Evan Wolfson, founder and executive director of Freedom to Marry, a leading same-sex marriage advocacy group, was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1957. A graduate of Harvard Law, Wolfson worked for Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund and became a legal expert of the same-sex marriage movement. He co-wrote an amicus brief in Baehr v. Miike, the Hawaiian Supreme Court case that determined the restriction of marital rights to heterosexuals to be discriminatory, and also worked on Baker v. Vermont, the Vermont Supreme Court case that led to the creation of civil unions in that state. Wolfson also argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, in which the Court, 5-4, upheld the Boy Scouts’ homophobic rules about scout leaders. Wolfson is the author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People’s Right to Marry and was listed in its publication year, 2004, as one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. He married his husband, Cheng He, in New York in 2011.
“I’m not in this just to change the law. It’s about changing society. I want gay kids to grow up believing that they can get married, that they can join the Scouts, that they can choose the life they want to live.” —Evan Wolfson