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Freedom To Marry: Battle Won, But More to Do in Indiana

The Freedom to Marry campaign is closing up shop in the U.S., but organizers say they'll now focus on ensuring equal treatment for all. (Derek Paulson)
The Freedom to Marry campaign is closing up shop in the U.S., but organizers say they'll now focus on ensuring equal treatment for all. (Derek Paulson)
February 2, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS - The goal of the campaign known as "Freedom to Marry" was simple: to allow a couple to legally dedicate their lives to each other regardless of their sexual persuasion.

The group's founder, Evan Wolfson, says he's been campaigning for it for more than three decades. He says today, although it's legal in the United States, there are some states where gay people are not treated equally under the law, including Indiana.

The problem, he says, isn't with the people who live here.

"We've seen the business community really express strong support for non-discrimination protection, and we've seen others across the state speak out," he says. "But the governor and parts of the legislature seem really mired in the past, and are not doing Indianans any favors."

Lawmakers are debating this session whether further protections are needed for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. There is a bill under consideration, but it leaves transgender individuals out of the equation.

Wolfson says everyone needs to feel protected where they work, where they live, and when they go out to eat or to the theater. In some parts of the country, they do, but he says that isn't the case in Indiana.

"We've taken a mighty step forward, the country has really moved ahead, public opinion is growing in support," he says. "But the law is not yet where it needs to be, and we have to continue the work."

Wolfson adds although the Freedom to Marry campaign is over, his group will continue to push for civil-rights protections, and also will offer help to other countries that want to be like America and make same-sex marriage legal.

"People getting a chance to see loving and committed couples, understand better who gay couples are," says Wolfson. "Have the images of joy and security, and dignity and respect, and allow that to do its' work of changing hearts and minds."

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - IN