Molly McKay Wiliams: The Story of a LGBTQ Marriage Equality Advocate

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Molly McKay Williams wedding dressIn this episode of Activist Trailblazers Podcast, Nan McKay speaks with her daughter Molly McKay Williams, former National Media Director of Marriage Equality USA,  about her life in LGBTQ marriage equality activism. Molly dedicated 15 years of her life advocating for LGBTQ marriage equality across all genders, which made her nationally and internationally recognized.

She shares how she became passionate about fighting for LGBTQ marriage equality after she and her wife repeatedly sought a state marriage license from their local city hall to highlight the unfair governmental discrimination. She also shares the challenges she and other same-sex couples faced during her time as the media director for LGBTQ marriage equality including discrimination and social exclusion.

Listen in to learn the importance of having marriage equality that brings forth familial connections and overall benefits to all couples and hear the end of the story.

Top Takeaways:

  • Finding the voice to tell marital discrimination stories to the world.
  • The power of creating family connections through meaningful conversations.
  • The honor of receiving an award that represented same-sex couples’ struggle of passing the equality agenda.
  • Creating marriage equality stories that reached across the globe.
  • Understanding the challenges in the journey and what the road ahead looks like for marriage equality.

Key Moments:

  • [1:44] Molly describes her childhood and the influence her mother Nan McKay had in her becoming the woman she is.
  • [3:46] Why she chose a career in law instead of going into the family business.
  • [5:03] She shares when she became passionate about telling same-sex couples’ stories.
  • [11:08] How Molly and her all-volunteer organization made a difference by creating meaningful conversations that led to reconnected families.
  • [17:20] The honor of being a grand marshal of the gay pride parade in San Francisco.
  • [24:00] Influencing across the globe.
  • [25:00] Molly shares an emotional story of Marvin Burrows and how it changed for the better when equality was realized.
  • [30:40] The challenges they faced in their journey and why she believes that things might roll back to how they were before.
  • [32:59] Why we need to live out to the promises we have in the constitution by always exercising equality.
  • {35:25] Molly talks about her divorce and finding love again in an unexpected package.
  • [40:37] She shares the joy of being a mom.


About nanmckay

Nan has been President of Nan McKay and Associates, Inc. since 1980. She started Nan McKay Connects LLC in 2019 and has started 4 other businesses over the last 50 years. She has received numerous awards including the Allan Anderson Award of Merit from Minnesota National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, the Section 8 Administrators Award, in 2018 the National Association of Women Business Owners’ (NAWBO) Signature Award for Southern California, and in 2019 she was selected by NAWBO as the California Woman Business Owner of the Year. She was co-founder of Minnesota Women in Housing and has served on the Board of Directors for the National Leased Housing Association for many years. She has two buildings named after her in Minnesota, a 10-story elderly high-rise, the Nan McKay Building, and a family subsidized development, McKay Manor. Nan now hosts four podcast shows featuring stories of women empowerment, oral history makers of affordable housing and community development, and stories of ordinary people coping with COVID-19 pandemic.;

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