The People's Victory: Stories from the Front Lines in the Fight for Marriage Equality
In 1996, a small group of Americans from all walks of life banded together to create one of the most miraculous political victories in modern American history. Opponents attacked the issue of marriage equality as amoral and a direct threat to families. Allies warned that it was a generation away from being practicable and a selfish drain of precious political capital.
A stirring oral history told by those who almost inexplicably found themselves fighting on the front lines, The People's Victory recounts the successes – and the setbacks – that only served to strengthen everyone’s resolve to resist, fight, and bring equal marriage rights to an entire nation. Through it all, these love warriors found their voice and home in Marriage Equality USA, the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots organization of its kind. While high profile books, articles and documentaries have covered the judicial and legislative machinations, this book puts a human face on the people who made the everyday personal sacrifices to keep the movement alive.
The People’s Victory shares deeply moving personal testimonies of over sixty people, from Marvin Burrows, who was forced out of his home and lost many treasured possessions after losing his lost his partner of fifty years; to Kate Burns, who risked arrest for the first time when she stood up for her relationship; to Mike Goettemoeller, who pushed his mother in a wheelchair with Marriage Equality USA to fulfill her dream of marching in a Pride parade.
Edie Windsor, the triumphant lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case United States vs. Windsor recounts shouting down a major LGBTQ organization with “I’m 77 years old and I can’t wait!!” when they attempted to belittle marriage as a critical issue. Writer and producer Del Shores shares the touching moment his young teenage daughter used tears and laughter to console him after the passage of Proposition 8 in California dealt a blow to the cause.
The People’s Victory is an inspirational roadmap for anyone who has felt passionately about an issue, but has questioned whether one person’s contribution can make a difference. These candid accounts once again prove that every movement for important social change must be built on the acts of everyday. In fact, that is the only way the people have ever been victorious.
In his introduction, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom writes: “I hope these stories inspire you to resist, to fight, to win and in the end write the next stories in our continuing push for a more just and perfect union.”
About the author
Marriage Equality USA (MEUSA) was the nation’s oldest organization and largest grassroots-driven movement 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.
Founded in 1996, MEUSA had over 40,0000 members as well as volunteer leaders and partner organizations in all 50 states, it is 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.
They believe in a world that protects and celebrates families without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity. Their mission was to secure legally recognized civil marriage equality for LGBTQ families at the state and federal level through grassroots organizing, education, action and partnerships, which they achieved when the Supreme Court ruled for marriage equality fundamental rights & equal protection in Obergefell v. Hodges.
These are the stories of those driven to volunteer, which inspired and fortified the movement for equality.