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Emmy-winning stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Eric McCormack encourage Americans to have 'Courageous Conversations'
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Emmy-winning stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Eric McCormack encourage Americans to have 'Courageous Conversations'

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Eric McCormack use humor to encourage Americans to have a 'Courageous Conversation' with their loved ones about marriage equality during the holidays

LOS ANGELES, CA - The Courage Campaign Institute released two videos today featuring Emmy Award-winning actors Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Eric McCormack talking about the importance of having "Courageous Conversations" about marriage equality over the holidays -- and announced that it would expand the successful program into 2010.

"The holidays really do take courage. We spend time with family and friends, but we usually avoid talking about the things that matter most," said Louis-Dreyfus. "That's why this year, I'm giving the gift of a Courageous Conversation. I'm going to talk with someone I love about why I support same-sex marriage."

Louis-Dreyfus, best known for her work in "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and "Seinfeld" teamed up with McCormack ("Will & Grace") and Emmy-winning writer Adam Barr and Kari Lizer, the creator of "The New Adventures of Old Christine," to help the Courage Campaign Institute spread the word about its "Courageous Conversations" campaign.

"Both Julia and Eric are long-time supporters of the LGBT community and this is a great way for them to help us spread the message of equality," said Billy Pollina, Advertising and Media Director for the Courage Campaign. "A conversation can change a mind and a changed mind can change the world. Courageous Conversations is a great way to start this change."

Launched before the Thanksgiving holiday, the Courage Campaign Institute's evocative "Courageous Conversations" initiative has asked its 700,000 members across the country to pledge to have a "Courageous Conversation" and share their personal reasons for supporting marriage equality with their family, friends and loved ones. A guide to having a Courageous Conversation is provided to those who pledge to have one (see link below).

"For a lot of families, politics is off-limits when it comes to holiday dinner," said Rick Jacobs, Chair and founder of the Courage Campaign Institute. "But that's what makes Courageous Conversations so effective. It's not about ideology or who you voted for -- it's about telling your 'story of self' to the people you know and love. Of course, opinions on same-sex marriage can be intensely personal. That's why these conversations are intensely important to strengthening the fabric of our families." The Courage Campaign's marriage equality research conducted earlier this year shows that these kinds of conversations are critical to changing hearts and minds on same-sex marriage -- and repealing Prop 8 in California. As a part of its efforts to mobilize Californians to support same-sex marriage, the Courage Campaign Institute has held seven "Camp Courage" training events across California, teaching more than 1,400 people how to tell their "story of self" and organize their communities.

Both videos, featuring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Eric McCormack, can be viewed on YouTube:

Courageous Conversations, Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z09FnjoXlPw

Courageous Conversations, Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1Z4kP5lIYQ

An interactive Google map of Courageous Conversations happening across the country can be viewed here (it also includes one of the videos):

http://www.couragecampaign.org/CourageousConversations

Guide to having a Courageous Conversation:

http://www.couragecampaign.org/Courageous-How-to-Guide

Camp Courage training program:

http://www.couragecampaign.org/CampCourage

###

The Courage Campaign Institute is part of the Courage Campaign's online organizing network that empowers more than 700,000 grassroots and netroots activists to push for progressive change and full equality in California and across the country.

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