Saturday, May 2, 2009

Hannah Montana the Target of Anti-Gay Groups for Supporting Marriage Equality

Anti-gay group, One Million Moms, a "Project of the American Family Association," released a statement in objection to Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana's Twitter statements that expressed the young pop star's support for marriage equality.
April 30, 2009

Miley Cyrus said what?

"Hannah Montana" star Miley Cyrus recently made statements supporting gay marriage.

Her comments were in response to a question posed to Miss California Carrie Prejean in the April 19 Miss USA Pageant. Homosexual celeblogger Perez Hilton was the pageant judge who asked Prejean her opinion of same-sex marriage, to which she responded that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Outraged by her response, Hilton began blasting the beauty queen and asked for celebrities to share their thoughts on gay marriage.

Miley Cyrus responded to Hilton through her account with the following comments:

• "Everyone deserves to love and be loved and most importantly smile."

• "Jesus loves you and your partner and wants you to know how much he cares! That's like a daddy not loving his lil boy cuz he's gay and that is wrong and very sad!

• "Like I said everyone deserves to be happy."

• "God’s greatest commandment is to love. And judging is not loving."

• "I am a Christian and I love you - gay or not - because you are no different than anyone else! We are all God's children."

Such statements will send the wrong message to our children who are influenced by this teenage megastar. Parents need to realize that Cyrus is not the positive role model she was once thought to be.

Take Action

Send Miley Cyrus a letter stating that you do not approve of her comments.

Clearly she is confused and does not understand the Bible. Please pray for the Lord to open her eyes to the truth.

Check out the articles below for a better understanding of this controversial issue.

"Natural law" approach to the issue of same-sex marriage

A Biblical approach to the issue of same-sex marriage


Monica Cole, Director

P.S. Please forward this to your family and friends!
Yes, clearly she's confused. Doesn't she know that "loving thy neighbor" doesn't include those damn homosexuals? OMG! What about the children?!

Their call to action is to write Miley a letter letting her know that they do not approve of her comments. I would like to know what exactly in her statements do they object to? Everyone deserves love and happiness? Smile? Jesus loves you? We are all God's children? Doesn't matter that you're gay?

WHOA. Wait a second. I think I found it. The pop star said "gay" and that being gay doesn't matter.

These "moms" have obviously lost track of the true point of Jesus' message - All are equal in the eyes of God and deserve his love.

I've never been a real fan of Miley. And I know she didn't write those statements herself. But she approved them. And guess what? She just gained a new fan*. And a gay one at that.

ACTION: Twitter your thanks to Miley (and her people) for making a stand. Outnumber the opponents slamming her for saying what is right.

*DISCLAIMER: Not a fan of the music. Just Miley herself.

VIDEO: "Offense Taken"

Friday, May 1, 2009

Unite the Fight at Camp Courage in Oakland, CA This Weekend

Hello UTF Readers,

I will be facilitating another Camp Courage this weekend, this time in Oakland, CA.

Yes, I am that big of a fan. (If you hadn't figured that out yet!)

But if you're new and didn't know, you can read about why I'm a fan and find out what Camp Courage is all about.

Read about my experience at the first Camp Courage in Los Angeles, CA and then about how Fresno, CA moved me at their Camp Courage.

Since I'll be facilitating, I won't be able to blog as often as usual, but I will have an occasional post pop out, so don't go away.

You can also keep track on Twitter with the hash tag #campcourage.

Have a great weekend!

Call NH Gov Lynch And Urge Him To Resist NOM

The National Organization for Marriage is launching a new attack to get Governor John Lynch to veto the marriage bill which has just been sent to him from the Senate. We need people to call his office to state that they support same-sex marriage and want him to sign this bill.

NOM wants to prevent same-sex marriage from going forward in this country. They want to derail any progress that gay-rights movements are making any towards full equality in this country. Currently, they are running ads attacking Perez Hilton for his statements against Miss California for her stumbled answer concerning her beliefs on this issue.
It was revealed before the successful passing of the marriage equality bill in the New Hampshire senate, that NOM was patching marriage equality opponents' calls directly to their senators, and now they're doing the same to the Governor.

