Fellow Care2 Members:
This is a time for celebration. Today the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a pair of major wins for gay rights — and therefore for all of us. By ruling that the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, the Justices put an end to the practice of denying federal benefits to same sex couples. In a second decision, the court restored the legality of same sex marriages in California, upholding the lower court ruling that had overturned Proposition 8, which had banned such marriages. The high court’s actions today create the potential for overturning every other state marriage ban in the USA, possibly leading to marriage equality nationwide.
Victories like this only happen when society’s attitudes change, and that takes activists working hard to redirect our thinking and our consciences toward a new understanding of what is right. The mainstream shifts, and we all move forward in a new and better direction.
I congratulate every Care2 member – and there are millions of you – who participated in LGBT-related advocacy campaigns in recent years. You’ve started petitions, signed petitions, contacted lawmakers, sent public comments to government officials, written blog posts and Care2 News Network posts, educated yourself about LGBT issues, commented by the thousands in our cause channels and mobilized in countless other ways to support LGBT equality. Many of you also have become active members and donors of LGBT advocacy groups.
I also send a special congratulations to the many nonprofit organizations that continue to champion the LGBT cause. They’ve campaigned tirelessly for decades with Care2 and other activist communities to achieve today’s victories. First and foremost, I salute our friends at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the largest of the LGBT advocacy groups and a longtime Care2 partner. But I also congratulate the following organizations that we’ve had the privilege to work with in recent years, providing leadership to mobilize Care2’s millions of citizen-members to participate successfully in the major civil rights struggle of our times:
- Lambda Legal
- National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
- LGBT Community Center
- Family Equality Council
- Courage Campaign
- SAGE – Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders
- Gay Men’s Health Crisis
- Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund
We are newly energized by today’s historic decisions, which renew our faith in the power that each of us has to make a difference. At a time like this, it’s worth recalling the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”