Molly McKay speaking at the Meet In The Middle Rally in Fresno, 2009
|Born||September 10, 1970|
|Occupation||Lawyer, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered civil rights activist|
|Title||Media Director for Marriage Equality USA|
|Awards||Harvey Milk Democratic Club Community Service Award (2005), the Alice B. Toklas Community Service Award (2008), and GLOBE Community Service Award (2008)|
Molly B. McKay, born September 9, 1970, is an attorney and a civil rights activist for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals. McKay was the former Co-Executive Director of Marriage Equality California and the former Media Director for Marriage Equality USA. She has also been active in Californians for Same Sex Marriage and the California Freedom to Marry Coalition, and was the Associate Executive Director of Equality California. McKay married her longtime partner Davina Kotulski in 2004 when Gavin Newsom made same sex marriage legal for one day in San Francisco.
Beginning in February 2001, McKay and her ex-wife, Davina Kotulski, began going to city halls in the Bay Area asking for marriage licenses and organizing annual "Marriage License Counter" protests to draw attention to the hundreds of rights same-sex couples are denied. In the United States, marriage licenses are commonly issued at the local city hall, or office of government for the municipality, with a city employee on one side of a counter, and the applicant on the other side. In response to having her San Francisco Marriage License invalidated, McKay joined her ex-wife Kotulski in organizing the "Marriage Equality Express", an educational bus tour across the United States that culminated in the first national marriage equality rally in Washington, DC, on October 11, 2004. Time and Parade magazines included the rally when citing the importance of marriage equality activism as one of the top ten issues of 2004. Molly McKay co-founded Marriage Equality USA in 1996, along with several other activists, and continues to work with them to this day.
When Marriage Equality California merged with Equality California in 2004, McKay led the Marriage Equality Project for the joint organization becoming Equality California's Field Director. McKay eventually left the organization in 2006 to rejoin Marriage Equality California's prior parent organization Marriage Equality USA.
Legal marriage and Separation
McKay and her ex-wife, Kotulski, were the 17th same-sex couple married in San Francisco in 2004 and have appeared together on CNN, Newsweek, Time and USA Today. They are featured in three documentaries, the 2005 Carmen Goodyear- and Laurie York-directed Freedom to Marry (shown in seven countries and featured on PBS), the Geoff Callan and Mike Shaw 2007 release, Pursuit of Equality, and I Will, I Do, We Did following the San Francisco marriages that took place in 2004. They have also appeared on several television shows including American Quest, documenting the National "Marriage Equality Express", and a Queer Nation TV special in New Zealand.
In June 2011 McKay announced that she and Kotulski had separated, ending their 15 year relationship.
In 2003, McKay and her ex-wife received the "Defenders of Love" Award from the East Bay Pride Committee, and in 2004, she received the "Saints Alive" award from the San Francisco Metropolitan Community Church and was "sainted" by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence for her activism and advocacy on behalf of full marriage equality for all couples. In 2006, Kotulski and McKay received the Michael "Switzer Leadership Award" from New Leaf Counseling Center in San Francisco.
Molly McKay has been recognized for her individual contributions as well. She received the Harvey Milk Democratic Club Community Service Award (2005), the Alice B. Toklas Community Service Award (2008), and GLOBE Community Service Award (2008).
Marriage Equality Caravan Photo Gallery
San Francisco Chronicle articles on Marriage Equality Caravan
October 5, 2004 "Taking gay marriage on the road Same-sex couples, supporters embark on bus trip across country" Marriage Equality Caravan
October 6, 2004 "BATTLE OVER SAME-SEX MARRIAGE" Marriage Equality Caravan
October 7, 2004 "A Grim Anniversary" Marriage Equality Caravan
October 8, 2004 "Tension Grips Caravan" Marriage Equality Caravan
October 9, 2004 "Freedom Riders Loaded with Tech" Marriage Equality Caravan
October 10, 2004 "Marriage rights caravan gets lots of 'no thanks' from gays along road." Marriage Equality Caravan
October 11, 2004 "Canvassing the nation for gay marriage rights Activists visit home towns en route to D.C. rally today" Marriage Equality Caravan
October 12, 2004 "Marriage equality caravan joins spirited rally in D.C.Tired but happy, couples renew vows" Marriage Equality Caravan and Marriage Equality DC Rally
