"Ballot measures driven by prejudice are poison; honesty and equality are the essential cure."
(Los Angeles, November 4, 2009) — In response to last night's apparent wins in Washington State and Kalamazoo, Michigan, and loss in Maine, Lambda Legal Marriage Project Director Jennifer C. Pizer released the following statement:
"Just a few days after Halloween, we see how effective our opponents' trick-or-treat strategy truly was-- going state to state, shouting ‘boo’ at voters to scare them into voting away the rights of their gay neighbors. Forcing any minority to endure a barrage of lies and insults, ending with a vote that denies them full citizenship, is cruel – it’s not the government our founders envisioned. Ballot measures driven by prejudice are poison; honesty and equality are the essential cure.
"So, as with last year's election, the LGBT community must confront a bittersweet moment --another devastating yet razor-thin setback in Maine, together with galvanizing wins in Washington State and Kalamazoo – just as a year ago we woke up to find our rights stripped away in California by Proposition 8, but a hopeful new day in the White House. As heartbreaking as that narrow loss was, it spurred a massive new wave of engagement nationwide that is helping us win full equality step by step.
"We now have marriage equality in five states, 18,000 married lesbian and gay couples in California, and the first federal law protecting against antigay abuse. Based on the vote tally so far it's encouraging and important that Washington State voters preserved that state's comprehensive domestic partners legislation. They were able to pick their way through the muck of lies and misinformation spread by our opponents-- funded, as in the Prop 8 campaign, by a massive infusion of cash from out-of-state religious groups. And the good news from Kalamazoo, Michigan confirms that positive change continues in the Midwest, as well as on the coasts and in Congress. While we don’t win every battle, there’s no denying that time is on our side and equality is prevailing.
"We also congratulate Protect Maine Equality and Washington Families Standing Together for fighting valiantly against intolerance. Their campaign workers and volunteers fought the dishonesty and misinformation door to door and dollar to dollar. Their integrity and determination are inspiring as our battle for equality continues."
Contact: Jason Pérez Howe, Office: 213-382-7600 ext.247; Cell: 415-595-9245 or Lisa Hardaway 973-902-9298; firstname.lastname@example.org
Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.