Last month, Richard Carey started a 53-day, 3,667-mile cross-country bike ride with the hope of spreading the message of marriage equality with folks he meets along the way.

In addition to preaching the good word, Carey, 53, is also raising money for Freedom to Marry’s Win More States Fund on his trek. It’s a self-funded trip, so every penny goes for the cause. ( Carey’s hoping to raise $25,000 by the time he crosses the finish line, and he’s a little over half-way there.)

Kicking off in Washington State, which will vote in November on whether or not to keep its new same-sex marriage law, and ending in Maine, which has a marriage-equality referendum on the ballot, Carey’s ride will also be cycling through other battleground states like Minnesota, which is voting on a marriage ban in the upcoming elections.

“Americans are currently engaged in a conversation about whether same-sex couples should be able to share in the freedom to marry. I’m going to join that conversation in a rather direct way” says Carey, the father of a 20-year-old son. “I’ll talk about the cause with anyone and everyone who’s interested.”

Another advocate for the LGBT community who racked up some serious mileage is Richard Noble, who recently completed a cross-country “Civil Rights Walk Across America.”

Noble set off from San Francisco in March 2011. By the time he finished in Jacksonville, Florida, on June 9, 2012, Noble had traversed 2,700 mile and ten states.

His goal was to promote the American Equality Bill, proposed legislation that would bring the LGBT community on par with the rest of the nation in one fell swoop.

“I carried the Rainbow Flag through the deserts of Nevada and across the Rockies, to Matthew Shepard’s fence and Wounded Knee, to gay groups and elected officials,” Noble said at the finish line, flocked by 100s of supporters. “All to help light a fire for full equality and to talk about theinsidious psychological and physical harm LGBT Americans suffer from discrimination.”

These men are just two of the many activists sacrificing a lot (and not just shoe leather) to change hearts and minds across America. The rest of us should tip our hats and consider what we’ve done for the cause lately.

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