|Founded||May 9, 2012|
|Founders||Benjamin Cohen and Mike Buonaiuto (retired)|
|Benjamin Cohen, James-J Walsh|
|Slogan||I'm Out4Marriage. Are you?|
Out4Marriage is a 'multi-platform' political campaign that was started on May 8, 2012, in response to the British Government’s consultation concerning the legalisation of same-sex marriage in England and Wales. It centres on YouTube—and other social media—videos in which those filmed give their views on why they support marriage for same-sex individuals, with each video finishing with the tagline "And that's why I'm out for marriage. Are you?". Creators of the videos have included members of the public, Members of Parliament, peers and celebrities.
Its goal is to raise awareness about the issue of equal marriage and to provide a voice for the people who support it. Out4Marriage is modelled on the It Gets Better YouTube project, launched by US LGBT activist Dan Savage, where politicians, celebrities and members of the public gave hope to teenagers coming to terms with their sexuality.
Campaign background and history
The British Government's consultation on equal marriage was started on 15 March 2012, prompting the launch of a Christian campaign group called the Coalition for Marriage (C4M). The website for C4M states that they are "an umbrella group of individuals and organisations in the UK that support traditional marriage and oppose any plans to redefine it.".
As part of the British Government's consultations on the introduction of same-sex marriage in the UK, Out4Marriage's Directors of Campaigns James-J Walsh assisted by Joseph Musgrove, a volunteer who went on to work for the Conservative equal marriage campaign wrote the official submission document calling for legislation to allow same-sex religious marriage, enhanced spousal pension rights, and courtesy titles for peers.
The Out4Marriage website states that the campaign was conceived by Buonaiuto and Pink News founder, Benjamin Cohen, however since the initial video Buonaiuto moved away to other projects. The website also posits that a “global team of volunteers are helping to recruit new video makers, moderate submissions and engage with politicians”. In the first week, the Out4Marriage YouTube account recorded 150,000 views and, within three weeks, a reach of 14 million people was achieved through articles in the Daily Mail, The Independent and The Guardian newspapers, both online and in print.
Prior to the Out4Marriage campaign launching, a short-film was created called Homecoming, depicting the proposal of a gay soldier to his partner, upon returning home from war. The film received 700,000 YouTube views in its first week online. In a BBC World News interview on May 11, 2012, Buonaiuto explained that Homecoming was what had inspired Out4Marriage. He went on to say that those working on the campaign were all volunteers and that no money had been spent on the project.
In the run up to the Lords debate in the wake of Lord Dear proposing effectively a deletion amendment, James-J Walsh led on the campaigning activity to engage the House of Lords, he designed the very first platform for being able to digitally engage Peers within the House of Lords. As part of this Walsh recruited Chris Ward, a web developer, to build an online peers lobbying site that enabled ordinary people to connect with often unaccountable Lords and Baronesses.
The Site www.LobbyALord.org was receiving traffic resulting at peeks an email being sent to a peer every 8 seconds in the 72 hours before the debate, after endorsements by Grindr a gay mobile dating app, who issued a message to 1 million of its members, and Stephen Fry via his Twitter account.
Within the first three weeks after the campaign was launched, videos were uploaded to the Out4Marriage YouTube account from public figures such as Richard Branson, UK pop girl band The Saturdays and human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell.
List of contributions from public figures and personalities
- Richard Branson Chairman of Virgin Group
- Sir Ian McKellen Actor
- Nick Clegg Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats
- Ed Miliband Leader of HM Opposition / Leader of the Labour Party
- Theresa May Home Secretary and then Minister for Women & Equalities
- William Bain Shadow Minister for Scotland
- Tom Blenkinsop MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland
- Crispin Blunt MP for Reigate
- Michael Cashman MEP for West Midlands
- Yvette Cooper Shadow Home Secretary
- Paloma Faith Singer
- Lynne Featherstone Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Equalities
- Yvonne Fovargue MP for Makerfield
- Stephen Gilbert MP for St Austell and Newquay
- Mathew Hulbert Councillor for Barwell
- Beverley Knight Singer
- Caroline Lucas Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales
- Fiona MacTaggart (MP for Slough)
- The Saturdays UK pop group
- Dan Savage US Author and creator of the It Gets Better campaign
- Chris Smith Secretary of State for Culture, Media, Sport
- Jack Straw MP for Blackburn, former cabiner minister
- Desmond Swayne Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
- Peter Tatchell Campaigner for Human Rights
- Stephen Twigg MP for Liverpool West Derby
- Alan Wilson (bishop) Bishop of Buckingham
- Hugh Grant Actor
- Simon Callow Actor
- Stephen Fry Comedian
- The Saturdays Girl Group
- Sinitta Singer
- Paloma Faith Singer
- Peter Tatchell Human Rights Campaigner
- Dr. Jeffrey John Dean of St Albans
- David Mitchell Rabbi
- Cannon Rosie Harper Religious Leader
- Boris Johnson Mayor of London
- Danny Alexander Chief Secretary to the Treasury
- Maria Eagle Politician
- Maria Miller Culture Secretary
- Helen Grant Minister for Women & Equalities
- Nick Herbert Conservative Minister
- Lynne Featherstone Liberal Democrat Equality Minister
- William Bane MP Shadow Minister for Scotland
- Jo Swinson Politician
- Tom Blenkinsop Politician
- Simon Kirby Politician
- Julian Huppert Politician
- Steve Williams MP Politician
- Mike Freer MP Politician
- Chris Williamson MP Politician
- Fiona MacTaggart MP Politician
- Tom Brake MP Politician
- Geraint Davies MP Politician
- Kelvin Hopkins MP Politician
- Mike Crockart MP Politician
- Martin Horward MP Politician
- Bridget Phillipson MP Politician
- Jack Straw Politician
- David Lammy Politician
- Baroness Royal Leader of the Labour Party in the Lords
- Baroness Thornton Shadow Equalities Minister in the Lords
- Baroness Oona King Peer
- Lord Chris Smith Peer
- Lord Knight Peer
- Lord Collins Peer
- Brian Paddick Liberal Democrat LGBT Politician
- Michael Cashman MEP (Retired) & Actor
- Linda Fabian MSP
- "PinkNews: Groundbreaking global campaign for marriage equality, Out4Marriage launched". Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- "Out4Marriage YouTube Account". Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- "Out4Marriage Website". May 9, 2012. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- "UK Government Home Office: Equal civil marriage consultation". Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- "Out4Marriage Equal Civil Marriage Consultation Response". Scribd.com. 2012-06-14. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- "Out4Marriage: equal civil marriage response". June 14, 2012. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
- "Out4Marriage". Out4Marriage. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- Walker, Kirsty (25 May 2012). "I'm backing gay marriage campaign: Theresa May records video in support of law change". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2012-05-27.
- Grice, Andrew (24 May 2012). "Home Secretary Theresa May records video declaring full support for gay marriage". The Independent. Retrieved 2012-05-27.
- Guardian, The (24 May 2012). "Theresa May records video in support of gay marriage – video". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-05-27.
- "Homecoming". Virgin Media Shorts. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- "Homecoming". April 24, 2012. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- "BBC World News: Equal Marriage Debate". May 11, 2012. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- "Richard Branson Out4Marriage". YouTube. 2012-05-18. Retrieved 2012-05-27.
- "Wow! @TheSaturdays are @Out4Marriage, are you?". YouTube. 2012-05-10. Retrieved 2012-05-27.
- "Peter Tatchell Comes @Out4Marriage - Will You?". YouTube. 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2012-05-27.