Thursday, August 5, 2010

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“This ruling marks a victory for loving, committed couples who want nothing more than the same rights and security as other families. From the start, this has been about basic fairness. Today we celebrate the affirmation of this fundamental principle; tomorrow, we are back out there sharing our personal stories and having conversations with Californians and people all across the country about why this matters and who we are.

“The tide is turning nationwide in favor of marriage equality, but our work is far from over. Today’s ruling is just a beginning step in what will likely be a long process, yet we are confident that fairness will prevail. Our conversations are breaking down barriers and helping to transform our country.”

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's work in California

Since the passage of Prop. 8 in November 2008, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has continued to work on the ground in California with state and local partners to restore the freedom to marry. Its priority remains bolstering local organizing designed to persuade voters to support the freedom to marry. Through partnerships with Equality California and the Vote for Equality project of the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center, volunteers are being trained to talk face to face, door to door with former Yes on 8 voters about marriage for same-sex couples.

These conversations are yielding important insight into voters’ barriers for supporting the freedom to marry and are showing success at changing attitudes towards marriage. Additionally, Task Force organizers are providing ongoing skills training to a wide range of local leaders to support long-term community change that includes, but is not exclusive to, marriage equality. In early June, the Task Force organized the California LGBT Power Summit, which brought together more than 130 leaders for an intensive skills training in volunteer recruitment, fundraising, door-to-door canvassing, and working across lines of racial difference.