New York – Freedom to Marry, in partnership with Equality Texas, today launched a public education campaign to amplify the bipartisan momentum for the freedom to marry in the Lone Star State. The campaign, called Texas for Marriage, will highlight that support as well as the continued harms that committed gay couples face everyday until the state’s marriage case, DeLeon v Perry, is decided by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals early next year.
“Nearly every state and federal court from last year on, more than 50 — with judges appointed by Republican and Democratic presidents and governors — has ruled in favor of the freedom to marry and moving the country forward,” said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry. “Texas families should not be left behind. Government has no business interfering in important freedoms like who Texans marry, and no business putting obstacles in the path of families and employers trying to do the right thing. Our new campaign will show that Texans are ready for the freedom to marry, and so is America.”
Texas political veteran Ward Curtin will serve as campaign manager of Texas for Marriage. He served as deputy campaign manager for all three of Mayor Annise Parker’s campaigns. The campaign plans to run statewide TV ads, host town hall meetings, identify new voices from the business, faith and law enforcement communities, and roll out a Republican-led effort by young conservatives.
“Gay marriage was barely a blip on the radar this past election cycle in Texas, as it was in the rest of the country,” said Mark McKinnon, Texas chair for Freedom to Marry and former media advisor to George W. Bush. “That’s because discrimination doesn’t sell like it used to and because Texans from all walks of life, from big cities to small towns, believe strongly in freedom and family. Supporting gay couples marrying is squarely in line with these Texas values.”
A new web site, texasformarriage.org, accompanies today’s launch. The site showcases the depth and diversity of support of marriage equality, and profiles Texas families like Gabriela Polanco and Amanda Davila who experience tangible harm from the state’s discriminatory ban.
In September, major companies, including Cisco, Alcoa, Pfizer, Target, Intel, and Google, submitted a court brief supporting same-sex marriage in Texas. According to a new report, the last remaining bans on same-sex marriage – in just 15 states including Texas – cost American businesses $1.3 billion annually.