I write this with a heavy heart. I, like you, have sacrificed everything in our fight to defeat Prop 8. And on Tuesday, we lost. This is an outcome that is fundamentally unjust, unfair, and wrong. We banded together as a community like never before. We gave our hearts, our money, our time, and our unwavering commitment--and for that we should be proud.
Proponents of Prop 8 lied, cheated, and extorted to win. They ran a disgraceful campaign that distorted the truth, exploited children, and preyed upon fear. They had a staggering war chest of resources--a good portion of which came from out of state. The Mormon Church invested more than $14 million and mobilized their members to canvass door-to-door, phone bank from Utah, and telecast anti-gay sermons throughout their congregations. The proponents sunk to the lowest level of fear mongering and lies --something we would never do.
In spite of such dirty politics, we captured 48% of the vote--and three million ballots remain to be counted--which is good news upon which we can build. We have seen a tidal shift in public understanding of the importance of respecting our relationships and our families over the past eight years. Which is why it is all the more important that we continue to stand, and stand together, for fairness and justice in the aftermath of yesterday's vote.
This was a crushing defeat. But this was not the fight of our lives. That is yet to come. We are not done yet. As I write this, I feel anger, frustration, and overwhelming disappointment, but I have felt this way before: when we lost the marriage case at the California Court of Appeal before we won in the California Supreme Court, when Congress moved forward with a non-inclusive ENDA before our national community mobilized to demand an inclusive bill, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld laws criminalizing same-sex intimacy in Bowers v. Hardwick before it repudiated that devastating ruling in Lawrence v. Texas. In all civil rights movements, there are setbacks and stinging losses. But we must pick ourselves up and move forward. There is no other choice. It is the only way to create change.
And the change has begun. History was made with the election of Barack Obama as our nation's first African American president. The significance of that cannot be overstated. Our nation has elected many fair-minded leaders who we hope will work to protect us and our families.
So today I make you this promise: I will keep fighting. I need you to make the same promise.
There is so much work to be done, and NCLR is here. We're not going anywhere, and we will not rest until every LGBT person in this country has full equality under the law.