All posts by stuartgaffney

Stuart Gaffney and his husband John Lewis were one of the plaintiff couples in the California case for marriage equality, decided by the California Supreme Court in 2008. Stuart is the Media Director and API Outreach Director for Marriage Equality USA.

The Relevance of the Winter of Love to the Entire LGBTIQ Community Today

This week marks the ten-year anniversary of the beginning of San Francisco’s “Winter of Love,” in which 4,037 same-sex couples married at San Francisco City Hall from February 12 to March 11, 2004.  Those extraordinary days took the movement for marriage equality in California to a whole new level and inspired thousands of people to get involved.  We now have the freedom to marry in our state.  What the “Winter of Love” sparked remains highly significant as we continue the struggle for full LGBTIQ equality.

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Engagement Rings: National Publication Seeking Stories

A national publication is “looking for gay and lesbian couples from across the country who have had experience shopping for engagement rings, with stories that illustrate what the process of buying an engagement ring is like for gay couples right now. Looking for a mix of couples from many different states. Also interested in stories about locating jewelers who are supportive and those who are not.” If you are interested, please write to with a few sentences about your story and a phone number for the reporter to reach you. Thank you!

Marvin Burrows: Love Warrior

Last weekend, our community lost one of our most powerful advocates and a truly wonderful person: Marvin Burrows.

Marvin came out 62 years ago – in 1951 – at age 15. A couple years later he met Bill, whom he would marry at San Francisco City Hall on February 13, 2004, 51 years later. In his own words from testimony to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee: “I met the love of my life, William Duane Swenor, in 1953. He was 15 and I was 17. My father found out and told me to leave home if I continued to see Bill. After my dad kicked me out I had no place to go, and I was still in high school. I stayed with my grandmother until Bill could ask his mother if I could move in with them. She gave her permission, I moved in, and from that time on we lived as a committed couple.” After 51 years together, Marvin described his wedding to Bill as “the best time in our lives…”

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Planning a wedding? You could be on TV!

Dear Couples,
Are you currently planning a beautiful wedding, including your family and friends? If so, we want to hear from you!

A Major Cable Network is now casting same-sex couples planning their dream wedding! If this is you or someone you know, please contact us ASAP for a fun, new Reality TV Series! To be considered, please send us your –

Name, Age & Location
Brief paragraph about you and your relationship
Recent photo(s) of yourselves
Best number to reach you!



Coming Out for Marriage Equality in Japan

As we commemorate the 35th anniversary of the assassination of Harvey Milk, our recent trip to Japan to speak about marriage equality made clear how Harvey’s call to come out is just as important as ever.

Significantly fewer LGBT Japanese have come out than their American counterparts, and LGBT Japanese are a much less visible part of society and the media than in the U.S. The Japanese people we met gave us insight into how coming out in Japan is similar to, and different from, America.

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More Love and More Marriage

552753_10202081407336132_1246239323_nThe latest California public opinion poll shows record support for marriage equality — 64% of likely voters and 61% percent of all adults. This news made us realize how wonderful it is when dreams really do come true, and when political goals that once seemed impossible are actually achieved. When the U.S. Supreme Court rulings ended Prop 8 and Section 3 of DOMA this summer, we wrote a press release for Marriage Equality USA saying that there would now be “more love and more marriage” than ever before. Yet we didn’t anticipate fully just how it would feel, landing somewhere over the rainbow — where instead of rallying for marriage equality in front of City Hall, we were getting invited to weddings inside City Hall. And for the first time we started having a whole new relationship to these weddings – in addition to getting wedding invitations, we started being invited to officiate. There truly is no better reward for a marriage equality activist!

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