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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 8, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 6
Spreading the love - Freedom to Marry plans $2M campaign for 2013
Section One
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Spreading the love - Freedom to Marry plans $2M campaign for 2013

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Freedom to Marry announced on February 7 a 2013 drive to raise and invest $2 million through the Win More States Fund, with an initial focus on passing marriage equality legislation in several more states across the country.

According to officials of the same-sex marriage advocacy group, in its first wave of contributions for 2013 Freedom to Marry is investing $800,000 in states where marriage bills are currently being debated. These states include Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. The group is calling on others to be a part of these victories through strategic and early Win More States Fund investment.

'Building on our four-for-four ballot victories in November, Freedom to Marry is calling on supporters to join us in continuing the momentum and winning still more states in 2013,' said Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry. 'With the clock ticking on the Supreme Court's review of marriage cases, we want to make as much progress as we can - and with battles already under way now in state capitals, we all need to put our money where our momentum is.'

Launched in 2012, Freedom to Marry's Win More States Fund strategically channels dollars into state marriage campaigns where and when the funds are most needed, supporting grassroots organizing, lobbying, paid and new media, and more - all aimed at ensuring that the most strategic campaigns are being waged. In addition, Freedom to Marry is deeply embedded in the campaigns themselves, providing strategic guidance and supporting every aspect of the advocacy work in the states.

MINNESOTA FIGHT GOES ON
'Freedom to Marry's continued commitment to Minnesota couldn't come at a more critical time,' said Richard Carlbom, campaign manager for Minnesotans United for All Families. 'As we move toward securing the freedom to marry for our state, this investment shows the level of commitment and confidence that soon all loving and committed couples can join marriage in Minnesota. Freedom to Marry continues to be an outstanding leader and partner to all those who believe love is love and it belongs to everybody.'

Minnesotans defeated a proposed anti-equality constitutional amendment last November, but the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in the state continues.

In 2012, Freedom to Marry surpassed its initial Win More States Fund goal by August and helped achieve victory in all four ballot states - Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington - as well as defeat a repeal measure in New Hampshire and move a marriage bill through New Jersey's state legislature. In total, Freedom to Marry invested more than $4 million through the Fund in 2012, and is the leading funder of marriage work nationally.

RHODE ISLAND POISED FOR WIN
'We are thrilled to have the support of Freedom to Marry, whose commitment to Rhode Island has been a driving force in the fight to win marriage for all loving, committed couples,' said Ray Sullivan, campaign director for Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, the coalition of organizations leading the campaign to pass a marriage bill in the Ocean State in 2013. 'Freedom to Marry has played an integral role in winning marriage for same-sex couples in our neighboring New England states and across the country, and their experience and support will be an invaluable resource for our coalition and the growing majority of Rhode Islanders who support marriage for same-sex couples.'

Freedom to Marry's Win More States Fund is financed by a donor base that is both geographically and politically diverse, with contributors from both progressive and conservative political affiliations across America. Last year Freedom to Marry's National Engagement Party raised over $500,000 towards the Win More States Fund through dozens of grassroots house parties as well as major fundraisers in six cities. In online donations, the 2012 Win More States Fund received contributions from over 800 donors in all 50 states as well as Canada.

Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. As the group's website states, '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.'

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