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#AskAMogulAnything: Hi, I'm Evan Wolfson. I'm the founder and president of Freedom to Marry, the campaign that won marriage in the United States. Ask me anything! Your questions will be answered LIVE 3/22 @ 11am ET. - Mogul

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#AskAMogulAnything:Hi,I'mEvanWolfson.I'mthefounderandpresidentofFreedomtoMarry,thecampaignthatwonmarriageintheUnitedStates.Askmeanything!YourquestionswillbeansweredLIVE3/22@11amET.

Evan Wolfson
Evan Wolfson Founder & President of Freedom to Marry
2mo New York, NY, United States Question

Your questions will be answered on Wednesday, March 22nd at 11am ET. To ask a question, click here to create a Mogul profile, then post a question in the comment section below!

Hi! I'm Evan Wolfson. I'm the founder and president of Freedom to Marry, the campaign that won marriage in the United States, and is widely considered the architect of the movement that led to nationwide victory in 2015.

A longtime advocate for gay rights, in 1983 I wrote my Harvard Law School thesis on gay people and the freedom to marry. During the 1990's, I served as co-counsel in the historic Hawaii marriage case that launched the ongoing global movement for the freedom to marry, and have participated in numerous gay rights and HIV/AIDS cases. Before Harvard, I earned my B.A. in history from Yale College in 1978. 

For my work as a gay rights advocate, I was named by the National Law Journal in 2000 as one of "the 100 most influential lawyers in America," dubbed the "the godfather of gay marriage" by Newsweek/The Daily Beast, and Time Magazine named me one of "the 100 most influential people in the world." In 2012, I received the Barnard Medal of Distinction alongside President Barack Obama.  

Having achieved in 2015 the goal I had pursued for 32 years, I now devote my time to advising and assisting diverse movements and causes in the U.S. and around the world eager to adapt the model and apply the lessons that made the Freedom to Marry campaign so successful. Based in New York City, I was named a Distinguished Visitor from Practice at Georgetown Law Center, where I teach law and social change. I was also named Senior Counsel at Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, with 125+ offices in 50+ countries.

Some fun facts about me are that I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in a village in Togo, West Africa, wrote the book, Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People's Right to Marry, and that I was honored at the 2012 Barnard College Commencement alongside President Obama, just days after the president announced his support for the freedom to marry.

Now's your chance to ask me anything! Please write your questions in the comments section below and I'll answer the questions live on Wednesday, March 22nd at 11am ET.


30 comments

  • Kathy May
    Kathy May Economist & Politics Expert
    3mo ago

    How was the process for writing your incredible book?

    How was the process for writing your incredible book?

    • Evan Wolfson
      Evan Wolfson Founder & President of Freedom to Marry
      2mo ago

      Thank you. I should, of course, mention that it is still available for order -- and is called WHY MARRIAGE MATTERS and was published by Simon & Schuster in 2004. The goal of the book was twofold: (1) to reach the reachable but not yet reached people by actually answering their questions in a conversational tone, drawing on stories and personal experiences as well as history, common-sense logic as well as law, and (2) arm people who support the freedom to marry to have those all-important conversations with the people they can reach. I wrote the book, with the help of a good writing partner, in 4 months at what seemed at the time the height of our battle -- and was really pleased to see it used by many people as a way of persuading their family members, friends, and others... as well as by the many people who told me it had changed their minds. Now I hope to see it used in other countries as a good summary of the case for moving forward on the freedom to marry there, alongside other tools such as the new FREEDOM TO MARRY documentary (https://freedomtomarrymovie.com/).

      Thank you. I should, of course, mention that it is still available for order -- and is called WHY MARRIAGE MATTERS and was published by Simon & Schuster in 2004. The goal of the book was twofold: (1) to reach the reachable but not yet reached people by actually answering their questions in a conversational tone, drawing on stories and personal experiences as well as history, common-sense logic as well as law, and (2) arm people who support the freedom to marry to have those all-important conversations with the people they can reach. I wrote the book, with the help of a good writing partner, in 4 months at what seemed at the time the height of our battle -- and was really pleased to see it used by many people as a way of persuading their family members, friends, and others... as well as by the many people who told me it had changed their minds. Now I hope to see it used in other countries as a good summary of the case for moving forward on the freedom to marry there, alongside other tools such as the new FREEDOM TO MARRY documentary (https://freedomtomarrymovie.com/).

