Marriage equality in Australia: Lessons from the US campaign



10 June 2016


Allens, Sydney

Hear the architect of the marriage equality movement in the United States and the leader of Ireland’s Yes Equality campaign discuss how lessons from the United States and Ireland can be applied to Australia.

Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, and Tiernan Brady, executive director, Australians 4 Equality Campaign, joined the United States Studies Centre’s CEO Simon Jackman to give an insider's perspective on the historical, political and social evolution of marriage equality around the world.

Part of the Centre’s ongoing comparative social issues series, the event was a unique opportunity to share hard-earned lessons, discuss the challenges of mounting a national campaign on an emotional issue and where Australia stands in comparison to the United States and others globally.

Marriage Equality in Australia: Lessons from the US campaign


  • Evan Wolfson
    Founder and President, Freedom to Marry

    Evan Wolfson was a visitor at the US Studies Centre in 2016. Wolfson is a social rights activist who founded Freedom to Marry, the campaign that advocated in favour of same-sex marriage in the United States. Following the legalisation of same-sex marriage in the United States in 2015, Wolfson now acts as an advisor for various movements and causes in the US and around the world. Wolfson also teaches law and social change at Georgetown Law Centre, where he has been named a Distinguished Visitor from Practice.

  • Tiernan Brady
    Political Director of Ireland's Yes Equality Campaign

    Tiernan Brady was a visitor at the US Studies Centre in June 2016.

    Brady was the policy officer of GLEN – The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, Ireland’s leading LGBTI organisation. He was the political director of Yes Equality, which led the referendum campaign for marriage equality in Ireland. He...

  • Professor Simon Jackman
    Professor Simon Jackman

    Professor Simon Jackman was Chief Executive Officer of the United States Studies Centre from April 2016 to May 2022. Between 1996 and 2016, he was a Professor of Political Science and Statistics at Stanford University. Jackman's teaching and research centres on public opinion, election campaigns, political participation, and electoral systems with special emphasis on American and Australian politics.