May 26, 2006
Volume 34
Issue 21
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Tuesday, Sep 22, 2020



Organizing for marriage equality
Organizing for marriage equality
While people in Washington State and across the nation wait for the Washington Supreme Court to issue a decision in the marriage case, Equal Rights Washington (ERW) has been busy developing a plan to promote marriage equality. Regardless of the decision, ERW has designed a proactive strategy to engage thousands of people in grassroots education, advocacy, and lobbying.

The key to our success is networking. We know that peer-to-peer education-real people talking with their neighbors, family, and friends-is the most effective way to move people from fear to tolerance and from tolerance to support. Likewise, the best way to mobilize our supporters is peer-to-peer organizing-real people recruiting others in their community to send postcards, write letters to the editor, and engage in heartfelt conversations on the issue of marriage equality.

As much of our struggle will take place in the legislature, we must also sway state Senators and Representatives. Legislators need to hear from their constituents, whether Gay or straight, how important marriage equality is. That's why we're developing tools to make it easier for our advocates across the state to communicate with their legislators, engage family and friends in the effort, and identify more supporters for marriage equality who we can mobilize at key moments.

There are many ways to get involved. You can join an ERW Equality Team, a group of advocates who work to organize their own community; if there is no Equality Team in your district, you can start one! If you want to be involved, but can't make a longterm commitment, help table at community events. Write your own testimony in support of marriage equality and help us collect others; participate in the postcard campaign to communicate with legislators; take part in online action alerts and sign petitions. There is always something you can ask your friends and family to do. We make meaningful advocacy easy.

Ultimately, the strategy that will bring us victory is one of people reaching out to people- legislators and neighbors-expressing our support for marriage equality and telling our stories. Our website ( ) contains a wealth of resources and actions you can participate in. To get involved, email or call us at 206-324-2570.


Everyone has a story to tell, and those stories are powerful. It's the personal detail that brings the issue of marriage home to those who aren't sure where they stand. We need you to write a one-page testimony explaining why you support marriage equality. You can write your story and mail it to ERW, but better yet, you can enter it directly online at our website, You can even upload a picture.

When you've submitted your own testimony, encourage other people to do the same. We'd like to hear from schoolteachers and bankers, grandmothers and high school students, anyone who supports marriage equality, whether they're Gay or straight. We need to document the support for marriage equality, and we need to demonstrate the truly diverse range of people who want to see the day that all loving couples can legally marry in our state.


While we're working to secure equality in Washington state, the federal amendment is still working its way to the Senate floor in Washington, D.C. It was voted out of the Judiciary Committee 10-8 last Thursday, with the vote going according to party lines. Bill Frist has promised to bring it to the Senate floor for a vote the week of June 5. This is the time to let Senator Patty Murray and Senator Maria Cantwell know that you support marriage equality, and so should they. Encourage them not just to oppose an amendment with their votes on the floor, but to show leadership in their floor speeches and in private conversations with their colleagues. Send them handwritten letters, call their offices, or send them email. For more information, and a quick link for action, visit

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