Unite the Fight has given calls to action to contact Gov. Lynch and urge him to support marriage equality. And I will do it again!


I will post his contact information again:

Office of the Governor
State House
25 Capitol Street
Concord, NH 03301

(603)271-7680 (fax)

UPDATE: Erases 6 of 8 Promises to LGBT Community

UPDATE: undeleted many of the promises that vanished from its site yesterday. However, a sharp eye caught the changing of the language in regards to DADT. It went from "repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell" to "changing Don't Ask Don't Tell." Policy change or poor editing? What're your thoughts?
Unite the Fight reported when President Obama's new administration launched the new and its list of promises to the LGBT community.

I was cautiously stoked at the time and agreed with Queers United's comment under my post, "We should take a screen shot and print out the page. So when he runs again in 4 years, we can use it as a checklist."

Unfortunately, we don't have to wait four years. Joe.My.God made the stunning discovery that the eight promises listed were narrowed down to two.

This is what is listed now versus when the site first went up.

See the difference?
For Matt Algren, this just makes President Obana's response to the passing of the Matthew Shephard Act in the House even more trite.
President Obama released a statement right under the wire encouraging both houses of congress to pass this year’s version of the Matthew Shepard Act. It was a nice gesture. The President’s statement is presented below in its entirety.

"This week, the House of Representatives is expected to consider H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. I urge members on both sides of the aisle to act on this important civil rights issue by passing this legislation to protect all of our citizens from violent acts of intolerance – legislation that will enhance civil rights protections, while also protecting our freedom of speech and association. I also urge the Senate to work with my Administration to finalize this bill and to take swift action."

That’s it. That’s the entire statement. Three sentences. Eight-nine words. The night before the House was scheduled to vote, after even the Religious Right had already conceded that it would probably pass.

So on LGBT issues, I would have given President Obama a D yesterday. (I was in a generous mood.)

A "D." And he was in a good mood. Yikes. But I have to say, I'm feeling his disappointment.

In response to an email he sent about the website, Joe of JoeMyGod received a letter from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force:
Hi Joe,

I wanted to let you know that Rea Carey contacted the White House directly about the issue today after you alerted us to your post. Rea was told that they are changing the White House Web site to turn it into a more governance-focused site to reflect progress, as opposed to a campaign and transition site. They said they have taken out many such points throughout the site (not just on LGBT policy issues) as part of this changeover, and are apparently modifying the site over the next few weeks. We will be keeping an eye on it, but if you see changes before we do (or a lack thereof), please let us know. And thank you for calling this to our attention.

Warm regards,

Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
So what do you think? Just a bad PR snafu? Or another sign that President Obama is unable to keep the promises that got him his job in the first place? That would place him in the long list of "ordinary" politicians who don't keep their campaign promises, especially promises made to the LGBT population.

How would you rate President Obama's performance specifically in regard to the LGBT population? Are the first 100 days in office to short a time to evaluate?

For me, I'm disappointed. Not because no bills have been passed - that takes some time. Or that they keep pushing the repeal of DADT into the unknown future without any plans to address it. But because President Obama has said very little about his efforts to bring full equality to the LGBT population. Very little in fact.

Saying little implies we're a topic to avoid. Which drives home that fact that we're unequal and Obama's not sure what to do with that. Other than avoid it.

With all the major, historical advances being made in Vermont and Iowa, and possibly soon Maine, New Hampshire and New York, as well as the Matthew Shephard Act finally gaining traction, you would think he would have more to say, from one member of a minority group to another. Even a few words of encouragement. He may not support marriage equality, but he is for equal rights (not sure how one can hold onto both beliefs - that's always been a sticking point for me, not to mention his expert, eloquent use of words without really saying anything.)

However, I must remain patient. We're in historical crisis mode and he's got a lot on his plate. Right? Like I said in my original post about the White House website:
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.
I among many others work very hard every day to remain responsible for our equality, doing hands-on work. In the end, I just expect a little encouragement from the Commander-in-Chief that promised "Change."

