"Not everyone was as jubilant about the gains for marriage as (the) Family Research Council and our supporters. This morning, FOX News posted photo after photo of the anti-family rioting in Los Angeles..." -- Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, a powerful right-wing religious think tank that helped lead the campaign to pass Proposition 8.
That is how the religious extremists behind Prop 8 are characterizing the protests that have spread across California in the aftermath of Tuesday's passage of the ballot measure that eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry.
I was at the heart of one of these amazing marches in Los Angeles on Wednesday night. And it was anything but "anti-family rioting."
It was history in the making -- thousands of passionate Americans spontaneously speaking out against enshrining discrimination into the California state constitution.
We are witnessing the birth of a new Marriage Equality Movement -- the civil rights movement of the 21st Century. Organized from the bottom-up by thousands of ordinary people just like you in the last 48 hours, this people-powered phenomenon is exponentially growing by the minute, online and offline.
You are at ground zero in this movement. And we need to take it to the next level -- a new initiative campaign to repeal Prop 8 and restore marriage equality to California. Please pledge your support now to repeal Prop 8 -- then forward this message to your friends:
California had the chance to do what no other state has done and uphold equality for all. Instead, a slim majority decided to strip fundamental human rights from a minority. As Jonathan Stein writes at Mother Jones:
"The decision violates, violently, the image of my state that I have held with such pride my entire life. California is a wonderful place for a lot of reasons, but foremost among them is the way in which it welcomes people."
Movements are visceral and popular, often borne of outrage and anger. What we are witnessing on the streets and online is a community of people who have come together to say: "These are our lives. This is our time. This is unacceptable."
This is our moment to stand strong together -- gay and straight -- and say that we refuse to accept a California that enshrines bigotry into our state constitution. Please pledge your support now to repeal Prop 8 and restore marriage equality to California -- then forward this message to your friends:
Thank you for mobilizing your friends to fight the religious right and restore marriage equality to California.
P.S. My friends Zach Shepard and Geoffrey Murry helped spark Wednesday and Thursday night's marches in Los Angeles, activating their social networks via email and Facebook. These two young lawyers have never led a protest in their lives, but they decided to take matters into their own hands, along with thousands of other concerned citizens shocked at the passage of Prop 8.
Like Zach and Geoffrey, you can help build California's new Marriage Equality Movement today by taking action in your own community. Will you start by pledging your support to repeal Prop 8 and then forward this message to your friends?
The Courage Campaign Issues Committee is part of the Courage Campaign's online organizing network that empowers over 100,000 grassroots and netroots activists to bring progressive change to California.