Saturday, January 24, 2009

UPDATE: LA's KABC Refuses to Air Gay Marriage PSA

UPDATE: KABC TV general manager Arnie Kleiner has apologized for the way the rejection of the PSA was handled, saying that their statement "we reserve the right not to air it in programming that will include large family audiences" was misleading.

"I have seen the [PSAs] and will gladly air the spots on any day part on our schedule," Kleiner said, according to a statement by "Gay and lesbian families are part of our KABC family, and issues of equality are certainly not a controversial subject for us."

The Los Angeles station has now agreed to air the marriage ad this Sunday during Extreme Makeover: Home Edition at about 9:15 p.m.

According to non-profit, LA's KABC TV (owned by Disney) refused to air its 30-second PSAs during Obama's inauguration. The ads, featuring gay couples and their various families, aired in 42 of the states' 58 counties -- everywhere the initiative passed by 50% or more, with KABC being the only station refusing to air them.

The rejected ad profiles two African American men raising five children ages 6 through 25. Ironically, the family lives in Los Angeles.

The organization's ad agency, New and Improved Media, attempted the media buy, and its CEO Keith Fisher said, "We usually only see this with risque content, as in a trailer for a movie." He added, "If KABC thinks they have to protect the public from this family, something's obviously very wrong over there."

According to, KABC told the agency that the ad was too controversial and stood firm in their rejection saying, "many families will be watching."

The ad aired across California on Tuesday -- before, during and after the Presidential Inauguration on Good Morning America, The Today Show, Despierta America (Univision) and Levantate (Telemundo) broadcasts, as well as on a wide range of regional news stations, CNN and FoxNews during evening coverage of the day's events.

One week prior, at attorney Gloria Allred's urging, Rev. Rick Warren indicated he would be willing to show the ads to his congregation at Saddleback Church in Orange County. Days before the Presidential Inauguration, he changed his mind, dropping the offer.

Contact KABC and tell them of your disapproval of their blatant discrimination. Tell them how unacceptable it is to deny a legitimate, paid ad simply because it features married gays and their families.


Data Released Showing Asian American Voting on Proposition 8

Continuing with its mission to educate ourselves on those who voted for Prop 8, Unite the Fight is posting this press release with in depth information on the Asian community and its voting record on the proposition.

Data Released Showing That Asian American Voting on Proposition 8
Significantly Influenced by Age, English Proficiency and Religiosity

LOS ANGELES, CA – Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC), API Equality-LA, API Equality, and California Faith for Equality (CAFFE), held a briefing today to release data showing Asian American voting trends on Proposition 8 during the November 2008 election. The November 2008 Southern California Voter Survey ("2008 Voter Survey"), conducted by APALC, is the largest and most comprehensive exit poll of Asian Americans in California.

Preliminary data from the 2008 Voter Survey shows that, similar to other racial and ethnic groups, age and religiosity are determining factors in voting on Proposition 8, with younger voters and those who "never" attend religious services significantly more likely to oppose Prop 8. In addition, the survey shows that level of English proficiency is also critical, with fluent English speakers much more likely to vote against Prop 8.

"Because of the intense and continuing interest in how different communities voted on Proposition 8, we are releasing this data to better inform current organizing, planning and strategizing to achieve marriage equality," said Karin Wang, Vice-President of APALC and member of the API Equality-LA steering committee. "Other reports and analysis have not included significant samples of Asian American voters, particularly those who do not speak English fluently. APALC surveyed 1,200 Asian American voters in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, including hundreds of voters who identified as limited English speaking."

Although the data is preliminary because it is not yet weighted to account for actual voter turn-out amongst Asian American voters, the data shows several key trends that mirror other nationally-reported trends. Because this is preliminary data, the focus is on trends and patterns, as opposed to specific numbers. (For more details, please see attached graphs or download them from

* BY ETHNIC GROUP – Overall, Asian Americans in the 2008 Voter Survey narrowly supported Proposition 8 – 54% Yes to 46% No. By ethnic groups, there were small differences between Yes/No votes for Asian Indian (slight majority of No voters) and Filipino and Vietnamese American voters (small majority of Yes voters). The major difference in pattern is among Korean American voters, with Korean American significantly more likely to support Prop 8 by a wide margin. "Although we know our community will be highly interested in the ethnic-specific data, we believe that the more useful analysis is by age, English proficiency and religiosity, where the correlation to voting on Prop 8 is much stronger," said Dan Ichinose, director of APALC's Voting Rights Project.


