Freedom to Marry Voices for Equality figure prominently in 2010 election

Many of Freedom to Marry’s Voices for Equality figured prominently in the 2010 election cycle.

Have you checked out our over 1300 VFEs lately?

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Voice for Equality: Kenneth Cole

Kenneth Cole is an American clothing designer whose Kenneth Cole Productions sells clothing and accessories under the following lines: Kenneth Cole New York, Kenneth Cole Reaction, and Unlisted.

In the fall of 2010, Mr. Cole participated in the HRC's New Yorkers for Marriage Equality project by appearing in a video in support of the freedom to marry.

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Voice for Equality: Laura Ricketts

Laura Ricketts is co-owner of the Chicago Cubs and CEO of Ricketts is also a board member of Lambda Legal and the Housing Opportunities for Women organization.

Ricketts' ownership stake in the Cubs is uniquely noteworthy because it makes her the first openly gay owner of a major-league sports franchise.

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Jerry—of Ben & Jerry’s fame—adds a sweet touch to a wedding in the nation’s capital

Following the passage of the freedom to marry in Washington D.C., Keith Spangler-Vellios and Andreas Vellios decided to get hitched at a Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop in the Georgetown section of the city.

The well-known ice cream company has shown consistent support for marriage equality.

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Voice for Equality: Cummins, Inc. of Indiana

Cummins, Inc. is a corporation of complementary business units that design, manufacture, distribute and service diesel and natural gas engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems. Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, USA Cummins serves its customers through a network of more than 500 Company-owned and independent distributor locations and approximately 5,200 dealer locations in more than 190 countries and territories. While more than 51% of Cummins' business comes from operations outside of the United States, the company remains one of the largest employers in the state of Indiana. Learn more here.

As the Republican controlled Indiana state senate moved to vote 38-10 for a constitutional ban on marriage for gay couples last week, Fortune 500 member Cummins, Inc. said, "No." The CEO of Cummins sent a representative with his letter stating, "...inequity in marital status has no place in Indiana." [Link] This is not Cummins' first time weighing in on marriage equality. Back in March of 2007, when Indiana was considering a ban on the freedom to marry, an executive from Cummins Inc. said the amendment would make it harder for the big engine maker to recruit quality employees to Indiana. "Anything that makes Indiana less inclusive and less welcoming for our current employees and for our future employees makes it more difficult for Cummins to compete," said Mark Osowick, Cummins' recruiting director. "This amendment would do just that by sending a message that Indiana is not tolerant of diversity." [Link]

Freedom to Marry salutes Cummins, Inc. as a collective Voice for Equality! Learn about other Voices for Equality here.

If Cummins' support inspires you - get involved.

**Make your NOMINATION for a Voice for Equality today!

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Voice for Equality: Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs is an American fashion designer. He is the head designer for Marc Jacobs, as well as the diffusion line Marc by Marc Jacobs. Jacobs is also currently the Creative Director of the prestigious French design house, Louis Vuitton. In 1986, backed by Onward Kashiyama USA, Inc., Jacobs designed his first collection bearing the Marc Jacobs label. In 1987 Jacobs was the youngest designer to have ever been awarded the fashion industry's highest tribute, The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent. Jacobs joined the women's design unit of Tristan Russo in 1989 as Vice President. In addition, Jacobs oversaw the design of the various women's licensees. In 1992, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, once again bestowed Jacobs with a great honor: The Women's Designer of the Year Award. In 1994 he produced his first full collection of menswear. Jacobs is a prominent fixture in the New York City celebrity scene, having become something of a celebrity himself. The audience for his fashion shows typically includes celebrities like Kim Gordon and Vincent Gallo. Most of his collections make references to the fashions of past decades from the forties to the eighties. Learn more here.

Jacobs, who is openly gay, is currently in a relationship with Brazilian advertising executive Lorenzo Martone. In March 2009, Women's Wear Daily reported that the pair was engaged after a year of dating. In June of 2009, the couple announced they would hold their wedding in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

It was announced on October 14, 2009 that Marc Jacobs would be participating in the Love Unites Shepard Fairey Equality Project, a new marriage equality advocacy project for which 100 celebrities would be signing their names and customizing a Shepard Fairey print titled Defend Equality - Love Unites. Fairey, whose Obama Hope print became the iconic emblem of President Obama’s 2008 campaign, was approached by FAIR, an LGBT grassroots marriage equality organization, to commission an image that would help unite and inspire the marriage equality movement. Fairey: “I am proud to contribute the Defend Equality Love Unites image to the fight for marriage equality, and commend FAIR for putting this image to good use." The signed prints were sold in online auctions through December 9, 2009. [Link]

Freedom to Marry salutes Marc Jacobs as a Voice for Equality! Learn about other Voices for Equality here.

If Mr. Jacobs' support inspires you - get involved.

