It was no secret during past decades of ballot-box pummeling that social connections help determine where people stand on LGBT equality, say the organizers behind November 6's same-sex marriage wins in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington. They knew the public-opinion polls. Simply having a gay family member, friend, or colleague doubles the likelihood of support. "The meta narrative," says Michael Cole-Schwartz, director of media efforts for the Human Rights Campaign, "is that we win these fights because Americans know that LGBT people are their neighbors, their cousins, their aunts and uncles, the people they sit next to in church, and the people they shop with at the grocery store."
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