National Freedom to Marry Day

February 12, 1999

Below is a statement from National Gay and Lesbian Task Force executive director Kerry Lobel on National Freedom to Marry Day. The second annual National Freedom to Marry Day is being celebrated today in communities across the country with events in support of the freedom to marry. For more information regarding these events, contact the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund at (212) 809-8585.

We join friends and colleagues around our nation today to celebrate the second annual national Freedom to Marry Day. This, for all of us, is a day to resolutely recommit our energies and our resources to secure for all the freedom to marry.

Events last year in Hawaii and Alaska reminded us that we have much work to do before we will be granted the basic human right of marriage. Voters overwhelmingly denied us that right in those two states, while in thirty other states, legislators have declared our families undeserving of this civil right. In 2000, voters in California will have a chance to reject another attempt to discriminate against same-sex couples seeking to marry. Should we defeat this mean-spirited measure, our victory will be hard won. The anti-gay movement has planted itself firmly in front of a door marked "marriage." They will not willingly move aside.

But against this stark landscape of political setbacks and possibilities, we hold high a profoundly simple truth that we prove in our daily family lives: the love and determination of our hearts will not forever be denied by merely expedient and crass supremacist policies of the state. We will win our freedom to marry. We will win domestic partner recognition and benefits, and we will secure our rights as parents. We will bring our families, finally and fully, into social and political equality.


The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.