* BY AGE – Overall, Asian Americans between the ages of 18 to 34 voted significantly against Prop 8 (69% to 31%), with some Asian ethnic groups showing more than three-fourths of its young voters opposing Prop 8. As with other racial and ethnic groups, age is a key factor in influencing how an individual voted on Prop 8 and with age comes support for Prop 8. Across the board, in every Asian ethnic group, older voters (65+) were significantly more likely to support Prop 8, with approximately two-thirds to three-fourths of older Asian Americans voting Yes. "Asian Americans mirror the statewide patterns that have emerged in other surveys, where young people voted overwhelmingly against Prop 8 but their parents or grandparents voted strongly in support of Prop 8. We have experienced this in our grassroots education and organizing and we are heartened by it as a sign that change and progress is possible in our communities, moving between generations," said Marshall Wong, Co-Chair of API Equality-LA.

* BY ENGLISH PROFICIENCY – Overall, Asian Americans who were fluent in English clearly opposed Prop 8 (58% opposed) whereas few of those who were limited English speaking opposed Prop 8 (25% opposed). Across all Asian American communities, these patterns held true, with support for Prop 8 rising as English proficiency decreased. "This data underscores what many of us working in the community have known all along, that educating our communities in a language they understand is critical to winning the battle for marriage equality," said HyunJoo Lee, National Organizing Coordinator at the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium. "This holds particularly true for the Korean community, in helping to explain why so many Korean Americans voted for Prop 8 – the Yes on Prop 8 campaign flooded Korean media with information while the No on Prop 8 campaign focused mostly on English language media."

* BY RELIGIOSITY – Probably the strongest indicator of Proposition 8 support or opposition is religiosity. Across the board, the 2008 Voter Survey found that Asian American voters regardless of ethnic group were overwhelmingly more likely to oppose Prop 8 if they "never" attended a church, temple, or mosque (71%) than if they "never" attended (25%). For those that "sometimes" attended, a majority (55%) opposed Prop 8. This pattern is consistent across Asian ethnic groups, with each group showing a steep decline in opposition to Prop 8 based on whether the voter "never", "sometimes" or "regularly" attended a church, temple, or mosque. "Consistent with the recently released analysis from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which found that religiosity was one of the most determinative factors in supporting Prop 8, today's data also shows that more than ethnicity or even age, religion is key to influencing how Asian Americans voted on marriage equality," said Jonipher Kwong, Interfaith Organizer for California Faith for Equality. "This underscores the need to work across lines of faith to open up dialogue about the role that churches and other houses of worship have in creating a more equal society for all of our community members."

"The data released today fills in a picture that other studies and exit polls have begun to paint regarding the how communities of color voted on Prop 8," said Tawal Panyacosit, Director of API Equality in San Francisco. "This data is also consistent with what has been previously released, based on surveys of English-speaking Asian Americans, which have shown Asian American voters opposed to Prop 8. We believe that the data in general reflects the successful outreach and education that groups like API Equality and API Equality–LA have led in the Asian American community, particularly amongst English speaking and youth cohorts. At the same time, today's data underscores the need to expand strategies and resources to focus on limited English speaking and religious members of our communities. We strongly believe that the differences in our community reflect less a fundamental difference of thought so much as an unequal distribution of resources and information."

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Right Wing is Taking Action, Too . . .

. . . and they're just as motivated as ever.

The American Family Association is equally aware of the new White House Website, especially of its Civil Rights Agenda page that lists President Obama's plan to fight for LGBT equality.

The AFA has sent out an action alert to its members, inciting them with hateful language, calling homosexual love "perverted sex" and calling our fight for equal rights "special rights." (They're also on the offense, targeting Campbell's and PepsiCo for their enormous support for the LGBT community. To find out what they're up to, go to AFA Online. You'll find plenty.)

As a community, we need to be sure our voices are equally heard and just as strong as this powerful, organized opposition. There are many things you can do.

1. Send a postcard to President Obama asking him to repeal DOMA.

2. Contact the White House directly and voice your support of Obama and our equal rights:

Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461
White House Contact Form
White House website

3. Send this mass letter to the president

4. Read and Sign the Petition to expand the Civil Rights Act to LGBT rights.

The list goes on. Visit the sites listed on the right of this blog under "Take Action" and see what they're doing. Don't let the homophobia of right-wing trample on us again.

