NPR on Marriage and Politics

This morning National Public Radio aired a broadcast about the nation’s political obsession of amending states’ constitutions to restrict marriage as between one man and one woman, and often to deny legal protections similar to marriage.

The story is largely about Virginia’s battle on this issue, but it also provides a summary of what has happened and is happening in all 50 states.

As you probably know, several states have already passed constitutional amendments. But this NPR piece starts to look at why this trend could be changing, and uses Wisconsin as an example of how we're starting to turn the tide.

For one, we are mobilizing earlier. And as Seth Kilbourn of the HRC's Marriage Project mentions, part of Wisconsin’s mobilization effort is our statewide Speakers Network that has “identified hundreds of people who will talk to their communities and civic clubs about why marriage should be available to same-sex couples.”

Secondly, Kilbourn talks about the importance of gay and lesbian people talking honestly about their lives.

I agree. This is a deeply personal issue. Whether you are gay, or just know someone who is, it’s essential to tell the stories of the real people who are hurt by the denial of marriage and who will be harmed if this amendment passes. In part, the Speakers Network exists to help you learn how to tell your own story.

I have a feeling a lot of people are afraid of the word “speaker” because they think it means getting up in front of a group of people.

Sometimes it does.

But sometimes it just means being a spokesperson for your own life, or for the life of someone you know and care about. It means being able to talk about the amendment, its consequences, and why you are voting against it.

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