Yes we can? Sure. With or without President Obama's help.

Check Out UTF's Top 15 Posts for April

The top posts are calculated by how many unique views each received.
  1. Erases 6 of 8 Promises to LGBT Community
  2. GLBT Executions in Iraq Have Begun
  3. The Tension Behind Bay Area Reporter's Story on Grassroots Growing Pains
  4. New Hampshire Senate Passes Marriage Equality Bill 13-11!
  5. Gay Iraqis Tortured, Killed Using Superglue to Close Anus
  6. Maine Senate Passes Marriage Equality Bill 20-15
  7. Pictures of Saturday's Martin Luther King Remembrance March
  8. Unite the Fight's Camp Courage Op-Ed
  9. Don't Watch This Ad by NOM if You Don't Want to Get Angry
  10. LGBT Rights Activists Demand an End to "Hyatt Hypocrisy"
  11. More Attempts to Undermine Iowa Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Fails
  12. VIDEO: Go to Meet in the Middle 4 Equality!
  13. Miss California USA to Do New Ad for "Gathering Storm" Producers
  14. Need a Ride to "Meet in the Middle"? A Place to Stay?
  15. 400 Gather at Iowa Capitol to Protest Same-Sex Marriage
Wow. Busy month. Historical times for marriage equality. Can't wait to see what May will bring.

What to look out for:
  • Maine's House of Representatives to vote on marriage equality the week of May 3rd.
  • New Hampshire's House of Reps. to vote on Senate amended marriage equality bill (should pass).
  • NH Gov. Lynch may or may not sign the marriage equality bill. Will he overcome NOM's constant pressure? Or listen to a majority of New Hampshire voters and their support for marriage equality?
  • California's Supreme Court ruling on the validity of Proposition 8 (expected to come soon).
  • Day of Decision events all across the nation in response to the CA Supreme Court ruling
  • Massive event, Meet in the Middle 4 Equality, brings all corners of California together that following Saturday to rally or celebrate the ruling. See video.
  • New York legislators vote on marriage equality bill.
For background information on the subjects above, click on the tags at the bottom of this post.

Keep posted for updates and news!

VIDEO: Courage Campaign's "We the People."

Marriage equality and religious freedom are not in conflict. The constitution provides for a separation between church and state, meaning that no religious organization can be forced to perform or acknowledge same-sex marriage if they choose not to.

Some people are afraid of change. Don't let them take away what makes this country so great.

Let us all stand together for equality and freedom.

To sign the pledge to repeal Prop 8. Go to

Produced by

Thursday, April 30, 2009

New NOM Ad Featuring Miss California USA - Is She a Bigot?

UPDATE 7:38PM PST: Perez Hilton filed a complain against NOM for using a clip of his video in their new ad. YouTube pulls the video.

UPDATE: See video of Miss USA at NOM press conference for their new ad featuring the beauty queen where she's quoted as saying, "If we don't save marriage kids won't have moms and dads." Read a first-hand account at the Washington Blade.

Unite the Fight has been prepared for the new NOM ad featuring Miss California USA and her opposition to marriage equality.

Well, here it is. Drum roll!

That's it?! This is what the hype was all about? She's not really even it!


However, I am sick of hearing people call the opposition bigots, even if it's true. It does us no good. They just turn it around and use it against us like they do in this new ad.

According to Webster's Dictionary, the definition of bigot:
a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.
According to many who oppose marriage equality, they do it through some misguided religious belief that they feel is compelled by love. Is that a true definition of a bigot? The word "deluded" may work. But bigot?
I feel, personally, that the NOM and the Iowa Family Policy Center do not act out of love but prejudice. Conclude from that what you will, but I also believe that Miss California USA is simply misguided and sheltered and doesn't really know the true nature behind monogamous, committed same-sex relationships. Her only guide to the LGBT community may be Will & Grace. Not much to go on there.

So according to Webster, she's not a bigot. And I don't think she is either.

