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July 26, 2012

Category: Federal Advocacy, Laws and Legislation

Broad Coalition Launches Website, Grassroots Toolkit to Pass Respect for Marriage Act

WASHINGTON – Today the Respect for Marriage Coalition, comprising 75 diverse organizations dedicated to passing the Respect for Marriage Act, launched a website -- www.RespectforMarriage.org -- toolkit, and materials that will spur grassroots efforts to urge Congress to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. The Respect for Marriage Act (H.R.1116 and S.598) would repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which withholds critical federal protections and respect from legally married same-sex couples.

“Americans understand the Golden Rule of treating others the way you want to be treated, and know that our nation’s commitment to liberty and justice for all really does apply to ‘all,’” said Evan Wolfson, founder and President of Freedom to Marry. “The work being done by the Respect for Marriage Coalition empowers the majority for marriage with on-the-ground tools to engage in the personal conversations and public dialogue that will continue to move the country to support the freedom to marry. The grassroots actions spurred by the Coalition will help us repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, restoring the normal practice of federal respect for marriages lawfully celebrated in the state, without DOMA’s ‘gay exception.’”

The website features materials and resources to help constituents to participate in local activism, including a sample letter to the editor and opinion editorial, sample language to discuss the importance of the freedom to marry in online media, invitations for others to join the Coalition, news and updates, fact sheets, and leave-behind materials for lobby visits. It will also become the primary place where organizations can sign up to become new members of the Coalition.

“Hearts and minds are changing and Americans are embracing equality and acceptance,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.  “It’s time for Congress to catch up with the people in treating everyone with dignity and respect by passing the Respect for Marriage Act.  It is important to give constituents the power to participate in the political process at this momentous time in our nation’s history.”

The Respect for Marriage Coalition is a partnership comprised of 75 civil rights, faith, health, labor, progressive, legal, LGBT, student, and women’s organizations. Coalition membership is open to organizations of any size that support the freedom to marry.  It is chaired by Freedom to Marry and HRC. 

A full list of the coalition members follows: Alliance for Justice, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), American Conference of Cantors, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, American Federation of Musicians, American Federation of State, County, Municipal Employees, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, American Military Partner Association, Americans for Democratic Action, Anti-Defamation League, API Equality-LA, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, BiNet USA, Campaign for Southern Equality, Center for American Progress Action Fund, CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers, Central Conference of Reform Rabbis, Coalition of Labor Union Women, COLAGE, Communications Workers of America, Courage Campaign, DignityUSA, Equality Federation, Family Equality Council, Feminist Majority, Freedom to Marry, Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), Gay & Lesbian Medical Association, Human Rights Campaign, Immigration Equality Action Fund, Integrity USA, Interfaith Alliance, International Federal of Black Prides, International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), Lambda Legal, Latino Equality Alliance, Log Cabin Republicans, MALDEF, Marriage Equality USA, Metropolitan Community Churches, National Black Justice Coalition, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Council of Jewish Women, National Education Association, National Fair Housing Alliance, National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, National Organization for Women, National Partnership for Women and Families, National Stonewall Democrats, National Women’s Law Center, New York State Public Employees Federation, AFL-CIO, People for the American Way, PFLAG National (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), Pride at Work, AFL-CIO, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, SAGE (Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Servicemembers United, Stop the Deportations, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Third Way, True Colors Fund, Truth Wins Out, Unid@s, Union for Reform Judaism, Unitarian Universalist Association, United Church of Christ, United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, UNITE HERE, and USAction.

Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.

The
Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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