Marriage Equality USA

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Our Story

From 1996 until it's closing in late-2017, Marriage Equality USA (MEUSA) was the nation’s oldest organization dedicated to building equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community through civil marriage equality in every state and at the federal level. At its height, MEUSA counted over 40,000 members as well as volunteer leaders and partner organizations in all 50 states and was the largest volunteer-driven, grassroots organization of its kind engaged in education, training, organizing, action, and coalition building to win equal marriage rights and protections for LGBTQ couples and their families.

Read more about the rich history of MEUSA and how we helped win marriage in the United States.

Our Vision & Mission

"We believe in a world that protects and celebrates families without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity. Our mission is to secure legally recognized civil marriage equality for LGBTQ families at the state and federal level through grassroots organizing, education, action and partnerships."

Our Values

  • Local action & national service
  • Accountability & respect
  • Diversity & social responsibility
  • Collaboration & creativity

Our Work

MEUSA provided education, training and advocacy programs to empower individuals and organizations to advocate for their own equality. It was the home of real people whose stories and work helped to change the hearts and minds of others in order to support this critical issue. Some of our key programs included:

  • Our suite of powerful education and training tools empowered individuals to do what research has shown to be the most effective method of changing hearts and minds on this issue: educate their communities, tell their stories, and interact effectively with the media to achieve marriage equality.
  • Founded and served as the chair of the National Equality Action Team (NEAT), a standing coalition of over 60 local, state and national organizations that provided instrumental field support and leadership in almost every state that won marriage equality from 2011 - 2015.
  • The License Our Love program showed the public the painful effects that denying equality causes when LGBTQ couples requested and were denied marriage licenses. This project served as a model for similar actions across the country from the early 2000's through 2014.
  • Since 2008, MEUSA maintained one of the most comprehensive and up-to-date online portals, as well as regular email bulletins, of the most critical information in the movement for advocates, media, media and politicians; including polls, court cases, legislation and issue-specific resources regarding the impacts on social security, immigration, communities of faith and more.

Our Successes

  • With the support of MEUSA, every Americans now lives in 50 states and 4 U.S. territories where same-sex couples are able to legally marry. LGBTQ families, including their children, are now allowed to enjoy the same benefits and protections that other families have and take for granted.
  • As one of the lead organizations working with Governor Andrew Cuomo to successfully pass marriage equality in New York, MEUSA helped to create the new, successful coalition model for equality work that has been replicated across the country.
  • Provided unique leadership, training and field support in successful state pushes to win marriage equality since 2008.
  • Through our multiple training and education programs, MEUSA connected communities across the country with the personal stories of their LGBTQ friends, family and neighbors to talk about why marriage equality is important.
  • NEAT made almost 100,000 calls to educate communities on the issue as part of state campaigns for marriage equality. The coalition included members such as: The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the National Organization for Women (NOW), Freedom to Marry, People for the American Way (PFAW), and the Unitarian Universalist Association.