Summer for Marriage Drowns Out Anti-Gay Bus Tour

8/16/2010

Freedom to Marry and Courage Campaign Institute contrast competing "Summer for Marriage" Tours at NOMTourtracker.com   
 
August 16, 2010
 
Press Contacts:
Sean Eldridge, Freedom to Marry
sean@freedomtomarry.org
 
Todd Stenhouse, Courage Campaign
toddstenhouse@gmail.com 
 
Yesterday, equality advocates, Freedom to Marry and Courage Campaign, and the Anti-Gay National Organization for Marriage (NOM) concluded competing "Summer for Marriage" tours through 17 states and 23 cities at events in Washington D.C.
 
At each stop on the tour, marriage equality supporters organized by Freedom to Marry and dozens of local activist groups outnumbered NOM supporters by more than 3 to 1. 
 
"In state after state, we demonstrated what a summer for marriage really looks like, by highlighting the stories of loving and committed same-sex couples, who do the work of marriage, who share similar challenges and similar joys as any couple, and whose families crave the personal significance and critical safety net that marriage brings," said Freedom to Marry's Executive Director Evan Wolfson.  "And we ensured that the distractions, the distortions, and the discriminatory agenda of NOM did not go unanswered." 
 
To document the tour, Freedom to Marry partnered with the Courage Campaign Institute to launch www.nomtourtracker.com -- a blog of first-hand analysis, photos from the road, and interviews with both NOM and pro-equality supporters that's attracted more than a million visitors and 15,000 comments.  Three Courage Campaign Institute staffers spent the last month on the road serving as correspondents to NOM Tour Tracker, and captured some of the tour's most memorable moments on video.
 
"Over the past four weeks, www.nomtourtracker.com has told the stories of the millions of loving families across our country impacted by discrimination, while unmasking the dwindling public support for the divisive, anti-gay fringe," said Courage Campaign Institute Founder and Chairman Rick Jacobs.  "Nomtourtracker.com is a reflection of what the public saw out on the road -- a diverse coalition of clergy and families advocating for equality under the law contrasted with a small group of extremists spreading liesspeaking in tonguescalling for the murder of gay people, and advocating 2nd Class citizenship for millions of American families." 
 
The tour's conclusion comes less than two weeks after an historic federal court ruling striking down California's Proposition 8, and just days after a CNN/Opinion Research poll that showed a majority of Americans supporting marriage equality for LGBT families for the first time. 
 
"Freedom to Marry is proud of what we accomplished this summer with the Courage Campaign Institute and our local partners across the country," Wolfson added.  "As we continue to build on the momentum of the historic Prop 8 ruling, we will continue to show that the freedom to marry helps families, hurts no one, and is rooted in our nation's core promise of liberty and equal protection for everyone."
 
"The federal Prop. 8 Trial and the remarkable contrast unmasked by this tour have once again shown that there is no evidence to support discrimination against millions of loving American families,"  Jacobs added.   "We are grateful to Freedom to Marry and our partners across the country for helping to present the truth to the American public.  Ultimately, the stories we've captured at www.nomtourtracker.com is the beginning of a multi-year effort that will win hearts and minds for equality, while debunking the desperate lies and fear tactics upon which fringe groups like NOM are reliant."
 
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