Whatever you come to believe, I think name calling isn't going to get us anywhere but actually set us back. I know I'm not perfect, believe me. I'm guilty of it.

So let's set the example. If we rise above, it only makes the opposition look all the more worse.

Let their true colors show.

See's response:

They've also have pointed out mistakes made in NOM's new ad.

You can read NOM's email blast send out to its members with the new ad at Pam's House Blend.

EVENT REMINDER:Join the LGBT Contigent for May Day's Immigration Reform and Workers' Rights March!

Multi-ethnic Immigrant Worker Organizing Network (MIWON) is a network of low-wage immigrant worker-based organizations in Los Angeles committed to the struggle for dignity, justice, and the human rights of immigrant workers and all peoples.

The coalition is made up of Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of L.A. (CHIRLA), Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA), Instituto de Educación Popular del Sur de California (IDEPSCA), and Pilipino Workers Center (PWC).

On May Day, May 1st, they will be holding a march and rally for humane immigration reform, a better economy that addresses the needs of all communities and to support the Employee Free Choice Act.

Join the LGBT contingent of the march on May 1st to help bring awareness to our community's needs! See info in embedded flyer or in Unite the Fight's calendar at the bottom of the blog.

May First MIWON Action Flyer

ABC Poll: Marriage Equality Supporters Outnumber Opponents

Support for marriage equality has hit a historical high of 49% and for the first time ever outnumbers marriage equality opponents who sit at 46% according to a new ABC Washington Post poll. This is even better than the CBS poll released earlier this week which found support to be at 42%.

Reads ABC News:
". . . gay marriage, legal in Massachusetts, Connecticut and now Iowa, with Vermont coming aboard in September. At its low, in 2004, just 32 percent of Americans favored gay marriage, with 62 percent opposed. Now 49 percent support it versus 46 percent opposed -- the first time in ABC/Post polls that supporters have outnumbered opponents.

"More than half, moreover -- 53 percent -- say gay marriages held legally in another state should be recognized as legal in their states.

"The surprise is that the shift has occurred across ideological groups. While conservatives are least apt to favor gay marriage, they've gone from 10 percent support in 2004 to 19 percent in 2006 and 30 percent now -- overall a 20-point, threefold increase, alongside a 13-point gain among liberals and 14 points among moderates. (Politically, support for gay marriage has risen sharply among Democrats and independents alike, while far more slightly among Republicans.). . .

"Of all these issues [shown in the poll], the divisions -- and changes -- on gay marriage are especially striking. In addition to more support, there's been a shift in intensity of views: Compared with three years ago, the number of Americans "strongly" opposed has declined from 51 percent to 39 percent, while the number strongly in favor of gay marriage has advanced from 24 percent to 31 percent."
See the full poll below.
ABC Washington Post Polls: A Hot Button Issues

More advances for marriage equality have happened both in New Hampshire and Maine this week alone!

The tide is turning.

Maine Senate Passes Marriage Equality Bill 20-15

UPDATE 10:05AM PST: Maine Senate rejects amendment that would've put marriage equality to a popular vote. It will now go to the House for a vote next week.

UPDATE: Amendment to Maine marriage equality bill being discussed. Could lead to populace vote. Maine voters evenly split on marriage equality.

From WLBZ 2:
(NEWS CENTER) -- The Maine state senate has voted on one of the most controversial bills this year. The bill proposes to legalize gay marriage in Maine.

Debate on the bill began Thursday morning, and was completed just before noon. The votes were 20 to 15 in favor of passing the bill. The senate is also discussing adding an amendment to the bill to put it out to vote.

Two days ago, a legislative committee that held hearings on the bill recommended 11-to-2 to that the bill ought to pass.

If it had not, that would have set the stage for a statewide referendum vote.
The House is expected to vote on the bill next week.

More reports to come! Keep checking back for updates.

Maine Senate Vote on Marriage Equality Bill Imminent - Watch It Live

Watch the hearings and vote live. The Judiciary Committee voted in strong favor of the bill 11-2-1.

The House is expected to vote next week.

