Freedom to Marry's Evan Wolfson joined Anderson Cooper and CNN legal expert Jeffrey Toobin last night for a talk about the status of marriage equality in New York and the consequences of its passage on the rest of the country.
Wolfson seems very hopeful. Stay tuned to Towleroad today for all the developments.
MARIBETH AND JEAN: A couple gets married and accepted by their family.
JILL JOHNSON-YOUNG: A California woman talks about the joy of marrying her wife, and their family's pain of losing her when she died.
FOUR COUPLES: The true meaning of marriage-- love, commitment and family.
NEIGHBORS: Darrick and Kate tell how they've learned that letting gay people get married fits in with the values that they want to teach their own children.
Freedom to Marry today announced 'Why Marriage Matters', a $10 million public education effort that's being launched with a Valentine's Day ad buy on CNN featuring the 'Four Couples' ad you see above. The other ads are part of the campaign.
"Freedom to Marry analyzed over 85 data-sets representing 6 years of research to develop messages that are proven to be effective in swaying public opinion around marriage. In particular, the data showed that people who have had conversations with their gay and lesbian friends about why marriage matters to them are more likely to support the freedom to marry. By shifting the conversation from a focus on rights to a conversation about shared values of love and commitment, support for the freedom to marry grows. In partnership with local and state groups, the Why Marriage Matters campaign will include a variety of mixed media advertising, including TV, radio, and online ads."
To accompany the campaign, the group has launched the site WhyMarriageMatters.org, which features stories, facts, and online resources about marriage equality.
Said Freedom to Marry founder Evan Wolfson: “Across the country the thinking of many Americans, from the president to the people next door, continues to – as President Obama put it – ‘evolve’ toward support for same-sex couples joining in the freedom to marry. Freedom to Marry’s team has crunched over a decade’s worth of polling data and field experience to crack the code on moving the reachable but not yet reached. By engaging friends, families, and neighbors in personal conversations about why marriage matters, each of us can help fair-minded people wrestling with a lack of information and uncertainty, and change hearts and minds.”
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry joined Anderson Cooper last night to discuss the marriage defeat in Maine.
WOLFSON: Well, what
happened is it's very difficult for a minority to persuade a majority
to stop discriminating. And we came very close to persuading people in
Maine to uphold the freedom to marry but didn't reach everybody in
particularly the more rural corners of the state with the
conversations, with the personal stories, with the making it real that
we need to do in order to move hearts and minds. And we need to keep
doing that work.
PERKINS: Well, this is unique, Anderson.
This was the 31st state where voters have had the chance, they have
stood for traditional marriage. But what's different here is
you had a legislature that had special interest money come in, make
some moves in the legislature. The legislature then created same-sex
marriage. The first time we've had a legislature create it, followed by
a vote of the people that have repudiated what the legislature did. That's very significant, because this law had been passed. It was in a
completely defensive posture, they had to go out and work to overturn
what the legislature had done. That's significant. And also, it's
significant, because I can imagine as a former legislator what some of
the conversations were in Maine today. These legislators who
voted for this and in their districts, the voters went to the polls and
overturned it. There's now an infrastructure there and there could be
some political fallout to this.