30 Days of Pride!
June 4: Evan Wolfson, President, Freedom to Marry
Evan Wolfson is founder and President of Freedom to Marry, the campaign to win marriage nationwide. Since the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," Freedom to Marry is working to spotlight service members who are denied federal recognition for their marriages. In May, SLDN and Freedom to Marry launched a new, national campaign to bring attention to these patriots and their families, who do not receive the same recognition, support, and benefits as their straight, married counterparts.
Before founding Freedom to Marry, Evan served as marriage project director for Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund, was co-counsel in the historic Hawaii marriage case, and participated in numerous gay rights and HIV/AIDS cases.
Born in Brooklyn and raised in Pittsburgh, Evan graduated from Yale College in 1978. For two years, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in a village in Togo, West Africa. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1983 and teaching political philosophy at Harvard College, Evan served as assistant district attorney for Kings County (Brooklyn). There, in addition to handling felony trials and appeals, he wrote amicus briefs that helped win the U.S. Supreme Court's ban on race discrimination in jury selection (Batson v. Kentucky), and the New York State high court's elimination of the marital rape exemption (People v. Liberta).
Citing his national leadership on marriage and his appearance before the U.S. Supreme Court in Boy Scouts of America v. James Dale, the National Law Journal in 2000 named Evan one of "the 100 most influential lawyers in America." In 2004, Evan was named one of the "Time 100," Time magazine's list of "the 100 most influential people in the world."
Evan is also the author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People's Right to Marry, published by Simon & Schuster in July 2004.