Feb 02.3

The Freedom to Marry: Where are we now?

Ethical Campaigns

We believe in equal love for all… and we’re not afraid to show it!

In June 2011 we launched our Freedom to Marry campaign, and asked the U.S. Federal Government to pass the Respect for Marriage Act. This act would overturn the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that denies committed gay and lesbian couples the right to marry, and deprives them and their families of the 1138 civil rights that come with federal marriage recognition.

Since our campaign, ten states have won the freedom to marry, bringing the grand total of states with marriage equality to seventeen. Congratulations to New York, Washington, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Delaware, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Hawaii and Illinois! Recent national polls are showing more support than ever before, with 58% of voters nationwide in favor of same-sex marriage – including 81% of voters under the age of thirty.

That’s not all! Other key developments in the fight for marriage equality include:

February 2012 – The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds the 2010 ruling that Proposition 8 in California is unconstitutional.

May 2012 – President Barack Obama announces his support for same-sex marriage.

May 2012 – The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) passes a resolution supporting marriage for same-sex couples.

June 2012 – The Democratic Party officially endorse the freedom to marry in their party platform at the National Democratic Convention.

June 2013 – The Supreme court overturns Proposition 8 and Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, a law passed by President Bill Clinton in 1996 to prohibit the federal government from respecting legal marriages between same-sex couples.

What’s next?

We’ve come a long way, but the fight for marriage equality isn’t over until we put an end to federal marriage discrimination. You can help by signing the Freedom to Marry pledge to support same-sex marriage or by donating to their efforts. To learn more about the marriage equality laws in your state, click here.

Julia Hamfelt

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