PA Equality Leader Takes A Stand -- Via Social Media
Marion Leary has some experience as an organizer who uses social media to promote awareness and raise funds. Leary is the president, and the founder, of Sink or Swim Philadelphia, which she describes as a "social media project that uses medical crowdfunding to help raise money for people who are uninsured or underinsured pay for medical expenses" -- sort of a grassroots social safety net in an age when the federal government is in full retreat from such programs.
Leary also has some experience as a member of a household headed by a same-sex couple, namely, herself and her life partner, with whom she celebrated a commitment ceremony a decade ago. Setting her sights on marriage equality at home as state after state embraces full family parity, the Pennsylvania resident launched a new effort, #CommonwealthEquality.
The new campaign, Leary said in a press release, is geared "to show solidarity, support and quite frankly some outrage that this is still even an issue!"
The idea is simple: Leary is looking for GLBT families and their allies and supporters to create messages calling for acceptance and full family equality before the law. She encourages those interested in participating to be photographed with their families and friends, messages front and center, and then to send the images in so they can be featured in what Leary calls "a social media photo campaign/visual protest."
"I came to organize this social media campaign because I wanted to do something to show support for marriage equality in the state," Leary told EDGE.
"With Rep Brian Sims introducing the marriage bill in Pennsylvania and then Attorney General Kane announcing that she would not defend Pennsylvania’s version of DOMA, it just seemed like the right time to start a local statewide effort. My partner and I had our commitment ceremony almost 10 years ago; after the Supreme Court ruling we decided that on our 10th anniversary (which will be Oct. 4th of this year) we would go to Delaware and get "legally" married, though that still did not really help us on a state level since we live and raise our child in Pennsylvania."
So Leary set out to do something about it. Social media, the great connective tissue of our age, already being something of a specialty for her, that was the avenue she chose for this new push for full-fledged, rather than second-class, citizenship. The idea of putting the faces of real people -- real families -- out there was especially appealing.