Arshad Hasan

Views & Voices

Be the change; volunteer for marriage equality today


It’s been a roller coaster year for marriage equality.

We were defeated at the ballot box in North Carolina only to have the President of the United States come out the following day in support of marriage equality. The President stood up for the love us queers share with our partners and then the Democratic Party did something historic — they added marriage equality to the party platform. Unanimously.

We cannot diminish how significant these strides have been for our community. The leader of the free world believes that we are equal — those of us have struggled with our sexuality, have struggled to come out, and then struggled to love someone out loud.

I think back to where we were when I came out 13 years ago to where we are now, and I am inspired and optimistic.

That’s not to say our work is done. We’re still fighting for our freedom to marry all over the country.

This election we’re fighting in four states – Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington. We have an opportunity this November to have three states choose freedom over fear and elect marriage equality through popular vote for the first time in our nation’s history. This is a significant election year for us and we can’t let this opportunity pass us by.

At Democracy for America (DFA), the people powered progressive organization with over a million of members across the country, we’ve gone all-in for marriage equality. We’ve invested in all four states and we’ll call on our members to help drive us to victory on November 6th.

We’ve been asked why an organization that does not specialize in marriage equality would support and invest in marriage equality initiatives? We’re not a single-issue group. We work on any number of issues we believe are important for the progressive movement and for the country.

Making progress in marriage equality and every other LGBT equality issue is practically synonymous with making progress as a society.

Besides, I doubt I could face my fiancé if I walked in the door one day and told him I didn’t do enough for marriage equality.

But this article isn’t about me, or necessarily the work we do at DFA, it’s about the millions of people across America who believe that you and I and all of our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters deserve the right to marry.

It’s about asserting that my family and your families are just as legitimate as Mitt Romney’s family or Barack Obama’s family. It’s happening, we’ve been turning the tide in America — changing hearts and minds one step at a time.

We should thank those activists and organizers that are out there day-in, day-out fighting for our rights. They’ve been able to change the opinions of our legislators — the Democratic Party now supports marriage equality. And yes, there are even some Republicans that support our love.

But, frankly speaking, we need to do more.

It’s not just enough to have the people holding office or the activists out talking to voters — it’s about you and I and all of our friends and allies getting involved. Talking to your neighbors, chatting with the person in line behind you at the grocery store, volunteering a few hours to phone bank for marriage initiatives in four states. There is more that we can do.

Democracy is about participation — it’s about caring about an issue so much that you’ll go door-to-door in your neighborhood talking to voters about marriage equality. Heck, you might not even be in your neighborhood. We’re so quick to judge when we lose an amendment or a referendum, but how quick are we to be out knocking on doors and making calls for equality?

DFA is about the grassroots, we’re about giving people the tools and power to change the democratic process and make the place we all call home a better place to live. We’re a group bringing allies into the fight because Marriage Equality matters to us as Americans. And if we’re going to win, we all have to participate.

We’ve got to be the change.

We’re moving forward and progress is happening but it’s never been easy. Let’s make this the year that goes down in history books as the year the LGBT community won. Volunteer for marriage equality today.

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