  • Evan Wolfson
    Evan Wolfson Founder & President of Freedom to Marry
    2mo ago

    Good morning! I am here with you online and eager to answer questions and exchange ideas.

    Good morning! I am here with you online and eager to answer questions and exchange ideas.

  • sunshinequeen
    2mo ago

    As you know, a big challenge we are currently facing is passing laws that protect our trans community, specifically around access to bathrooms. And now with the Gavin Grimm case being kicked back down to the circuit, many of us feel unsure about how to tackle this as a national issue. Given that your fight for marriage began on the state level before its victory at the supreme court -- what advice do you have for those fighting for trans protections?

    As you know, a big challenge we are currently facing is passing laws that protect our trans community, specifically around access to bathrooms. And now with the Gavin Grimm case being kicked back down to the circuit, many of us feel unsure about how to tackle this as a national issue. Given that your fight for marriage began on the state level before its victory at the supreme court -- what advice do you have for those fighting for trans protections?

    • Evan Wolfson
      Evan Wolfson Founder & President of Freedom to Marry
      2mo ago

      The battle for assuring trans people full and equal opportunities to participate in society, and be protected under the law, is one of the many goals of our LGBT movement still underway. Fortunately, many organizations and allies have come into this fight, and trans people have had increasing and essential visibility, helping non-trans people come to a better understanding and greater empathy, which helps in the battles against attack measures as well as in advancing the law and general acceptance/inclusion. Some of the key things to keep in mind, as illustrated by our successful freedom to marry work, are: (1) the importance of telling our stories and sparking conversations so people can better understand who trans people are, (2) engaging people with that human connection and empathy, reducing fears and dispelling stereotypes, and then connecting that to shared values of treating people with respect, (3) not writing people off as unreachable just because they are not there, or assuming they know all they need to know, (4) coupling that public education and engagement work with legal and political organizing at the local, state, and federal levels, as well as in the national conversation -- best done by linking up with and supporting key organizations such as the ACLU, GLAD, Lambda Legal, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Center for Transgender Equality, Transgender Legal Defense Fund, state LGBT groups, and others, and (5) enlisting crucial support from business, labor, and other allies -- which has already played a key role. We need to make sure that we push back against attacks (even when disguised as so-called "religious exemptions" to mask licenses to discriminate), and also push forward in the courts and in the legislatures. All of this has been lifted by, and can be adapted from, the freedom to marry momentum and playbook. Remember: we have made lots of progress on trans inclusion and protections already; Americans are reachable and moving in the right direction. Keep engaging.

      The battle for assuring trans people full and equal opportunities to participate in society, and be protected under the law, is one of the many goals of our LGBT movement still underway. Fortunately, many organizations and allies have come into this fight, and trans people have had increasing and essential visibility, helping non-trans people come to a better understanding and greater empathy, which helps in the battles against attack measures as well as in advancing the law and general acceptance/inclusion. Some of the key things to keep in mind, as illustrated by our successful freedom to marry work, are: (1) the importance of telling our stories and sparking conversations so people can better understand who trans people are, (2) engaging people with that human connection and empathy, reducing fears and dispelling stereotypes, and then connecting that to shared values of treating people with respect, (3) not writing people off as unreachable just because they are not there, or assuming they know all they need to know, (4) coupling that public education and engagement work with legal and political organizing at the local, state, and federal levels, as well as in the national conversation -- best done by linking up with and supporting key organizations such as the ACLU, GLAD, Lambda Legal, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Center for Transgender Equality, Transgender Legal Defense Fund, state LGBT groups, and others, and (5) enlisting crucial support from business, labor, and other allies -- which has already played a key role. We need to make sure that we push back against attacks (even when disguised as so-called "religious exemptions" to mask licenses to discriminate), and also push forward in the courts and in the legislatures. All of this has been lifted by, and can be adapted from, the freedom to marry momentum and playbook. Remember: we have made lots of progress on trans inclusion and protections already; Americans are reachable and moving in the right direction. Keep engaging.

