Following last week's historic ruling in Iowa, in which a Polk County judge found no good reason for excluding same-sex couples from marriage, Freedom to Marry is releasing a new online publication, Candidates' Guide on How to Support Marriage Equality and Get Elected.
The guide explains that candidates should support the freedom to marry not just because it is the right thing to do, but also because it is in their interest. The guide also makes the case, reinforced last week in Iowa, that the debate over ending marriage discrimination will not go away, and lays out for candidates how to stand on clear principle, make the case for ending exclusion and throw the challenge back at opponents.
"Candidates' stand on ending the denial of the freedom to marry signifies a lot about their values, character, and authenticity," Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry and author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality and Gay People's Right to Marry, said in a statement. "To help them rise to fairness, it's important that we create a space for more Americans and their elected representatives by talking about why marriage matters and the need to end exclusion."
After a month of discussion about whether candidates could or should avoid talking about marriage prompted by the Aug. 9 HRC/Logo presidential forum, August ended with the powerful marriage ruling in Iowa, a state which for many is an epicenter of presidential campaigns.
As Freedom to Marry noted throughout August in a series of articles, candidates, even those saying marriage is primarily "a state issue," will continue to be pressed to talk about marriage discrimination.
The Candidates' Guide offers assistance in answering questions such as why marriage matters, the difference between the freedom to marry and parallel or lesser legal mechanisms such as civil union and how to respond to opponents' claims.
As the Harkin Steak Fry approaches on Sept. 16, with most of the Democratic presidential candidates scheduled to attend, and as Republican candidates so far have criticized the Iowa judge for doing his job, Freedom to Marry suggested candidates should use the new guide to be ready to discuss how court decisions such as the ruling for marriage in Iowa represent fairness for families and the American values the candidates profess.
The Candidates' Guide on How to Support Marriage Equality and Get Elected is available on the Freedom to Marry website in pdf form. For further reading on last week's Iowa court decision, visit Freedom to Marry's Iowa decision information webpage.
Source: Freedom to Marry
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