The May 26 rally and protest at the Lansing Capitol Building was a special night. It wasn’t because we were speaking out against the injustice of the decision of the California Supreme Court to uphold Proposition 8. It wasn’t because over 100 people attended the protest, which was literally organized within a day. It wasn’t even because all the state’s LGBT leaders were there.
It was because we, like so many lucky LGBT couples in the United States, set a date for marriage.
But this isn’t a date for a marriage between two people in love with each other. This is a date we have set for marriage equality on the ballot in the form of a Proposal 2 repeal.
That date? November 8, 2012.
But as we enter into the joyous month of Pride – attending social events, going to parties with friends and celebrating being out – we shouldn’t forget that, like any wedding, it will take a lot of work to make our marriage commitment happen by the date we have set.
No big wedding is successful without proper planning, and no marriage amendment is successful without the same. If we want to win marriage equality on Election Day in November of 2012, we need to start planning now.
Weddings need guest lists, invitations sent out, engagement parties planned. They require a lot of commitment, a lot of work and a significant amount of money.
Our marriage commitment will take the same amount of work and perseverance.
We need guest lists – people who are important to have on our side, at our rallies and supporting us every step of the way. We need to send them invitations and not just expect allies to the cause to come running to help. If we want the LGBT community at our “wedding,” we must invite them to join and give them a reason to come (like good food – ha, ha).
Next, we need to plan our engagement parties. That is, events leading up to our set date to get the community engaged, including LGBT people, allies and people who can, if we put the work in, become our allies. At these parties, we need to educate, spread the word and delegate the responsibilities. Lots of volunteers are willing to help us reach our “wedding date” – but only if we ask them to and convince them that their help is not only wanted, but appreciated and important.
Like a bride who needs her bridesmaids, we can’t do this wedding alone.
Lastly, as we all know, a great wedding requires a great sum of money to get it going. But mom and dad aren’t funding this one. We need to raise the money ourselves, or else guess what? This marriage isn’t happening.
Setting a date (whether personally or statewide) is a great step that makes us all feel like giddy soon-to-be newlyweds inside. We want to post photos of our decision to Facebook, send out Twitter updates, tell all our friends “In Michigan in 2012, we’re getting married!”
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. But it is doable – if we do the work to get there.
And by the power vested in us, we will pronounce Michigan to have marriage equality.