Despite our best efforts and the victories won in the process, Michigan’s discriminatory marriage amendment was passed.
Many more people than the “pollsters and pundits” ever dreamed stood with us and said NO to this discriminatory amendment. We found allies not just in the gay community but in the straight community, labor, religious and many more. Many who initially were duped by the language of this amendment came to understand what it was truly about and said NO to second-class citizenship. Record numbers, especially in Detroit, came out and voted, some for the first time.
But most importantly we were visible, not pushed or hiding in closets. Standing tall saying we are your family, your neighbors, your teachers, your lawyers [and] your coworkers. We have loving committed relationships. Our families are strong and caring where children are being raised who understand diversity and value human worth. We put a face to the LGBT community and those who would deny us our rights WILL REMEMBER OUR FACES.
I thank each of you who wore stickers, passed out flyers, had a lawn sign and had those conversations with your families, neighbors, coworkers and strangers. Special thanks to all the Coalition partners, volunteers and donors.
So take a moment to grieve this stumbling block in our march towards equality; then call or e-mail someone and talk about our victories; and then get back out there – be visible, get involved, rise up!
This defeat hurts a lot but the question of full equality is not an “if” it is a “when.” Know that in your heart and we will persevere.
Michelle E. Brown
HRC Michigan Steering Committee