Tuesday, June 23, 2009

For Immediate Release: June 22, 2009

Marriage Equality Supporters Get Engaged as Latest Polling Data Is Shared and Community Feedback Is Collected in Gatherings Held Across California

Media Contacts:
Molly McKay, Marriage Equality USA Media Director, media@marriageequality.org or 510-332-0872
Pamela Brown, Marriage Equality USA Policy Director, policy@marriageequality.org or 510-384-3655
Judy Appel, Our Family Coalition Executive Director, judy@ourfamily.org or 415-981-1960
Kerry Chaplin, California Faith for Equality Interfaith Organizing Director, kerry@cafaithforequality.org or 314-409-4887

San Francisco, California: "We are a resilient community. In the face of a California Supreme Court that failed to step in when a bare majority of voters added an exception to the equal protection clause of the State Constitution, we are ready to launch a 'Get Engaged' tour to restore marriage equality for all," said Molly McKay, Marriage Equality USA Media Director. "We believe in our community and our collective wisdom about how to best move forward together from here."

“Through the Get Engaged tour, we will present findings from a May 2009 field poll that measured support for marriage equality and messaging provided by faith leaders, families and children of same-sex couples,” said Pamela Brown, Marriage Equality USA Policy Director. “This poll was created by a broad coalition of organizations representing communities of faith, people of color, labor, LGBT groups and straight allies and the Get Engaged tour is intended to not only share this information but to obtain feedback from our grassroots community on our next initiative campaign. In today’s economy, our greatest strength is our people. Only through engaging a broad coalition of organizations and incorporating community feedback into how we move ahead can we ensure the next campaign will honor our families, represent our faith and reflect our diversity.”

“The Yes on 8 lies about how marriage equality would affect school curriculum targeted our children and we won’t let that happened again,” said Judy Appel, Our Family Coalition. “There are over 70,000 children of gay and lesbian couples live in California and these children deserve to have two loving, committed parents that are married. Having married parents would give these kids the sense of security and legal protections that all children should have.”

“Faith leaders across California will be actively involved in the Get Engaged tour and future campaign to protect religious freedom and restore civil marriage equality,” said Kerry Chaplin, California Faith for Equality. “A core value of people of faith is that all people are created in the image of God and to love your neighbor as yourself. Gay and lesbian people are our neighbors and they should be able to enjoy the dignity, respect and commitment that come with marriage.”

Over a dozen events have currently been posted with more to come in the month of July. A listing of current tour locations can be found at www.getengagedtour.com, communities not currently listed but interested in hosting events can contact us at getengaged@marriageequality.org and individuals can submit input via an on-line survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=IPkXUbKd7ZdZF7RdAx3tLg_3d_3d

Founded in 1998, Marriage Equality USA is a national grassroots organization whose mission is to secure legally recognized civil marriage equality for all, at the federal and state level, without regard to gender identity or sexual orientation. For more information, go to www.marriageequality.org.

Our Family Coalition promotes the civil rights and well-being of Bay Area lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) families with children and prospective parents through education, advocacy, social networking and grassroots community organizing. For more information, go to www.ourfamily.org.

California Faith for Equality educates, supports and mobilizes California's faith communities to promote equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and to safeguard religious freedom. For more information, go to www.cafiathforequality.org

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