Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's Not Over

"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up." -- Anne Lamott

Dear Friends,

It’s been a little more than a week since election night and our anger has not diminished over the devastating losses in Florida, California, Arizona and Arkansas.

Knowing that 3 out of 5 Floridians - our neighbors, co-workers, and perhaps even family members - voted to reduce us to second-class citizenship in our state Constitutions is an injury too deep to be ignored.

A grassroots driven, national day of peaceful protest has been spawned in the past few days with rallies planned for November 15th at City Halls and other locations across the nation. (see sidebar for Florida events)

But as this day of action approaches, let us not forget that anger alone is not enough. If there is going to be true change in Florida, then our passion for justice requires that we get engaged in the work ahead with our legislative session just around the corner.

Together we must:

1) Defend existing protections- We are working with our legal allies to explore all legal options and prepare to defend existing protections. We will fight in court anywhere domestic partnership provision are challenged.

2) Fight for expanded protections for our families
- Even as the majority voted to add discrimination into the constitution, 77% of Floridians now say they believe the law should provide all legal protections short of marriage to gay couples. It is a maddening contradiction but also a welcome opportunity to pursue more sweeping legal protections at the state and local level. We must work hard to achieve these protections and to defend them from legal threats posed by amendment 2.

3) Reach out to those who opposed Amendment 2 to help us educate and mobilize for it repeal- Nearly three million Florida voters stood with us and opposed adding discrimination to Florida's constitution. We must identify our supporters and engage them in this effort to undo 2.

4) Reach out to those who supported Amendment 2 but can be reached - We must communicate, educate and challenge those who voted to deny our rights. Polling shows us that communication with Black and Hispanic voters and greater engagement of young voters must be a major part of our effort. While we have built strong alliances with civil rights organizations and leaders, we must focus at the grassroots level as well.

5) Continue the ongoing work to end discrimination - Florida remains a state without a statewide non-discrimination law that includes LGBT people. We are the only state with a statute that singles out gay people and bans us from adopting, no matter how qualified we are to parent. And while we celebrated the passage of a statewide safe schools bill last year, we must work to ensure the new law is enforced properly at the local level to address the epidemic of anti-LGBT bullying.

With all that needs to be done in our state, demonstrating our anger at having rights stripped away is a good place to start, but it’s not nearly enough. The passion must translate into a commitment to get engaged and the resolve to stay involved in the work ahead. We have created a website to serve as an information hub for our campaign called "Undo 2".Click here to join the fight.


Nadine Smith

P.S. The far right announced they will sending people to the rallies. Remember these are non-violent demonstrations against this injustice. Don't let them bait you.

Visit the web address below to tell your friends about this.
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