Human Rights Campaign
"The fight for equality will go on..." A special message from Cheryl Jacques www.hrc.org
Dear John,

First, I want thank you sincerely for your contributions of time, money, and spirit this year. Our community stood together stronger than ever before. With millions of Americans standing on the side of fairness, the fight for equality will go on.

We suffered great losses and like all of you, we are deeply saddened by the results of yesterday's election. But let's not forget that we also secured key victories because of your dedication and commitment.

In congressional races, Senators-elect Ken Salazar (D-CO) and Barak Obama (D-IL) and Representatives-elect Melissa Bean (D-IL) and Gwen Moore (D-WI) will make great additions to our allies on Capitol Hill. Longtime friends of equality like Dennis Moore (D-KS), Christopher Shays (R-CT) and Rob Simmons (R-CT) all fought difficult challenges and won. It is with the support of these members of Congress and the actions of people like you that we will continue our work in Washington on behalf of millions of Americans.

Your outreach also helped us secure an extremely important victory in Cincinnati, Ohio, where HRC activists have been involved for over two years in beating back a mean-spirited and discriminatory law on the books. The voters there repealed a law that banned the city from enacting non-discrimination laws for gay, lesbian and bisexual citizens. We are proud of that victory and we are proud of all of the GLBT Americans who had those long and difficult conversations that brought more and more people to the frontlines of the battle for equality.

Fair-minded Americans know that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are their friends, their families, their co-workers, and we deserve equal protection under law. You and I made great strides this year in educating our allies about the importance of fairness. We know that to win at the ballot box, we must also keep winning at the water cooler.

As for the battle that lies ahead, our work must continue in the states - particularly the 11 states that passed constitutional amendments denying marriage to same-sex couples, as well as civil unions and domestic partnership rights. These amendments protect no one but instead discriminate against millions of American families, and were put on the ballot to divide people during the heat of the campaign.

Yet GLBT Americans and our allies are more united than ever before. Since the beginning of this fight, we knew it would be a long journey. We are committed and we will not give up. In challenging times, America has grappled with and ultimately stood on the side of fairness, and we will repeat this proud experience. History is on our side.

Together, we can turn the tide of divisive politics. We will work with our allies in Congress and reach out to the administration to find common ground on legal protection for GLBT families. We will continue our successes in corporate America in winning more equality nationwide. We will continue to educate young and old about the scourge of hate crimes and the need for full legal protections against them.

While there will be tests for us ahead, we are prepared and we are ready. Our hearts will mend and our spirits will only grow stronger. Thank you again for your amazing efforts.

Many thanks,

Cheryl A. Jacques, President, Human Rights Campaign