Human Rights Campaign Pledges $500,000 to Protect Marriage Equality in California

by HRC Staff •

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender civil rights organization, today pledged an initial contribution of $500,000 to Equality for All to protect marriage equality in California by defeating a proposed constitutional amendment that could possibly be on the November general election ballot in California. This is an addition to the $100,000 contribution the Human Rights Campaign made to Equality for All earlier this year.

In a landmark decision last week, California's Supreme Court ruled that the prohibition of same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The case was argued by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal, Heller Ehrman LLP, and the Law Office of David C. Codell on behalf of 14 same-sex couples and two organizations, Equality California and Our Family Coalition. However, a proposed constitutional amendment threatens to make null and void the historic ruling.

"The California Supreme Court's decision is a victory for justice and fairness," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "But the fight for equality has just begun. With the $500,000 commitment to Equality for All today, HRC aims to ensure that California remains a state where every person has the opportunity to realize their hopes and dreams by being able to marry the person they love."

The $500,000 pledged today is in addition to resources HRC has already contributed to the fight for marriage equality in California. This year, HRC provided six full-time staff members and $100,000 to Equality for All, a large and diverse coalition of civil rights, faith, choice, labor and communities of color organizations working to stop and defeat any ballot measure that would deny gay and lesbian couples the right to marry in California.

HRC is part of the Equality for All coalition that ran a "Decline to Sign" campaign, educating voters and urging them to tell the signature gatherers paid by anti-equality forces that they will not sign a petition that could lead to enshrining discrimination into California's constitution. HRC staffers were on the ground in Orange County from January until mid-April as part of a broad coalition effort.

"HRC has already devoted significant resources to educating voters on the mean-spirited efforts of the right-wing to make discrimination the law of the land in California. The additional $500,000 HRC is committing to Equality for All will be used for the more direct political activities that are necessary to beat them at the ballot in November," said Solmonese. "The California Supreme Court did its job by siding with basic fairness. In November, we hope the voters of California do the same."

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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