With the recent decisions on the DOMA and Proposition 8 court cases, the odds have dramatically increased that the United States Supreme Court will likely hear one or both of those cases. In many ways, besides donating to the legal teams fighting those cases, the rest of us might feel relegated to the sidelines hoping for the best. However there are five actions that each and everyone of us can take to help ensure a victory.
Although courts do operate in somewhat isolation they are always acutely aware of the changing nature of society. Thus the more we are able to create a sense of inevitability about full equality for LGBT Americans and continue to build bridges to our neighbors the better the climate for the Supreme Court to reflect on our cases.
Here goes on the five actions:
1. Come Out! :
The latest CNN poll showed that Americans currently support the right of LGBT Americans for full marriage equality by a whopping 12%! Interestingly as the margin increases so do the number of people who say they know someone who is an LGBT American. In 2007 only 45% of our neighbors said they knew someone who was LGBT. Today, that figure has jumped to 60%. It is no accident that the numbers are running somewhat parallel. So come out, come out and come out to family, friends, neighbors, sports teams and in the work place. We need you.
2. Re-elect President Obama:
If the President fails to win re-election, no matter for what reason, our enemies will over and over again blame his defeat on his support for marriage equality. Such an image is not going to instill much confidence in any jurist.
3. Win All The Ballot Measures:
For the first time in my memory, we now lead in with all four ballot measures we face in the fall. We are a long way from any sure fire victories (as Proposition 8 taught us) but we start in a good place. If we can raise the funds, generate the volunteers and turn out the vote in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington State, we have a good opportunity for victory. If fate and hard work are good to us and we can achieve victory in all those states, it could serve as a knock-out punch both politically and societally to our enemies. So you must give anything you can afford to each of those states and make sure your friends and families in those states vote right. This is an historic opportunity we should not miss!
4. Elect Tammy Baldwin To the United States Senate:
There is no question that for the first time in history to have a sitting LGBT United States Senator would have a profound effect on how we are viewed in the world. I will never forget when former Senator Ed Brooke (R- MA) was the first African-American elected directly to the United States Senate in 1966, it changed how many decision-makers in our nation's Capitol looked at the world.
5. Support Our Community Organizations:
Victory does not come without good leadership, decisions and direction. Our community organizations and the people who lead them must play a significant role in directing this effort to full victory. Currently we are being blessed with incredible leadership and powerful organizations. Support them, hold them accountable and volunteer. If you live in New York then do phone banks for Washington State on election day. There, polls will be open until 11PM our time! If you live in California then get your tail on a bus and head to Seattle. If you live in Massachusetts ,head to Maine. It is going to require the hard work and belief in victory from each and every one of us.
Let's get this job done. This is our year.