Expand the Civil Rights Act to Protect LGBT Rights

"The Power" is commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots by starting a petition to expand the Civil Rights Act to the LGBT community.

Objective: Expand the Civil Rights Act to declare it the public policy of the United States that discrimination based on LGBT status is prohibited.

Target: Speaker Nancy Pelosi, United States House of Representatives

Delivery Date: June 1, 2009, the first day of the 40th annual Gay Pride Month

Copy to: Majority Leader Harry Reid, United States Senate
Brian Bond, LGBT Liason to President Barack Obama

Read and Sign the Petition!
Contact The Power at

National Action Alert! from

To ALL who support the rights of Gay America: please sign and use this message, or any message of your choice, to congratulate President Obama, as well as to remind him of the importance of his commitment to Gay Civil Rights. Please FORWARD WIDELY.

The White House email address is:

During this time of transition, we encourage you to also copy to:

Also consider:

There is also a contact form that may be used here

The White House server was apparently "down" for some time yesterday, but is apparently up and accepting email again today, according to CNN.



Dear President Obama:

We, as Gays and as allies of the Gay community, applaud your choice of Rev. Gene Robinson to lead the Invocation Prayer at your Lincoln Memorial inauguration event, although we were most disappointed that his prayer was not aired on the networks. We hope that your choice symbolizes a new beginning for your relationship with our community.

Over the last two years, wherever you have looked during your campaign, the Gay community was there. Unlike the right wing, we supported your campaign financially and otherwise—just as in the past we supported Rev. Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, and other leaders who championed equal rights for oppressed minorities.

We recognize and yes, even support your desire to build a coalition across the political spectrum. However, we ask that you recognize the important difference between those with differing political points of view and those who preach fear to support the denial of basic Human Civil Rights. We trust that, in the future, you will find ways to reach out across the American political spectrum, without supporting or providing the appearance of support to individuals or groups that stand for hate and bigotry.

The basic human right of each and every American citizen to equality under the law—regardless of race, color, creed, gender, or orientation—is simply not a political question.

[Your Name]

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Help Camp Courage Decide the Next Training Site

The LGBT community did such a great job in raising money for Camp Courage ($68,000 to be exact, way beyond the $25,000 needed), they're returning to the community and asking them to be directly involved in their future planning.

Many towns in California want to be chosen for a training site, but the Courage Campaign is turning to you to decide. Go here to vote on which of the following towns should host Camp Courage:

Los Angeles (second training)
Marin County
Orange County
Palm Springs
Riverside/San Bernardino
San Diego
San Francisco
San Jose
San Luis Obispo
Santa Barbara
Santa Cruz/Monterey
Sonoma County

According to the Courage Campaign, "Your votes will help our staff make some tough decisions on where to locate our Camp Courage trainings in the months ahead.

"We will weigh many factors, including prioritizing trainings in communities that will likely not receive as many votes as major metropolitan areas. Ultimately, we want to make strategic decisions and pick locations that will help build the Marriage Equality Movement across California (something to keep in mind when you vote)."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The New

The new White House Website is up and running, and many agenda issues are addressed clearly. Many questions can be answered here.

However, the skeptic may scoff, "Let's see in one year's time if any of these promises turn up empty." Many people believe in the power of Obama, but one can't help but wonder if his ideals are rooted in naivete. All that he hopes to accomplish only raises the country's expectations which increases the chances of failure, real or perceived. At the back of all our minds, we fear his and our failure.

Yet, we must remain positive. After all, it is only his first full day as President of the United States. We are equally as responsible to keep on top of this administration, reminding them everyday of the promises not only given on the political stump, but also the ones listed on the new website.

In specific, The Civil Rights Section addresses many concerns of the LGBT community. For the first time in history, we have an administration that is starkly aware that we are not going away and that a movement is birthing and maturing. We are equally responsible as this administration, however, to not become complacent, not to let someone else do the work, and to not let history repeat itself, which is full of promises to capture votes, and when push comes to shove, nothing happens.

Review the website. Memorize those promises. And keep Obama at his word.

A Laugh - a Poignant Political Comic

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Rev. V. Gene Robinson's Invocation

With HBO blaming the Obama transition team for blocking Rev. Robinson's invocation, and the surrounding controversy over the mess up, many people have been left with no chance to hear or see Robinson's prayer.

Luckily, Christianity Today posted it and we have a chance to view.

