How To Help 2015 Be The Year Of Marriage Equality

2015 is looking to be a big year for same-sex marriage. Just this Monday, a judge struck down South Dakota’s same-sex marriage ban. This week, the Supreme Court will consider four cases on same-sex marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. Hopefully this attention to same-sex marriage at the beginning of the year is a good sign for people across the country finally getting basic human rights.

There are currently 36 states with legal same-sex marriage and 14 states that have a ban on same-sex marriage (although those numbers are probably 37 and 13 now, respectively). As we wait to see the what happens with the four cases this Friday, what can be done help turn the tide for states such as North Dakota, Louisiana, and Texas? Since some of the challengers of same-sex marriage bans are represented by organizations focused on legalizing same-sex marriage across the US, these organizations are a great option for those looking to help.

Freedom to Marry

The organization is all about ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. Freedom to Marry has a strategy, called the Roadmap to Victory, that outlines out their plan to ultimately end marriage discrimination. Here’s how you can support Freedom to Marry:

  • Sign their pledge: Sign the "Majority for Marriage" pledge to support the same-sex couples’ right to marry.
  • Donate: Freedom to Marry has a “Win More States Fund” that has channeled more that $6 million into campaigning in battleground states.
  • Petition your Mayor: Mayors for the Freedom to Marry is chaired by six mayors from around the country who are advocates for same-sex marriage. They’re joined by 500 other mayors from around the country who have signed their statement. If you mayor isn’t a part of this group, you can petition them to sign up.
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National Center for Lesbian Rights

Don't be confused by the organization's name. While they do place an emphasis on the L in the LGBT, they're focused on advancing LGBT equality, and that includes marriage equality.

  • Donate: NCLR has a few different ways to donate. You can either give a one-time donation or use other options such as monthly or quarterly installments or even estate giving, which allows you to include NCLR in your retirement plan, insurance policy, or even your will.
  • Participate: The organization will be hold an Anniversary Celebration on May 2. Tickets will be on sale in February, but if you’d like to help out then, you can become a sponsor.

Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders

GLAD is a non-profit that works to aid people who are discriminated against based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

  • Special events: Not only can you attend one of GLAD’s upcoming events, such as LGBT Family Law in New Hampshire webinar on Jan. 29, but you can also volunteer to help out during them.
  • Sign up for referrals: Are you a lawyer or do you work for an agency that might be able to offer services? Apparently GLAD receives many inquiries about services that they unfortunately can't provide. To help increase their database of LGBT-friendly lawyers and agencies, sign up to be included in their referral database.
  • Tell your story : As GLAD simply states, "Stories matter." Sometimes sharing an experience can provide all the solidarity that somebody needs and give individual voices to a large movement.
  • Donate or volunteer: There are multiple ways to contribute to GLAD. Make sure the explore all the options for donating money, resources, skills, or time.

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