Before I share my first post of the week, a word on what is on tap for marriage equality advocacy.

This week, starting today, bloggers in the LGBT community and their allies will be participating in "The Only Agenda Is Love," a blogswarm in support of Freedom to Marry Week. By being a part of this effort, you will help contribute to a blogsphere-wide education campaign about ways your readers can help promote fair legislation and rescind anti-equality measures.

We hope you will take a moment to blog on this important issue. Several states, including New York and New Jersey, are poised to consider marriage equality this year. The California Supreme Court will consider the legality of Prop 8 on March 5.

We expect several hundred bloggers to participate. Please help us spread the word by putting up a short post in advance just to tell readers that the event is coming up. We're also offering some exciting prizes. For each post you write, up to a maximum of 4, we'll enter you into a contest for a $250 prize or one of three $100 prizes*.

Once you've posted on February 9, visit Mombian to submit the link to your post(s). We'll be sure to link it from our master list of participating blogs.

When posting, please try to include the blogswarm graphic to the above right or one of the exciting graphics created for Freedom To Marry's weeklong program, 7 Conversations in 7 Days.

On July 1, Kate and I will celebrate our fifth year of marriage. The fact that our marriage is not legal anywhere in the South is depressing; it’s just as infuriating that our marriage exists in different forms depending on what state line is crossed. As I said on our fourth anniversary:

Marriage equality continues to thrive in small pockets in our country, and one of the best ways we can cultivate support and effect change is to bring those marriages back home where these commitments are not legally recognized. Not to challenge the legal wrong, mind you (it’s going to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in the end), but to become visible married couples in our communities – living marriage out of the closet before our friends, neighbors, and work colleagues.

Visibility challenges assumptions; show willingness to explain to potential allies how your legal-somewhere-else marriage is denied where you live.

The fact is we will prove by example that our relationships will not cause an end to anyone else’s marriage or destroy society, and it will move all of us closer to full civil equality.

I wrote that before the passage of Prop 8, and the marriage amendments in Arizona and Florida succeeding. While we take our lumps for those setbacks, it’s more important than ever to talk about why marriage is important.More from Freedom to Marry:

Especially today, add your face and voice to the   conversation, and get involved on our blog, Straight Talk on   Marriage, where we are showcasing different voices of equality.  Let us know how your conversations are going and comment on the blog posts.  Also, create your own blog post, vlog, change your status on facebook, or change your picture on social networks, and let us know about it.

Here’s some other ways to get  involved this week:

1) Join our YouTube group to participate in the video contest and win cash   prizes.  Deadline to upload is now extended to March 31, 2009.
  2) If you've   already signed up for a free button, send us pictures
3) Tell your friends,   co-workers, and family about Freedom to Marry Week, and to join us in action.    If you’re on Facebook, attend our event   and invite them!


Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding