I have waited to write today in hopes of having some final news about No on Prop 8 in California – the ballot initiative which would eliminate marriage rights for same-sex couples. As the day comes to a close in California, we are still awaiting the final tallies and are following the lead of our partners at the No on 8 campaign. The No on Prop 8 campaign reports that given the incredible gravity of the situation, they will not issue the ultimate call on this initiative until more information is finalized in the next 24-48 hours. With at least 3 million California ballots still to be counted the race could, at a minimum narrow, with the margin becoming much closer than the reported results.
Last night was one of mixed emotions – both celebration and disappointment for our community’s pursuit of fairness and equality. After eight years of an administration that fed on the most divisive kinds of anti-gay politics, we are now able to greet a president-elect whose commitment to inclusion has the potential to elevate and fundamentally redefine the national discussion about our community. Barack Obama has proven that he is able and willing to move our nation away from anti-LGBT rhetoric as we work to ensure that all Americans have the chance to earn a living, be safe in their communities, serve their country, and take care of the ones they love.
The American people have shown their strong support for inclusive candidates across the country who are supportive of LGBT equality. As a result, we see a great opportunity in a Congress that is more supportive of LGBT issues than ever before.
Millions of voters across the country also cast ballots in support of LGBT equality thanks to the unified work of our movement. We find ourselves disappointed and disheartened by results in Arkansas, Arizona and Florida, where laws intended to hurt loving, committed couples and families passed. As we await the final results of our movement’s unprecedented fight to defeat Proposition 8 in California, we celebrate Connecticut voters’ rejection of a measure that could have endangered marriage equality in that state.
Though we await the final outcome, we know our opponents’ dishonest campaigns had one consequence: their lies have been unmasked in the media like never before, providing us with a strong precedent that will help shape future public discussions of their false and misleading attacks on our lives and our families. Fair, accurate and inclusive media representations of our lives have opened millions of Americans’ eyes to the common ground that we all share. Yesterday’s results reinforce that we will have much more work to do. We need to be more visible than ever and exposing anti-LGBT lies in the media must be a top priority for our movement.
Please check with www.glaad.org for ongoing updates about our work in the days and weeks ahead.
I am proud to be part of this movement and the work of the dedicated GLAAD staff who played such an active role on all levels of the campaigns. As a GLAAD supporter, you help us do this work of advocating for LGBT images in the media that are accurate and inclusive. When voters see our stories on the nightly news and in local papers, hearts and minds change and it deepens people’s understanding of who we are. We’re counting on you to stand alongside us. Thank you for your continued support.
Neil G. Giuliano