Marriage Equality USA believes full civil marriage equality is a key step in fulfilling our vision of "a world that celebrates and protects all families" - a world where we have not just legal equality but “lived" equality as well. Our organizational values demand of us a level of social responsibility to stand up and support full equality in every community we and our partner organizations represent, regardless of whether the issues directly relate to our core goal.
It is for that reason MEUSA has signed on to two key campaigns these last few weeks - the creation of a fully inclusive Michigan Womyn's Music Festival embracing transgender women and to respond to the tragic killing of Michael Brown by standing with the mothers and fathers of young black men and women to demand communities free of fear, harassment and brutality.
"Many individuals and organizations are questioning the purpose of creating exclusionary spaces, like MichFest, where gender is decided by the shape of one's body rather than the essence of one's mind," explained Denise Norris, a transgender advocate and member of the MEUSA Board. "The ongoing attempts to define gender along exclusionary lines - whether at MichFest or in any space - are out of step with the modern progressive equality movement."
"As a black man and father to three beautiful black children, I am outraged by the senseless shooting of Michael Brown, a young black man who could have easily been one of my two sons," said MEUSA Board Member Duane Taylor. "Our society has an obligation to protect our children and we cannot live up to this charge unless we see each other as equals and honor each other as human beings."
"As an organization that believes in full equality, we must stand in solidarity with each other when events like these happen. As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King said so eloquently, 'injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,'" commented Brian Silva, MEUSA Executive Director. "We will continue to stand alongside those who fight with us for equal marriage rights so they too can realize their full lived equality."