Press Room

April 15, 2004

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Thousands Mobilize Against Federal Marriage Amendment upon Launch of Human Rights Campaign Meetup

WASHINGTON - Over 7,000 fair-minded Americans signed-up to "Meetup" to oppose an anti-gay amendment to the U.S. Constitution during the week following the launch of the Human Rights Campaign's Meetup. HRC launched its new Meetup initiative Thursday, April 8, in partnership with Meetup.com -- dramatically expanding its grassroots organizing to oppose any efforts to write discrimination into the Constitution.

"No one wants discrimination written into our nation's founding document and fair-minded Americans across the country are speaking out," said HRC President Cheryl Jacques. "The early success of our Meetup initiative demonstrates the groundswell of opposition to using the Constitution to deny rights to any American."

Meetup.com is a free online service that organizes real-world gatherings of communities with common interests.

"Meetup exists to help everyone organize local group meetings. Being non-partisan, people Meetup about vastly different topics. We're happy to help revitalize local community for everyone," said Scott Heiferman, Meetup CEO.

In the first week after launching, 7,413 people had signed-up at hrc.meetup.com to come together April 27, 2004, in 436 locales to take action against the Federal Marriage Amendment, an effort to permanently deny marriage rights to same-sex couples by amending the U.S. Constitution. At the first Meetup, participants will learn about the work that HRC is doing to defeat the amendment and will write handwritten letters to their Senators and Representative urging them to oppose any effort to write discrimination into the Constitution.

"GLBT people and our allies across the country are organizing like never before - from Portland, Ore., to Portland, Maine," said Jacques. "Same-sex couples and their children are living in 99.3 percent of all counties in this country and the breadth of cities holding Meetups demonstrates that."

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that GLBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

Meetup, Inc. (http://www.meetup.com) creates global Meetup Days for most any topic. Meetups are real world, face-to-face get-togethers that take place in thousands of cities and small towns in 51 countries at local cafes, restaurants, bookstores, and other local establishments. Meetup's mission is to revitalize community in America. Since launching in June 2002, Meetup has become a grassroots phenomenon, with more than 1 million people signed up for monthly Meetups about more than 4,000 topics and interests. Meetup's partners include AARP, Bill O'Reilly, California Democratic Party, Capital Advantage, Convio, Howard Dean's Democracy for America, The Democratic Party, eAdvocates, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Environmental Defense, Get Active, Grassroots Enterprise, Investors' Business Daily, John Kerry for President, March for Women, MTV & Rock The Vote, Red Hat, Townhall.com (The Heritage Foundation), The UN Foundation, among others. Meetup is based in New York City and is privately held.

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