Wednesday, November 4, 2009

With a Narrow Loss in Maine, Marriage Equality USA Redoubles our Efforts to Win the Freedom to Marry

“Our hearts go out to same-sex couples in Maine who have had their fundamental right to marry stripped away by a slim majority,” said Molly McKay, Marriage Equality USA. “It’s absolutely inhumane to put same-sex couples and their children through these grueling campaigns that only serve to promote hatred, ignorance and bigotry. LGBT Americans deserve the same security and respect that marriage provides to all other families and we will continue on our journey that has brought us this far and continue to share our truth and the impact of discrimination – it is truly only a matter of time. We, of the generation that has been tasked with the obligation to end legal discrimination against LGBT Americans must learn that life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain…and dance and march and sing and pray is what we will do…and as our most beloved Dr. Martin Luther King has said, we will do so, ‘[u]ntil justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.’”

“We must continue to heed the advice of Harvey Milk and ‘come out’ to everyone we meet as supporters of marriage equality, as LGBT people, as sisters, brothers, parents and friends of gay people,” said Pamela Brown, Marriage Equality USA Policy Director. “Last night, we achieved victories in Washington State and Kalamazoo, seven openly gay candidates won in elections spanning the nation from St. Petersburg, Florida to Salt Lake City, Utah and two are in run-off elections in Houston, Texas and the 58th District in Georgia. And as people witness same-sex couples happily married in six states, living their lives, mowing their lawn, paying their taxes and as our families become woven into the seamless web of community and citizenship, the injustice of separate of unequal treatment will grow more and more apparent. To help highlight our common humanity, Marriage Equality USA is launching a stories project, particularly in states where marriage equality is a reality. We want to encourage same-sex couples, their families, straight allies, and other community members to share their experiences on the impact and importance of extending the freedom to marry to all loving, committed couples. The stories we collect will be presented through a digital stories project that we will release during February’s Freedom to Marry month.”

To have your story including in this project, please complete the on-line survey at:;

“The diversity of our experiences is important to share because there are so many people to reach and we must reflect the reality that we are truly everywhere, in every community and demographic. No one will do this for us, we must be the change we want to see in the world and it begins with sharing our truth. Your story may be the one that will make a difference for some conflicted but potential marriage equality supporter,” said Brown. “So spread the word and send in your story today.”

To reply to this message, follow the link below:

Photo Of The Day - "God Did This For Us"

ABOVE: Yes On 1 supporters explode in joy and thank Jeebus for protecting them from the blood-thirsty homosexuals. They should also thank NOM for its illegal refusal to comply with Maine's financial disclosure laws. And they should thank Stand For Marriage for consistently lying about "teaching gay marriage." And they should thank the Archbishop of Maine for passing the collection plate during Ma$$. Yes, thank the bloody Jeebus for enabling lying, law breaking, deception, and hatred. Praise His Name!

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courtesy of JMG

Quote Of The Day - Jesse Ventura

"You can't put a civil rights issue on the ballot and let the people decide. You have to have elected officials to who have courage to make the right decision. If you left it up to the people, we'd have slavery, depending on how you worded it." - Former Minnesota governor and pro wrestler Jesse Ventura, responding to Maine's vote on CNN last night.

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Courtesy of JMG

Sad news from Maine...

Human Rights Campaign

Dear Daniel,

A deep and bitter disappointment from Maine yesterday: Maine voters have passed a devastating Proposition 8-style measure overturning the state’s marriage equality law.

Our hearts are with everyone in Maine who fought so hard to win recognition for their families. The legislature passed marriage equality earlier this year, but a divisive anti-LGBT campaign to scare voters seems to have worked.

It is infuriating to see that the same fear-mongering ads that were used to pass Prop. 8 a year ago have triumphed again at the expense of so many. This is a terrible loss.

Although we lost our battle in Maine, we will not allow the lies and hate – the foundation on which our opponents built their campaign to break our spirits. We are on the right side of history and we will continue this fight with even more vigor.

