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USA, Pennsylvania: New Marriage Equality Campaign Kicked Off in State

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Pennsylvania mapFreedom to Marry and the ACLU are teaming up for a new marriage equality campaign in Pennsylvania.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

News conferences trumpeting the Why Marriage Matters Pennsylvania campaign, sponsored by the national advocacy group Freedom to Marry and the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, were held in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. “Pennsylvania’s ban on marriages for same-sex couples is harmful and indefensible. We look forward to continuing our efforts to make sure that every Pennsylvanian will be free to marry the person he or she loves,” said Reggie Shuford, executive director of the state ACLU.

The group will concentrate on changing hearts and minds with “neighbor to neighbor” conversations across the state. The campaign starts against the backdrop of six marriage equality lawsuits that are proceeding through the state courts.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Pennsylvania.

Marriage Equality USA Launches the National Equality Action Team (NEAT)

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

New York • 3 October 2013 ― Marriage Equality USA (MEUSA) is launching the National Equality Action Team (NEAT), a coalition of almost 50 local, state and national organizations and individual organizers mobilizing volunteers to win the freedom to marry in states with active marriage equality campaigns.

Volunteers are able to sign up on the NEAT website to join events near them and also to phone bank from virtually anywhere.

“The National Equality Action Team is unique in that it gives passionate marriage equality advocates across the country — especially those in marriage equality states who want to pay it forward — a chance to play an important role in our national movement to win the freedom to marry,” said MEUSA Program Director Tracy Hollister.

“NEAT shows what organizations and individuals can do when we come together as a coalition to empower our community to take individual action in support of all 50 states,” said Marriage Equality USA Executive Director Brian Silva. “Until everyone can marry the person they love, we all have work to do.”

“NEAT is a continuation of our work over the past year in winning campaigns in Minnesota, Maine, Maryland, Washington, Rhode Island and Delaware, where we hosted almost 150 phone banks and made approximately 100,000 calls for marriage equality,” said MEUSA Board President Jane Wishon. “Our goal is to continue this work and leverage our communities’ collective power to secure marriage equality by working side by side with our NEAT partners.”

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USA: Mayors for The Freedom to Marry Relaunches

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Mayors for the freedom to marryAn innovative program created by Freedom to Marry to convince mayors across United States to support marriage equality is being relaunched this week.

Joe.My.God reports:

Mayors for the Freedom to Marry is a broad-based and nonpartisan group of mayors who believe that all people should be able to share in the love and commitment of marriage. Our goal is to get 500+ mayors from all 50 states to support the freedom to marry. Check the map to see if your mayor has joined Mayors for the Freedom to Marry.If you don’t see your mayor listed, join us in asking them to publicly support the freedom to marry.

The site features an interactive map where you can look to see if you are mayor supports marriage equality yet. On a related note, we received a hilarious email from Freedom to Marry asking us if the “Mayor of El Dorado Hills” supports marriage equality. Hilarious because a) El Dorado Hills has never become a city, and b) wherein one of the most conservative areas of California. Sigh.

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USA: LGBT Groups Issue Marriage Equality Fact Sheets for Same-Sex Couples

Friday, August 30th, 2013

After DOMA Fact SheetsIn the post-Defense of Marriage Act Section 3 environment, 11 LGBT groups have gotten together to issue a series of fact sheets for gay lesbian couples, to help navigate through the confusing current environment.

Lambda Legal reports:

After DOMA: What it Means For You” LGBT Organizations Fact Sheet Series details many of the ways federal agencies accord legal respect to married same-sex couples. The guide includes 14 factsheets on the following topics: Bankruptcy, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), Federal Employee Benefits, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Immigration, Medicaid, Medicare, Military Spousal Benefits, Private Employment Benefits, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Taxes, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Veteran Spousal Benefits. “This is an exciting time and an historic step forward for the country. We want to make sure that same-sex couples have a guide to help them understand what it means for them,” said Susan Sommer, Director of Constitutional Litigation for Lambda Legal.

You can find the fact sheets here.

We have such a patchwork of state and federal laws right now, and it’s great to have a new resource to help same-sex couples navigate them.

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USA: Freedom to Marry Says Marriage Equality Fight Will Likely Cost $100 Million

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Freedom to MarryFreedom to Marry has laid out a roadmap for marriage equality in the rest of the USA, and thinks it will cost $100 Million. SDGLN reports:

The strategy calls for accelerated goals for winning more states, ending federal discrimination, and growing and diversifying public support. Based on work to date nationally and in the states, including what it takes to do public education groundwork and build and run successful ballot campaigns, Freedom to Marry estimates the cost of this push to finish the job to be more than $100 million, of which Freedom to Marry is determined to raise and contribute one quarter or more, building on its success at becoming the nation’s largest funder of marriage work.

By 2016, the goal is to increase public support above 60%, finish the repeal of DOMA, and have more than 50% of Americans living in a state that recognizes marriage equality. The 2 1/2 year plan is here.

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