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National Engagement Party aims to raise cash for marriage equality

WASHINGTON – Freedom to Marry has launched the National Engagement Party, a program of house-parties nationwide to raise awareness and funds for battles to win marriage ballot-measures in key states this November.

The National Engagement Party will take place in cities across the country on Saturday, Oct. 13.

"With marriage on the ballot in states from Maine to Washington, from Minnesota to Maryland, we all need to get engaged -- and Freedom to Marry’s National Engagement Party is a way all of us across the country can raise the money and awareness to fuel big wins this November," said Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry.

"National Engagement Party house-parties give people a chance to make a difference by taking away the opposition's talking point that we can't win at the ballot, and by racking up wins in key states that accelerate the momentum for the freedom to marry nationwide."

The National Engagement Party will include grassroots and do-it-yourself events across the country as well as sponsored events confirmed for Miami, New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Palm Springs and San Francisco, with the number of parties expected to grow as the date approaches.

Marriage supporters can sign up to host or attend a party. The funds raised by the parties will go to Freedom to Marry’s Win More States Fund, and will be used toward the more than $10 million still needed by campaigns in Maine, Minnesota and Washington.

Freedom to Marry announced a few weeks ago that it met its 2012 goal of raising and investing $3 million months ahead of schedule, providing campaigns with valuable early money useful for TV buys and other ways of making the case to voters. But with the November ballot looming and money still needed, Freedom to Marry declared that it would continue its efforts to bring in more support, including through the National Engagement Party.

"The National Engagement Party is a unique and exciting way for Americans to do what they can to make a difference in one of the most important social justice causes of our time," said Tony Award-winning actress Audra McDonald and her fiancé Will Swenson. "No one should ever be denied the freedom to marry the person they love. We are proud to be a part of the Honorary Host Committee and to do our part to help win marriage for all loving and committed couples."

Freedom to Marry’s growing honorary host committee also includes strong marriage advocates such as Academy Award-nominated actress Anne Hathaway; Emmy Award-winning actress Jane Lynch; author, columnist, and founder of the It Gets Better project Dan Savage; MSNBC news anchor Thomas Roberts; and trailblazing advocate Bishop Gene Robinson.

House-party hosts who raise $2,500 or more will be eligible to win a trip for two to Mexico or the Caribbean, sponsored by Orbitz, the official travel sponsor of the event. The media sponsor for the National Engagement Party is Here Media, which operates the Advocate, Out, Gay.com, Shewired.com, and more.

For more information, click HERE.