VIDEO: Maine Parents Convey How Marriage Equality Would Benefit Their Families

With Maine's marriage equality bill LD 2020 having passed the state's Senate Judiciary Committee and now heading to the floor for a full vote, a lot of work is being done to show the Senators why voting in its favor is the right thing to do.

Maine Freedom to Marry Coalition knows the strength of our movement is in our stories and have released videos of same-sex couples telling how marriage would protect their families.

In the first video, Maine Parents Rodney and Ray talk about why marriage equality will be good for their son, Ethan. The second, Terry and Tamiko talk about how being married would benefit their two children, Cam and Sooki.

Our stories are our strength. Spread them.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Miss California USA to Do New Ad for "Gathering Storm" Producers

UPDATE: got the scoop that HRC's Joe Solmonese will also be unwittingly featured in the ad. Who knows how they'll twist his words around. They're pretty good at manipulation.

From the Advocate:
California's most prominent "opposite marriage" supporter of the moment is lending a hand to the National Organization for Marriage, slated to appear in a new ad.

Carrie Prejean, who famously told Perez Hilton at the Miss USA pageant last week that she thinks marriage should only be between heterosexual couples, will be the face of a $1.5 million campaign by the group that brought us the "Gathering Storm" ad.
The press release says the ad will address:
What happens when a young California beauty pageant contestant is asked, "Do you support same-sex marriage?" She is attacked viciously for having the courage to speak up for her truth and her values. But Carrie's courage inspired a whole nation and a whole generation of young people because she chose to risk the Miss USA crown rather than be silent about her deepest moral values. "No Offense" calls gay marriage advocates to account for their unwillingness to debate the real issue: Gay marriage has consequences.
I'm assuming by the press release that they're referring to BAD consequences and not the good ones of marriage equality, such as protecting relationships and strengthening family protection, even if they are within the LGBT community.

It sounds like our friends over at NOM are taking a few cues from the Iowa Family Council on how to twist the truth.

New Hampshire Gov. Lynch Responds to State Senate Passing Marriage Equality Bill

New Hampshire Governor John Lynch responded on his website to the state's senate passing the marriage equality bill earlier today.
"I recognize that the issue of same-sex marriage is intensely passionate and personal, and raises strong emotions on all sides.

"I still believe the fundamental issue is about providing the same rights and protections to same-sex couples as are available to heterosexual couples. This was accomplished through the passage of the civil unions law two years ago. To achieve further real progress, the federal government would need to take action to recognize New Hampshire civil unions."
Up to this point, Gov. Lynch had been silent on the issue. With the House expected to pass the few changes the Senate made to its original resolution next week, the bill will most likely be hitting the governor's desk soon.

Does this sound like a veto promise? If you recall, Vermont's Gov. Jim Douglas' veto of that state's marriage equality bill was overturned, resulting in Vermont's legalization of same-sex marriage.

Does New Hampshire have what it takes to overturn a veto?

Let's hope we don't have to find out. Contact the governor and tell him not to veto New Hampshire's marriage equality bill!

Office of the Governor
State House
25 Capitol Street
Concord, NH 03301

(603)271-7680 (fax)

VIDEO: Traditional Values Coalition - Dishonest or Dumb?


My friend Rob posts another great video, this time examining arguments raised by the Traditional Values Coalition against the Matthew Shephard Act (being debated in Congress as I type this.)

Check out his blog and his YouTube Channel.

New Hampshire Senate Passes Marriage Equality Bill 13-11!

New Hampshire Senate Passes Marriage Equality Bill 13-11!


UPDATE: New reports coming in that it must now go back to the House where it originally passed since it was amended in the Senate. The Senate version of the bill made minor changes to remove gender-specific language, specified that marriage was only between two people, and those entering marriage must be at least 18. The House must now vote and approve the amended version and is likely to pass sometime next week.

The Concord Monitor identified other details of the bill:
"The bill passed by the Senate recognizes a distinction between civil and religious marriages and allows religious denominations to decide whether they will conduct religious marriages for gay or lesbian couples. Civil marriages would be available to both heterosexual and same-sex couples under the law.

