Centerline Liberties Hosts “Politics, Policy & Precedent: The Freedom To Marry At 20 Years”

Held At Kirkland & Ellis, Event Participants Include Leading Pollsters, Policy Experts, Business & Legal Leaders


WASHINGTON D.C. – Before a standing room only audience in the nation’s capital, Centerline Liberties convened a wide-ranging discussion on the policy, progress and legal precedents affiliated with the freedom to marry. 

The conversation, which took place at the D.C. office of Kirkland & Ellis, coincided not just with Pride Month and the 20th anniversary of the first legal marriages between same-sex couples in the United States, but also a landmark report from RAND, a leading nonprofit research organization, on the impact of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, American families and society at large. The two-section report offers groundbreaking analysis and original research evaluating the causal effects of changes in marriage policy across states with regard to marriage rates, adoption rates, and other outcomes in the general population, and concluded that the arguments of opponents of same-sex marriage have not come to pass.

The report, which is available here, was covered extensively by the Wall Street Journal.

Following opening remarks from James Dozier, President of Centerline Liberties, and Jay Timmons, President and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, Sarah Matthews, former White House Deputy Press Secretary and Republican Strategist, moderated an all-star panel that included:

  • Alex Lundry, founder, Redbud Consulting, and leading Republican pollster;
  • Melanie Zabar, Economist and coauthor of the RAND report;
  • Benjamin R. Karney, Economist and coauthor of the RAND report;
  • Dale Carpenter, Professor of Law, Southern Methodist University.

“As we mark the 20 year anniversary of marriage equality, the facts are clear: the freedom to marry has bolstered the institution of marriage, led to more couples marrying, and resulted in stronger families and communities,” said James Dozier, President of Centerline Liberties. “The widespread benefits are not limited only to same-sex couples, but to all couples and society as a whole. We’re grateful to Reg Brown and Kirkland & Ellis for providing the platform for the important conversation, as well as the insightful and valuable input from all the speakers and everyone who turned out tonight to learn more.”

“It’s up to all of us to keep making the case for the freedom to marry and the freedom to form our families—in how we live our lives, in how we deliver the facts, in how we share our stories. That’s why the work you’re doing matters,” added Jay Timmons, President and CEO of the NAM.

In addition to Dozier, Timmons and Reg Brown, a partner at Kirkland & Ellis, the event Host Committee comprised a litany of former Republican members of Congress, including: Barbara Comstock (VA-10), Ryan Costello (PA-6), Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), Charlie Dent (PA-15), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), Mimi Walters (CA-45), as well as Ken Mehlman, Founder, Project Right Side and lead signer on a brief of 300 conservatives in support of Obergefell v. Hodges.


Centerline Liberties is a nonprofit focused on advancing policy solutions capable of defending core constitutional liberties, preserving a free market economy, and limiting the role of government in Americans’ everyday lives.

RAND is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous. As a nonpartisan organization, RAND is widely respected for operating independent of political and commercial pressures.