(Proudly cross-posted at OC Progressive)
Last Saturday, I had the privilege to do Orange County's first Courage Campaign Equality Team canvass. We met. We prepared. And then, we went out and talked with voters. Yes, we really did go door to door to talk with voters in our area.
And guess what? We made change.
In all the conversations we had with our neighbors on Saturday, we persuaded about 5% of the voters we talked with. At first, this number may seem small. But guess what? If this results in just 5% of voters changing their minds on marriage equality throughout Orange County and all over California, we go from narrowly losing to winning a majority in favor of equal marriage rights for gay & lesbian families. 5% may seem small, but that much change in the vote can result in massive change in policy.
And in addition to the people we persuaded our way, we actually found far more people who were already open to undoing the damage of H8. I was surprised when I found out that we had picked up a total of 146 pledges to repeal H8 on Saturday! People throughout the battleground areas of Irvine and Costa Mesa, cities where we narrowly won (even in neighborhoods where we lost!), told us that they were appalled by Prop H8's assault on LGBT civil rights and understood how the attack on our rights threatens everyone.
We're not hopeless. We have far more support than we think. And if we simply talk to our supporters, let them know they're not alone, and let them know what they can do to help our cause, we can make significant progress in preparing to win our next campaign coming soon regardless of what happens in court.
Sooner or later, we'll see marriage equality come to California and arrive nationwide for good. So why not make it sooner in the nation's most populous state? Voters may be ready to undo the H8 next year, so why not build up an army for civil rights to go out, share our stories, and open up a whole lot of hearts and minds? That's what Courage Campaign is doing, and that's why we need to support them.
So if you're in Cali, why not consider joining your local Equality Team? If you're not, why not join local activists in your area? And no matter where you are in the nation, you can help Courage keep the momentum going in our direction?
We can do it. I know we can.