Front-line leader of marriage equality movement and author of the acclaimed Winning Marriage: The Inside Story of How Same-Sex Couples Took on the Politicians and Pundits—and Won (ForeEdge / University Press of New England 2014; paperback edition with afterword on final Supreme Court decision September 2015)
Solomon is in demand to speak at colleges and universities about the battle for marriage equality, why it succeeded, and the lessons it offers other social movements. He also enjoys speaking about his career as a social entrepreneur and advocate.
During the past two years, Solomon has spoken at:
Dartmouth College / Tuck School of Business
Harvard University / John F. Kennedy School of Government & Institute of Politics
New York University / Wagner School of Public Service
UCLA Law / Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy
UCLA / Luskin School of Public Affairs
UCLA undergraduate / LGBT Studies
University of Chicago / Institute of Politics (panel: Gay Marriage, Marijuana, and the Minimum Wage: The Power of Citizen Democracy)
University of Southern Maine
Washington University School of Law (keynote address titled Where Do We Go From Here: Lessons From the Marriage Battles at Midwest LGBTQ Law Conference)
Webster University (keynote address titled Securing Human Rights in America: Lessons from the Freedom to Marry Movement at the Institute for Human Rights’ Annual Human Rights Conference)
Yale University / Ezra Stiles College Master’s Tea and LGBT Studies at Yale
Marc Solomon gave the keynote address at the 10th annual Midwest LGBTQ Law Conference, hosted in 2015 at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. Solomon’s talk, “Where Do We Go From Here? Lessons From the Marriage Battles,” was a highlight of the conference. His ability to explain with depth how the marriage fight was won, using lively anecdotes from his decade-plus of work on the fight, was captivating. His thoughtfulness in describing how those lessons can be applied to the next round of advances on matters LGBTQ and beyond offered up a roadmap for activists of all stripes. His hopeful message — that in spite of impediments and obstacles, real change can still take place in today’s America — is one that is vitally important for today’s students to hear, challenge, and internalize.
Charles Nagel Professor of Public Interest Law & Public Service
Director, Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Program
Faculty Advisor, OUTLaw (WUSOL’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and allies organization)
Washington University School of Law
Energetic, sharp, and just the right amount of irreverent, Solomon is a terrific campus speaker. As we saw at Yale, he appeals not only to LGBTQ young activists, but also to all social justice-minded students interested in making a game plan and getting things done. He offers–concisely and with humor–the necessary lessons for social movement organizing; and he listens with care and responds with insight to the contemporary injustice concerns of his audience.
Director of Undergraduate Studies of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Marc gave a talk hosted by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. While Marc’s focus was on the marriage equality campaign, he provided lessons that resonate across social movements. Rather than treat law and politics as separate and incompatible domains, Marc presented the dialogical relationship between courts and legislatures. He showed how both judges and lawmakers were critical to advocates’ ability to translate legal victories into lasting change. Marc’s first-hand, behind-the-scenes account of the rise of marriage equality, from Massachusetts to the entire country, made his insights about law and social change both concrete and engaging.
Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
Faculty Director, Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy
When we were planning our annual Midwest LGBTQ Law Conference, we had no idea that we would be able to have someone as engaging, thoughtful, sincere and passionate as Marc Solomon deliver the keynote address. His speech, “Where Do We Go From Here: Lessons From the Marriage Battles,” told the story of an organization and an activist both dedicated in an extremely personal way to making a profound difference for our community. It is a testament to Marc’s hard work that we have finally won the freedom to marry for everyone. I would encourage any student organization to have Marc speak on their campus. He is a hero for our community. His experiences can show us all how to live with compassion and make a lasting impact for those whose freedoms are still uncertain.
Chair, Washington University
OUTLaw, JD 2016
Marc is a nationally recognized political strategist and campaign leader with nearly 25 years of experience in campaign management, policy development and execution, communications leadership, and field mobilization. For the last 12 years, Marc has been one of the key architects of the marriage equality movement, having worked as National Campaign Director of Freedom to Marry. He is presently advising other advocacy movements on strategy as Principal and National Director of Civitas Public Affairs Group.
As national campaign director for Freedom to Marry, Marc drove the marriage movement’s political strategy while managing a staff of 25 with expertise in communications, field organizing, digital media, messaging, lobbying, public engagement, and general campaign management. Marc is a regular national media spokesperson, appearing on Meet the Press’ Press Pass and quoted frequently in national publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, and Politico.
Marc’s 2014 book Winning Marriage: The Inside Story of How Same-Sex Couples Took on the Politicians and Public—and Won, is described by U.S. News and World Report as “a playbook for progressive causes,” was named a Best Book of 2014 by Slate which called it “the definitive political history of marriage equality.” He is a frequent speaker at colleges and universities, businesses and law firms, and gatherings of leaders and funders of other social movements.
In addition to his work on marriage equality, Marc has served as a policy adviser to U.S. Senator Danforth in Washington, D.C., a community development strategist in St. Louis, and a researcher for Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward. In May 2009, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick presented Marc with the Massachusetts Democratic Party’s prestigious Franklin Delano Roosevelt Award, given yearly to an individual who espouses FDR’s ideals “with respect to democracy, justice, individual freedoms, and citizenship.” In 1999, the Rockefeller Foundation named Marc one of America’s next generation leaders and invited him to participate in its prestigious two-year Next Generation Leadership fellowship program.
Marc is a magna cum laude graduate of Yale University and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Marc resides in New York City.