Michael Crawford

21 same-sex couples part of new D.C. marriage campaign

Filed By Michael Crawford | August 07, 2009 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: gay couples, gay marriage in DC, gay rights

Now that DC recognizes same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions we are preparing for the next step: marriages legally performed in DC.

The Washington Blade has a great story about a new public educational campaign DC for Marriage. DC for Marriage is a group that I founded and now co-chair with Kellan Baker.

Michael Crawford, president of D.C. for Marriage, said that a key early component of his organization's efforts aimed at enacting same-sex marriage is working "with couples who are married -- or hoping to marry -- to engage in personal storytelling."

"Then we're going to extend it to unmarried people so we have a grassroots army of people who are equipped and trained to talk about why marriage is important, and who can spread out across the city," he said.

"The real focus is on enabling couples to share stories about why marriage is so important to gay and lesbian families. We know that the more people get to know us the more supportive they are of LGBT equality. The best way to do that is to have conversations with people about why marriage is so important."

This effort builds on DC for Marriage's pledge campaign called "I Do in DC" in which we have identified nearly 5,000 supporters of marriage equality. If you are in DC, join us on Monday, August 10 as we canvass the DC rally for the Gay Games.

Sign the "I Do in DC" pledge

The Blade goes on to profile four of the more than twenty couples that have stepped up to share their stories.

Julie and Emily

"We got married June 20, 2008, in San Francisco City Hall," Verratti said. "We were going to be in San Francisco already, since I was there for work, and the decision came down after we had bought our tickets, and they started marrying people that week. So there wasn't a lot of planning."

Tim and Derek

"When you live in Massachusetts where everyone sees you as equal, and you don't have to worry about inheritance rights, and all those other thousands of rights that come along with a marriage versus a domestic partnership, and you realize that you need to move for a job to a place that doesn't recognize marriage, words can't express that," he said. "Just because of where we were located, these rights were not available."

Sharon and Emily

"When Sharon and I talked about [how] we were going to register as domestic partners in the District, I thought to myself, 'How am I going to explain that to my family? What does it mean?'" she said.

"When we decided we were going to marry in Boston -- though we got engaged before the law passed, thinking it would happen -- it was a much easier conversation to have. I called my mom, said that we got engaged and were getting married. That word meant something to her. She knew what it was."

Donald and Paul

"We had the opportunity to get married in another state, but it never felt right to us," Hitchcock said. "I've been in D.C. for 12 years, and he's been here for about 15 years, and we thought that we didn't want to have to be second-class citizens and go to another state when we wanted to get married in the District."

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I'm so proud of everything you've accomplished in DC, Michael. You're an inspiration to us all.