You don't know me, but I know you. I've been following your work for several years now. I'm writing to you from a hotel room in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the Netroots Nation conference is being held. This is my fifth Netroots Nation conference, and somehow every year we always end up talking about you.
I have two messages for you, Maggie. The first is a message of thanks.
Thank you, Maggie Gallagher, for being our foil, our fierce opponent, our nemesis for all these years. Thank you for working so tirelessly to pass anti marriage equality amendments in 31 states. Thank you for going on TV and in front of Congress day after day, week after week for the last five years and bringing this equality fight to the front lines. You're merely the head of the snake we're trying to squash, but you're doing an amazing job forcing us to put up a fight.
Because of you we had to put up a fight in California. We had to train thousands of activists all over the state of California to knock doors, work with voter rolls, work with messaging and tell human stories of what marriage equality means. Because of you we had to put up a fight to vote down a potential marriage amendment in Iowa, and we were introduced to Zach Walls, the product of lesbian moms who spoke so eloquently and forcefully in front of the Iowa Legislature. Because of you the Proposition 8 case is in front of the 9th Circuit and will eventually come in front of the Supreme Court. Because of you the entire New York State Senate is being bombarded with calls, emails, letters and tweets in support of (and against, I suppose) the marriage equality bill headed in front of them next week.
Thank you, Maggie, for forcing us to work this hard. Every time we're forced to fight you, we get an opportunity to tell the amazing stories we have about our families, our loved ones, and our lives. Every time we're forced to fight you we get another American voter in our corner. Every time we're forced to fight you we end up going back to square one to figure out what we can do better, how we can be stronger in our fight against you.
I'm writing this letter to you today because I just came from a panel on the marriage equality battle with Congressman Jerry Nadler, Rick Jacobs of the Courage Campaign, Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend and Camilla Taylor of Lambda Legal. This is the third such panel I've attended in the last three years, and as I cornered Congressman Nadler on my way out the door I couldn't help but remark to him that this was the first time I've left this panel feeling energized rather than demoralized, fired up rather than downtrodden.
You see, Maggie, you forced me and my brothers and sisters to fight. And we did. And we've become faster, stronger, wiser, and better at it than we were five years ago. We've come out of the closet in droves and talked to our families, friends, coworkers and neighbors about why the fight for equality is so important. We've been going back and forth on this issue for almost a decade, and the tide is turning in our favor. Last year we sat and cried in our collective beer about our loss in Maine, but this year's panel was a discussion of hope, of positive social change. Last year we argued about talking to people of faith about marriage equality. This year we threw around words like "inevitability." We discussed polling data, which now solidly shows majority support for marriage equality. We discussed the fight to overturn DOMA, which is inevitable as soon as the Democrats can get Congress back and get it on the calendar. We discussed Proposition 8, which is headed for SCOTUS and headed for an inevitable death.
Thank you, Maggie, for all you've done. But you can go home now, because you've already lost.