Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day in America

It's election day in America, and the results of today's votes will impact the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community - and our family, friends and allies - for generations to come. In four states, voters will decide the fate of divisive, anti-gay ballot measures that seek to restrict and roll-back rights for LGBT people and in every state, voters will choose our country's next president, and decide who will be part of our next Congress.

As PFLAG's executive director, Jody Huckaby, wrote here yesterday, "The stakes could not be higher."

It is critically important that everyone take time to vote today . . . and to vote the right way.

First, vote NO to defeat ballot measures that would create a second-class of citizenship for LGBT Americans:

In Florida, Vote No on Amendment 2.
In Arizona, Vote No on Amendment 102.
In California, Vote No on Proposition 8.
In Arkansas, Vote No on Act 1.

There is little doubt that, should these initiatives be approved by voters, anti-family extremists will be emboldened to take similar fights to other states and localities in future elections. If we are able to beat back their efforts, however, it will represent a truly significant turning point in our community's work for equal rights under the law. In 2004, similar measures, with the exception of Arizona, were overwhelmingly successful. Just four years later, we have a very real opportunity to turn the page and show that voters believe discrimination is wrong and that stripping away fundamental rights is no longer acceptable in our country. Anti-family groups are pushing these measures hard, because they understand that, if they fail, equality moves forward and our country moves beyond their divisive and discriminatory campaigns.

Next, vote to elect a commander-in-chief who you believe will stand up for every family and champion equality for every American, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Then, help send pro-equality candidates to Congress. Over the next few years, Congressional representatives will be asked to weigh in on critically important issues like employment non-discrimination, hate crimes, repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and leveling the playing field for bi-national couples navigating U.S. immigration law. Find out where candidates in your state and district stand on each of those issues, and cast your vote for the person who will fight for dignity & respect for LGBT Americans when they arrive in Washington.

In almost every election, we hear candidates talk about this particular election being the most important of our lifetime. This time, that may not be an exaggeration. Anti-LGBT lawmakers are facing tough re-election battles, with voters increasingly expressing support for candidates who believe in fairness and equality. And in the 4 states facing anti-gay ballot measures, voters can reject the politics of division that our opponents try to use in election after election.

Now, it all comes down to voter turnout. We know that most Americans don't want to discriminate, and if we succeed in getting them all out to the polls to vote for pro-equality candidates and against these mean-spirited ballot initatives, Wednesday morning may bring an entirely new landscape in American politics . . . and a bright new day for LGBT Americans, our families and allies, too.

For more information, visit PFLAG's 2008 Get Out the Vote page. Then, check back here throughout the night. When the votes are counted, and the results are in, we'll have PFLAG's reaction to the 2008 election results here first.

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