What Winning Looks Like: Lessons From The Freedom To Marry Movement

This was a first for us: We were asked to help build a website for an organization that was closing its doors. But Freedom to Marry has something extraordinary to share: the story about how it won.

With much love, pride, and a whole mix of other emotions, we announce today the launch of a new website for our six-year partner, Freedom to Marry. On June 26, Freedom to Marry was able to claim “mission accomplished” when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled marriage equality the law of the land. In an act of true-to-form generosity, Freedom to Marry is making a trove of resources available to organizers everywhere. The new digital platform will tell the story of the marriage movement while providing insights for other causes fighting the good fight. Other initiatives include an oral history project hosted at UC-Berkeley, the donation of archives to Yale University, and an upcoming film by Eyepop Productions.

Here are a few words from the team that we hope will inspire you to check out the site and apply the lessons from this winning movement to achieve your own ambitious goals:

Evan Wolfson, Founder and President of Freedom to Marry:
With the fulfillment of Freedom to Marry’s singular goal of winning marriage nationwide, we knew we had a responsibility to compile, document, and archive the history and resources, tell the story, and share the lessons of the movement, strategy, and campaign that brought about this historic transformation and triumph. Every one of our staffers who was a part of the win spent time organizing archives and writing in-depth analyses of the numerous components of the campaign. These resources, and many more, will be on the new enduring Freedom to Marry legacy website. They will be available to all who seek to apply the Freedom to Marry model and campaign lessons to other work still ahead. (Read more from Evan in The Huffington Post.)

Michael Crawford, Director of Digital and Creative, Freedom to Marry:
The Freedom to Marry campaign showed the importance of integrating digital into every aspect of an organization’s work. From storytelling and message amplification to fundraising and events, we incorporated digital in every programming area. Any modern campaign that wants to be successful should be thinking deeply and seriously about making digital a core part of its work. With this new site that we built in partnership with Blue State Digital, we are excited to share what we learned winning marriage in the hope that it will inspire organizations and movements working to improve the lives of people.

Jessalyn Kiesa, Vice President, Blue State Digital:
It’s been an honor to work alongside Freedom to Marry over the past six years to develop their digital strategy and creative campaigns to rally supporters behind critical legislative, ballot, and public opinion battles. Now, as the organization looks to close their doors, they continue to have an important role to play in telling the story behind their winning strategy to create marriage equality. This website will secure Freedom to Marry’s permanent place in history by providing key resources to other activists, especially those who are fighting the next battle to end discrimination and protect LGBT rights. The team at Blue State are so proud to have been given the opportunity to work alongside Freedom to Marry on this historic issue. We hope this legacy site will provide inspiration for years to come for everyone fighting for justice and equality around the world. Cheers to this amazing community!

To learn more, we also invite you to read our e-book: Happily Ever After: Digital Storytelling Lessons from the Freedom to Marry Movement.