  • sunshinequeen
    2mo ago

    Hi again! A second question - as a longtime gay rights advocate (thank you), you've witnessed many different administrations - some helpful and some maybe not so much. Our current administration is has created a hostile environment for many Americans, and it sometimes feels like a big struggle to keep fighting for civil rights and not letting the setbacks feel too discouraging. In the face of adversity and during your tireless fight for marriage, what are some things (personal, career or otherwise) that helped you stay focused on your goals and not give up?

    Hi again! A second question - as a longtime gay rights advocate (thank you), you've witnessed many different administrations - some helpful and some maybe not so much. Our current administration is has created a hostile environment for many Americans, and it sometimes feels like a big struggle to keep fighting for civil rights and not letting the setbacks feel too discouraging. In the face of adversity and during your tireless fight for marriage, what are some things (personal, career or otherwise) that helped you stay focused on your goals and not give up?

  • Evan Wolfson
    Evan Wolfson Founder & President of Freedom to Marry
    2mo ago

    Thank you for all the great questions and kind words. We all have to step up and work hard now to defend our values, preserve our republic, and make the world better. I hope that the freedom to marry campaign and success offers inspiration and instruction so we can all do our part.

    Thank you for all the great questions and kind words. We all have to step up and work hard now to defend our values, preserve our republic, and make the world better. I hope that the freedom to marry campaign and success offers inspiration and instruction so we can all do our part.

  • Bethany Heinrich
    Bethany Heinrich Mogul Influencer
    3mo ago

    Thank you so much for being a guest, Evan! What are your hobbies outside of work?

    Thank you so much for being a guest, Evan! What are your hobbies outside of work?

    • Evan Wolfson
      Evan Wolfson Founder & President of Freedom to Marry
      2mo ago

      Well, that's a cheerier question! :) I love to read and spend time with friends, and also love to travel throughout the US and around the world (with my husband for fun, as well as often on my own for work -- which is also fun). When we are not traveling, we go to theater and watch TV, if we can haggle through to an agreement on what to watch.

      Well, that's a cheerier question! :) I love to read and spend time with friends, and also love to travel throughout the US and around the world (with my husband for fun, as well as often on my own for work -- which is also fun). When we are not traveling, we go to theater and watch TV, if we can haggle through to an agreement on what to watch.

  • Bethany Heinrich
    Bethany Heinrich Mogul Influencer
    3mo ago

    How are you feeling post the election and what do you recommend people do to continue to fight for the rights they believe in?

    How are you feeling post the election and what do you recommend people do to continue to fight for the rights they believe in?

  • namisha
    namisha Inquisitive, Avid Reader, Food Lover, Amateur Chef, Digital Sensei
    3mo ago

    Hi Evan, Thank you so much for your work in this field. My brother is gay and I am so happy that we will have the same opportunities to happiness as I will. Thank you so much for giving that to him and our family. My questions is how you got involved to work on gay rights? what motivated you to pursue this field?

    Hi Evan, Thank you so much for your work in this field. My brother is gay and I am so happy that we will have the same opportunities to happiness as I will. Thank you so much for giving that to him and our family. My questions is how you got involved to work on gay rights? what motivated you to pursue this field?

    • Evan Wolfson
      Evan Wolfson Founder & President of Freedom to Marry
      2mo ago

      Thank you, Namisha. One of the happy consequences of getting involved in work to make the world better, and particularly in winning something like marriage, is that it does involve love and family, joy and security, dignity and protection... and thus I get to hear lots of stories are happy as people share with me their experiences and thanks. I always wanted to make a difference and be part of mending the world...and as I came to connect that desire and my love of history and politics with my own awareness of being gay and facing discrimination, it led me to want to work on changing the way gay people are treated. Through my youthful experiences in the Peace Corps (where I first began having sex with other men and came to realize that who you are is profoundly affected by the choices, even the language, your society offers you), as well as reading the book that changed my life (John Boswell's history masterpiece, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, which made me think that if things had once been different, they could be different again), I came to see that an effective engine of transformation would be claiming the freedom to marry. At the heart of discrimination against gay people is discrimination based on who we loved. I asked myself, what is the key language of love and how do we claim it? And so as a law student, I wrote my 1983 thesis on why gay people should have the freedom to marry (the personal, moral, and constitutional arguments for it, the pathway for winning) and why we should fight for the freedom to marry (to help non-gay people better understand who we are and our shared values, thereby enabling us to win marriage and advance understanding of, and support for, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, on may fronts).

