Why does marriage matter? In part, according to Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, because it secures civil rights that unmarried people—more specifically, unmarried gays and lesbians—do not have.
Because Shane and Tom could not legally marry, Shane was not entitled to any information regarding Tom’s death, memorial service, or burial arrangements (Crone).
"Painful as these discriminatory measures will be for families and those who love them... they will not stop our advance toward the freedom to marry."
Newsweek's post-election (November 15th) issue alleges behind-the-scenes advice to Kerry from Clinton: Support anti-gay state amendments to ban marriage equality. Kerry said no. Kerry was right on the merits and strategy.
On May 15, 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage violated the California constitution. The ruling made it official that same-sex couples in the state were able to marry.
"As the nation celebrates the fortieth anniversary of Stonewall, leadingadvocates, Mary L. Bonauto and Evan Wolfson, examine how the freedom tomarry movement began; what work and events have shaped its progress,especially in the last year; and action steps for future progress. (, article onp.11)
Looking for how to talk about why marriage matters? Interested in learning more about the fight for marriage equality? will answer your questions and give you the tools to advance the freedom to marry.
Evan Wolfson writes to the editor, "The pivotal exchange in one of thelawsuits now challenging the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriageshows that the opponents of gay people's freedom to marry still can'tgive a real answer to the key question posed in yet another court by yetanother judge: "What would be the harm of permitting gay men andlesbians to marry?"... The reason smart lawyers like Mr. Cooper don'tgive a better answer to why marriage discrimination should be allowed tocontinue is that there isn't one."
This essay consists of two parts. It begins by reviewing the long-term visions that Evan Wolfson and other attorneys developed to fight for marriage equality in the early 1990s, and then examines how the tactics employed by Garden State Equality and the Lewis attorneys demonstrate the successes and shortcomings of that strategy as it was implemented in New Jersey. The essay concludes by reiterating the necessity of building social movements that combine impact litigation with traditional grassroots organizing.
Civil rights attorney Evan Wolfson has been on the front lines in the battle for the freedom to marry for the past twenty years. In his book, (Simon & Schuster; June 2, 2005; $13.00 paper), with a new foreword by the author, Wolfson presents a compelling case for ending discrimination in marriage.
A truly wonderful resource, is written for two groups of people:
With gay couples only weeks away from legally marrying in the U.S. for the first time, it's easy to forget that only a decade ago, even domestic partnershipswhich were, legally speaking, a jokeinflamed conservatives whenever they were suggested. Everyone, straight and gay, knew gay marriage itself was impossible.Not Evan Wolfson. He first wrote about marriage for same-sex couples in 1983, in a Harvard Law School paper. After graduation, he spent 10 years pressing the marriage issue. Fellow gay activists shushed him. "For years," says Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, "many of us were saying to him, We're not ready. The country's not ready. And, by the way, you're crazy.'"In 1990 three same-sex couples in Hawaii asked Wolfson to take their case. His employer, the gay group Lambda Legal, wouldn't let him, but he was able to advise a local attorney on the side. Three years later, the couples won in the state supreme court. Hawaii voters banned same-sex marriages before any weddings could take place, but the case made gay marriage seem attainable. Within a few years, the Netherlands became the first country to allow it; Massachusetts gays are set to begin marrying on May 17.Today the gay movement has embraced Wolfson. "This country is in a civil rights moment," he says. It would not have come as soon as it did without him.
In response to the question, "Is this the right time to go to a conservative Supreme Court [with the freedom to marry]?" Evan Wolfson writes:The best way to maximize the chances for a just ruling by the court is not just by hiring good lawyers, writing smart briefs, or, even, being right. Whats needed is creating the climate that enables justices to do the right thing.
More states are taking steps toward marriage equality for same-sex couples, and even states with civil unions are coming to the realization that civil unions aren't enough. That's the word from Pittsburgh native son and national marriage equality advocate Evan Wolfson, who tomorrow (April 19) is slated to discuss the state of same-sex marriages in the United States at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, 5941 Penn Ave, East Liberty.