I am a proud gay CEO.
I am a proud gay CEO who is getting married this Saturday, August 18, 2012.
As noted in today’s New York Times, I’m hopeful that my being visible, vocal and active will help further the push for marriage equality. I’m hopeful that my actions will spur other gay entrepreneurs and executives to use their own unique positions to support this important movement. We’re on the right side of progress on this issue. National polls now show a clear majority of Americans are in support of marriage equality. Young people especially support marriage equality. In time, we will prevail.
But, it will also take many more fights and a whole lot of effort to get there. Change will come, but only with a lot more hard work ahead.
My fiance, Christian Schoenherr, and I got engaged on April 22, 2011. At the time, we promised ourselves that we would get married when it was legal. Two months later, in June 2011, New York State became the largest state to legalize gay marriage. Chris and I quickly set August 18, 2012, as the date for our big day.
Over the last few months, as our wedding day drew near, Chris and I went searching for the perfect wedding gift for each other. We wanted to give each other a gift that would help more people in more towns and more cities and more states get legally married.
We’re excited to announce that as our wedding gift to each other, Chris and I are the founding/principal donors behind TheFour2012.com, a new social media campaign launching soon in support of marriage equality in the four states where it is on the ballot this November. TheFour2012.com is a new online effort focused on creating and distributing cutting-edge social media content to excite pro-equality voters in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington State. This November, as the country goes to the polls to elect a President, Maine will be voting on whether to legalize same sex marriage, Maryland and Washington voters will decide whether to confirm or reject marriage equality laws enacted by their legislatures, and Minnesota will vote on a proposed state constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality.
TheFour2012.com is the first marriage equality campaign squarely focused on reaching and influence younger voters via social media with original online content.
There’s a palpable sense that this is a big, big moment for the marriage-equality movement. Never before have a majority of voters in any state elected to legalize same-sex marriage, but polls in Maryland, Maine and Washington suggest that majorities there do indeed support it, and the issue has caught fire nationally in a whole new way over the last year. The timing seems better and more hopeful now than ever before.
I left Minnesota out of the above paragraph because the vote there is about a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would ban same-sex marriage. Its defeat—which is what marriage-equality advocates are working for—wouldn’t mean the legalization of same-sex marriage in Minnesota.
But Maryland, Maine and Washington could indeed join the six states, along with the District of Columbia, where same-sex marriage is currently legal. In Maryland and Washington, state lawmakers earlier this year passed same-sex marriage bills that were then signed by the states’ Democratic governors, but voters are now being given a chance to overrule that.
Whether they do could boil down in large measure to turnout: in particular, to the turnout of young voters. Support for marriage equality is much, much stronger among people in their 20s and 30s than among people in their 60s and 70s. And part of what’s interesting about the effort that Goldberg and Schoenherr are helping to set into motion is that it’s directed at younger voters.
Dear betashop reader:
I would love to have you participate in this important new initiative with us. We hope it will help bring marriage equality to more Americans by exciting our supporters in these four states — and finally winning these initiative contests, which have previously been so challenging.
You can now make a donation of any size online by going to this splash page (the main site will launch soon). Your $5 could go a long way towards helping millions of people benefit from marriage equality.
Smile, you’re designed to.
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