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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Freedom to Marry Announces $2 Million to Win More States New age of activism Top 12 and beyond: Marc Solomon

Angela Dallara
Communications Associate, Freedom to Marry

New York – Today Freedom to Marry announced a 2013 drive to raise and invest $2 million through the Win More States Fund, with an initial focus on passing freedom to marry legislation in several states across the country.  In its first 2013 wave of contributions, Freedom to Marry is investing $800,000 in states where marriage bills are being debated – including Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Rhode Island – and is calling on others to be a part of these victories through strategic and early Win More States Fund investment.

“Building on our 4 for 4 ballot victories in November, Freedom to Marry is calling on supporters to join us in continuing the momentum and winning still more states in 2013,” said Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry. “With the clock ticking on the Supreme Court’s review of marriage cases, we want to make as much progress as we can – and with battles already under way now in state capitals, we all need to put our money where our momentum is.”

Freedom to Marry’s Win More States Fund, launched in 2012, strategically channels dollars into state marriage campaigns where and when most needed, supporting grassroots organizing, lobbying, paid and new media, and more, all aimed at ensuring that the most strategic campaigns are being waged. In addition, Freedom to Marry is deeply embedded in the campaigns themselves, providing strategic guidance and supporting every aspect of the advocacy work in the states.

"Freedom to Marry's continued commitment to Minnesota couldn't come at a more critical time,” said Richard Carlbom, campaign manager for Minnesotans United for All Families. “As we move toward securing the freedom to marry for our state, this investment shows the level of commitment and confidence that soon all loving and committed couples can join marriage in Minnesota. Freedom to Marry continues to be an outstanding leader and partner to all those who believe love is love and it belongs to everybody."

In 2012, Freedom to Marry surpassed its initial Win More States Fund goal by August and helped achieve victory in all four ballot states – Maine, Minnesota, Maryland, and Washington – as well as defeat a repeal measure in New Hampshire and move a marriage bill through New Jersey’s state legislature. In total, Freedom to Marry invested more than $4 million through the Fund in 2012, and is the leading funder of marriage work nationally.

"We are thrilled to have the support of Freedom to Marry, whose commitment to Rhode Island has been a driving force in the fight to win marriage for all loving, committed couples," said Ray Sullivan, campaign director for Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, the coalition of organizations leading the campaign to pass a marriage bill in the Ocean State in 2013. "Freedom to Marry has played an integral role in winning marriage for same-sex couples in our neighboring New England states and across the country, and their experience and support will be an invaluable resource for our coalition and the growing majority of Rhode Islanders who support marriage for same-sex couples."

Freedom to Marry’s Win More States Fund is financed by a donor base that is both geographically and politically diverse, with contributors from progressive and conservative political affiliations across America. Last year Freedom to Marry’s National Engagement Party raised over $500,000 towards the Win More States Fund through dozens of grassroots house parties as well as major fundraisers in six cities. In online donations, the 2012 Win More States Fund received contributions from over 800 donors in all 50 states as well as Canada.