Grand Marshal


Evan Wolfson

Evan Wolfson is founder and President of Freedom to Marry, the campaign to win marriage nationwide. Before founding Freedom to Marry, Evan served as marriage project director for Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund, was co-counsel in the historic Hawaii marriage case that launched the ongoing global movement for the freedom to marry, and participated in numerous gay rights and HIV/AIDS cases.

He earned a B.A. in history from Yale College in 1978, served as a Peace Corps volunteer in a village in Togo, West Africa, and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1983. Citing his national leadership on marriage and his appearance before the U.S. Supreme Court in "Boy Scouts of America v. James Dale," the National Law Journal in 2000 named Evan one of "the 100 most influential lawyers in America." In 2004, Evan was named one of the "Time 100," Time magazines's list of "the 100 most influential people in the world." Evan's book, "Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People's Right To Marry," was published by Simon & Schuster in July 2004.

After New York State legalized same sex marriage last year, Evan and his partner Cheng He were married in New York City. Evan and Cheng will be riding in a convertible near the front of the parade.

ADDENDA: There is an informative article in the New York Times (Oct. 21, 2011) that says Evan is widely considered to be a key architect of the movement to legalize same-sex marriage. The story is about the life and marriage of Evan Wolfson and Cheng He including their early lives and comments from their family members.