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Celebrating Today’s 4th Circuit Bostic Ruling — Another Step Closer to the End of Amendment One!

tracyBy Tracy Hollister, Program Manager, Marriage Equality USA. Tracy lived in North Carolina for nearly 20 years and worked as a volunteer marriage equality advocate for several years before moving to New York City to help advance marriage equality across the country. Now, the same week as this landmark Bostic decision, Tracy is moving back home to North Carolina to continue her work for MEUSA. To hear how and why she became a full-time advocate, listen to this half hour podcast

As a gay person, North Carolinian, volunteer working against Amendment One, and now full-time marriage equality advocate, I was thrilled by today’s 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Bostic v. Schaefer and its potential – eventually – to erase the stain of Amendment One from North Carolina’s constitution. Like the other 28 court rulings since last year’s landmark Windsor case, the 4th Circuit decision declares yet another anti-marriage equality ban unconstitutional. Here is my favorite quote from the decision: Continue Reading »

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A Marriage Equality Legacy: From Practical Struggles to a “Love Affair” with the Gay Community

Edie Windsor hugs interviewer Cathy Marino-Thomas

In the final segment of MEUSA’s interview with Edie Windsor, Edie recalls the real-life consequences of being denied the right to marry and her transition from a community outsider to advocate. From legal obstacles during her 40+ year relationship with Thea Spyer to a whopping tax bill of approximately half a million dollars after Thea’s death to her embrace of “those queens” she saw marching at her first pride parade, Edie’s journey embodies the transformation of gay and lesbian Americans over the last half-century.

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Edie Windsor Part 2:  Life and Love Before Stonewall

In part two of MEUSA’s three-part interview with Edie Windsor, Edie recounts the struggles of gay life before Stonewall and her persistence pursuing her eventual wife, Thea Spyer. Continue Reading »

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A Four-Decade March Down the Aisle

Sabatino (left) and Voorheis speak at United for Marriage "Light the Way to Justice" in New York, March 23, 2013

Sabatino (left) and Voorheis speak at United for Marriage “Light the Way to Justice” in New York, March 23, 2013

Not every couple celebrates their first and 25th anniversaries in the same year. Then again, not every couple has navigated a roller coaster quite like the one Michael Sabatino and Robert Voorheis have – that of legal recognition of same gender relationships both as activists and a committed couple.

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“There is no wrong time for justice.” – Edie Windsor

At the age of 81, Edie Windsor did something that would give pause to most of us who are decades younger — she took on the federal government over its refusal, for estate tax purposes, to recognize her marriage to (and 40+ year relationship with) Thea Spyer. Against the wishes and advice of most of the major LGBTQ organizations, but with the encouragement of MEUSA and a few of its members, she charged straight ahead. “They don’t know what they’re talking about,” Windsor recalls thinking of the chorus of voices concerned about the preparedness of the US Supreme Court to strike down the discriminatory statute known by the misnomer the “Defense of Marriage Act.”  “There is no wrong time for justice. if you’re gonna go for it, go for it,” says Windsor. To hear more of her story, watch her interview with former MEUSA president Cathy Marino-Thomas. What follows is the first part of a multi-part interview.

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GETTING TO “I DO”: Our Journeys to Marriage Equality

SHARE YOUR STORY TO CHANGE HEARTS & MINDS AROUND THE WORLD 

Waited years/decades to marry? Raising a family without access to the benefits and protections marriage offers? Straight but no longer narrow? MEUSA has launched its latest marriage equality story-sharing initiative in conjunction with the story-telling website Cowbird. Designed to collect and share multimedia-rich personal stories about relationships, family, marriage, advocacy, and equality in an online gallery, contributors will have an opportunity to share their personal marriage equality-related stories. “Sharing stories is one of the most powerful ways to sway more people into supporting marriage equality,” says MEUSA Executive Director Brian Silva. “We encourage potential participants to relay their dreams, ideals, and experiences with families, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and communities.”  Continue Reading »

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The MEUSA blog has moved to our brand-new website

We are proud to announce the launch of our redesigned, state-of-the-art website at http://www.marriageequality.org/ featuring new and expanded features for our members, the media, and the public.

The clean, responsive design immediately puts critical information at your fingertips regardless of whether viewing it on a desktop or mobile device. The improved navigation and structure provides increased functionality so you can quickly find the information you need. And the reorganized and expanded content relays key information about the issue, with a focus on taking action and the legal cases currently driving the movement.

Created on the NationBuilder platform and designed by Tectonica, the site will continue to evolve as the movement does, with content that keeps up with the changing marriage equality landscape.

As the national grassroots movement working for the freedom for all loving and committed couples to access civil marriage, MEUSA is unique among organizations in this field and has been setting trends since its inception in 1996.

As part of the relaunch, the Marriage Equality USA news blog also has moved to the new website. Please be sure to update your links.

Join us at www.marriageequality.org and explore your new home for winning marriage equality!

 

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Love Around the World

By MEUSA National Media Director Stuart Gaffney and MEUSA Director of Legal & Policy John Lewis

10492060_820084881349960_4458464346318646360_nOn our recent trip to Japan to speak on LGBTQ rights for Marriage Equality USA, we had the honor of addressing the crowd at Pink Dot Okinawa, a wonderful event with over 1,000 attendees who were treated to music, dance, speeches, and a beautiful marriage ceremony for Kazuki and Harold — when the happy couple exchanged vows there was not a dry eye in the crowd.

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“Tolerant” of Your Efforts to Treat Me Like a Second Class Citizen? Not!

By John Mattras

Senator Marco Rubio has joined the chorus of anti-marriage equality forces pleading for “tolerance” of their efforts to prevent gay couples from marrying. I do not doubt there are good people with different view points on this issue. To suggest, however, that the LGBTQ community and our supporters should be “tolerant” of those efforts is nothing short of absurd.

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Advance Screenings of LOVE IS STRANGE

loveisstrange_posterMarriage Equality USA and Sony Pictures Classics invite you and a guest to join us at an advance screening of Love is Strange, the groundbreaking new film by Ira Sachs! Find your local screening and RSVP below. Continue Reading »

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MEUSA Celebrates Third Anniversary of New York Marriage Equality with Sea Tea Cruise

Celebrating the third anniversary of marriage equality in New York, over 100 Marriage Equality USA members and supporters boarded the Hornblower Yacht in New York City last Sunday for a night of food, fun, friends and music. Continue Reading »

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MEUSA’s White House Moment

By MEUSA Executive Director Brian Silva

Brian Silva at the White House

Brian Silva at the White House

Watching the President sign off on an Executive Order banning federal contractors from discriminating against the LGBTQ community last week, I was struck by how far our community has come. Just a few weeks prior, I was honored to represent MEUSA, our volunteers and members at the White House Pride Reception hosted by the President and the First Lady. Continue Reading »