Here is the text:

Good afternoon,

Before this celebration begins, please join me in pausing for a moment to ask God’s blessing upon our nation and our next president.

Oh God of our many understandings, we pray that you will bless us with tears, tears for a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day, where young women in many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an education, and thousands die a day from malnutrition, malaria and AIDS.

Bless this nation with anger – anger at discrimination at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants; women, people of color; gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.

Bless us with discomfort at the easy simplistic answers we prefer to hear from our politicians instead of the truth about ourselves and our world, which we need to face if we are going to rise to the challenges of the future.

Bless us with patience and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be fixed any time soon and the understanding that our next president is a human being, not a messiah. Bless us with humility, open to understanding that our own needs as a nation must always be balanced with those of the world.

Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance, replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences.

Bless us with compassion and generosity, remembering that every religion’s God judges us by the ways we care for the most vulnerable. And God, we give you thanks for your child Barack, as he assumes the office fo the president of the United States. Give him wisdom beyond his years, inspire him with President Lincoln’s reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy’s ability to enlist our best efforts, and Dr. King’s dream of a nation for all people.

Give him a quiet heart, for our ship of state needs a steady calm captain. Give him stirring words, we will need to be inspired and motivated to make the personal and common sacrifices necessary to facing the challenges ahead.

Make him color blind reminding him of his own words that under his leadership there will be neither red nor blue states but a United States. Help him remember his own oppression as a minority, drawing on that experience of discrimination that he might seek to change the lives of those who are still its victims.

Give him strength to find family time and privacy and help him remember that even though he is president, a father only gets one shot at his daughters’ childhoods. And please God, keep him safe. We know we ask too much of our presidents and we’re asking far too much of this one, we implore you oh good and great God to keep him safe. Hold him in the palm of your hand that he might do the work that we have called him to do. That he might find joy in this impossible calling and that, in the end, he might lead us as a nation to a place of integrity, prosperity and peace.


REMINDER: Equality California's Equality Summit

REMINDER: You MUST register TODAY to be able to attend the Equality Summit. See post below for details.

Equality California will be hosting an Equality Summit on January 24th, 2009 at the West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center (for more information such as maps and times, go to the calendar at the bottom of the blog).

Described as "a gathering of community leaders committed to winning back marriage equality in California to network, share information and resources, and plan next steps," the summit is quickly filling up in space capacity.

There has been confusion surrounding how to sign up for the event - A SIMPLE RSVP EMAIL IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO ATTEND. You must register for the event here. The deadline for registration no later than Tuesday, January 20th.

For an FAQ page regarding the event, go here.

CA Democrats Fighting for LGBT Rights Through Legislation

California's Democrats are crafting legislation to continue to protect the LGBT community.

Assemblyman Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, is working on Assembly Bill 103, which would allow two people, including same-sex couples, who co-own a home to avoid having their property tax reassessed and raised when one dies.

Currently, whenever the owner of a home changes, state law mandates the home be reassessed to current market value, thus forcing the new owner to pay property taxes on this higher value.

In San Francisco, Sen. Mark Leno plans to re-introduce legislation that would designate each May 22 as Harvey Milk Day, a measure that was vetoed previously by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. This day would encourage schools to commemorate the life of the late gay-rights activist.

Leno and Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, also of San Francisco, are pushing identical resolutions that would set the grounds for the Legislature to oppose Proposition 8.

To make it official state policy, Senate Resolution 7 and House Resolution 5 needs to pass so that Proposition 8 would be acknowledged as an invalid revision to the California Constitution. Furthermore, this would make it mandatory that any future changes to the constitution that eliminates a fundamental right from a minority group must be passed by the Legislature before going to ballot.

Show your support by contacting the legislators.

Contact Assemblyman Kevin de Leon

Capitol Office:
State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0045
Tel: (916) 319-2045
Fax: (916) 319-2145

District Office:
360 West Avenue 26, Suite 121
Los Angeles, CA 90031
Tel: (323) 225-4545
Fax: (323)225-4500


Contact Sen. Mark Leno

Capitol Office
(916) 651-4003
State Capitol, Room 4061
Sacramento, CA 95814

San Rafael District Office
Marin Civic Center
3501 Civic Center Drive, Suite 425
San Rafael, CA 94903

San Francisco District Office
455 Golden Gate Avenue
Suite 14800


Monday, January 19, 2009

RE-POST: MLK's "Letter From a Birmingham Jail" Applies to Us, Too

In the spirit of today, a holiday celebrating the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr., I wanted to re-post this analysis of Dr. King's amazing letter.

