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How Data Helped Win The Battle Over Same-Sex Marriage

Thalia Zepatos, director of research and messaging for Freedom to Marry, helped change American attitudes on same-sex marriage. After a string of defeats — most notably, Proposition 8 in California — Zepatos studied how different groups thought about marriage and used that data to change how the pro-gay-marriage movement made its case. Rather than focusing on rights and equality, Freedom to Marry built their arguments around love and commitment. The shift in strategy coincided with a sea change in public opinion and presaged a run of milestones for proponents of same-sex marriage.

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