Defeat at Michigan Polls Cannot Stall Progress Toward Equality
- Virtually every daily newspaper, throughout the state and across all
political points of view urged a NO vote on Proposal 2.
DEFEAT AT POLLS CANNOT STALL PROGRESS TOWARD EQUALITY
Tuesday 2 November 2004
(DETROIT)--- Statement by Jeffrey Montgomery, Executive Director of
Triangle Foundation, in reaction to Proposal 2 in Michigan, the anti-
marriage Constitutional Amendment:
We may have lost the popular vote today, but we have clearly won on
the issue of fairness and equality. Civil rights and expansion of
protection almost never come through ballots and campaigns.
And while the reality for gays and lesbians is no different today
than it was yesterday ---same-sex marriages were illegal then and
they still are--- the infamy attached to that prohibition now as an
amendment to our Constitution disgraces that document and humiliates
Equality and equal protection result from educating the public and
changing hearts and minds. The campaign over Proposal 2 has advanced
the movement for recognition of the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual
and transgender (GLBT) people in ways that no other opportunity has
afforded in the last decade.
Virtually every daily newspaper, throughout the state and across all
political points of view urged a NO vote on Proposal 2, that is a
vote for equality, a vote for justice, a vote for fair treatment of
all relationships ---gay or otherwise. Religious leaders, labor
leaders, and their organizations spoke out against Proposal 2. They
made it clear that Michigan cannot be a place that sets neighbor
against neighbor, divides families, takes away benefits and permits
So, a majority of voters said YES to discrimination in Michigan and
that is something that should trouble every Michiganian. The passage
of Proposal 2 is a shame and an embarrassment for Michigan because it
creates a caste system granting basic rights to some and not others.
Those factions that forced the vote have provided a grave and dark
reality for our state.
We believe that the architects of that reality have miscalculated.
Indeed, they have also helped us to advance the awareness of
discrimination, and by their marginal success at the polls today they
have brought us closer to the day that sexual orientation will cease
to be the target for bigotry and prejudice. They have helped us to
move ahead by compelling thousands of our fellow citizens to consider
GLBT equality and support our right to fair treatment. While those
who waged this campaign of hate prevailed at the polls, they have
intensified and hastened the march toward the day when all of us, gay
or otherwise, will achieve equal status and equal opportunity.
Our challenge now is to assess the next steps toward equal rights and
how we will harness the great energy and commitment to equality that
we have seen grow in the past several months. We will meet and
embrace that challenge, and we will determine the strategies that
will advance the ideal of a Michigan that is fair, equal for all, and
not dictated to by the forces of division and discrimination.
CONTACT: Jeffrey Montgomery, (Cell) 313-506-1847; 313-537-3323, ext.