      Thank you, Namisha. One of the happy consequences of getting involved in work to make the world better, and particularly in winning something like marriage, is that it does involve love and family, joy and security, dignity and protection... and thus I get to hear lots of stories are happy as people share with me their experiences and thanks. I always wanted to make a difference and be part of mending the world...and as I came to connect that desire and my love of history and politics with my own awareness of being gay and facing discrimination, it led me to want to work on changing the way gay people are treated. Through my youthful experiences in the Peace Corps (where I first began having sex with other men and came to realize that who you are is profoundly affected by the choices, even the language, your society offers you), as well as reading the book that changed my life (John Boswell's history masterpiece, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, which made me think that if things had once been different, they could be different again), I came to see that an effective engine of transformation would be claiming the freedom to marry. At the heart of discrimination against gay people is discrimination based on who we loved. I asked myself, what is the key language of love and how do we claim it? And so as a law student, I wrote my 1983 thesis on why gay people should have the freedom to marry (the personal, moral, and constitutional arguments for it, the pathway for winning) and why we should fight for the freedom to marry (to help non-gay people better understand who we are and our shared values, thereby enabling us to win marriage and advance understanding of, and support for, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, on may fronts).

  • Sarah Fein
    3mo ago

    Did you see the Normal Heart? It is a great film that relates to the fight for marriage equality in the 80s.

    Did you see the Normal Heart? It is a great film that relates to the fight for marriage equality in the 80s.

  • Kathy May
    Kathy May Economist & Politics Expert
    3mo ago

    What feelings were rushing through you as you found yourself honored at the 2012 Barnard College Commencement alongside President Obama?

    What feelings were rushing through you as you found yourself honored at the 2012 Barnard College Commencement alongside President Obama?

    • Evan Wolfson
      Evan Wolfson Founder & President of Freedom to Marry
      2mo ago

      After we won the freedom to marry in my home state of New York in 2011 (and I was thus able to marry my husband of then 10 years in front of our family, friends, and community -- a joyous day the glow of which I still feel more than 5 years later), my Freedom to Marry team met to set our top goals for 2012. We set two big ones: paving a pathway for President Obama to come out in support of the freedom to marry -- before the 2012 election, and winning the freedom to marry at the ballot in November 2012. As the May 14 date of the Barnard Commencement approached, I let my contacts in the White House know that the president and I were due to share the stage that day -- we were both receiving the Barnard Medal of Distinction as part of the graduation ceremony. We had been mounting our campaign to encourage the president to take a stand, and I noted that it might be awkward for him to be there together that day when, undoubtedly, the freedom to marry would get big cheers when I was introduced and then he would likely be criticized if he hadn't yet acted. Fortunately, the president had made the decision to "evolve" and embrace the freedom to marry (thanks to his own moral leadership and the work we and others did with champions such as VP Biden, Valerie Jarrett, Nancy Pelosi, Joel Benenson, and party leaders -- as well as the momentum we had continued to build). On May 9 -- 5 days before we came to Barnard -- president Obama spoke to the American people exactly as we had urged and became a key "permission giver" to millions more to join the majority we were building in support of ending marriage discrimination nationwide. You can read more about it here: http://www.freedomtomarry.org/pages/how-it-happened#section-9

      After we won the freedom to marry in my home state of New York in 2011 (and I was thus able to marry my husband of then 10 years in front of our family, friends, and community -- a joyous day the glow of which I still feel more than 5 years later), my Freedom to Marry team met to set our top goals for 2012. We set two big ones: paving a pathway for President Obama to come out in support of the freedom to marry -- before the 2012 election, and winning the freedom to marry at the ballot in November 2012. As the May 14 date of the Barnard Commencement approached, I let my contacts in the White House know that the president and I were due to share the stage that day -- we were both receiving the Barnard Medal of Distinction as part of the graduation ceremony. We had been mounting our campaign to encourage the president to take a stand, and I noted that it might be awkward for him to be there together that day when, undoubtedly, the freedom to marry would get big cheers when I was introduced and then he would likely be criticized if he hadn't yet acted. Fortunately, the president had made the decision to "evolve" and embrace the freedom to marry (thanks to his own moral leadership and the work we and others did with champions such as VP Biden, Valerie Jarrett, Nancy Pelosi, Joel Benenson, and party leaders -- as well as the momentum we had continued to build). On May 9 -- 5 days before we came to Barnard -- president Obama spoke to the American people exactly as we had urged and became a key "permission giver" to millions more to join the majority we were building in support of ending marriage discrimination nationwide. You can read more about it here: http://www.freedomtomarry.org/pages/how-it-happened#section-9