On-line Magazine, Pam's House Blend has posted an analysis (Part One, Part Two) of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail." The break down of the letter transfers the context in which it was written and applies it to our current struggle for civil rights.

The argument here is that MLK didn't only have African American civil rights in mind when he wrote the historical letter, but all minority groups, including the LGBT community. Listing his gay activist contemporaries, such as Bayard Rustin, Dr. King's chief organizer, it convincingly shows that MLK had us in mind as well. It also reminds us that his widow, Coretta Scott King, openly supported gay rights and confirmed that her husband did as well.

I highly recommend that you read the letter as a whole and draw inspiration from it, keeping in mind that Dr. King supported us. Draw encouragement from it. We're at the beginning of a new and potentially historic year, but we're also suffering from fatigue. Many view the African American civil rights movement through the condensing lens of history, forgetting that the struggle took many years and countless setbacks. Know that we face that same struggle. Know that it won't happen over night. But take heart - if history is any indication, it WILL happen.

Video on Sunday's Rick Warren Protest

KTLA News Story: founder Josh Einsohn speaking to crowd:

See The "Get To Know Us First" PSAs Launching This Inaugural Week

Visit the Get To Know Us First website. Help them raise money so these can air to more people statewide.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Protest at Rick Warren's Church This Morning

All the information you need is in the calendar at the bottom of the blog or more details at

DATE: Sunday, January 18, 2009

TIME: 11:00am to 2:00pm (if leaving from L.A., you’ll need to leave by 9:30am in order to drive, park, walk and be in place to start right at 11:00am.)

LOCATION: We will be standing in front of the main entrance on Portola Parkway. The address is:

1 Saddleback Parkway, Lake Forest, CA 92630

REMINDER: Try to “go” before you go, or stop on the way there if three hours might challenge your bladder. If you are in desperate need during the protest, please consider buying something at the AM/PM so that the local community is supportive.


Unfortunately, we were not able to arrange for buses (we’re funding this out of our own pockets, and our pockets just aren’t that deep). We wish we could guarantee everyone a ride because we want a large attendance, so we are begging some of you to offer to carpool if you have an extra seat or two as not everyone has transportation. If you can drive someone, please be at one of the following locations at 9:00am and get out your protest poster so people know you are a driver. And if you are grabbing a ride, be nice and consider offering to help out with gas.

There will be three meeting places:

1. The parking lot for the park in West Hollywood on San Vicente on the west side of the street, across from the Pacific Design Center.
2. The parking lot for the Universal City subway stop on Lankershim. (Please wait on the Lankershim side as it is a large parking lot.)
3. Any suggestions for a place in Long Beach so we can post it?



Park on El Toro Road:

* On the Southwest-bound side (heading back toward the 5 freeway) between Portola Parkway and Normandale.
* On BOTH sides of the street between El Toro Road and Saddleback Parkway
* Do NOT park on the Northwest-bound side (away from the 5 freeway) of El Toro Road between Normandale and Portola or you may be ticketed/towed!
* Do NOT park in the parking lot of the business across the street. We do not want a poor report card (or story in the press!) about being bad guests.

In the event that you get a ticket AND you are parked in one of the above-mentioned areas, please send an email to after the rally and we will put you in touch with someone to void the ticket. (It couldn’t hurt to provide photographic evidence that you were parked properly.)

Please use caution while walking along El Toro Road. Traffic is dangerous and in the area where there are a lot of bushes, there are sometimes also wild animals.


The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has been incredibly supportive of our event. They are concerned for our safety and they are definitely are friends, so please obey all instructions immediately. We are hoping that nobody is ticketed or arrested during this event. And be sure to thank them profusely!

If you have any questions or concerns about safety or anything else, feel free to grab one of the marshals wearing a white armband. They are representatives from the various groups attending and will help you. Please listen to their instructions as well as they will be in constant communication with the Sheriff’s Department.


* If you have a camera, bring it and then email us the photos afterward so we can post them!
* If you have a videocamera, please bring it and record the events. Especially the speech from Robin Tyler! We want to put together a video report very quickly afterward to share online. (If CNN isn’t there, we want to send them an iReport!)
* Bring your posters!
* Bring water, sunscreen (it may be 80 degrees) and signs if you have them.