The Fight for Marriage Equality
Americans for Marriage Equality is a public engagement campaign featuring prominent Americans who support committed gay and lesbian couples getting married. The issue of marriage equality is at a critical time as it moves through electoral, legislative and judicial arenas. Find out more about the issue and stand on the side of equality.
A hallmark of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights movement is the fight to have our relationships recognized as equal under the law. Full marriage equality is the true measure of our success in this area.
Did you know?
The majority of the American public — about 53% — supports marriage equality, according to a number of nonpartisan polls including Gallup, CNN, and Washington Post/ABC News. This is also reflected by growing support from diverse political, civic, and business leaders. Read more about business leaders who support marriage equality.
20 states and D.C. provide some level of relationship recognition for same-sex couples- through marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships. In 2000, that number was zero.
The federal Defense of Marriage Act prevents legally married same-sex couples from accessing more than 1,100 federal benefits and obligations such as the ability to take family and medical leave or pass along Social Security benefits.
Same-sex couples are only asking that the government legally recognize their marriage. No religion or religious leader is — or will be — required to marry an LGBT couple.
LGBT couples and individuals are loving, adoptive parents to more than 1 million children who deserve the stability and economic security that having their parents recognized as married would bring.
An estimated 3.1 million people in America live together in same-sex relationships.
What HRC is Doing to Help
HRC’s poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research shows American support for equal marriage at 51 percent (43 percent in the Midwest and South). Despite the public’s wide support of LGBT equality issues, there remains work to be done. Marriage equality, in particular, is at a critical time as it moves through electoral, legislative and judicial areas.
To keep the momentum of marriage equality moving forward, HRC launched the Americans for Marriage Equality campaign, a public engagement campaign featuring prominent Americans who support committed gay and lesbian couples getting marriage. The campaign will draw from a cadre of supportive professional athletes, film and music celebrities, political and civil rights leaders—and will have a special emphasis on Republicans, African-Americans, Latinos and elected officials.
As part of the Americans for Marriage Equality campaign, HRC has been executing a multi-pronged strategy to win a successful committee vote on the Respect for Marriage Act, including lobbying members and working with our allies to prepare for attacks against the bill. If passed, the Respect for Marriage Act would restore the rights of all lawfully married couples—including same-sex couples to receive the benefits of marriage under federal law.
HRC released a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee members from a bipartisan group of Governors and Mayors in marriage equality states calling for the repeal of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.
In addition to the letter, HRC delivered 135,000 petition signatures to Senate offices showing the groundswell of public support for repeal of DOMA. The following day, Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Respect for Marriage Act along a party line vote.
HRC is taking the fight beyond the federal government to the state-level. In New York HRC spearheaded the largest field campaign ever in support of state LGBT rights legislation, leading to the passage of marriage equality in New York.
HRC campaigned tirelessly alongside state and local partners to secure passage of marriage equality in Maine, Maryland and Washington state, to defeat a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in Minnesota, and to help successfully defend marriage rights in New Hampshire. With an eye toward future challenges from our opponents, HRC and its allies continue to work toward full marriage equality across the country.
Only marriage can provide families with true equality, and we need your help to make it a reality. Join the movement and stand as an American for Marriage Equality.