“This bill recognizes the sanctity of religious marriage and the diversity of religious beliefs about marriage while still providing equal access to civil marriage to all New Hampshire citizens,” said Sen. Maggie Hassan, an Exeter Democrat.
The bill, after being approved by the House, must then go to New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch for signing. He has remain mute on the subject of veto but in the past has stated personal opposition.

ACTION: Contact the governor and tell him to sign the marriage equality bill! We need to show our support NOW!

Office of the Governor
State House
25 Capitol Street
Concord, NH 03301

(603)271-7680 (fax)

Watch the New Hampshire Senate Vote on Marriage Equality Live!

Watch the hearing live at WMUR 9.

Sen. Deborah Reynolds (D) who initially sided with the Republicans in the Senate Judiciary Committee and voted to not recommend the bill, has now come out in support for compromise.

Keep watching to see what that means.

Check out Blue Hampshire for an open thread on the hearing.

Horrific Column in 'Desmoines Register' Blasting Marriage Equality

The Iowa Family Policy Center can be referred to as Iowa's local National Organization for Marriage. Responsible for many anti-gay maneuvers, they wigged out when the Iowa Supreme Court ruled the same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, so they rallied 400 to protest at the capitol and did it again not long after.

Now they've stooped to new low levels. They're behind a horrific guest column in the Desmoines Register titled "Homosexual lifestyle, marriage cause families pain".

In it, Karl and Judy Schowengerdt recall their son Randy who was "recruited into the homosexual lifestyle" and contracted AIDS. They claim that the homosexual community rejected him afterward. From this experience, they make the illogical claim same-sex marriage harms families.

For years, my wife and I have watched the media and homosexual activists work together to redefine family and marriage in our society. The consistent message has been that homosexual "marriage" will hurt no one, and that those of us who support marriage only between one man and one woman will not be impacted. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Our hearts go out to people caught up in homosexuality. The destruction and pain that homosexuality leaves in its wake is deep and impacts so many more than just the individuals caught up in the activity. We now know several other couples who are struggling with a son who chose to engage in homosexuality. We know the pain they endure, and understand when they reach out for help. One person's homosexuality causes stress and strain on every friend and relative who truly cares about them.

It's a very sad story and you can't not feel for their pain. But also, you can't help but see the coaching from the Iowa Family Policy Center, guiding them to make an illogical connection between the tragedy of their son and monogamous, committed same-sex couples who want to be married. This disgusting manipulation by an organization that supposedly puts family first is taking advantage of a family's misfortune to win a battle that they've already lost.

The Schowengerdts claim their son Randy said, as he was dying, that homosexuality is a "cult" and that it is not a "lifestyle." He was dying. His friends abandoned him. He was forced to go back to his parents who had rejected him. I too would be bitter against my friends and the lifestyle I chose.

Randy's poor choices in life and who he chose to hang out with are not an accurate portrayal of the LGBT community as a whole - they only represent Randy. I guarantee that Karl and Judy Schowengerdt have not taken any steps to meet any other members of the LGBT community but choose to make their blanket statements against us through the prism of their and Randy's experience.

The Iowa Family Policy Center uses this situation to paint all homosexuals in this tragic light and make the erroneous jump that monogamous same-sex couples relationships will have the same dire consequences on their respective families as Randy's life had on his.

Here is an interview with the Schowengerdts.

Please leave comments to the article with respectful responses and with sympathy for the Schowengerdt, but call out the Iowa Family Policy Center on their horrible practices and manipulation.

NOM Patching Calls From Marriage Equality Opponents Directly to New Hampshire Senators

The New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition reports that Maggie Gallagher's National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has been able to pay for a "‘patch through calls’. This is a computer generated phone bank that enables them to get every person who opposes equality in our state, all 26% of the population patched through to their senator. This gives Senators the impression that all their constituents oppose marriage equality.”

How effective is this? Pretty effective given that Democrat Senator Deborah Reynolds cast the deciding 3-2 vote that recommended the gay marriage bill not go to the full Senate. Why would she do this? Her response: New Hampshire is "not ready."

