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A Conversation about Freedom to Marry, the Long-Running Campaign to Win Gay Marriage Nationwide

Aired on Wednesday, July 16th.

On this installment of ST, a discussion of the marriage equality movement in our country. Hard to believe, perhaps, but the right for same-sex couples to marry was granted to the people of Massachusetts only ten years ago. A lot has happened in the last decade --- and by now, given that 20 different states have approved same-sex marriage, it's obvious that a lot of Americans have changed their minds and/or embraced gay-marriage tolerance, especially younger Americans. Our guest is Marc Solomon, the National Campaign Director for Freedom to Marry, which is an ongoing campaign to end exclusion from marriage throughout the United States. Freedom to Marry began in 2003; Solomon started working for this cause full-time in 2004. Solomon's efforts for this organization are focused on managing its programs to win more states, growing the majority for marriage, and ending federal discrimination. Freedom to Marry played a key role in the successful efforts to secure gay-marriage rights at the ballot in November 2012 in Maine, Maryland, and Washington, and in the legislature in 2011 in New York and in 2013 in Delaware, Minnesota, and Rhode Island. Solomon was recently in Tulsa in order to work/promote/organize/strategize with Freedom Oklahoma, which is (per its website) a "broad and diverse coalition of state and national organizations, faith, business and civil leaders, and everyday Oklahomans who are joining together to support the freedom to marry. [This grassroots coalition's] new, statewide public education campaign will work to broaden the conversation about why marriage matters to all couples and their families." We spoke to Solomon while he was in town.

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government. Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.
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