The Bill Was Defeated, But We Are Not

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No matter what your sexual orientation, today was an emotional one for all of us here at MYD. I’ll admit I cursed, wanted to cry and fell like I had been punched in the stomach. But a few minutes later, I stepped back and realized every great victory begins with a few hardships. Today we made progress. The Senate debated the issue publicly for the first time. We now have targets that we will either convince to support our cause, or if necessary, challenge them in the 2010 primary.

When we launched New Yorkers for Marriage Equality back in April, we had big dreams and had no idea how far we could go. Thanks to the gracious support of our partner organizations, major media outlets and even Perez Hilton, our movement grew in a matter of days. Since then, we’ve sent and hand-delivered thousands of letters, made hundreds of phone calls and asked our fellow New Yorkers to join in on this fight. This time, that effort was not enough.

From the outside, it looked as if equality advocates in Maine and California had done all they could and it was not enough. We can always do more. We can always fight harder. We can all give a few more minutes of each day to this cause. Today we heard countless Senators stand up for equality and draw parallels to all of the civil rights causes of the past. As we were reminded, Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, Susan B Anthony and other great leaders did not give up. We must follow in their footsteps and keep up the hard work.

So you sent a letter and made the call. How can you possibly do more? It’s easy. We all have friends, family and coworkers who are in support of marriage equality. You haven’t done enough until all of these people have sent the letter and made the call. Not sure the best way to ask? Start by suggesting these friends become a fan of our Facebook page.

Ask yourself today, why do you believe in marriage equality? What experience made you realize how important this fight is? Tell that story to your friends and they will listen.

And when all else fails, show them this video, of Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson publicly supporting marriage equality for the first time. She tells the story of her gay older brother, who fearing persecution, moved to France.

Next time, our efforts will be enough. For now, we recommend you call or email your closest LGBT friend or family member and let him or her know that today you wanted victory but that we will have it next year.