2012 elections

An E-mail from "Freedom to Marry"

I wish I had more time to post comments with this, but it’s a crazy day. Here’s an e-mail I got this afternoon from “Freedom to Marry.” If you are interested in marriage equality, it’s an interesting organization to follow.

Ryan,

Huge. Happy. Historic. Last night brought us the wave of wins we’d worked for, with irrefutable momentum for more. Our campaign to win marriage nationwide is ascendant, and this year of transformation has put us in place for an even bigger year of victories in 2013.

In one night, we won the freedom to marry at the ballot (for the first time ever!) in Maine and Maryland, defeated an anti-marriage amendment (for the first time ever!) in Minnesota, reelected President Obama (the first president to support the freedom to marry!), and scored electoral wins all across the country, including a victory for one of the supreme court justices who ruled for the freedom to marry in Iowa. And as I write, we are also cautiously optimistic that we will win our battle for the freedom to marry in Washington, too.

These transformative victories all occurred on one night, but the work that went into creating them happened over the course of many years of smart, strategic focus and dedication from Freedom to Marry’s team, joined by our many partner organizations, gay and non-gay, and by so many supporters like you, Ryan.

Freedom to Marry’s top priorities for 2012 were to pave a pathway for the president’s support (check!), secure a freedom to marry plank in the Democratic platform (check!), and win marriage at the ballot for the first time ever (check!). Now, we are taking the momentum we’ve built and channeling it into an even more ambitious strategy for 2013 that will move our country closer to the day when same-sex couples can marry in every state and when those marriages will be respected and honored by the federal government.

As Freedom to Marry turns to what’s next, we invite you to share in the celebration of what we have accomplished together with a special, limited edition “Right Side of History” T-shirt. For a contribution of $35 or more, we will send a T-shirt to help you celebrate our recent and future victories for the freedom to marry.
http://freedomtomarry.org/page/m/4d893b25/27163916/4ea3b4eb/2e1575ba/3604463487/VEsE/

http://freedomtomarry.org/Victory2012

We could not have gotten this far without you, and – if you keep working with us – together we will have more occasions to celebrate in 2013. Big ones.

Thanks for all you do,
Evan Wolfson
Founder and President, Freedom to Marry

State by State: Gay Marriage/Equality Wins

While most people were more focused on the general presidential election last night, I was following what was happening with marriage equality because that’s a social issue I think should be at the top of the list but is often placed at the bottom. I would feel the same way about any other equality issue, too.

When President Obama said in a recent MTV interview that he believes marriage should be left up to the states, I watched this election even closer because I’m at the point where I don’t think marriage equality is ever going to happen on a federal level unless enough states legalize it. And the more states that legalize same sex marriage the closer we get to full equality. In other words, it’s a process that’s going to happen but it’s going to take time.

And it’s not going to be easy. In the past fifteen years thirty-two states, by popular vote, have voted down legalizing same sex marriage. I think the most recent to reject marriage equality was North Carolina. I have no idea where my own state/commonwealth stands right now, and I don’t hear much mentioned about it anywhere. Pennsylvania went blue last night, which means the majority supported President Obama. But that doesn’t always mean that same sex marriage will get the same support, not by any means. In an interesting turn of events, Minnesota supported Obama yesterday and they voted down an amendment that stated marriage is between one man and one woman. It means this:

Gay marriage remains illegal in the Minnesota, but without the constitutional amendment, making it legal in the future will be easier for pro-equality advocates.

In the same respect, we did hit a milestone. From what I’ve read, this was the first time ever that gay marriage was on the ballot and voters had a chance in some states to vote for or against it. I didn’t know that. I thought it was on the ballot before in California, but I could be wrong. And this isn’t official yet because of mail in ballots, but Washington has been predicted to legalize same sex marriage. And both Maryland and Maine have legalized it. So state by state, we’re making progress.

Here’s a statement by Marc Solomon, whom I’ve written about many times before on this blog, from “Freedom to Marry.”

Marc Solomon, national campaign director for Freedom to Marry, another prominent advocacy organization, said in a press release: “Today, a majority in Maine voted in favor of loving and committed same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry. Now the commitment gay and lesbian couples have made in life will be respected equally under the law, celebrated before their loved ones, and called what it is: marriage.”

I’m starting to believe the President is right about same sex marriage when he says it’s going to *have* to happen state by state, and that it will be recognized one day in the future on a federal level. Not during his next term most likely, and I think I understand why. I didn’t always get it, but I think I do now. It’s obviously a hot topic that’s fueled by religion and made even worse by bad Hollywood stereotypes that freak people out. But I’m thrilled about the small victories yesterday and I think we’re all ready to move forward and continue to campaign for more equality in the future. Recent polls, and last night’s election, seem to suggest that things are shifting in favor of marriage equality.

The photo above was pilfered from Fred Karger’s facebook page. NOM is the National Organization for Marriage and they are opposed to same sex marriage, for those who might not know. The caption on Karger’s FB update reads:

Went by the DC office of NOM this morning and look what I saw: