Gay Marriage

Gay Marriage Activist Group to Celebrate Victory by Shutting Down Forever

Mission accomplished

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So long, farewell, auf weidershen, good night.
Freedom to Marry

After the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples can demand marriage recognition under the 14th Amendment, the celebrations were mixed with new calls for action to focus on other issues of concern to some (but not all) members of the LGBT community: employment or housing discrimination, public accommodations discrimination, and other matters. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Human Rights Campaign, both heavyweights in the community, are now already pivoting to these matters (though technically these have always been issues these groups have been tackling).

Not so for Freedom to Marry. The group, founded in 2003 by civil rights lawyer Evan Wolfson to fight for same-sex marriage recognition, is marking the occasion by having a big party and then doing something unusual in non-profit activist circles: It's going away. The party was last week—Vice President Joe Biden and pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen (remember "Call Me, Maybe"?) joined the celebration. Now, as the Wall Street Journal explains, it's time to shut it all down:

The next morning, Mr. Wolfson said he and his "bleary-eyed" team met to plan the shutdown. Most of the 30 or so on staff will be gone by December, he said, while "a little rump of us" will remain to turn out the lights in February.

Scholars of social movements say it is unusual, if not unheard-of, for activist groups to pull the plug when their mission is accomplished. Far more typical is to find a new cause, said Stanford University sociologist Douglas McAdam.

"The classic study is the March of Dimes, which effectively put itself out of business by helping to end polio," Mr. McAdam said. Rather than shut down, "they just took all of their organizational wisdom and their tried-and-true methods [of fundraising] and reoriented them from polio to birth defects."

But Freedom to Marry will not be shifting gears to worry about whether bakers will provide wedding cakes for these happy couples or other hot topics. Instead, Wolfson says he'll be helping the employees find new causes to work for and making sure the group's records are properly archived for history.

There are some fears represented in the story that Freedom to Marry is calling it quits too soon. A sociologist offers the desegregation example. Even after the Supreme Court declared segregation in schools illegal, it took years for it the decision to be fully implemented in some resistant Southern states.

While there is some resistance from clerks who don't want to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, there's little indication that states as a whole are going to refuse to comply with the Supreme Court in this case. But even if they do, it's not clear that Freedom to Marry needs to continue to exist in order to force compliance.

Below, the video Freedom to Marry put together to commemorate the history of the fight:

NEXT: Portland State University Will Shut Down Political Activity If It's 'Triggering'

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  1. I guess those still not free to marry can go fuck themselves.

    1. Wait… you’re only allowed to fuck others of you’re married?!

    2. “” free to marry””

      Who was that? I’m pretty sure there’s a Church of Something somewhere that is groovy with blessing any promises.

      Of course, it wont change their tax-returns.

      1. Yes, yes. No one apparently cares that freedom to marry may not be synonymous with freedom to get a license, but polygamy is still an actual crime in America, no?

        COULDN’T THIS GROUP AT LEAST HAND THE NAME OFF TO THE MORMONS OR SOMETHING?

        1. Is it an actual crime?

          1. Yes. Bigamy is a crime in most (all?) states.

            1. What about “smallamy”?

              1. Small Amy is legal while Big Amy is doing time. The legal system is sizeist.

                1. In order to asses the justness of this decision, I need to know just where Amy is “big”.

                  1. I thought Bigamy Smallsamy was dead?

          2. It was in Utah until recently, when it was struck down.

  2. That should be “civil rights lawyer Evan (Cincinnatus) Wolfson”.

    Good for him.

    1. +1 Cabbage farmer.

  3. don’t look at us. it’s not like Bill’s dick fell off.

  4. I’m hoping that everyone here who predicted that FtM would continue on and undertake new goals will have the intellectual honesty to say you were wrong.

    Fist, seems FtM are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

    1. Well, there are the advocates who truly wanted the financial and symbolic benefits of legally recognized marriage. Then there are the people who wanted a political drum to beat, and this one was convenient. The latter aren’t going anywhere.

    2. “”everyone here who predicted that FtM would continue on and undertake new goals will have the intellectual honesty to say you were wrong.””

      Everyone here?

      because we’re a univocal mass of gay-haters, Tonio?

      Do you actually have a single example of *anyone* (forget ‘everyone’) making the claim that this particular group was going to jump to… i don’t know… some other crucial social cause?

      And how would the example of just this one group in any way change the reality that the vast majority of “activists” always do just that? Its cute and all, but its not like Fenton Communications wasn’t originally Gay Men’s Health Crisis, and now is a billion-dollar one-stop-stop for anyone with a Progressive axe to grind

      1. Um, no, Gilmore. Try reading that again. Or being less dishonest.

      2. So now when one group does what the commenters say “virtually no one” would do, it doesn’t count as something to celebrate because the commenters didn’t say this specific group wouldn’t do it?

        1. Do you actually have a single example of *anyone* (forget ‘everyone’) making the claim that this particular group was going to jump to… i don’t know… some other crucial social cause?

          Ooops…except for right there, eh Gilmore?

        2. Oh man that was a good thread. Whoever that guy was storming off in a huff…delicious.

        3. Thanks, Nikki! You’re the worst.

          1. Oh, I can do better.

            1. Well that’s a bit on the nose.

            2. Ein Barde und ein Holzhacker|6.26.15 @ 4:36PM|#

              And not a single person has gone to prison for marrying gay. So nobody’s freedom to marry has been violated.

              reply to this

              Oh man.

        4. Say, does this look to you like a group that’s refusing to establish a niche market in victim politics and incentivize people to *heighten* the degree to which they accuse people of ‘anti-homo bigotry’?

