Monday, October 13, 2008

"By the power vested in me . . . "

I just returned home from California where I attended the last in-person meeting of the No on Prop 8 campaign committee. As many of you know, Prop 8 is the effort to amend the California State constitution to eliminate marriage rights for committed same-sex couples. PFLAG, along with organizations across California and the country, has been meeting once a week via conference call and once a month in-person to strategize on how to beat Prop 8. Our meeting on Tuesday was the hardest yet.

It was reported in the meeting that our opposition has out fundraised us by $10 million. That is 10 million dollars they will use to flood the airways with anti-gay commercials that spread lies about how marriage equality will effect Californians. These commercials have already influenced public opinion. As of Tuesday we were losing in public opinion polls 43% with us and 47% supporting the proposition.

As I set in that meeting listening to the numbers, I thought about my friend Jean-Marie who just married her now wife in a civil ceremony in California last week. Jean-Marie told me that the most moving and incredible part of the wedding was when the official declared, "By the power vested in me by the state of California I know pronounce you legally married." We cannot allow her marriage to be taken away from her or any other marriage to be taken away from couples across California. We cannot allow LGBT youth across California and the country to wake up on November 5th and be told that they are not good enough to marry the person they love. We cannot allow our opposition to become embolden by a win in the largest state in this country because they will come after your rights next.

I have personally given to the No on Prop 8 campaign as has my fiancé and many of my straight friends here in DC. We have given because we love our LGBT friends and because we know that this is an opportunity that does not come around often. This is a moment in history where we can tell those people flooding California with their money and their hate that their 24 million dollars was for nothing because people in this country believe in equality. We believe that treating people differently and eliminating rights is wrong.

I am asking PFLAGers to go to the No on Prop 8 website and personally give. $10, $20, $100 will make all the difference as we work to get our message on TVs and radio stations across the state. There is still time to change hearts and minds, but we literally cannot do it without your help.