  • Virginia Dickens
    Virginia Dickens Biz Dev @ Mogul, Foodie, Comedy
    2mo ago

    Hi Evan, thank you so much for your hard work advocating for gay rights. My question is, what specific aspects of the Freedom to Marry campaign do you think led to its success?

    Hi Evan, thank you so much for your hard work advocating for gay rights. My question is, what specific aspects of the Freedom to Marry campaign do you think led to its success?

    • Evan Wolfson
      Evan Wolfson Founder & President of Freedom to Marry
      2mo ago

      Thank you. I think there were many lessons from the Freedom to Marry campaign, many elements of success that can be adapted to other causes and battles – and there are certainly plenty underway right now! Before winding down, we compiled a lot of them on our website -- http://www.freedomtomarry.org/lessons-learned. I am now advising and assisting other organizations, other causes, and other countries, and often talk about what I call the “ladder of clarity” (see, for example, this piece I wrote -- http://bit.ly/2mUCqF4) and other key elements of success. The new documentary, also called THE FREEDOM TO MARRY, shows as well as tells some of the key elements of how we transformed hearts and minds, and then the law. I am happy it’s being embraced by other movements (immigration rights, gun control, environment, as well as LGBT causes) as a way of sharing inspiration and instruction (https://freedomtomarrymovie.com/).

      Thank you. I think there were many lessons from the Freedom to Marry campaign, many elements of success that can be adapted to other causes and battles – and there are certainly plenty underway right now! Before winding down, we compiled a lot of them on our website -- http://www.freedomtomarry.org/lessons-learned. I am now advising and assisting other organizations, other causes, and other countries, and often talk about what I call the “ladder of clarity” (see, for example, this piece I wrote -- http://bit.ly/2mUCqF4) and other key elements of success. The new documentary, also called THE FREEDOM TO MARRY, shows as well as tells some of the key elements of how we transformed hearts and minds, and then the law. I am happy it’s being embraced by other movements (immigration rights, gun control, environment, as well as LGBT causes) as a way of sharing inspiration and instruction (https://freedomtomarrymovie.com/).

  • ishyman
    [deleted]
    2mo ago

    [deleted]

    [deleted]

  • ishyman
    2mo ago

    Hi Evan, Is Trump a legitimate threat to repealing the marriage equality law?

    Hi Evan, Is Trump a legitimate threat to repealing the marriage equality law?

    • Evan Wolfson
      Evan Wolfson Founder & President of Freedom to Marry
      2mo ago

      There is always some threat, and we must always remain vigilant and engaged. I discuss this here - so please check out this fuller answer (http://www.freedomtomarry.org/blog/entry/freedom-to-marry-founder-evan-wolfson-on-results-of-2016-election). Certainly, we must work to ensure that the Senate denies a lifetime appointment to nominees to the Supreme Court (or other courts) who fail to meet the heavy burden of demonstrating a commitment to individual rights, equal protection, secular law without "religious" licenses to discriminate, a living and inclusive Constitution, and other bedrock constitutional guarantees. But with so many attacks on communities and our basic values underway now, I don't think the potential threat to the freedom to marry is the most urgent or imminent -- and the work we can and must do in solidarity with others and on these other, overlapping questions will also help us in further shoring up the freedom to marry and advancing on the other urgent work of LGBT rights still at hand.

