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Notes from The Center: We Will Be Free

Last night was an evening of bitter déjà vu for LGBT Californians, their families and friends. Almost a year to the day after last year’s devastating Prop 8 loss, the loss on Question 1 in Maine delivered yet another blow. If the loss itself weren’t enough, the vote spread served as a loud reminder that just a slim few are still able to obstruct justice and fairness. It’s unbelievable, really, that we continue to let people pumped full of fear vote on the fundamental right to equal treatment.

Our hearts, thoughts and thanks go out to all those who fought such an incredible battle for freedom in Maine. Their smart, responsive campaign learned every lesson from Prop 8 and articulated a campaign that stood proudly for equality for all families and for all couples. We are proud of them and thank them for the endless hours of hard work and sacrifice. And today we stand alongside every family and every couple who stood tall, and believe with them that their love is deserving of equal, fair and full recognition. We honor in that group all of the Californians and the many San Diegans who found the time and the funds to lend their talent and energy to this fight.

We also celebrate the apparent victories in Washington State for expanded domestic partnership rights and in Kalamazoo, where anti-discrimination laws were upheld, and thank all who fought those fights for their courage. We celebrate the victories of 50 LGBT candidates nationally and the six additional candidates who advanced to run-off elections. Those victories give us all a much-needed boost today and reminds us of the certainty of future fairness and equality for all.

Now we will do what our community and our families and friends have always done. We will grieve today for the loss and then begin the struggle again. We know that the road is too long and too twisted, that the struggle is epic and that no one can stop the march of freedom, fairness and the promise of our nation for all its citizens.

But for me, just for this moment, David Mixner said it best in his blog this morning, “I don’t want to be a brave warrior; I want to be free.”

We will be free.