Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Gay Rights Update!! Say It Ain't So! Bittersweet....

An online newsletter I receive from the Human Rights Campaign reported ....

Dear Timothy,

Unfortunate news has dimmed the exhilaration of this historic, life-changing election.

I am deeply disappointed to report anti-LGBT marriage bans passed in Florida and Arizona, and in Arkansas voters voted to bar all unmarried people, LGBT or straight, from adopting children or serving as foster parents.

Meanwhile media outlets have begun to report bad news for marriage equality in California. However, the Human Rights Campaign just participated in a conference call with our coalition partners and we firmly believe that all votes should be counted before calling the race. Several million votes in California have yet to be counted. Now is not the time to speculate on somebody’s fundamental rights. So we are waiting to see the final results from those ballots and will be issuing a statement after the race has been called. Please stay tuned.

While this news certainly put a damper on such a historic election, we should celebrate the fact that our movement came together in an unprecedented way, and worked tirelessly to defeat these amendments, and millions voted with us yesterday.

It is indeed a bitter pill to swallow. But we cannot allow distorted facts or shallow tactics – the foundation on which our opponents built their campaigns – to break our spirits. We are on the right side of history – and we will continue this journey.

Let us not forget that we saw many glimmers of hope for LGBT equality across the country last night. We increased the ranks of pro-equality lawmakers in both the House and the Senate. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO), ringleader of the campaign to write discrimination into the U.S. Constitution, was soundly defeated. Jared Polis (D-CO) became the first openly gay man ever to be elected to Congress as a non-incumbent. Democrats took the New York State Senate, giving us our best chance ever to pass a same-sex marriage law in a legislature. We beat back a ballot question in Connecticut that could have threatened our recent victory there. In fact, marriages begin next week. And we elected Barack Obama as our next President, ending eight years of anti-LGBT policies. I truly believe that despite these setbacks, our nation is moving in the right direction.

After fighting for years, so many victories are now within reach. And thanks to yesterday’s victories, we can now pass critical LGBT equality measures like the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act and begin unraveling the damage of the last eight years...

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