- http://www.pursuitofequality.com, Award winning documentary about same-sex marriage in San Francisco
- http://www.washblade.com/print.cfm?content_id=2122 (February 6, 2004)
- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1674572 (February 13, 2004)
- Interview with Molly McKay (February 14, 2004) - http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-20354376_ITM
- Los Angeles Times’ Rights vs. Obligations of Marriage (February 19, 2004) - http://articles.latimes.com/2004/feb/19/local/me-marriage19
- Senate kills gay marriage ban / Activists hail defeat of constitutional amendment—backers vow to try again (July 15, 2004) - http://www.sfchroniclemarketplace.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2004/07/15/MNGKE7LMNO1.DTL&o=0&type=printable
- Berkeley Daily Planet’s Commentary: Jerry Brown’s Wedding Highlights The Need for Marriage Equality (June 28, 2005) - http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2005-06-28/article/21727?headline=Commentary-Jerry-Brown-s-Wedding-Highlights-The-Need-for-Marriage-Equality-By-MOLLY-McKAY
- Judge Strikes Down Same-Sex Marriage Ban (March 14, 2005)- http://www.zimbio.com/Molly+McKay/pictures/pro
- Remember San Francisco's gay marriages? Forget it (August 12, 2004) - http://www.boingboing.net/2004/08/12/remember-san-francis.html
- Pride at Work’s Longshoremen Grant Retroactive Pension Benefits to Surviving Domestic Partner (August 23, 2007) - http://www.prideatwork.org/page.php?id=533
- San Francisco Chronicle’s Bay Area demonstrations condemn Prop. 8 (November 15, 2008) - http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/11/15/BAIA145AQ9.DTL&type=politics&tsp=1
- New York Times’ Gay Marriage Ban Inspires New Wave of Activists (December 9, 2008) - http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/10/us/10marriage.html
- San Francisco Chronicle’s Same-sex marriage backers hit Capitol, churches (November 10, 2008) - http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2008/11/10/MN4E141B3P.DTL&o=1
- USA Today’s Gay couples rush to wed ahead of Calif. Election (October 14, 2008) - http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-10-14-3874612028_x.htm
- California Chronicle’s ELLEN DEGENERES COMMENDED BY MARRIAGE EQUALITY (October 3, 2008) - http://www.californiachronicle.com/articles/view/76349
- Boston Edge’s Same-sex marriage pioneer Del Martin dies at 87 (August 27, 2008) - http://www.edgeboston.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=glbt&sc3=&id=79529&pf=1
One Month Anniversary Of Marriage In California (July 20, 2008) - http://blog.protectmarriageequality.com/2008/07/20/one-month-anniversary-of-marriage-in-california/
- CBS News’ Census Won't Report Gay Marriage (July 18, 2008) - http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/07/18/national/main4271220.shtml?source=RSSattr=HOME_4271220
- Miami Herald’s Census won't recognize gay marriages in 2010 count (July 2008) -
- USA Today’s Gay couples tie the knot in California (June 16, 2008) -
- San Francisco Sentinel’s ACROSS CALIFORNIA, SAME-SEX COUPLES MAKE CIVIL RIGHTS HISTORY (June 16, 2008) - http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=13908
- The Hole In The Quilt And A Historic Moment (May 30, 2008) -
- Video California Supreme Court Ruling: Same-Sex Marriage (May 26, 2008)
- The Constitutionality of Prop. 22 (February 28, 2008) - http://cityonahillpress.com/article.php?id=1072
- Lavender Newswire (January 5, 2009) - http://news.lavenderliberal.com/2009/01/05/marriage-equality-usa-releases-first-report-summarizing-failures-of-no-on-8-campaign/
- McKinley, Jesse (2008-12-10). "Gay Marriage Ban Inspires New Wave of Activists". The New York Times
- Marech, Rona (October 5, 2004). "Taking gay marriage on the road / Same-sex couples, supporters embark on bus trip across country". The San Francisco Chronicle.
- Marech, Rona (October 6, 2004). "BATTLE OVER SAME-SEX MARRIAGE / Tales from the road of gay rights caravan / Marriage advocates share their stories as they head to D.C". The San Francisco Chronicle.
- Marech, Rona (October 7, 2004). "BATTLE OVER SAME-SEX MARRIAGE / Gay activists mark a grim anniversary / Brutal 1998 slaying left legacy of pain and hope in Laramie". The San Francisco Chronicle.
- Marech, Rona (October 8, 2004). "BATTLE OVER SAME-SEX MARRIAGE / Tension grips gay rights caravan". The San Francisco Chronicle.
- Marech, Rona (October 9, 2004). "Freedom riders loaded with tech". The San Francisco Chronicle.
- Marech, Rona (October 10, 2004). "Marriage rights caravan gets lots of 'no thanks' from gays along road". The San Francisco Chronicle.
- Marech, Rona (October 11, 2004). "BATTLE OVER SAME-SEX MARRIAGE / Canvassing the nation for gay marriage rights / Activists visit home towns en route to D.C. rally today". The San Francisco Chronicle.