      There is always some threat, and we must always remain vigilant and engaged. I discuss this here - so please check out this fuller answer (http://www.freedomtomarry.org/blog/entry/freedom-to-marry-founder-evan-wolfson-on-results-of-2016-election). Certainly, we must work to ensure that the Senate denies a lifetime appointment to nominees to the Supreme Court (or other courts) who fail to meet the heavy burden of demonstrating a commitment to individual rights, equal protection, secular law without "religious" licenses to discriminate, a living and inclusive Constitution, and other bedrock constitutional guarantees. But with so many attacks on communities and our basic values underway now, I don't think the potential threat to the freedom to marry is the most urgent or imminent -- and the work we can and must do in solidarity with others and on these other, overlapping questions will also help us in further shoring up the freedom to marry and advancing on the other urgent work of LGBT rights still at hand.

  • ahc328
    2mo ago

    Hi Evan! It's wonderful to finally see marriage equality in the US. I was wondering, do you have plans for next steps? Are there other social initiatives that you want to pursue?

    Hi Evan! It's wonderful to finally see marriage equality in the US. I was wondering, do you have plans for next steps? Are there other social initiatives that you want to pursue?

    • Evan Wolfson
      Evan Wolfson Founder & President of Freedom to Marry
      2mo ago

      That's a terrific last question for today. One of the happy consequences of winning is that people want to know how you did it. And once it became clear I was going to get another life chapter (after 32 years working to win the freedom to marry), I knew I wanted to stay involved and engaged, even if not -- at least right away -- "in charge." I wanted to be able to respond to requests for advice and assistance from other movements, causes, and countries -- thereby making a difference and being helpful, and also having the chance to learn about other work and battles that I cared about but hadn't been front and center on. Fortunately, a group of supporters endowed a visiting professorship at Georgetown Law to give me a base from which to take on projects and be available to offer lessons and coach others, as well as do some teaching. And I took on a part-time affiliation as senior counsel at the world's largest law firm, Dentons -- which has more than 125 offices in more than 50 countries; I hoped that that would also give me a platform to do good work and draw on resources for the global human rights work that is increasingly part of what I do. I have counseled, in one way or another, more than 25 or so different movements here in the US, and am working in about 10 or so countries, to varying degrees. I am as busy as ever, but without the same pressure of waking up every day fighting to drive a strategy to one goal, as I did for 32 years until we won marriage. But, of course, with Trump, I feel a great urgency to contribute to the work of getting our country back on track -- combining needed civic engagement across a variety of causes and fronts with reclaiming political power. And so, while happily assisting and advising others, am thinking about what the best next big thing might be for me. I'd like to think I have another big chapter left... :)

      That's a terrific last question for today. One of the happy consequences of winning is that people want to know how you did it. And once it became clear I was going to get another life chapter (after 32 years working to win the freedom to marry), I knew I wanted to stay involved and engaged, even if not -- at least right away -- "in charge." I wanted to be able to respond to requests for advice and assistance from other movements, causes, and countries -- thereby making a difference and being helpful, and also having the chance to learn about other work and battles that I cared about but hadn't been front and center on. Fortunately, a group of supporters endowed a visiting professorship at Georgetown Law to give me a base from which to take on projects and be available to offer lessons and coach others, as well as do some teaching. And I took on a part-time affiliation as senior counsel at the world's largest law firm, Dentons -- which has more than 125 offices in more than 50 countries; I hoped that that would also give me a platform to do good work and draw on resources for the global human rights work that is increasingly part of what I do. I have counseled, in one way or another, more than 25 or so different movements here in the US, and am working in about 10 or so countries, to varying degrees. I am as busy as ever, but without the same pressure of waking up every day fighting to drive a strategy to one goal, as I did for 32 years until we won marriage. But, of course, with Trump, I feel a great urgency to contribute to the work of getting our country back on track -- combining needed civic engagement across a variety of causes and fronts with reclaiming political power. And so, while happily assisting and advising others, am thinking about what the best next big thing might be for me. I'd like to think I have another big chapter left... :)

  • goodvibesonly
    2mo ago

    Considering that the United States is looked up to by many other countries as a model for human rights and how to address them, how do you think this will be affected now that we have a president and administration here that clearly values LGBT and other minorities rights less than before? What can we do ourselves as citizens to stop negative consequences from reverberating around the world?

