This week, the nationwide marriage equality advocacy group Freedom to Marry launched a million-dollar campaign to build support for marriage equality in the region of the country where hostility towards it is perhaps the strongest: the South.
The group reports, via press release:
The new effort, called Southerners for the Freedom to Marry, will include significant field and media work over the next year in partnership with supportive organizations across the region. Bipartisan co-chairs include civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who kicked off the campaign in a web ad; U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA); and George W. Bush advisor Mark McKinnon from Texas.
"Our investment in the South comes at a pivotal time in the marriage movement," said Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry. "The South is home to hundreds of thousands of loving, committed same-sex couples - and to a majority of the nearly 50 federal marriage cases now underway in courts across the country. Our new campaign will give voice to the many in the region now ready to move forward, including clergy, business leaders, conservatives, and family members, to show that all of America is ready for the freedom to marry."
For the launch, the group released a video featuring a hero of the African-American civil rights movement, Rep. John Lewis. As this incredible man notes, the freedom to marry is a civil rights issue.
Watch, after the jump.