With the announcement by Senator Kerry conceding the presidency to George W. Bush, now is a time for the LGBT community to reflect on the environment that we will be working on for the next four years, and choose the pathway that is likely to bring positive change to the lives of our community.
In my view, one of the key factors for the Democrat losses was the importance that the GOP placed on moral issues during the election campaign, primarily those relating to marriage. Let me remind you that all of the ballot initiatives addressing same-sex marriage were passed with overwhelming support. Now is the time to rethink the strategies that our national, state and local LGBT organizations have adopted in relation to same-sex marriage.
Marriage is not an option, right now. Let's accept that reality, and move on.
The president recently announced guarded support for civil unions, so let's act on that. Let's work to introduce legislation that will level the playing field for the federal entitlements that we have used as arguments supporting same-sex marriage. Let's use the language of the Permanent Partner Immigration Act, and alter the language of immigration, tax, social security, health and the many other legislation to include “or recognized civil union.” Let's work with both sides of the congress to bring the entitlements of same-sex partners to make this positive change. We can make this happen, but not if we insist that marriage is the only answer. It is not!
President Bush has extended an olive branch, let's not miss this opportunity. It may not be exactly what everyone wants, but it will be something, and it's achievable. I can't say that enough.
HRC, GLAAD and the many other organizations need to stop, reflect, and work with what the electorate has given us. Working against them will leave us wanting for many years to come.
For some of us, action is needed now. Ever since the marriage issue took the forefront, other issues that are equally important have been pushed to the back. Time is running out, and now its important to start taking little steps forward, rather than continue to stumble backwards.
Yes, I'm disappointed about the election result, but I'm moving on. I see an opportunity to grasp onto significant, acceptable and positive change for the LGBT community. I hope you see this as well, and will walk with others in our community towards a better place for all America.