    Considering that the United States is looked up to by many other countries as a model for human rights and how to address them, how do you think this will be affected now that we have a president and administration here that clearly values LGBT and other minorities rights less than before? What can we do ourselves as citizens to stop negative consequences from reverberating around the world?

    • Evan Wolfson
      Evan Wolfson Founder & President of Freedom to Marry
      2mo ago

      One of the many terrible consequences of the last election was the damage done to the United States in its standing around the world, including on human rights. I start by reminding people in other country that the American people did not vote for this regime and its many appalling stands and actions; Trump won the election, not the vote. But we are here now, and what we as Americans have to do is push back against the un-American policies and messages pushed out by this Administration. We have to make sure our voices are heard both to keep on record that Trump does not speak for most Americans and to slow down and reverse the wrong directions the Administration tries to move in. This means speaking out against outrages like Trump's Muslim ban and chiseling away at refugee protections, but also against his and Putin's undermining of NATO, the European Community, and international norms that are part of the liberal democratic order the US helped build over decades. And we must support efforts in other countries to uphold human rights. I am working with advocates in many other countries to ensure that they move in the right direction, as the US did in 2015 on marriage, and thereby continue momentum, even if others are carrying the mantle of leadership for a time.

      One of the many terrible consequences of the last election was the damage done to the United States in its standing around the world, including on human rights. I start by reminding people in other country that the American people did not vote for this regime and its many appalling stands and actions; Trump won the election, not the vote. But we are here now, and what we as Americans have to do is push back against the un-American policies and messages pushed out by this Administration. We have to make sure our voices are heard both to keep on record that Trump does not speak for most Americans and to slow down and reverse the wrong directions the Administration tries to move in. This means speaking out against outrages like Trump's Muslim ban and chiseling away at refugee protections, but also against his and Putin's undermining of NATO, the European Community, and international norms that are part of the liberal democratic order the US helped build over decades. And we must support efforts in other countries to uphold human rights. I am working with advocates in many other countries to ensure that they move in the right direction, as the US did in 2015 on marriage, and thereby continue momentum, even if others are carrying the mantle of leadership for a time.

  • Sarah Fein
    2mo ago

    You are wonderful. Thank you for the work you do. What is your biggest concern about the Trump administration? Who do you think is the most promising Democratic candidate for the next election?

    You are wonderful. Thank you for the work you do. What is your biggest concern about the Trump administration? Who do you think is the most promising Democratic candidate for the next election?

    • Evan Wolfson
      Evan Wolfson Founder & President of Freedom to Marry
      2mo ago

      Thank you. Shortly after the election, I published my thoughts here (http://www.freedomtomarry.org/blog/entry/freedom-to-marry-founder-evan-wolfson-on-results-of-2016-election). In essence, my biggest concern was and is that through a malfunction of our electoral system, we now had a president who is manifestly unworthy, unfit, unprepared, and unstable -- and one who did not share a commitment to the core elements of our constitutional republic itself (for example, an independent judiciary, a robust and free press, truthful debate, avoidance of conflicts, and foreign and economic interests not in our country's interest). Trump's assaults on so many communities (immigrants, women, Muslims, people of color, Jews, the majority who voted for Clinton, Democrats, judges, the press, etc.) remain alarming. And above all that, the Putin/Trump connections and Trump's effective collusion with Putin's efforts to destabilize liberal democracy not just here in the US but in Europe and around the world, demands investigation and action. This administration is under a cloud of illegitimacy and must be denied the opportunity to wreak its havoc and damage wherever possible, including the Supreme Court. I am focused on that work -- and the solidarity and energy we must all show individually and through organizations fighting back -- rather than on thinking about candidates... though absolutely we must all be political and think about how to build a firewall and then win in key states as well as in Congress in 2018.

