Website Mobilizes College Students in Support of Gay Marriage

Mon. August 2, 2004 12:00 AM

Stanford, CA - In response to the recent flurry of activity surrounding same-sex marriage, two Stanford University students launched ( last week, a website aimed at mobilizing college students to fight for gay marriage by giving students simple ways to become politically involved in equal rights.

"Thousands of college students across America have not found a way to rally together in support of same-sex marriage," co-founder Sam Altman said. "Our site endeavors to mobilize this untapped resource by educating visitors and giving them simple but effective methods for taking action."

The site allows anyone to educate themselves, their political leaders, and those around them about the issue. Visitors are informed by "Talking Points," arguments crafted to convince people of different political persuasions that gay marriage should be allowed. Visitors can then spread this information by sending a pre-written letter to their government representatives. The most innovative feature of the site, however, is that visitors can connect with other members in their area to work on several projects that get their communities involved.

"It's this last step that sets apart from other gay marriage sites," co-founder Vincent Intersimone said. "You can create a group in your local area, which then allows you to create an easy-to-set-up web page and an email list you can use to inform your group about action campaigns. These campaigns have straightforward instructions and take only a few hours to complete, but they get college students throughout the country to set up gay marriage debates, information stations, and letter writing campaigns . mobilizing their communities through grass-roots efforts."

Instructions for gay marriage debates suggest groups invite local leaders to share their insights and arguments for and against gay marriage in the hope that a dialogue can begin on campuses and in local communities. Another section explains how to set up booths in busy public areas so a group can educate, collect petitions, register voters, and fund raise. Still another section outlines the most important aspects of a successful letter to an editor, representative, or local organization.

"People want to support gay rights; they even want to be politically active about it, but most don't know how," Intersimone said. "This site solves that problem for them."