What they did during summer vacation
In a new twist on “How I spent my summer vacation,” here’s what some Stanford students didn’t do: tie the knot. In response to the passage last November of Proposition 8, a group of undergrads launched the National Marriage Boycott (NMB) and have vowed to swear off marriage until the federal government repeals the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Their slogan: “We won’t, until we all can.” Members of the movement encourage allies, including straight married couples, to wear “Equality” rings on their left ring finger. In an interview with the Huffington Post in June, ALEXIS ORTEGA, ’09, one of the boycott’s directors, cited findings that show that “gay (and questioning) youth are four times more likely to commit suicide than the national average. The repeal of DOMA is one step of many in moving toward social change, and it can’t wait. We hope that by creating a visible, nationwide movement committed to marriage equality, not only will our voices be heard, but also, we hope that our strong, visible support will produce an environment where these kids feel safer and more supported.” NMB members began recruiting branches at schools across the country last spring, and according to junior SARAH MASIMORE, the group’s chief operating officer, there now are about 20 campus branches including Columbia, Dartmouth, University of Alabama, UCLA, University of Miami and several high schools across the country, including Gunn High School in Palo Alto.
On Sept. 15, the boycott garnered a $10,000 grant from ideablob, a social entrepreneurship website that connects grassroots organizations with those willing to contribute seed money. The proposal was submitted by sophomore KENZIE SEAL, the NMB’s chief financial officer, who said the boycott sold about 80 rings per month on Stanford’s campus last year, and has sold about 70 rings per month on their website. “I hope to get similar numbers from our other branches,” Seal said.
– Elaine Ray