      Thank you. Shortly after the election, I published my thoughts here (http://www.freedomtomarry.org/blog/entry/freedom-to-marry-founder-evan-wolfson-on-results-of-2016-election). In essence, my biggest concern was and is that through a malfunction of our electoral system, we now had a president who is manifestly unworthy, unfit, unprepared, and unstable -- and one who did not share a commitment to the core elements of our constitutional republic itself (for example, an independent judiciary, a robust and free press, truthful debate, avoidance of conflicts, and foreign and economic interests not in our country's interest). Trump's assaults on so many communities (immigrants, women, Muslims, people of color, Jews, the majority who voted for Clinton, Democrats, judges, the press, etc.) remain alarming. And above all that, the Putin/Trump connections and Trump's effective collusion with Putin's efforts to destabilize liberal democracy not just here in the US but in Europe and around the world, demands investigation and action. This administration is under a cloud of illegitimacy and must be denied the opportunity to wreak its havoc and damage wherever possible, including the Supreme Court. I am focused on that work -- and the solidarity and energy we must all show individually and through organizations fighting back -- rather than on thinking about candidates... though absolutely we must all be political and think about how to build a firewall and then win in key states as well as in Congress in 2018.

  • Sarah Fein
    2mo ago

    And do you think a female candidate will be in the cards for the next election?

    And do you think a female candidate will be in the cards for the next election?

    • Evan Wolfson
      Evan Wolfson Founder & President of Freedom to Marry
      2mo ago

      Why not? Women need to be at the forefront, need to run for office at every level, and need to be encouraged and recognized... and happily have already been stepping up and playing central roles. We need all of us.

      Why not? Women need to be at the forefront, need to run for office at every level, and need to be encouraged and recognized... and happily have already been stepping up and playing central roles. We need all of us.

  • Slightly Mad
    [deleted]
    2mo ago

    [deleted]

    [deleted]

  • Slightly Mad
    2mo ago

    I am not a fan of a federal law (please notice I said federal) requiring special accommodations to a group of people that are approximately .3% of the population. I don't feel such a broad mandate for such a minute number is appropriate on a federal level. I personally would prefer these type laws or mandates be handled on a county by county basis. I believe allowing the counties or local governments to handle these mandates allows for great attention to detail for the group that they are trying to help. Obviously the percentage of people that are identified as transgender will vary depending on the area, those with higher percentage of transgenders within the community should make greater accommodations than those without any. I think all people should be valued and treated equally, hopefully we can get more people thinking of how to make this happen without attacking one another or spewing such hatred towards those that disagree. I see so much negative energy coming from groups that oppose something, I just don't see why there has to be such negativity to fuel forward movement. I guess my simple question is how productive do you believe it is for groups to be anti something? It seems many are focused on being anti something and lose focus on their message and presenting logical reasons why their point of view should be listened to. Like I mentioned I am not for a federal mandate for such a small percentage of people and believe that this should be handled on a local level so better accommodations can be made without affecting everybody. That doesn't mean I wouldn't listen to somebody with an opposing point of view that could explain why a federal mandate would be better and more beneficial to everyone. Your thoughts? Wish you the best of luck though with your efforts.

    I am not a fan of a federal law (please notice I said federal) requiring special accommodations to a group of people that are approximately .3% of the population. I don't feel such a broad mandate for such a minute number is appropriate on a federal level. I personally would prefer these type laws or mandates be handled on a county by county basis. I believe allowing the counties or local governments to handle these mandates allows for great attention to detail for the group that they are trying to help. Obviously the percentage of people that are identified as transgender will vary depending on the area, those with higher percentage of transgenders within the community should make greater accommodations than those without any. I think all people should be valued and treated equally, hopefully we can get more people thinking of how to make this happen without attacking one another or spewing such hatred towards those that disagree. I see so much negative energy coming from groups that oppose something, I just don't see why there has to be such negativity to fuel forward movement. I guess my simple question is how productive do you believe it is for groups to be anti something? It seems many are focused on being anti something and lose focus on their message and presenting logical reasons why their point of view should be listened to. Like I mentioned I am not for a federal mandate for such a small percentage of people and believe that this should be handled on a local level so better accommodations can be made without affecting everybody. That doesn't mean I wouldn't listen to somebody with an opposing point of view that could explain why a federal mandate would be better and more beneficial to everyone. Your thoughts? Wish you the best of luck though with your efforts.


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Evan Wolfson
Founder & President of Freedom to Marry

Long-time civil rights leader Evan Wolfson lives in New York City, where he founded Freedom to Marry, the campaign to win marriage nationwide, and served as president through its epic victory in June 2015 until its closing in early 2016. Having achieved the goal he had pursued for 32 years, [...]

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