Really? Because from what I'm hearing, 55% of New Hampshire voters are ready, (or higher) stating clearly that they support marriage for gays and lesbians.

Let's just hope the whole New Hampshire Senate doesn't fall for this trick. But we'll know today since they're voting on the marriage equality bill today.

Another great source of information for New Hampshire's fight for equality is Blue Hampshire.

Stay Tuned!

H/T The New Civil Rights Movement

Equality Maine, "Contact Your Senator - Tell Them To Support Marriage Equality!"

Yesterday, Maine's Senate Judiciary Committee voted overwhelmingly in favor of LD 1020, the state's marriage equality bill.

However, this committee's vote is only a recommendation to the full senate which has yet to vote on the bill. They also weren't present to hear thirteen hours of personal stories on why marriage equality is so important.

Equality Maine is asking you to contact the senators and tell them to vote YES on LD 1020. If they don't hear, they won't know how many are in support.

Contact them. Let them know.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Help DC for Marriage Counter Marriage Equality Opponents

As recently reported, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) hosted a protest today in Washington DC to counter the progress marriage equality has made in the last few months in the nation's capital of Washington DC.

Despite the successful activist hijack of NOM's Facebook protest page, leading to no one confirming their attendance of the DC protest, anti-gay protesters still showed up. See pictures and updates at Good As You.

On top of this protest, NOM has also released this atrocious radio ad, hammering listeners constantly throughout the day.

DC for Marriage has decided to counter the opposition with grassroots actions of their own by organizing phone banks and canvassing the neighborhood.

Find out how you can get involved on Facebook or at DC for Marriage's website.

The biggest success for change only comes with one-on-one contact with those who do not know the truth behind LGBT equality. Putting your face, your name and your story to the movement is the only way to sway those who constantly hear the lies of the opposition. It's scary to put yourself out there, but the reward of equality is definitely worth it!

UPDATE: Big Day in New York Capital Today! Twitter #ejday

UPDATE 3:15PM PST: Equality and Justice Day Dispact from Daily Intel.

UPDATE: According to the AP, New York Gov. David Paterson told the crowds rallying outside the capitol that religious opponents of gay marriage "failed to act on their faith when gays and lesbians were victimized," and that they "did not step up when young gay and lesbian students were victims of hate crimes. Paterson asked the crowd where these leaders of faith were when gay and lesbian college students were being beaten."

More pics can be found at HRC's Twipic. Follow events on Twitter under #ejday.
If you recall, today New York's Senate Judiciary Committee will review three pro-LGBT bills including Gov. David Paterson's marriage equality bill, protection of transgender civil rights and a bill to provide safer schools for LGBT youth.

But to make things even better, Empire State Pride Agenda is hosting their LGBT Equality and Justice Day, where according to the AP, "About 2,000 people are expected at a lunchtime rally outside the Capitol today in support of gay rights legislation."
Attendees will have a chance to speak with legislators to voice their support.

Stay tuned!

BREAKING NEWS: Maine's Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Marriage Equality Bill

Last week, Maine's Senate Judiciary Committee heard over thirteen hours of public testimony for and against the state's marriage equality bill.

Today they voted to support it, a strong recommendation to the whole senate to vote in favor when it goes to the floor.

From Portland Press Herald:
The Legislature’s Judiciary Committee voted 11-2-1 today in support of a bill to allow gay marriage in Maine.

Eleven members voted in favor of the bill, two voted against it, and one voted to send it to referendum.

The vote was briefly interrupted when a woman began yelling at legislators because she wanted them to reject the bill. Elaine Graham of Farmington was escorted from the Statehouse by Capitol Police, but will not face charges.

The bill will now move forward to the full Senate for consideration.

IMAGE: Staff photo by Joe Phelan
GRAHAM YELLS: Elaine Graham, of Farmington, left, yells in the hallway after being escorted out of a Judiciary Committee work session on the same sex marriage bill Tuesday afternoon at The Statehouse in Augusta. Rep. Seth Berry, D-Bowdoinham at right, who had been standing beside her in the doorway walked her out of the hearing room.

