Equality California enlists clergy to help fight gay marriage ban
Equality California (EQCA), the advocacy group fighting to win back gay marriage in California, is seeking to enlist 1,000 clergy members to help change attitudes in the state.
The campaign, titled Win Marriage Back: Make it Real!, will feature television advertisements, faith outreach, on-the-ground organisers, door-to-door canvassing and online activism.
Andrea Shorter, EQCA coalition coordinator, said: “This campaign is for every person in every community in every part of our state, and it will empower our diverse community and allies to win marriage back together.
“We will also enlist 1,000 clergy in the next 100 days to help spread the word that marriage equality is a spiritual value as well as a civil right.”
Two television ads are to air today featuring straight and gay Californians hurt by the ban on same-sex marriage.
EQCA marriage director Marc Solomon said: “While we remain hopeful that the court could invalidate Prop 8, we cannot wait another day to take action.
“We are launching the most extensive campaign of its kind to talk openly and honestly with Californians on their front porches, online and over the airwaves in order to achieve full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community members.”
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It is hoped the campaign will reach 300,000 Californians in person, and millions via television, radio and online.
Over the next hundred days, volunteer canvassers will knock on 40,000 doors in targeted communities as well as enlist 100,000 activists to serve as Equality Ambassadors, who will pledge to have conversations about marriage with at least 300,000 California residents.
EQCA is currently hiring and placing 25 full-time field organisers throughout the state, including the Central Valley, the Inland Empire, San Diego, Sacramento, Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
Proposition 8 banned gay marriage in California in November 2008 but the California Supreme Court is now considering whether to overturn the ban. The judges have until June 3rd to come to a decision.
Supporters of gay marriage have argued that Prop 8 is unconstitutional and discriminatory as it defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.
The issue is over whether a voting majority can overrule minority rights previously recognised by the court, as it had previously declared that gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry.
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