As you probably already know by now, Election Day proved very fruitful for the LGBT community, with ballot measures involving marriage equality approved (and rejected) in the battleground states of Maine, Maryland, and Washington (and Minnesota). Geeks OUT was part of the Campaign for 20 Million More, a coalition spearheaded by Marriage Equality USA. Today, MEUSA Executive Director Brian Silva sent out this message regarding this historic moment:
5. 10. 20 years from now you and I will be sitting with our friends or telling our children, "I remember that night we passed marriage equality for the first time at the ballot..."
We often use the word "historic" too frivolously, for moments that do not deserve that definition. However today is not one of those days - in fact, today is the exact definition of both the words "historic" and "grassroots."
Last night and into the early hours of this morning, the fair-minded citizens of Maine, Minnesota and Maryland (and we soon hope to add Washington to this list) spoke loudly and clearly that the era of using our lives, our families and our love to discriminate and drive a wedge between each other is coming to an end!
Marriage Equality USA has been at the forefront of this movement for almost 20 years. Over the past few months we have worked hand in hand with each state coalition. Listening to the needs of these local campaigns, we formed the Campaign for 20 Million More to provide canvass and phone bank support in all four fights. What we accomplished in a little over 45 days was astounding:
- A Campaign of 50+ national and local organizations**
- 100+ phone banks across the country
- Almost 400 volunteers working 550+ volunteer shifts contributing 1300+ hours of volunteer time
- Over 50,000 phone calls to voters in the four states
I am proud that Marriage Equality USA led the effort to accomplish these amazing goals, and I am eternally grateful for the local state campaigns, our staff, and all the volunteers and campaign partners who helped to make this election such a success. MEUSA has always believed that the LGBT community is strongest when we work as a team, and this Campaign was living proof.
So as we celebrate today, know that we have been actively planning for November 7 and beyond. We have work to do at the federal level with the so-called "Defense of Marriage" Act. We have brothers and sisters living in both red and blue states that need our help to feel what Mainers, Marylanders, Minnesotans and (hopefully) Washingtonians feel today.
Thank you for all you have done, and all you will continue to do.
Thanks to all of our volunteers who helped with the Geeks OUT-sponsored phonebanking, and be sure to learn more about Marriage Equality USA here.