Freedom to Marry has announced the launch of “Why Marriage Matters,” the largest-ever national public education campaign aimed at increasing majority support for ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. Ads have been purchased by Freedom to Marry with the intention of running a national (and very public) campaign featuring gay, lesbian and straight couples talking about why marriage matters to them. No more hiding in the shadows, America.
Freedom to Marry has pledged to raise and spend $10 million over the next three years on the “Why Marriage Matters” campaign, which will launch during Freedom to Marry Week on Valentine’s Day with an initial national cable buy on CNN.
“Across the country the thinking of many Americans, from the President to the people next door, continues to — as President Obama put it — ‘evolve’ toward support for same-sex couples joining in the freedom to marry. Freedom to Marry’s team has crunched over a decade’s worth of polling data and field experience to crack the code on moving the reachable but not yet reached,” said Evan Wolfson, Founder and President of Freedom to Marry.
Wolfson continued, “By engaging friends, families and neighbors in personal conversations about why marriage matters, each of us can help fair-minded people wrestling with a lack of information and uncertainty, and change hearts and minds.”
Freedom to Marry analyzed over 85 data-sets representing 6 years of research to develop messages that are proven to be effective in swaying public opinion around marriage. In particular, the data showed that people who have had conversations with their gay and lesbian friends about why marriage matters to them are more likely to support the freedom to marry. By shifting the conversation from a focus on rights to a conversation about shared values of love and commitment, support for the freedom to marry grows.
“Marriage matters to gay people in similar ways that it matters to everyone. Gay and lesbian couples want to get married to make a lifetime commitment to the person they love and to protect their families,” said Thalia Zepatos, Director of Public Engagement for Freedom to Marry. “As Americans see their gay and lesbian friends, families, and coworkers in loving and committed relationships, they realize there is no good reason to withhold the protections and support that only come with marriage. It is as simple as the Golden Rule.”
Freedom to Marry is also launching www.whymarriagematters.org, an online resource for those interested in learning more.