Marriage Equality USA Mission Statement
To secure legally recognized civil marriage equality for all,
without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity,
at the state and federal level through grassroots
organizing, education, action and partnerships.
The Organization Marriage Equality USA
The national organization, Marriage Equality USA was officially founded in 2001. The organization's sole purpose and focus is to end discrimination in civil marriage so that non-heterosexual couples can enjoy the same legal and societal status as heterosexual couples. We are a grassroots, volunteer-driven organization, and a registered 501(c)(3).
Marriage Equality USA (MEUSA) understands how critical it is for a greater number of voices to be heard and often works in tandem with other state and national organizations. With greater numbers of people working together towards ending discrimination in civil marriage, MEUSA hopes to accomplish in the foreseeable future what truly is the inevitable: civil marriages for same-sex couples.
Polls today tell us that over 50 percent of the U.S. public approves of the basic civil right for gay people to marry. (Polling Data and the Marriage Equality Movement) With the help of committed individuals and organizations, we are confident that that percentage will continue to grow. Only then can we shape the kind of social climate that will change public opinion embolden our courts to make fair decisions in winning the freedom to marry.
Some of MEUSA's activities to date include:
- In 2000 MEUSA activists began the Valentine's Day/Freedom to Marry Day Marriage License Counter demonstrations across the country where same-sex couples ask for marriage licenses from their city hall and county recorder's offices. This action continues every year and Marriage Equality USA is joined by numerous allied organizations each year.
- The first organization (joint effort with Lambda Legal) to institute a comprehensive grassroots marriage and media training program for activists.
- Obtained support of our Marriage Declaration from council members, clergy, community boards, mayors, and other key people throughout the U.S.
- Sponsored the first-ever Same-Sex Wedding Expo in NYC, garnering solid support from gay and non-gay businesses.
- Created National Bridge Marches, Wedding Marches for Marriage Equality, in San Francisco and New York City.
- Acknowledged for shaping the "civil marriage for same-sex couples" discussion in LGBTIQ and non-LGBTIQ communities.
MEUSA Public Education
Speaking engagements, forums, and outreach functions provide our greatest opportunity to educate people on same-sex marriage. Our educational material gives us the opportunity to explain ALL the issues. We meet with organizations and individuals, sharing our personal stories and explaining why marriage matters. Through these meetings, we build coalitions with other gay and non-gay organizations, which increases the number of individuals who believe in equality through marriage.
Civil marriage is a basic human right. Civil marriage affords over 1,000 benefits, legal protections and responsibilities. This is why same-sex couples should be allowed to enter into a civil marriage, to protect themselves and their families.
MEUSA Media Campaigns
Greater awareness lessens the fear many people have around same-sex marriage. That is why MEUSA actively sponsors and engages in letter-writing to publications, media events and press conferences, statewide rallies, speak-outs, and other high-profile activities. We believe exposure through film, TV commercials, and print ads are extremely effective. By putting same-sex marriage in the news, we can ensure visibility of the issue.
Organizing and building coalitions and alliances with social and civil groups, churches and individuals (gay and non-gay) are key to getting our message out. Co-sponsoring events, discussion groups and outreach to the business community are just some of the ways to get the greater community involved with marriage equality.
Contact Marriage Equality USA
If you have questions, suggestions, or would like more information on marriage rights for same-sex couples or Marriage Equality USA, please contact us!
Marriage Equality USA
P.O. Box 121, Old Chelsea Station
New York, NY 10113