We won.

When I woke up yesterday on Election Day, I tried not to get overwhelmed by what was at stake. Waking up today, I struggled to put into perspective the unprecedented victories that we achieved.

To say that today is a great day is an understatement.

This is a joyous day for same-sex couples in Washington State who will soon be able to marry the person they love, to make a lifetime promise in front of their loved ones, and to honor and protect their families. With your help we have made history!

No longer will our opponents boast that marriage cannot be won at the ballot box. Love and freedom has won in Washington, just like it did in Maine and Maryland last night.

We are so proud of our allies, our members, and our volunteers who gave up an evening, a weekend, a morning to pound the pavement or pick up phones and tell voters how important it was to approve Referendum 74. We are proud of the coalition built by Washington United for Marriage.

There is much to celebrate.

We have a sitting U.S. President that has done more over the past four years to protect and lift up the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people and our families than all previous Presidents combined. We are reassured a continuation of that momentum.

In this election, the lives and rights of LGBTQ people were once again put up for a popular vote. And this time we did what we were never able to do before—win a marriage equality vote at the ballot box. Another state, Minnesota, turned back an amendment that would have further enshrined discrimination against LGBTQ people into the state’s constitution.

This only begins to capture the depth of what was accomplished on Election Day 2012. At the local, state, and federal level openly LGBTQ candidates won their rightful places at the table to help shape laws and policies in our city councils, in our state legislatures, and in Congress. Perhaps the race most closely watched was that of Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin—who has become the first openly LGBTQ person elected to the U.S. Senate.

All of this affirms the fact that humanity, truth, compassion, and love can win even against tremendous odds. Yesterday’s victories also affirm that we are on an extraordinary path to full equality and dignity for our entire LGBTQ community and our families. While there is no doubt we will continue to face obstacles and setbacks along the way, there is no denying the tremendous leap forward we have made.

I hope you will pause, celebrate, and truly take in what we as a community have done together to get to this place. Also get some rest—we still have more work to do. You have our promise to not let up until we realize that vision of full equality for all LGBTQ people.

Today is a day that history will always remember. You made that possible.

Posted In: Blog, Connecting Leaders, Blog, Washington