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SAN FRANCISCO -- Marriage Equality USA (MEUSA) and Marriage Equality New York (MENY) have agreed to merge, bringing together two large marriage equality groups under one umbrella.
Leaders of the groups says that MENY will operate as a fully functioning chapter within MEUSA.
MEUSA was founded in 2001 as a national grassroots organization seeking to secure legally-recognized civil marriage equality for all, at the federal and state level, without regard to gender identity or sexual orientation.
MENY is a grassroots, all-volunteer, single-issue organization dedicated to securing the right of all New Yorkers to enter into legally recognized civil marriages.
Leaders of both organizations expressed their thoughts on the merger:
“Today is a very exciting day for the grassroots movement to achieve full civil marriage equality nationwide,” said David Janis-Kitzmiller, MEUSA board chair.
“Our two organizations will combine their tremendous grassroots talent, resources and years of experience to fight for our shared mission: To secure legally recognized civil marriage equality for all, without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity, at the state and federal level through grassroots organizing, education, action, advocacy and partnerships,” said Cathy Marino-Thomas, MENY board chair.
“While we celebrate recent successes, we are more aware than ever in this election year of the ongoing work that remains to be done on a federal level and all around the country so that we can celebrate equality from sea to shining sea,” said Stuart Gaffney, MEUSA media director.
In a message sent to members of both organizations, some of the reasoning for the merger was explained:
“This agreement comes after over a decade of partnership and successes between the two organizations. Our teams have worked together on numerous projects including local actions on Valentine’s Day and Tax Day, as well as Wedding Marches across bridges in San Francisco, Brooklyn, Albany, Rochester and Buffalo.”
MENY's executive director Brian Silva said that he believes this is a good move:
“Considering the changing landscape on this issue, as well as the work that still needs to be done, we believe this decision is a logical and positive step toward achieving our shared mission and goals,” Silva said.
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