Hearts & Minds: The Story of the Civil Marriage Collaborative

On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued an historic ruling holding that denying the freedom to marry to same-sex couples violates the constitution. In doing so, the Court extended marriage equality immediately to all fifty states and enshrined the freedom to marry as a basic constitutional right.

For eleven years before this decision, the Civil Marriage Collaborative worked diligently to support a wide array of public education efforts to change hearts and minds on marriage equality. The CMC awarded grants to leaders in the field, worked closely with grantees and other allied organizations, and collaborated with key national stakeholders to maximize the effectiveness of philanthropy’s role in the overarching effort to advance this critical civil and human rights issue.

As the CMC prepared to shut down operations in 2016, the program and its funder partners realized that one of the lesser-told stories within the larger narrative of the marriage equality movement was the important role played by philanthropy. We wanted to ensure this story was captured, for posterity and to ensure the CMC’s lasting contribution to the work of social justice funders, activists, and advocates. This resulted in Hearts and Minds, a case study and accompanying video that told the story of the Civil Marriage Collaborative and its role in this momentous victory.