Tonight’s results were disappointing, not just for gay and lesbian North Carolinians, but for the hundreds of thousands of non-traditional families who may face the harmful impact of Amendment One. Our campaign may have fallen short this evening, but your work over the past several months did not. Your efforts and dedications achieved many victories along the way, and demonstrated to North Carolina and to the entire country that discrimination and victimization will not achieve easy victories.
Tonight’s result was truly historic. This amendment began with a forty-point lead just a few months ago - but you, undeterred and undaunted, worked to educate your fellow citizens about its harms. Your work has made a difference not just in North Carolina but in our country as a whole. People from all over the country can now look to North Carolina as an example of a state that fights to protect, defend, and support all of its citizens.
Our campaign was a rejection of the divisive vision offered by the National Organization for Marriage and similar organizations who advocated for this damaging amendment. Just as they have done in many other states, these organizations injected millions of dollars of funding into a messaging campaign that framed the Amendment as a fight to protect “family,” never admitting that it stood to endanger families, children, and individuals across our state.
Over the course of the campaign we showed them that North Carolina was better than this amendment, and better than their divisive tactics and misleading messages. We may lost in the polls tonight, but in the final days of this campaign we succeeded in reframing this debate, replacing divisive messaging and scare tactics with pragmatic discussion and empathy.
We would like to thank you and everyone who fought against Amendment One. Over the course of the campaign we were inspired by the tens of thousands of people we met at events, encouraged by the thousands of volunteers who stepped up and spoke out, and awed by the 11,000 people who contributed financially to our success.
All of our efforts were boosted by a historic coalition that came together across North Carolina, and our spirits were lifted by our diverse and courageous allies. Our partners include Equality North Carolina, HRC, the NC NAACP, ALCU-NC, Blueprint NC, Replacements, Ltd., Southerners on New Ground, and dozens of faith communities and community organizations .
Together, we have proven to North Carolina and the entire country that fear tactics, discrimination, and division may compete with love, compassion, and solidarity in the short term, but we know that the time is coming for true equality. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “the arc of the moral universe Is long, but it bends toward justice”
Finally, I want to say to all North Carolinians, gay and straight, who I have met during this campaign: you are worthy of love and acceptance. Your family cannot be defined by discriminatory amendments or statutes. I ask that we continue to support one another, fight for one another, and work together to move this state and our society closer to our ideals -closer to our creed that ALL men and women are created equal.
Thank you for your support over the course of this journey and I urge you to please continue to work with all of our coalition partners on behalf of equality in North Carolina and beyond.