Pinch me! I, like many of you, still can’t believe that this moment has finally arrived.
Yesterday, voters in Maine and Maryland affirmed marriage equality at the ballot box. Minnesota became the first state in the country to reject writing discrimination into its state constitution. And, while the ballots are still being counted, marriage equality appears headed for passage in Washington State. These outcomes may influence the U.S. Supreme Court when it considers the constitutionality of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. After working for more than a decade for LGBTQ equality, I’m ecstatic to say that the United States has reached the tipping point. We are poised to take our place among the other nations of the world who stand on the side of love.
But wait–there’s more! Wisconsin voters elected Tammy Baldwin–the first openly-LGBTQ American, and a woman of profound integrity–to the U.S. Senate, offering new hope and a shining example of success to young people who are hoping that it will get better, who will know they can achieve anything. Electoral outcomes in New Hampshire and Iowa mean marriage equality is most likely safe in those states, and the composition of Colorado’s legislature could mean new possibilities for relationship recognition for same-gender couples. Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins has retained his seat after anti-gay forces tried to oust him for joining in a unanimous 2009 decision for marriage equality.
Of course, whether we are Republicans and Democrats, all of us understand that when it comes to advancing equality for LGBTQ people in our nation, there was simply no contest between President Obama and Governor Romney. Hopefully, with President Obama’s leadership, we will never again have a sitting president who does not support full equality for LGBTQ people in our country.
Friends, Election 2012 is our moment. Love wins big!
Of course, our victories go much further than just LGBTQ equality. Voters in my home state of Maryland became the first in the nation to ever vote on a DREAM Act measure at the ballot, signaling resounding approval for providing in-state tuition to undocumented residents. Minnesota voters rejected a regressive voter ID amendment. And voters in two states–Colorado and Washington–said yes to decriminalizing marijuana. In an ideal world, this could indicate a shift in our national conversation about drug laws that disproportionately affect poor communities of color.
As these victories set in, however, we remember that this is really about people, and our love for one another. “Gratitude” is the number one word I am hearing emerge from the mouths of those who had so much invested in outcomes yesterday.
So today, let us all offer our gratitude to one another for our collective work to bend the arc of the world towards greater love and justice.
Former Campaign Manager
Standing on the Side of Love
The message above went out on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 to Standing on the Side of Love supporters. You can sign-up for these emails here.