Americans who support the freedom to marry.”  Read the full text of the Open Letter here.  It will be delivered to the White House by Freedom to Marry, same-sex couples, and families later this spring.  

“Freedom to Marry is proud that such a diverse and talented group of people are joining us to ask the President to Say, ‘I Do’ to loving, committed gay and lesbian couples who want to marry,” said Marc Solomon, National Campaign Director for Freedom to Marry.  “We appreciate the President’s journey toward supporting the freedom to marry and the concrete steps he’s taken along the way.  Now these prominent Americans, joined by so many others, call on him to complete that journey to fairness for gay and lesbian Americans and their families.”  

First Signers to the letter include actors Anne Hathaway, Jane Lynch, Eric McCormack, Martin Sheen, and Lily Tomlin; television host Ellen Degeneres and actor Portia Degeneres; musicians Melissa Etheridge, Mya, and Rufus Wainwright; high-tech entrepreneurs Jack Dorsey (co-founder of Twitter), Chris Hughes (co-founder of Facebook), Sean Parker (co-founder of Napster), and Mark Pincus (co-founder and CEO of Zynga); media/entertainment execs David Geffen (co-founder of Dreamworks SKG) and Bob Wright (former chairman and CEO of NBC Universal); NFL players Brendon Ayanbadejo and Scott Fujita; playwright Tony Kushner; civil rights icons Julian Bond (Chairman Emeritus of the NAACP) and Helen Fabela Chavez (widow of Cesar Chavez and founder of Cesar E. Chavez Foundation); Rev. Peter Morales (president, Unitarian Universalist Association); and Freedom to Marry founder and president Evan Wolfson.  For a full list of original signers, click here.  

In addition to the Open Letter, Freedom to Marry’s Say, “I Do” campaign will highlight poignant stories of same-sex couples and their family members and share them with the President through a variety of media.  Freedom to Marry’s persuasion campaign will continue until the President speaks out in support of marriage.  


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.