For many Californians, our celebration of the election of Barack Obama as our next president was tempered by sadness and even anger at the passage of Proposition 8 here at home.
We exalted at the election of the nation's first African-American president. Our hope for change and healing in America has never been higher and no modern leader has proven that he deserves our faith and support more than President-elect Obama.
Yet -- here in California, we became the first state in the nation to use our constitution to strip rights away from our fellow citizens. Our lesbian and gay friends, family members and neighbors woke up the morning after the election with fewer rights than they had enjoyed the night before.
There was so much for Californians to celebrate on election night. We protected a woman's right to choose. We passed our long-awaited high-speed rail bond. We even helped improve the safety and quality of our food supply by passing Proposition 2.
But like as many have noted with a certain irony -- on the same ballot that we were granting more "rights" to chickens, a slim majority of voters were stripping rights away from our fellow Californians.
This cannot stand. This will not stand.
We have witnessed spontaneous demonstrations -- and what we need above all is a sustained commitment to a strategy that will see this fight through to victory. In just a few short years we've seen support in California for this kind of measure fall from 62 percent supporting the Knight Initiative to just 52 percent voting Yes on 8. That's not enough progress -- but we are moving in the right direction.
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