How do you turn private support into public action?
The freedom to marry is one of the defining civil rights issues of our time, and one that a majority of Americans support. Freedom to Marry, the campaign to win marriage nationwide, led the effort to win marriage in more states, grow public support, and create the climate necessary for the Supreme Court to bring the country to national resolution on the issue. It was a monumental effort. The organization enlisted Blue State Digital to help build the organization’s digital presence and to mobilize a community of supporters ready to take action to achieve ambitious goals.
Together, we designed and developed a new web experience to make the case for the freedom to marry, while giving visitors easy ways to donate, take action, and find important information. From there, we launched a series of powerful campaigns over paid media, social media, and email, using storytelling and clear calls to action to rally supporters behind critical legislative, ballot, and public opinion battles.
Since 2009, Freedom to Marry has grown its supporter base by more than 3,000% and increased donations substantially. The organization has played a leading role in winning marriage equality nationwide by shaping the national conversation around this issue. With each campaign, the Freedom to Marry family grew, giving the organization and its supporters critical grassroots power to make the freedom to marry nationwide a reality.
Partnering with Blue State Digital helped us win the freedom to marry nationwide by pushing our program forward, strengthening our use of social, and communicating our message in innovative waysMichael Crawford, Director of Digital and Creative, Freedom to Marry
Asking Obama to say “I do”
In March 2011, Freedom to Marry sent an open letter to President Obama to publicly support the freedom to marry. They enlisted celebrity signers to generate buzz in the press and on social media, which attracted more than 122,000 Americans to add their names to the letter. The campaign ended on May 9, 2012, when President Obama became the first sitting president to publicly voice support for the freedom to marry.
Enlisting LGBT soldiers to battle DOMA
In 2012 Freedom to Marry partnered with OutServe-SLDN on a multimedia campaign to shine a spotlight on how the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) harmed military families. To inspire people to get involved, we created seven videos, including the Webby-winning “Same Skin,” in which two soldiers revealed their battle scars but not whether they were gay or straight, underscoring that it is service, not sexual preference, that distinguishes our armed forces. President Obama cited DOMA’s impact on service members when voicing his support for the freedom to marry in May 2012.
Making the case to the Supreme Court
In 2013, we helped build momentum for marriage as the U.S. Supreme Court considered cases regarding DOMA and Proposition 8. The “Right Side of History” campaign included a specially designed Tumblr that armed Freedom to Marry supporters with smart and sharable graphics that helped make the case that America was ready for marriage nationwide. The “I’m One of Them” graphic alone resulted in 3.5 million impressions on Facebook.
Rallying Southerners for the Freedom to Marry
In 2014, we mounted the “Southerners for the Freedom to Marry” campaign, aimed at growing support for the freedom to marry in the South and making the case that Americans in every region of the country is ready for marriage. The campaign included a look at the Peoples family—Chi, Jessica, and their 7-year-old daughter Nailah—as they seek legal recognition for their love in the South.
Telling the U.S. Supreme Court that #LoveMustWin
On April 28, 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court held oral arguments on federal cases that could make the freedom to marry the law of the land. To show the nation’s sweeping support of marriage equality, we created #LoveMustWin, a cross-channel campaign that sparked over 54,000 uses of the hashtag, generated participation from nearly 100 influencers (everyone from Hillary Clinton to Ben & Jerry’s shared the love), and earned placements in over a dozen media outlets, from Funny or Die toThe Washington Post.
And on Friday, June 26, 2015 the freedom to marry became the law of the land. #LoveWins!