Other Group

Freedom to Marry Global

Website:

https://www.freedomtomarryglobal.org/

Fiscal Sponsor:

Tides Adovcacy

Founded:

2015

Freedom to Marry Global is a pressure group which pushes for the normalization and legalization of homosexuality in foreign countries. The initiative is a successor to the Freedom to Marry (FTM) project in the United States and aims to build on the success of the same-sex marriage campaign, which culminated with the 2015 Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges that found that the federal government and all states had to recognize the ability same-sex couples to legally marry and receive the same rights and protections as opposite-sex married couples.

Following Obergefell, the campaign expanded into a global effort with support from the Tides Nexus collective of left-of-center philanthropic entities. FTM alumni who have gone on to work on Freedom to Marry Global include president Evan Wolfson and former research and messaging director Thalia Zepatos. According to FTM Global, same-sex marriage is both an objective by itself and a tool for further mainstreaming of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people around the world. [1]

Freedom to Marry

For more information, see Freedom to Marry.

Freedom to Marry was the activist organization which ran the pressure campaign of the same name which aimed to have same-sex marriages recognized in the United States at the state and national level. The organization played a key role in the success of the movement. After the 2015 favorable Supreme Court ruling, FTM pivoted to pressuring the government to further expand legal privileges for LGBT people, but the organization went inactive shortly after accomplishing its primary objective. Tax year 2016 was the last for which it reported any activity. [2] [3]

FTM received significant financial support from some of the world’s largest businesses, including the broadcasting conglomerate Comcast and the sportswear giant Nike. Dozens of the most influential left-of-center philanthropic institutions in the United States, including the Arcus Foundation, the Proteus Fund, and the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund. The Open Society Network, the international grantmaking collective of billionaire activist George Soros, also backed FTM. In addition, the campaign received a small donation from Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the daughter and son-in-law of President Donald Trump, and large contributions from Republican donors Peter Thiel and Paul Singer. [4]

Fiscal Sponsor

Tides Advocacy, a major left-of-center activism incubator, provides fiscal sponsorship and administrative support to Freedom to Marry Global. The organization has changed its name several times and has distanced itself from other entities within the Tides left-of-center philanthropic network – including the Tides Foundation and Tides Center – but remains connected to the network through its leadership and board of directors. Both Tides Advocacy and the network as a whole take extensive measures to conceal the sources of its grants and maintain the anonymity of its donors. [5]

Initiatives

Since 2018, Freedom to Marry Global has been raising funds for LGBT activist groups in Taiwan in order to build on a the Constitutional Court ruling holding that same-sex marriages were to be recognized. In November 2018, NBC News quoted FTM Global advisor Cameron Tolle calling Taiwan “the top priority for us right now as a global battleground.” [6]

In March 2022, FTM Global director Evan Wolfson co-signed a letter from the left-of-center pressure group Human Rights Watch which praised the government of the Republic of Kosovo for taking steps towards normalizing homosexuality within its territory. However, the letter also included a complaint that same-sex unions were not benefiting from the “social, familial, and cultural” benefits of marriage. [7]

Leadership

Evan Wolfson is the head of Freedom to Marry Global, and was the founder and president of Freedom to Marry. Throughout his career as a left-of-center activist lawyer, he was involved in numerous cases related to LGBT issues, including the 1993 Hawaii same-sex marriage case, the unsuccessful attempt to compel the Boy Scouts of America into accepting gay members in 2000, and Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015. Since then, he has worked as a consultant to other left-of-center activist groups in addition to running FTM Global within Tides Advocacy. [8]

References

  1. Freedom to Marry Global. Accessed July 25, 2022. https://www.freedomtomarryglobal.org/ ^
  2. “About Us.” Freedom to Marry. Accessed July 22, 2022. http://www.freedomtomarry.org/pages/about-us ^
  3. “Freedom To Marry Inc.” ProPublica Nonprofit Explorer. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/800544853 ^
  4. “Thank You to Our Amazing Donors.” Freedom to Marry. Accessed July 22, 2022. http://www.freedomtomarry.org/pages/Major-Donors ^
  5. Freedom to Marry Global. Accessed July 25, 2022. https://www.freedomtomarryglobal.org/ ^
  6. Chris Fuchs. “In a U.S. landmark of LGBT history, Americans raise funds for those in Taiwan.” NBC News. November 8, 2018. Accessed August 1, 2022. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/u-s-landmark-lgbt-history-americans-raise-funds-those-taiwan-n932091 ^
  7. Graeme Reid and Evan Wolfson. “Joint Letter to Authorities in Kosovo Regarding the Freedom to Marry.” Human Rights Watch. March 16, 2022. Accessed July 22, 2022. https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/03/16/joint-letter-authorities-kosovo-regarding-freedom-marry ^
  8. “Evan Wolfson.” Freedom to Marry. Accessed July 22, 2022. http://www.freedomtomarry.org/the-team/entry/Evan-Wolfson ^
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