Four companies come together to raise funds for Freedom to Marry initiative

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Four LGBT owned and operated companies in California have partnered to create a fundraising campaign for Freedom to Marry

Wolfe Video, “the largest exclusive distributor of LGBT films in the world,” has partnered with, Sweet, “the eco-friendly lesbian travel site,” as well as, OneGoodLove, “the first online dating site for relationship-minded gay and lesbian singles” and Lesbian.com, “the online hub dedicated to enriching and empowering the global lesbian community.” 

These four companies are using their networks and resources in the fight for equality.

“What we share is the core belief that social responsibility extends to commerce, that corporations and individuals should share the same responsibility,” said Wolfe Video, founder, Kathy Wolfe, in the jointly sponsored crowd-funding campaign video. She continued, “In that spirit, we want to do our part to extend legal marriage to each and every same-sex couple who desires it,” Wolfe said.

With combined efforts of campaigning and fundraising, Freedom to Marry has set out a “Roadmap to Victory” which will push their goal forward: one state at a time. The concept here is comprised of three steps: one, “Win more states.” Two, “Grow the majority for marriage.” Three, “End federal marriage discrimination.”

A slow process, certainly, but by pushing same-sex marriage forward, state by state, and through the joint forces of LGBT advocates and visionaries across the country – equality will inevitably be achieved. 

Shannon Wentworth, CEO of Sweet and chief technology officer at Lesbian.com, shared a personal story on the equality movement and the amazement she feels towards the progress which has already been made.

“In 2000, my partner and I spent our Valentine’s Day in the BART station asking people to vote no on the Knight Initiative, the first unconstitutional measure to ban same-sex marriage in California. We were largely ignored by the commuters,” Wentworth said in an interview with 429Magazine.

“Honestly, I’m awed and inspired by the progress we’ve made in the last 13 years. All I can say is: The sky is the limit. The most important thing we can do as a community is to keep sharing our lives and our stories with our straight allies and future straight allies.”

Wentworth also reiterated the importance of the movement, explaining how it is a relatable issue for everyone, not just the LGBT community. “It honors that love is love. It’s one step toward total equality. It’s an issue that is easy for anyone who knows an LGBT person to understand, which is why the tide has turned so dramatically in the last decade.” 

President of Wolfe Video and COO of Lesbian.com, Maria Lynn, shared her insights on the movement and the joint efforts of the campaign, in an exclusive interview with 429Magazine.

429Magazine: How did these four LGBT run companies come together?

Maria Lynn: Wolfe Video, Lesbian.com, Sweet Travel and One Good Love work together regularly on numerous projects.  We believe that social responsibility extends to companies, as well as individuals, and we saw marriage equality as an important social issue that we wanted to advance. Our founder, Kathy Wolfe, brought the idea to Freedom to Marry, which has been amazing to work with. We really believe in their approach to advancing positive social change. It’s been a long time coming, but America, we think, is ready and we hope this campaign inspires people to make a difference in history.

429Mag: Why is Wolfe Video so vital to the community?  

Lynn: Wolfe Video started by distributing films on VHS video through mail order way back in 1985. Today we have films on every major platform, including more than 100 movies to global audiences via our digital distribution platformWolfeOnDemand.com.

We know that seeing images of ourselves on screen is vitally important to each and every lesbian, gay, bi and transgender person — our core mission has always been to provide access to these films by whatever means available. Our community needs us and we are extremely proud that our business fulfills such a vital role for so many people.

429Mag: What are some of your predictions: when/will marriage equality be passed nationwide? How close are we?  

Lynn: Clearly we have come a very long way in a relatively short time. Of course we feel very pleased at having secured marriage equality in thirteen states in the past ten years or so and now having part of DOMA overturned.

Freedom to Marry has just announced their “Road Map to Victory” targeting the four states where we have the best chance at securing marriage equality next. We’re particularly excited to get started helping everyone in Illinois, Hawaii, New Jersey and Oregon with this next round of work. There is no question that it is only a matter of time before ALL same-sex couples have the freedom to marry nationwide. This will, however, be a long and costly struggle.

We are proud to be part of contributing much needed funding to Freedom to Marry at this crucial time so they can continue their work on the long road ahead. 

429Mag: What’s next on the equality movement front? Will a force as great as this come together on other issues, like ENDA?

Lynn: We have so many battles to fight. Yes, our movement needs to continue to address many issues including ENDA. Wolfe Video is proud to support dozens of national and local LGBT organizations doing much of this important work and we urge all of our friends and customers to join us in contributing your money, time and energy to help these groups bring about a better world for LGBT people and for us all.

I think if we continue to support each other, to treat this as a “human issue” then we will eventually win the equality we all desire, but it doesn’t happen automatically, we have to keep advancing it.  

Ҭ429Mag: Please feel free to share any other insights you may have.

Lynn: The last thing we’d like to say is to express our gratitude to Evan Wolfson at Freedom to Marry, who is really the architect of the national marriage equality movement. We’re so proud to play a small part in the work of Freedom to Marry. Big thanks to everyone in the community who can come and join us in this campaign.

429Magazine

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