Shar LichtyBy Shar Lichty, Organizer

Last month I attended a brown bag lunch discussion with a staff member from Washington United for Marriage and leaders from the local group working to secure marriage equality at the ballot in November. During introductions we were asked to answer the question, “How will you feel on Nov. 7th if marriage equality fails at the ballot?” This question threw me for a bit of a loop because I honestly had not thought about it. In my mind it was not an option. This question became a dose of reality for me, a wake-up call: We can fail.

How would I feel? I would have a period of anger, depression, and hopelessness. I would feel like we failed every single citizen of Washington State. I would feel like I did not do enough to secure access to civil marriage for my LGBTQ family.

I do not want to feel like this on Nov. 7th. I do not want any of you to feel like this on Nov. 7th.

So, what do we do? We talk about it now. We talk to everyone we know: family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, facebook “friends” and so on about why marriage equality matters to us.

Polls show that folks who don’t have a strong opinion on this issue are more likely to vote in support of it when they know someone who is affected by it. Let us not assume folks know how we feel about marriage equality, let’s tell them.

What can we do together? Talk to voters. We need volunteers to phone bank. There are phone banks every Mon, Tues & Wed at Mountain Gear Headquarters at 5:30pm (training and food provided). Every Thursday, the LGBT Center is hosting another phone bank opportunity at 5:30pm.

The campaign is currently calling voters and asking them “How do you feel about marriage equality?” This model provides for a more open and willing discussion with voters. I enjoy this model and have had some wonderful conversations with voters. Please contact CJ at [email protected] to sign-up for a shift.

Let us not fail marriage equality by assuming we will win, that others are doing enough to educate voters, or thinking “this doesn’t affect me.” This affects all of us, to quote MLK: “An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Talk, talk, talk to everyone, help us achieve justice in the form of marriage for all, and let’s work for that feeling of victory on Nov. 7th!