Thursday, 9 April 2009

HRC: Landmark victories for marriage equality


Human Rights Campaign


Today, Vermont became the first state to enact marriage equality via the legislature!

And just four days ago, Iowa became the first Midwestern state with marriage equality!

Dear Bernard,

This is a rare email – one where we celebrate another huge step towards marriage equality not in a matter of months or years, but literally days.

Vermont made history today, as the first state in America to enact marriage equality through legislative process – just FOUR DAYS after another huge win for marriage equality in Iowa.

This is a resounding message about the direction of our country. Not only did the Vermont Legislature vote to support marriage equality, but they did so with a two-thirds majority to override the Governor's veto.

Now the courageous leaders of the Vermont House and Senate are about to bear the brunt of a right-wing backlash. Let's show them they did the right thing.

Our path has never been easy. But sometimes our perseverance is rewarded with enormous breakthroughs like these.

After the Iowa court decision last Friday and today's historic vote in Vermont, we have DOUBLED – in one week – the number of states that allow loving, committed lesbian and gay couples to marry.

I can't overstate the significance of the Vermont victory. The governor had just vetoed the marriage equality bill, and we were a few votes short of the two-thirds majority necessary to override that veto. But we prevailed.

And YOU had a hand in this victory. Your support enabled us to work with the dedicated and talented team at the Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force for over a year to lay the groundwork. And HRC's National Field Director traveled to Vermont several times this year, including this week, meeting with lawmakers HRC helped elect. In Iowa, HRC played an instrumental role in electing a fair-minded majority to the State House and protecting and expanding the fair-minded majority in the State Senate, giving us leaders who last week so eloquently defended the court's decision. It's all proof positive that your support of HRC makes a tangible difference.

If you have ever doubted our ability to change the hearts and minds of our friends, neighbors, coworkers and fellow citizens, let today lay those fears to rest.

Of course, there is still much work ahead. The California Supreme Court will decide in the next 60 days whether to uphold Proposition 8. And even now, the radical right is using these tremendous milestones for equality to rally their troops and spread their lies. We'll need to call on you in the days and weeks ahead to help us defend these victories and push for equality in other states.

In the meantime, please take a moment to celebrate these historic wins with your loved ones. And make sure these courageous Vermont leaders receive the praise they deserve.

The dedication of HRC's members and activists is the driving force behind our work. I cannot thank you enough for helping make this day possible.


Joe Solmonese 
Joe Solmonese 

P.S. When it rains, it pours. Just hours ago, Washington, DC's City Council voted to recognize marriages from other jurisdictions! The measure won't become law until it's approved by the mayor and Congress, but it's a big win, and we'll keep you posted.

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