Our friends at No on 1/Protect Maine Equality waged a strong and smart campaign. Thousands of volunteers exposed hundreds of thousands of Mainers to the real lives of same-sex couples and their families many for the first time.

I am angry. But more importantly, I am determined that with the anger I feel today from this outcome in Maine, we'll rise ever stronger to demand equal treatment under the law and equal respect for our relationships in Maine, California, New Jersey, and every state in the Union.

And in other state elections yesterday...

  • In Washington state, voters appear to have cast their ballots to approve Referendum 71, a measure that would expand domestic partnerships to have every state-level right and benefit afforded to married couples. I feel confident that when all of the votes are counted, it will be clear that the voters of Washington chose to provide equal rights and benefits to same-sex couples and their families.

  • In New Jersey, Governor Jon Corzine – endorsed by HRC – has lost his re-election bid. He has been a strong ally for LGBT people in New Jersey, and he had pledged repeatedly to sign a marriage equality bill that could still be passed by legislators later this year.

  • In Virginia, HRC endorsed Creigh Deeds for governor and placed 20 staffers at work in key delegate races. Deeds unfortunately lost his bid for governor, but there will be new pro-equality voices in the House of Delegates next year.

  • In Kalamazoo, Michigan, right-wing groups wanted to make sure it stayed legal to fire or refuse housing to someone just because they’re LGBT. 65% of Kalamazoo voters disagreed and voted to approve Ordinance 1856, expanding the city's existing anti-discrimination law to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Check HRC's Backstory blog for updates on these and other races throughout the day.

Daniel, I know that the results of today’s elections are frustrating.

But having seen the passion and dedication of volunteers in this election, I know that tomorrow is a new day – and that our movement has the strength and power it needs to keep moving forward.

Joe Solmonese
Joe Solmonese

HomoQuotable - David Mixner

You have to be totally operating on blind faith if you believe that President Obama and his team cannot make a difference. Tragically if we lose closely, that defeat almost can be laid at the steps of the White House for their refusal to stand by our side in the battle for freedom. The Holder remark basically gave those Obama supporters and non-white voters permission to vote against our freedom. The Attorney General let them know that Obama didn't care one way or another so why should those voters change their votes? He gave their votes respectability which was devastating for our side.

"The failure of our national organizations to obtain a clear cut endorsement for the LGBT community is something that needs to be discussed. This one isn't rocket science. What happened?

"We certainly know by the president's repeated visits to Virginia, New York and New Jersey that he at least had time to issue a tough statement against this form of ballot box bigotry. What they did and failed to do these past weeks, whether we win or lose tonight, is just tragic, sad and unconscionable." - Activist and National Equality March co-founder David Mixner, saying that President Obama will be partially to blame for any losses in today's anti-gay ballot measures.

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Courtesy of JMG

Age, Income, Kids: New Study Says Gay Families Similar To Straight Families

According to new study of U.S. Census Bureau data performed by researchers at UCLA, there's not much difference between straight families and gay couples who report themselves as married.
Same-sex couples who identify as married are similar to straight spouses in terms of age and income, and nearly one-third of them are raising children, according to Census data released Monday that provides a demographic snapshot of gay families in America. The study released by a think tank based at UCLA also found that Utah and Wyoming were among the states with the highest percentages of gay spouses in 2008, despite being heavily conservative states with no laws providing legal recognition of gay relationships. The data from the annual American Community Survey showed that nearly 150,000 same-sex couples in the U.S., or more than one in four, referred to one another as "husband" or "wife," although UCLA researchers estimate that no more than 32,000 of the couples were legally married. The couples had an average age of 52 and household incomes of $91,558, while 31 percent were raising children. That compares with an average age of 50, household income of $95,075 and 43 percent raising children for married heterosexual couples.
The Census Bureau has promised to perform its own study of married gays after the 2010 count, but says they were not able to alter the questionnaire to separate out legally married gays from those claiming a non-legal marital-type relationship.

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Courtesy of JMG