New CBS Poll Shows Marriage Equality Support Grows Nearly 10 Points in One Month

From CBS News:
Forty-two percent of Americans now say same sex couples should be allowed to legally marry, a new CBS News/New York Times poll finds. That's up nine points from last month, when 33 percent supported legalizing same sex marriage.

Support for same sex marriage is now at its highest point since CBS News starting asking about it in 2004.
See Unite the Fight's post on CBS News' earlier poll for comparison.

This reflects others polls, such as New Hampshire voters supporting marriage equality by 55% (which will hopefully send a strong message to New Hampshire's senate which will vote on a same-sex marriage bill tomorrow), as well as anti-gay Gary Randall's poll which indicated, to Randall's chagrin, that Washington state also supports full marriage equality by 43%.

Let's not forget New Jersey and New York, the latter having a big day today for LGBT legislation.

The tide is turning. And polls like these take away arguments from the anti-gays, like Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage who recently used the argument that only a third of Americans supported marriage equality.

Not anymore, Maggie. Not anymore.

NY Times Frank Rich Talks to Towleroad About His Pro-LGBT Stance

If you recall, Frank Rich's April 19 New York Times Op-Ed piece, "The Bigot's Last Hurrah" created a major stir.

Referring frequently to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM)'s "Gathering Storm" ad, Frank presented an argument that the right-ring is losing the culture battle and needs to move on and move past their bigoted point-of-views. This prompted a response from NOM's president, Maggie Gallagher.

Towleroad had the privilege to interview Mr. Rich about his position.

UPDATE: Rachel Maddow Interviews Pro-LGBT CA Governor Candidate Gavin Newsom

UPDATE: The deputy director of communications for San Francisco mayor clarified today Newsom's comments made on the Rachel Maddow Show. ""Mayor Newsom meant to say that Prop. 8 wouldn't pass today," Brian Purchia told in an e-mail. "If you listen to any of his follow-up answers after the initial question on Rachel Maddow, there is no doubt that he meant to say it wouldn't pass."
Gavin Newsom gives his first interview since announcing his run for governor of California with Rachel Maddow. In the interview, Newsom discusses the advances in Iowa on marriage equality but bemoans the flip-flopping of same-sex marriage, veto happy Schwarzenegger's. He believes if a vote was taken on Prop 8 today, there would be a better outcome.

New Hampshire to Vote on Marriage Equality Tomorrow

Last week, New Hampshire's Senate Judiciary Committee voted to reject marriage equality bill HB436 3-2.

Tomorrow, the bill will hit the senate floor for a full vote. According to Blue Hampshire, it's not looking too good. The image below is the Senate Whip Count provided by Blue Hampshire:

According to Reuters, it will only take 13 nea votes to kill the bill, and Senate Minority Leader Peter Bragdon said he expects all 10 Republican senators to oppose it with Democrat support mixed.

Contact information for the senators can be found here. If you live in New Hampshire, urge your senator to vote for the bill.

Also, Blue Hampshire reports that Sen. Gilmour said she is in favor of marriage equality, but still had to read through e-mails from the voters in her towns before making a final decision.

"I think there is some very strong support for equality in marriage", Gilmour said. "Many of us see this as a civil rights issue."

Contact: Senator Gilmour: 271-3569, e-mail: (add your home address to show you live in the state)

But on the brighter side, a poll released today by New Hampshire Freedom to Marry shows that a majority of New Hampshire voters support marriage for gays and lesbians. 55% were in support while 39% were opposed. 491 voters were polled from April 13-22.
New Hampshire has a live and let live attitude. These strong numbers in support of marriage equality are not surprising. A majority of New Hampshire voters have supported marriage equality since polling on the subject began in 2003. We hope that New Hampshire can soon join our neighbors in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont, and enact marriage equality," said Mo Baxley, Executive Director of New Hampshire Freedom To Marry.
Stay tuned for NH Senate vote tomorrow!