July 12, 2011
By Adam Bink
One of the biggest uses of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Respect for Marriage Act will be media coverage and education. I spend a lot of time explaining to family, friends, and colleagues what DOMA is and the specific harms it causes. Polling shows when the public is educated about DOMA, they oppose it, so this serves as another way to spread the word and raise awareness.
To that end, we get often calls here at the Courage Campaign from the media asking if we know this or that person or couple around a specific “moment.” We saw that with Ed and Derence, and Shane Mayer/John Quintana in San Francisco around the California Supreme Court’s decision to wait months before looking at the issue of standing — the media used them as “human interest stories.”
To that end, below is a note we sent out to some Courage members today, looking for those stories so we have them in hand. If you, or someone you know, has a DOMA horror story, so to speak, please click here to tell us what it is. If the media calls looking for a story like yours, one of us here at Courage will be in touch, and your story could appear in local or national media like Ed and Derence’s. We can then use it to educate the public, together.
Thanks for telling your story!
We just learned that any day now, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Sen. Feinstein’s Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA). The media spotlight will be on, and this will be our best chance in a long time to educate the public on what DOMA is, how it’s hurting families, and why it has to go.
Whenever there are hearings like this, media outlets often call us here at the Courage Campaign looking for a human interest angle; a story to make DOMA compelling. And we want that angle to be YOU.
We have momentum, Adam. Thanks to efforts of Courage members like you, we picked up the 10 votes we need on the Judiciary Committee to pass this bill, including every Democrat. We’re up to 29 Senators on board and our nationwide field network is working on more.
This hearing will make headlines around the country. From local newspapers (maybe yours!) to national TV and radio, the media will look for stories that articulate the damage DOMA is causing to same-sex couples. Stories of bi-national couples torn apart because they can’t get a visa the way straight couples can; of couples paying thousands of dollars in extra taxes because they can’t file jointly; of Social Security, disability, or veterans’ issues related to DOMA — or even divorce. And that’s what we do here at the Courage Campaign: storytelling.
Thanks for all you do,
— Rick, Adam, Arisha, Caitlin, Anthony, Phyllis and the rest of the team at the Courage Campaign
Chip in today to continue our work on DOMA.