Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Arizona: NO -- Virginia: Yes

It appears voters of Arizona have made it the first state to defeat one of these state constitutional amendments to impose governmental restrictions on marriage. Good for them. In Virginia, the following is a statement issued from the Commonwealth Coalition:

(Richmond, Virginia) Speaking on behalf of The ommonwealth Coalition, campaign manager, Claire Guthrie GastaƱaga, released the following statement regarding today's election results:

We regret deeply that Virginians voted today to write
discrimination into the Virginia Constitution. Virginians are much more mainstream and fair-minded than this amendment - and we're becoming more so every day. It won't be long before Virginians acknowledge that we've embarrassed our state by having written exclusion into our Constitution.

We've always said than an informed voter was a NO voter. We simply ran out of the time and money needed to reach enough voters before the election.

One of our biggest obstacles in this campaign was that many thought the outcome was a foregone conclusion and were afraid or unwilling to invest themselves in this effort. Our opponents said at the outset that they expected to win 70% to 30%, and too many people were willing to believe them.

That makes us even more grateful to the hundreds of organizations and thousands of Virginians from across the political spectrum and all walks of life who did take a stand and join this campaign, particularly our founding partner Equality Virginia and the Weinstein family and the anonymous gay couple whose significant investments jump-started our campaign last April.

The alliances that The Coalition has helped build will provide the foundation for future action to undo the inequity done today.

Dyana Mason, Executive Director of Equality Virginia and Field Director for The Commonwealth Coalition added, "We know that our work is really just beginning. We will redouble our efforts to reach out and include all Virginians who might not yet understand our issues and the obstacles before us. This is a long-term effort, and we're more mobilized, more energized and more ready than ever before."

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