Why Marriage Matters to Women

Women play an especially important role in securing the freedom to marry for all committed couples. Whether they are in committed relationships, currently being denied the full freedom to marry, daughters of same-sex couples, or family and friends of gay and lesbian couples, women's voices have a unique place in the struggle to end the discriminatory exclusion from marriage.

Polling consistently reports that a majority of women support the freedom to marry. In a recent poll, CNN found that 67 percent of those who believed that gays and lesbians had a constitutional right to get married are women. An analysis of national polling by Third Way found that 54 percent of marriage supporters are women. This trend in female majority support is also echoed in states throughout the country and cuts across age, with Quinnipiac reporting that 58 percent of marriage supporters in New York are women and the Rhode Island Marriage Coalition finding that 56 percent of women over 50 support the freedom to marry in Rhode Island.

"History confirms the power of women as a force for change when we lead the way and are joined by like-minded men. Courageous women have seen problems in our society and acted. To cite only a few examples, women’s leadership ended child labor and changed the law to protect girls and women from abuse and violence. Women sought and won the right to vote and the opportunities to go to school, participate in sports, work without sexual harassment, and gain credit in their own names. Women have already made a huge difference as a force for change, and we continue to make critical contributions just about everywhere.”

—Linda Tarr-Whelan, “Women Lead the Way: Your Guide to Stepping Up to Leadership and Changing the World.” 2009

Blog Posts Related to Women

The 11 most viral marriage moments of 2013

We've celebrated some incredible wins for the marriage movement again and again this year. Here, we reflect on the stories and faces who helped carry those messages: the most "viral" marriage moments and photos of 2013.

Governor Gregoire will introduce marriage legislation in Washington

Days before the start of the state's legislative session, Washington Governor Chris Gregoire announced that she will introduce legislation to extend marriage to gay and lesbian couples.

Thousands of Mainers ask Senator Collins to cosponsor the Respect for Marriage Act

Today, Freedom to Marry, EqualityMaine, Courage Campaign, GLAD, Maine Women's Lobby and the ACLU of Maine hand delivered over 2,300 signatures from Senator Susan Collins' constituents asking her to cosponsor the Respect for Marriage Act.

See All »

Resources Related to Women

Poll Finds Majority of New Yorkers Support the Freedom to Marry

A Quinnipiac University poll found by the highest margin ever, 56 – 37 percent, New Yorkers support the freedom to marry.

Speech: Is the Freedom to Marry Inevitable?

In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Freedom to Marry President Evan Wolfson was invited to the University of Michigan Law School to deliver a keynote address on the struggle for civil rights in the context of marriage for same-sex couples.

Hospital Visitation Rights for Gay, Lesbian Partners Take Effect

In January 2011, new federal regulations went into effect prohibiting healthcare institutions participating in Medicaid and Medicare from denying visitation rights based on sexual orientation.

See All »