    3. Well that shows all you racists.

    4. I would have assumed they stay in business like MADD, the Feminists, Race Baitors, etc…

    5. I made no specific references to FtM.

      I did predict, based on what they were actually saying, that gay activists were already gleefully predicting a tidal wave of lawsuits aimed at employers, etc.

      Which, I might point out, is confirmed in the article above.

    6. Were people singling them out, or just activists in general?

      Regardless, good for them. Rare character from political groups.

      1. Both.

    7. “the celebrations were mixed with new calls for action to focus on other issues of concern to some (but not all) members of the LGBT community: employment or housing discrimination, public accommodations discrimination, and other matters. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Human Rights Campaign, both heavyweights in the community, are now already pivoting to these matters…”

  5. We should celebrate this. Point to them as shining examples of rightness. Imagine if MADD had declared victory in 1995. They wouldn’t be a sadd temperance organization who politicos pay lip service to after their DUIs.

    1. Absolutely. It’s rarely a good thing when the cause becomes perpetuating the organization for the sake of the organization.

      1. perpetuating the organization for the sake of the organization

        + United Nations

        1. +1 United States government, at least 90% of it.

          1. Wow! Look at the anarchist over here!

            /Civil “servant”

            1. You’re right. I don’t have to say it about the whole government. Just the administrative agencies.

      2. +1 Bureaucracy expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy

    2. “”They wouldn’t be a sadd”

      oh, brett. that was low.

  6. Yeah, I do have to admire a group that decides they’ve won, or has gone far enough, or accomplished what they want – whatever – and moves on. Good for them.

  7. No scope creep. Huzzah!

  8. I thought the FtM video was pretty cool. And I think the decision to shut down is admirable. I’m a little disappointed that the vid just showed Obama the defender and celebrant of gay marriage. It would have been more honest and a useful point to show his early position juxtaposed with his current one.

  9. This is a damn good thing.

    Was listening to the radio the other day and there was a commercial on about how one in five kids is worried about potentially missing a meal sometime in the next 23 years or something. The won the fight against hunger but they need to lower the bar to stay relevant and keep their phony baloney jobs.

  10. Once I landed a wife, I tried to disband the organization I had founded in order to secure one, but I was voted off the board and they became Kickstarter.

    1. Thank you for “Chroma Squad” then.

      1. You won’t thank me once they reveal what their actual ultimate goal is.

        I would tell you the whole plot, but I signed a non-binding confidentiality agreement, and I’d feel like a douche if I spilled all the beans.

        It involves mass child-rape.

        And space robots.

        1. Too late.

          I already saw Legend of the Overfiend.

          1. Ah, freshman year of college. Such memories. Memories of wanking.

  11. This group and its progtard fans should be thanking the Citizens United ruling which protects its right to free speech.

  12. Good for Wolfson and Freedom to Marry.

    Comments are impressively predictable. Good work everyone!

    1. Hey, I did my best to derail it, goddamnit.

      1. Which is pretty JJ of you, no?

  13. Gay Marriage Activist Group to Celebrate Victory by Shutting Down Forever

    You know what’s ironic? This is the sort of organization that we need to stay open.

    Imagine if all the other ‘activist’ groups could stay on message and walk away when they achieved their goals rather than becoming more extremist in their demands as previous goals are reached.

    Imagine what the world could be like if MADD had closed down. If Greenpeace had kept its ‘pro-environment’ message.

  14. Why’s it take so long to shut such a small office?

    1. Serious Q. I don’t think it’d take long to sell & remove the furniture. Does the personnel staff need to stay around to process documents relating to the people they laid off? If so, how could they ever go away, considering they’d need to be present after their own unemployment?

      1. Ooo, I think I got it! I found a Wikipedia entry, Closure (business), that said, “in the case of a non-profit, by law[clarification needed] any remaining assets must be distributed to another non-profit.” Maybe they’ve got $, & it’s simplest to just keep paying everyone’s salary until the funds are exhausted.

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  16. Good cause im tired of gay.

    1. No one’s stopping you from going back to women.

  17. Lambda Legal isn’t closing down:

    “Our Work Continues…

    “Here’s what’s next:

    “Finishing the work of securing the freedom to marry in all states and territories by challenging discrimination or resistance to implementation and making sure marriages of same-sex couples are respected everywhere.

    “Stopping the backlash and resisting efforts to craft overly broad loopholes to antidiscrimination protections at the federal, state and local levels.

    “Confirming that transgender people are protected under laws barring sex discrimination in employment, housing, education and public accommodations, and eliminating exclusions of transition-related health care for transgender people from Medicaid, Veterans Affairs, government employee and private insurance health coverage.

    “Addressing the needs of LGBT youth and the children of LGBT individuals and families including significantly improving school policies and practices aimed at reducing anti-LGBT bullying, discrimination and the “school-to-prison pipeline.”

    “Defending the rights of seniors who face discrimination related to their sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status, including discrimination by staff and residents at senior centers and denial of equal Social Security benefits and survivor benefits.

    1. “Securing state and federal non-discrimination laws expressly barring discrimination in employment, housing, education and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

      “Increasing protections for same-sex couples who are not married.

      “Improving treatment of LGBT people and people living with HIV by law enforcement authorities and in the penal and juvenile justice systems.

      “Fighting for comprehensive immigration reform and just treatment for immigrants in detention who are LGBT or living with HIV.

      “Developing more robust strategies for respecting and meeting the needs of people with non-binary sexual orientations and gender identities.

      “Expanding the ways in which the needs of LGBT communities of color are addressed, including working to redress the ways in which racial and economic inequality and injustice affect LGBT people and people living with HIV.

      “Protecting our federal and state courts against attacks and policies that limit their effectiveness in upholding civil rights and providing access to justice for all.”

      So once these remaining issues are wrapped up, Lambda Legal will close up shop, too!

      http://www.lambdalegal.org/blo…..-continues

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