Press

Texas voters approve anti-marriage constitutional amendment

Date: 
November 08, 2005

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force denounces continuing

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
media@theTaskForce.org
646.358.1465

WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 — As expected, Texas voters today approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and any other form of legal recognition for same-sex couples. With the vote, Texas became the 18th state to adopt an anti-marriage constitutional amendment in the last seven years. Near-complete returns showed the same-sex marriage ban supported by about 76 percent of voters, and 24 percent against it, greater than the 70 percent to 30 percent average of the other state votes.

Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"All that today's results show is that it is profoundly wrong and profoundly un-American to put the rights of a small minority of Americans up for a popular vote. This is not democracy; this is tyranny of the majority. No one would tolerate this being done to any other minority, but it's still open season on gay people.

"Like every campaign in the past, the tactics of our opponents have been reprehensible and distinctly un-Christian. Texans for Marriage, for example, centered its message on the claim that marriage equality for gay people would 'hurt children' when, in fact, there is nothing anywhere to substantiate that slanderous assertion. Instead, the truth is that this amendment will hurt tens of thousands of Texas families and their children.

"We at the Task Force are extremely proud of the television ads [www.thetaskforce.org/media/epress.cfm] we produced for the Texas fight that showed couples and their families talking from the heart about why marriage matters. Many other good things came out of the campaign, including recruiting new volunteers and winning new allies. Our community, its infrastructure and its relationships with other causes and communities are stronger now than when the campaign started, and that's the most important thing. We thank No Nonsense in November, its campaign manager Glen Maxey, Rev. William Lawson and our many friends and supporters in the Houston area for their hard work.

"We're in this for the long haul, and even our most ardent opponents recognize that it's not a question of whether we will win equality, but when. Tomorrow, the fight resumes."

What the Task Force did in Texas:

  • Created and ran in the Houston market a groundbreaking series of television commercials that presented real people talking about why marriage matters. The ads, which can be viewed at www.theTaskForce.org/media/epress.cfm, spotlighted couples and families speaking poignantly about what marriage means to them and how the lack of equal access to marriage hurts them, their families and society. The Task Force spent $225,000 to develop the commercials, which garnered both statewide and nationwide media attention, including a lead story on the National Report page of The New York Times.

  • Organized an intensive training in Houston focusing on building campaign skills among people of color, including door-to-door canvassing on marriage in African-American neighborhoods.

  • With members of Texas' Hispanic community, releasing in Houston (on Nov. 1) a national study on Hispanic same-sex couple households that found that marriage inequality specifically hurts Hispanic same-sex families. Three of the top 10 metropolitan areas with the highest number of Hispanic same-sex households are in Texas. The study received widespread media attention in Texas and nationally. [Available at www.thetaskforce.org/media/press/releases/pr885_110105]

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.