Thursday, January 29, 2009

Eyes on the Prize

From NGLTF "Creating Change", Denver
Thursday - Part 2

This morning's session was opened by marriage equality activist and lawyer, Evan Wilson. His summary of the landscape of equal access to marriage was empowering.

Fifteen years ago where were we? Still reeling from the disasterous "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" episode. Only 25% of the American public favored civil unions. Most Americans could not even imagine the words "gay" and "marriage" in the same sentence. Marriage and the service in the military, 2 tropes of equality were not for gay people.

We had not even begun to weather the sustained attack of our opponents in the religious right, the Mormon and the Catholic Churches. No country had a legally recognized same sex union.

Now we are in a new era. November 5th was a new beginning. The regrets over our complacency and our disbelief in the power of the opposition to build a campaign based on fear and lies is behind us.

There is legal same-sex marrige and it is within our grasp in 7 jurisdictions. Legislation is close to passing in NY, NJ, DC, Iowa, Maine, Vermont and of course we are fighting back in CA.

We must and will WIN THESE STATES.

We must adopt what our opponents have a clear picture of what the goal is. For them it is to extricate us from society. For us it is Marriage. Anything less is simply a step along the path.

We must keep our eyes on the prize.

"Don't ask, don't tell" will be repealed. With the rights and resposibilties of full marriage at the federal level we will have access to the last institution from which we are barred.

Next installment... "Don't call it DOMA, 'cause it ain't"

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