Thalia Zepatos of Freedom to Marry: Public education and personal conversations are most effective


Groundbreaking New Report Shows Way Forward for Marriage

“Public Education and Personal Conversations are Most Effective”


For Immediate Release: 

June 15, 2010, San Francisco, CA



Sean Eldridge

Director of Communications, Freedom to Marry



San Francisco, CA – Statement from Thalia Zepatos, Director of Public Engagement for Freedom to Marry, on a new report by New York University professor Patrick J. Egan, Ph.D., underscoring the importance of public education outside of heated political battles in increasing support for the freedom to marry:

“Dr. Patrick J. Egan’s insightful new study is a welcome summation of a decade of polling on ballot measures impacting the freedom to marry for same sex couples.  From this research, it is remarkably clear that smart public education and personal conversations are most effective in moving people toward support of marriage for gay couples.  No 30-second political ad can replace thoughtful conversations that gay and lesbian couples have about marriage with their neighbors at a barbe

cue, with family members over dinner, or with colleagues at work and at school.  Personal conversations, exposure to couples’ stories in the media, and smart public education campaigns are all proving to be key contributors in the consistent trend toward ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage.  This research validates Freedom to Marry’s approach, articulated in our Roadmap to Victory, of prioritizing public education and winning majority support for the freedom to marry nationwide.

We have seen support for the freedom to marry rise significantly over time, as more Americans interact with openly gay couples and their families and hear their stories. Between 1996 and 2010 alone, Gallup reported a 17-point rise in the number of Americans supporting marriage. We are now seeing as many as 49 percent of Americans supporting the freedom to marry in some polls.  These polls and Dr. Egan’s new report make clear that the most important step supporters of the freedom to marry can take is to engage the people they know in conversations about why marriage matters to committed same-sex couples and their families.”

The full report can be found here.

Freedom to Marry is the leading campaign working to win marriage nationwide.  We partner with organizations and supporters across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from the responsibilities, protections, and commitment of marriage.