In May Franklin and Marshall released poll results saying that 53 percent of Pennsylvanians support the right of same-sex couples to get married, but you’d never know it. Here we are, lagging on as the only Northeast state that hasn’t allowed gay couples to walk down the aisle. And as we saw this week, the mere mention that you’re applying for a marriage license can cost you your job.
To help turn around our miserable fate, gay-rights activist groups American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania (ACLU-PA) and Freedom to Marry joined forces to launch a new campaign/website that hopes to, “begin a dialogue with Pennsylvanian residents about why marriage is important to same-sex couples and their families.” Freedom to Marry President Evan Wolfson explains the idea behind “Why Marriage Matters Pennsylvania“:
"Gay people are part of the families of Pennsylvania; I know, because I grew up here with my loving family. ... But Pennsylvania is not doing right by gay Pennsylvanians and their loved ones, denying couples who've made a commitment in life — the commitment under law that is marriage. "Why Marriage Matters Pennsylvania" aims to spark conversations, neighbor to neighbor, to grow support for the freedom to marry so that Pennsylvanians need not cross the border to New York, New Jersey or Delaware to celebrate their love and secure protections for the families they are part of all across Pennsylvania."
The campaign officially kicked off today at press conferences in Philly and Pittsburgh, where mayors Michael Nutter and (mayor-elect) Bill Peduto have signed on as endorsers."Pennsylvania, like many states, is moving toward the freedom to marry as more and more citizens and officials recognize that discrimination is not the direction of progress," says Nutter. "'Why Marriage Matters Pennsylvania' is an important way to bring the conversation back to our cities and towns and to local Pennsylvania residents in order to grow support for marriage in our communities and show how it improves the quality of life for our families."
The idea behind the project is to build a support database, where Pennsylvania residents can chime in about why marriage matters to them. On the website, people can share stories (lots of good must-reads there), sign up to volunteer for the cause, and keep track of what's happening on the state's marriage equality front via the site's blog. To learn more about/get involved with "Why Marriage Matters Pennsylvania," visit the site, here.
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