November 6th, 2008
05:13 PM ET

Prop. 8: We’ll be back in California. And we’ll win. You can depend on it.

Matt Coles
ACLU Director of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project

After the California Supreme Court’s brilliant, inspiring decision in May, Tuesday's loss at the polls is a bitter pill. That it follows all the wonderful stories of people getting married, and the Connecticut decision that seemed to put us on a roll, makes it all the more difficult to accept.

But indulge me for a look back in history. In 1982, we passed a domestic partnership law in San Francisco, the country’s first. Despite having carefully laid the groundwork, it was vetoed without warning, and a vote essential to an override defected the next day. It took us seven years to get it passed again. And when we did, our opponents got enough signatures to put it on the ballot in 30 days. We ran one of the most expensive local initiative elections in California history. And we lost, 50.5 to 49.5. In 1990, we put it back on the ballot again and won. But the next year, we had to defend it again against an attempted repeal initiative.