I want to first thank everyone who worked so hard to defeat Amendment One. While we came up short in results, we certainly didn’t fall short in results, we certainly didn’t fall short in strategy or effort. Protect All NC Families did an amazing job, and I know The Human Rights Campaign was proud to be a part of the coalition.
And now, what’s next? I have read a lot of Facebook and Twitter posts from distraught equality advocates. I have read other posts with people mad as hell ready to take the next step. And I have also read posts from people suffering from a little post-election despondency wondering how we can move on. What do we do? Here are a few observations:
- The Human Rights Campaign has donated more than $590,000 to fight Amendment One. They need more money. If you want to help, go to HRC.org and donate. If you are willing to donate $100 a month or more, call me and we can discuss HRC’s Federal Club program.
- People may instinctively want to donate money to Protect All NC Families to keep the movement going. My personal advice is to hold off until we hear more from the coalition. Protect All NC Families is an entity that advocates on issues, not candidates, and getting involved in elections is probably the next step.
- The reason this Amendment fight was even necessary is because of the current crop of legislators in the NC House and the NC Senate. If you are in or near a district for a legislator who voted for putting Amendment One on the ballot, consider volunteering for their opponent’s campaign or even the county political party. Those legislators set in motion the events that lead to this travesty, and they deserve to be voted out. You can help do that.
- The Human Rights Campaign also needs volunteers. On Monday, May 14 at Caribou Coffee on Duraleigh. (Click here for more info), the Triangle group will be meeting to discuss what we are doing next and how we can continue to support equality.
- Finally, don’t be discouraged. The steps that need to be taken to reverse this abomination start with getting another constitutional amendment on the ballot, and that has to start with replacing legislators. Keep in mind that a big reason we lost was because of direct action of churches and religious institutions. As tax-exempt charities, they are allowed to influence ballot initiatives. But they could lost their tax-exempt status if they do too much to influence elections of public officials.
When we have a few more days to let the initial post-election let-down wash away and then take a step back, we can begin to see how truly remarkable our accomplishments were. Before this issue, HRC and Equality NC barely spoke. Now we truly count each other as working comrades in a common cause. The number of straight allies who came out to help and support the LGBT community was astounding. And many of us learned how to fight politically for the first time, and we know it won’t be the last.
It’s been said that this isn’t the end but just the beginning. That is very, very true. We will continue to stand up. We will continue to fight. And, eventually, we will win.