Not This Time – We Will Not Give Up

Dear Friends,

There is no other way to say it.

Sadly, fueled by misinformation, distortions and lies, millions of voters went to the polls yesterday and said YES to bigotry, YES to discrimination, YES to second-class status for same-sex couples.

And while the election was close, and millions of votes still remain uncounted, it has become apparent that we lost.

Take a moment, take a day, take the time to grieve this loss. But, do not doubt, this fight is far from over.

Particularly in the API community where we have seen tensions rise and tempers flare, where over the years thousands of APIs have fallen prey to the distortions and lies of the opposition to rally against their
LGBT brothers and sisters, where the ethnic media has shirked its responsibility to objectivity, we have nevertheless achieved great strides.

During this campaign, with our partner API Equality – LA, we secured the endorsements of the vast majority of API community-based, civil rights, and legal organizations across the state and just about every statewide API elected official. But, we must continue to do this work.  We must continue building bridges across our community and in coalition with other communities of color, we must continue sharing
our stories with each other and the world, and we must continue building this progressive and fair-minded movement that will one day lead us to full equality under the law.

Through all the trials and tribulations these long months and years leading up to this Election, we have persevered in the face of misinformation, unfounded allegations, and outright lies. And we are
stronger for it.

Remember how 8 years ago, we lost Prop 22 by a 23% majority. But, in that time, we were able to change the hearts and minds of millions, reaching a fifth of the electorate. Time is on our side.

Remember how just 4 weeks ago, we were down 10 million dollars in fundraising and down seven points in the polls. But, we did not give in or give up. Indeed, we have achieved what no other campaign of this
kind has ever achieved, raising more funds than any ballot measure campaign in history, mobilizing more volunteers to the field than ever before.

It is this indomitability, this faith in our selves, our friends, families, and allies that we will need to rely upon in the coming weeks, months, and years.

To all the couples who forsook their wedding celebrations and honeymoons to help raise funds for the campaign, to the many mothers and fathers who took those first steps out of their comfort zone to
stand by their children and take a stand for fairness and equality, and to the thousands of individuals who worked tirelessly night and day to heighten visibility and speak one-on-one with voters about the
true nature of discrimination, your work was not in vain. We will build upon this important foundation.

While victory is not ours today, we will emerge victorious in the end.

For Equality,

Tawal Panyacosit, Director
API Equality

Amos Lim, Community Organizer
API Equality