Roadmap to Victory

Freedom to Marry’s goal is to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage once and for all. Drawing on the history of other social justice movements in the United States, Freedom to Marry has shaped the national strategy that – in partnership with many – has brought us to this point of extraordinary momentum and opportunity. That strategy, the "Roadmap to Victory," calls for advancing work on three tracks – winning more states, growing the majority, and ending federal discrimination – so that we can return to the U.S. Supreme Court with a critical mass of states and undeniable momentum in public opinion, the conditions history tells us are required for the Supreme Court to be most likely to rule for national resolution.

The United States Supreme Court has granted review of several legal cases seeking the freedom to marry, and will hear an oral argument in the cases on April 28, 2015. A decision, which could bring the freedom to marry to same-sex couples nationwide once and for all, is expected by June 2015. 

Now, in order to create the climate that maximizes the chances for a favorable ruling from the Supreme Court, Freedom to Marry will leave no stone unturned, ratcheting up our work to show without a doubt that America is ready for the freedom to marry and that every day of denial causes real harms and injustice to gay families. With aggressive earned media, digital, and field strategies, Freedom to Marry will continue to make the case that America – all of America – is ready for the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. After a long journey and much debate, we will underscore the reality that it’s time for the Supreme Court to bring the country to national resolution ensuring the freedom to marry for all loving and committed couples.

The strategy that has helped us arrive at this critical moment is the Roadmap to Victory. Read more baout each of the three tracks of the Roadmap:

Win More States

We have secured the freedom to marry in 37 states and our nation’s capital, working each year to make the most of opportunities to win more states, overturn the anti-gay constitutional amendments pushed through over the past decade, and increase momentum for the freedom to marry. We know that a critical mass of states is essential to victory: As a point of comparison, we can look to the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia, which at last granted the freedom to marry to all interracial couples in the United States. We have now won more freedom-to-marry states for same-sex couples (37) than we had won for interracial couples prior to the U.S. Supreme Court's 1967 ruling in Loving v. Virginia (34).

Freedom to Marry has worked for years to fast-track its proven strategy for winning states in all three manners available – through the legislature, at the ballot, and in court. Now, we are working to continue to keep up the momentum as the U.S. Supreme Court considers the freedom to marry in the remaining discriminating states. 

To learn more about the freedom to marry in the states, visit Freedom to Marry's States Page.

Grow The Majority For Marriage

To create a climate that empowers elected officials and judges to do the right thing - including the U.S. Supreme Court - we need to grow and diversify majority support for the freedom to marry nationwide. Again using Loving as a measure, we are doing well, having moved from just about a quarter of public support 15 years ago to supermajority support today (63%) – far better than the 70% of Americans who opposed interracial marriage in 1967.

Over the past five years, Freedom to Marry and our partners have reshaped the national conversation on marriage around winning messages focused on love, commitment, and freedom, while highlighting the journey stories of people in the "moveable middle." This shift away from a focus on abstract rights and benefits has been crucial to the exponential growth in support for marriage.

To read more about recent polling demonstrating consistent majority support for marriage, visit Freedom to Marry's Polling Resource. To find more information on why marriage matters to same-sex couples, visit Freedom to Marry's page on why marriage matters

End Federal Marriage Discrimination

Since the Supreme Court decision struck down a central part of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, Freedom to Marry has guided a multi-faceted strategy to ensure that same-sex couples who are legally married are treated as such by the federal government for all federal programs and purposes. To ensure full and fair implementation of the ruling across all programs and across the country, Freedom to Marry helped to guide work with the Obama administration. We have proudly worked closely with, and relied on the expertise of, our movement’s legal organizations.

In addition, Freedom to Marry leads the work on Capitol Hill to pass the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal DOMA in its entirety and codify that crucial programs, such as income tax and Social Security spousal and survivor benefits, must treat all married couples equally, no matter where they live. Our bipartisan federal team has helped amplify support for the Respect for Marriage Act and grow the number of cosponsors. We will continue to expand the Respect for Marriage Coalition, which Freedom to Marry created and co-chairs with HRC. 

To find out more about the federal landscape for the freedom to marry, visit Freedom to Marry's federal page on marriage.