**Make your NOMINATION for a Voice for Equality today!

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Voice for Equality: Tom Ford

Tom Ford is an Ameircan fashion designer. He gained international fame for his turnaround of the Gucci fashion house and the creation of the Tom Ford label. In 1994, Ford was promoted to creative director at Gucci, and in his first year at the helm, he was credited with putting the glamour back into fashion introducing Halston-style velvet hipsters, skinny satin shirts and car-finish metallic patent boots. By 1999, the house, which had been almost bankrupt when Ford joined, was valued at about $4.3 billion. Ford subsequently was able to catapult the classic YSL fashion house back into the mainstream as well, before leaving PPR and Gucci due to issues of creative control. Following his departure from Gucci, Ford opened the fashion house, Tom Ford, and in 2006, also established a fragrance line called Tom Ford Beauty. In 2008, the peripatetic Ford directed his first film, A Single Man, starring Colin Firth. It premiered on September 11, 2009 at the 66th Venice International Film Festival and was nominated for a Golden Lion. Learn more here.

Tom Ford is a proud signer of Freedom to Marry's Marriage Resolution which reads:

Because marriage is a basic human right and an individual choice,
RESOLVED, the State should not interfere with same-gender couples who choose to marry and share fully and equally in the rights, responsibilities, and commitment of civil marriage.
Visit the MarriageResolution page on our website and sign the Marriage Resolution today!

Freedom to Marry salutes Tom Ford as a Voice for Equality!

If you're inspired by Mr. Ford's work and support...take action! Link to No on 1/Protect Maine Equality to find out how you can help with the vital work of preserving marriage equality in Maine!

**Make your NOMINATION for a Voice for Equality today!

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Voice for Equality: Mary Kay Henry

Mary Kay Henry has devoted her life to helping America's health caregivers form unions, improve their jobs and the quality of care, and advocate for a more rational and humane health care system.

During her 25 years as an organizer and leader in the nation's largest health care union, she has played a major role in helping more than half a million health care workers join together in SEIU, negotiate for better working and patient care conditions, and actively shape health care policy at the state and federal levels.

Mary Kay is also an active champion of health care reform, immigration reform, and gay and lesbian rights, and a founding member of SEIU's gay and lesbian Lavender Caucus. She and her partner, Paula Macchello, have been together for almost 20 years, and Mary Kay has been a guest blogger on Freedom to Marry's website. In May 2009, after the California Supreme Court announced its decision to uphold Proposition 8, she issued the following statement:
Equality is a value dear to our union's members. We opposed Prop 8 and the forces of division and discrimination who produced it. This ruling merely delays the day of regaining an important aspect of equality in California. It does not diminish the dignity of our members and their relationships or our determination to win equality in this country. Learn more [Link]
Freedom to Marry salutes Mary Kay Henry as a Voice for Equality!

**Make your NOMINATION for a Voice for Equality today!

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Voice for Equality: Chellie Pingree

Chellie Pingree is the U.S. Congresswoman representing the 1st District of Maine. Congresswoman Pingree attended the University of South Maine and the College of the Atlantic. Chellie started North Island Yarn, a company that sells hand knits and has also authored five books on knitting. She was elected to the Maine Senate in 1992 and became the Senate Majority Leader in 1996, a position she held until 2000. During her term she authored legislation on small business support, state land trust bill, and the nation’s first bill regulating prescription drug prices.

While serving as the leader of Common Cause she started and strengthened several good government programs. She stepped down from her Common Cause leadership in 2007 to run for the U.S. House of Representatives. Pingree is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Congresswoman Pingree sits on the Committee on Armed Services and on the Committee on Rules.

In an interview on the Colbert Report, Pingree said:
“Maine is a very tolerant state, I think we are far more tolerant of people of the same sex living together or choosing to get married and raise their family and we feel that’s the way life should be.”

To see her full comments on marriage equality amidst some Stephen Colbert shenanigans watch this:
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Better Know a District - Maine's 1st - Chellie Pingree
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorMeryl Streep

Freedom to Marry salutes Congresswoman Chellie Pingress as a Voice for Equality!

**Make your NOMINATION for a Voice for Equality today!

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Voice for Equality: Jared Polis

Jared Polis is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who is now the first openly gay U.S. Congressman representing Colorado’s 2nd District. Jared is a graduate of Princeton University. The first company he founded was American Information Systems, a web-hosting site. Polis then founded, an online greeting card website, and ProFlowers, an online florist company. Beyond the worldwide web, Jared founded Sonora Entertainment Group, a chain of theaters that feature movies dubbed or subtitled in Spanish. His current business venture involves fish farming.

In 2000, he founded the Jared Polis Foundation, which seeks to “create opportunities for success through education and access to technology." That same year he was first elected o the Colorado State Board of Education. Since 2004, Congressman Polis has founded two charter schools that mainly serve immigrant students at the high school level. In 2008, he won his Congressional seat, which includes his hometown of Boulder, Colorado. Congressman Polis has started his term as one of the most vocal supporters of marriage equality.

On his website he states:
"I believe that two committed adults of the same sex should be able to enjoy full marriage rights in the United States and that no federal, state, or local jurisdiction should be able to deny any of the benefits of the marriage to same-sex couples."
He currently sits on the Committee on Education and Labor, including several education-focused subcommittees, and the Committee on Rules.

Freedom to Marry salutes Congressman Jared Polis as a Voice for Equality!

**Make your NOMINATION for a Voice for Equality today!

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