Same Sex Marriage: The Freedom to Marry

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Society, organizations, and states have restricted same-sex marriages throughout the history. Marriages should be based on love and companionship. However, since the ban on same sex marriages the gay community had a long fight of activism to overturn the states from restricting same sex marriages. Many have fought to have the same rights and benefits in which a man and a woman receive from being legally married. The documentary is based on the journey that a man took to have the courts drop their bans. Evan Woldson, the man who started the Freedom to Marry campaign towards equality. Alongside his talented lawyer Mary Bonauto have captured the attention for the gay rights movement. These individuals, along with many other activists have paved the way to same sex marriages and equality by taking their case to the Supreme Court.

Freedom to Marry used ample resources during their fight to end bans on same sex marriages. The organization was constantly using phone calls to reach out to the community and to contact famous people to gain their support. They would invite business leaders to join the campaign in support of their efforts. There was a large committee of individuals that worked effortlessly throughout the campaign to lead it towards victory.

With the support of the Tampa Bay Rays the organization was able to gain their support towards a win with the public. Through the documentary their resources expanded to a National level of awareness. The advocacy group went to different states and spoke at public events to a variety of organizations to recruit peoples support. This gave the organization leverage to have the people spread awareness within their own community and inner circles. It was a strategy to educate others on their cause and values.

In the film Evan explained “the movement followed a strategy to win, getting to the Supreme Court…to bring the country to National resolution.” Evan and his team had to change their planning and take the case to the Supreme Court to end the bans of same sex marriages. It became a national fight to gain support and spread awareness throughout the United States. They were able to reach founders and raised a great amount of money to take down anti-gay organizations which was part of a political opportunity structure. Their method was to win the support of Republicans and teach them about their road to justice. Evan and the committee were able to go to Texas and speak on the issues that were affecting same sex marriages.

Another resource that changed was the win in Massachusetts. Mary won the case which was the beginning to gay marriages rights. Although this move angered religious and conservative groups it was a platform to move forward and lobby in Texas and lead this social movement to a life changing win.

The nature of the political opportunity structure for the movement was to continue gaining support with the Democrats but to convince Republicans of the rights to marry. It was a decision that needed to be made by the Supreme Court whether to legalize same sex marriages in the states. They had to prove that their constitutional rights allowed them to have the same rights as a woman married to a man would have. Since 1973 polls showed a bias towards same sex marriages which labeled them as immoral. Freedom to marry had to go against the Defense of Marriage Act which defined a marriage to be between a man and a woman. It opposed any beneficial status to same sex marriage. The political system opposed same sex marriages for many years and did not agree that they should be legalized. The decision came down to the conservative judges to accept this policy.

The frames used by the social movement was a marriage is a legal commitment between committed individuals that want to be together. The campaign was to win a case before the Supreme Court for freedom to marry same sex. It was necessary for everyone to be treated equally and to demand equal benefits through a legalized marriage. When a couple gets married it is a commitment of love and trust between two human beings. All states needed to approve same sex marriages to be legal. It was discrimination for states to ban same sex marriages which was unconstitutional. The question that Mary Bonauto asked was, “are you so different, or dangerous, or deficient in ways…that you can’t participate in something that is a fundamental right for all Americans?” Same sex marriages are discriminated and want the same rights as opposite sex marriages. Core framing tasks urged society to confirm same sex marriages. Motivational framing was used to urge society to vote for equality and uphold the constitution to the same standard as opposite sex couples.

The movement had a collective identity. Many of the participants had a similar story and similarities to their self-identity. They were judged for being gay and many were told they had a choice. Many of the supporters struggled throughout their life to be treated with respect and dignity. The movement stood for many people that had the sense of belonging to this campaign through their background and experiences. The discrimination was felt throughout the thousands of supporters and felt it was a civil rights issue.

Many congregated in front of the Supreme court bearing the colorful rainbow flags and rainbow symbols. The protestors all shared similar views to same sex marriages and values. LGBQT pride overshadowed the countermovement organizations with their music and chants. The crowds gathered in unity to stand for gay pride. Many held signs that spoke on liberty and prejudice. Many individuals involved in the campaign had a connection to the movement and felt a desire to be an advocate for change.

The leadership of the social movement involved the founder of Freedom to Marry Evan Wolfson. He was the person that went out to reach out to people and put together political operatives to win the battle. Since the 80’s he had been fighting for the injustices of same sex marriages. 1983 was a move towards awareness when he drafted his thesis on “same sex marriage is an aspiration” which brought attention to his cause. A woman by the name of Mary L. Bonauto, a civil rights attorney for GLAD, wanted to put an end to discriminations and to raise awareness towards equality for same sex marriages. A man by the name of Marc Solomen used his Political activism to spread awareness through the campaign. There were countless hours dedicated by committee members and by 5 organizations that joined to fight this battle.

The battle that was taking place needed tactics which were used for the campaign’s success. Courts were told by a variety of community leader, civil rights activist, and business leaders to support the argument that all states should end the ban against same sex marriages. In 1991, Hawaii was sued to allow same sex couples to marry. Freedom to Marry took on the case and convinced the courts to allow same sex marriages to legalize their commitment. The case spread and the support doubled due to the attention it received.

Evan became known around the world as the marriage guy for his endless efforts in public awareness, effective interviews and countless hours devoted to the campaign. Services were held at LGBQT churches that focused on sending messages to their congregation about inclusion and equality. There was a blog forum that kept the conversations and news current about same sex marriages. Evan and his team organized speaking arrangements in different states explaining their efforts and mission. According to Evan, “it’s a revolution, one conversation at a time.” His tactics were to change negative portrayals and to speak to friends and families about personal stories in the journey to marriage.

The relationship between the movement and adversaries was that they needed to convince anti-gay rights protestors that they should be treated fairly as a heterosexual marriage. Since 1970, society has had a negative view and stigmatized same sex marriages as taboo and unnatural. Throughout the nation the organization gained support. Since many states banned these marriages the organizations strategized to start a massive campaign to reach people everywhere. Many voted and there was an up rise to the way society viewed same sex marriages. That shift steered towards acceptance and support. According to a staffer, “to win in courts they had to win in court of public opinion because they go hand in hand.

Texas opposed same sex marriages and took drastic measures to stop laws from passing. Many called the protest an act of protection for families and children.

Thus far, media played a key role in the movement. National television ads were shown before the court hearing. The rallies and protests that went on outside the courthouse were shown on the news. Marriage for Freedom advocates took pictures with high profile lawyers and city officials to show their support. Evan had face to face interviews that were broadcasted on television. The movement took polls and surveys to follow the public’s opinion. Whenever there was a person that were vocal for the movement, the organization would publish the interaction with that person so others would know how the public viewed the issues.

In a historical event the Supreme Court Justices voted to end state ban on same sex marriages. The success of the organizations was due to the public’s support and countless hours of advocacy, fighting for marriage licenses for same sex marriages. The campaign proved to be efficient with its tactics and relationships. It was the largest victory for the movement.


Cite this paper

Same Sex Marriage: The Freedom to Marry. (2021, Apr 29). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/same-sex-marriage-the-freedom-to-marry/

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