Des Moines, IAToday, One Iowa and Freedom to Marrythe campaign to win marriage nationwideunveiled a new public education campaign: Why Marriage Matters Iowa.
Why Marriage Matters Iowa aims to grow state support for marriage for gay and lesbian couples by promoting conversations across the state about loving and committed Iowan couples, and how marriage strengthens them, their families, and their communities. The goal of Why Marriage Matters Iowa is to build solid majority support for marriage by equipping supporters with the tools to effectively tell their stories and engage in conversations about how sharing in the commitment of marriage has helped families and hurts no one.
Evan Wolfson, Founder and President of Freedom to Marry joined One Iowa this week to unveil the new campaign. "Freedom to Marry is proud to be partnering with One Iowa on this public education campaign to explain why gay and lesbian couples want to share in marriage because we know that as more people talk to their friends, neighbors, family members and colleagues about why marriage matters to them, support for the freedom to marry grows," Wolfson said. "Iowans deserve the opportunity to get back to basics and hear about these couples and their kin, think about true love and commitment, and talk not about political agendas, but real stories of real people living in Iowa."
Freedom to Marry is the leading national advocacy organization working for this cause. Founded by Evan Wolfson who is the organization's President, Freedom to Marry has been at the forefront of the marriage movement. One Iowa is the state's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organization working to protect marriage. Iowa is currently the only heartland state to recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples. Freedom to Marry is committed to defending marriage in Iowa and is investing resources to protect marriage here.
"As the only state in the Midwest that recognizes marriage for gay and lesbian couples, Iowa stands as a beacon of hope for pro-equality Americans, but we also stand as a big bulls-eye for our opposition," said Troy Price, Executive Director of One Iowa. "By working with our supporters and allies across the state, we can reach more Iowans to have this important conversation about why marriage matters to Iowa families."
This campaign is designed to do one thing — initiate as many conversations as possible about why marriage matters not only to gay and lesbian couples and their families, but to all Iowans. This multi-faceted initiative includes a new website www.whymarriagemattersiowa.org that features stories of gay and lesbian Iowans, their families and allies, and highlights of the ongoing conversations with Iowans across the state; a House Party program aimed at creating a safe space in the comfort of a friend or family member's home for conflicted Iowans to be able to ask questions about how marriage impacts the lives of same-sex couples and their families; a Speakers Bureau program aimed at equipping marriage supporters with the tools they need to speak at key events in their communities; and an on-campus program to work closely with college students across the state and enlist their help in spreading the word about why marriage matters.
"My husband and I are proud Iowans. We have been together for 13 years and we were overjoyed when our state recognized our family in 2009," said John Sellers who married his husband Tom on May 1, 2009. "Our lives are pretty typical. Each day we get up, read the paper, go to work, and have family dinner each night. We have the same concerns as other familieswe take care of Tom's ailing mother, we pay our bills, and we plan family vacations. We are regular, everyday Iowans who just want our relationship to be recognized by the state we live in and love. At the end of the day, this is about family."
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About Why Marriage Matters Iowa
Why Marriage Matters Iowa is a public education campaign to promote conversations across the state about Iowa's gay families and their loved ones, and how marriage strengthens them, their kin, and their communities. Why Marriage Matters Iowa is a project of One Iowa Education Fund, a nonprofit, nonpartisan community organization dedicated to ensuring that all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Iowans experience equality.
For more information, visit: www.whymarriagemattersiowa.org
About Freedom to Marry
Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. 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.
For more information, visit: www.freedomtomarry.org
About One Iowa
One Iowa is the state's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) advocacy organization, committed to full equality for LGBT individuals, including the freedom to marry.
For more information, visit www.oneiowa.org