Thursday, August 5, 2010


Dear Daniel,
Yesterday, a Federal Judge in California ruled that Proposition 8 violated the fundamental right of gay and lesbian Americans to marry the person they love. The decision was an important milestone on the road to full equality, and it thoroughly dismantled every defense Proposition 8's proponents put forth in their attempts to justify discrimination.
And just last month, a Federal Judge in Massachusetts ruled that the federal government couldn't discriminate against legally married gay couples.
It's becoming clear that the walls preventing LGBT Americans from equality under the law are coming tumbling down-and I couldn't be happier. For far too long, anti-gay activists have claimed that LGBT people should be excluded from the promises of our Constitution. And while in too much of the country, discrimination and intolerance are still enshrined in the law, it's clear that momentum is on our side.
But this is no time to rest on our laurels and we can't just leave this up to the courts. On our blog, we're chronicling the howls of protest from the Religious Right. They know that they've been dealt a serious blow, but they're not giving up. Neither will we.
That's why I hope you'll join me in calling on Congress to Dump DOMA.
The Judges who ruled in favor of equality have done their jobs. Congress and the President need to do theirs. We need to make it clear through every branch of government-the courts, the Congress and the White House-that anti-gay discrimination isn't the American Way.
Tell Congress to repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.
In the months and years to come, I look forward to standing with you as we fight for equal rights for all people. With your energy, your commitment, and your passion, it's a fight I know we can win.
Michael B. Keegan signature
Michael B. Keegan, President


Via Adam & Andy:

via gayagenda: Orthodox Rabbis Sign Declaration of Acceptance

Orthodox Rabbis Sign Declaration of Acceptance A group of approximately 150 Orthodox rabbis have signed and issued a statement which list 12 reasons why gay men and lesbians should be accepted within the Orthodox community.
The statement reads:
“Embarrassing, harassing or demeaning someone with a homosexual orientation or same-sex attraction is a violation of Torah prohibitions that embody the deepest values of Judaism.”
“Jews with homosexual orientations or same sex-attractions should be welcomed as full members of the synagogue and school community.”
This is a huge step forward for a both the Orthodox Jewish and gay communities.

Read more by CLICKING HERE!

Via Independent Gay Forum:

Judge Walker: A Reagan Appointee, Opposed by Progressives and Gays

by Stephen H. Miller
The Cato Institute's David Boaz blogs that Judge Vaughn Walker, who just struck down the California ban on same-sex marriage, is no "San Francisco liberal" (as some marriage equality opponents are claiming). In fact, "progressives" and gay activists fought his appointment. As Boaz writes:
Judge Walker was first appointed to the federal bench by President Ronald Reagan in 1987, at the recommendation of Attorney General Edwin Meese III. ... Democratic opposition led by Sen. Alan Cranston (D-CA) prevented the nomination from coming to a vote during Reagan’s term. Walker was renominated by President George H. W. Bush in February 1989. Again the Democratic Senate refused to act on the nomination. Finally Bush renominated Walker in August, and the Senate confirmed him in December. ...

[C]oalitions including such groups as the NAACP, the National Organization for Women, the Human Rights Campaign, the Lambda Legal Defense Fund, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force worked to block the nomination.

In other words, this "liberal San Francisco judge" was recommended by Ed Meese, appointed by Ronald Reagan, and opposed by Alan Cranston, Nancy Pelosi, Edward Kennedy, and the leading gay activist groups. It's a good thing for advocates of marriage equality that those forces were only able to block Walker twice.
It almost makes you doubt whether progressives really are smarter and more insightful than the rest of us.
More. James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal predicts that Justice Kennedy, based on the consistency of his pro-gay equality rulings, will vote to uphold Judge Walker's decision:
Yet while Kennedy cannot be pigeonholed in terms of "ideology," on this specific topic, he has been consistent in taking a very broad view of the rights of homosexuals. He not only voted with the majority but wrote the majority opinions in two crucial cases: Romer v. Evans (1996) and Lawrence v. Texas (2003). ... Those who see Justice Kennedy's position in Perry as difficult to predict in effect entertain "the belief that principle and logic have nothing to do" with his decisions on the court.
Kennedy, too, was a Reagan appointee opposed by liberal advocacy groups.
Permalink | 7 Comment(s)

La Mission - Trailer

Via Huffington: Emma Ruby-Sachs: Bold Pursuit of Gay Rights Wins in Court


Emma Ruby-Sachs: As a movement, the LGBT community has always seen legal strategies as a central part of the march towards equality. But their strategy has been one of incremental change. So imagine the uproar when two star lawyers, both straight, white men, marched into the Proposition 8 controversy with little prior experience with LGBT struggles and announces a federal challenge to marriage discrimination. What resulted was an internal struggle between incremental change and bold gestures for equality. Today, bold gestures certainly seems to be winning the struggle. Click here to read more.

From the Courage Campaign Institute:

Courage Campaign

The Associated Press is reporting that Protect Marriage -- the coalition of right-wing religious groups that sponsored Prop 8 --  filed an appeal today in response to Judge Vaughn Walker's historic ruling yesterday striking down the discriminatory initiative. Walker has ordered both sides to submit written arguments by Friday as he determines whether to grant a stay in the case.

Meanwhile, Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage launched a counter-attack to rally the religious right, calling Walker's decision a sign of a "Soviet-style" government takeover of marriage, leading the way as conservative groups stoke a backlash against the decision.   

With the opposition going on the attack, we need your support now to defend Judge Walker's historic decision in the court of public opinion. Less than 24 hours after we sent you the message below, our community blew through Tom Dolby and Drew Frist's $25,000 matching grant challenge, raising $62,729. Because of that smashing success, we're setting a huge new $100,000 goal to go on offense against the Prop 8 campaign, NOM and Focus on the Family. Will you help us reach this critical goal? DEADLINE: FRIDAY, 11:59 PM:

Dear Daniel --

Judge Vaughn Walker just released his decision, ruling that PROP 8 IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

Judge Walker's federal court decision is an historic milestone in the fight for full equality, but it is only a first step: The decision will inevitably be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

After denying Americans the opportunity to watch this historic trial on television, Prop 8 campaign leaders and extreme right-wing organizations like the National Organization for Marriage and Focus on the Family will stop at nothing to delegitimize this decision before it ever reaches the Supreme Court.

But this time, we're fighting back by launching our biggest campaign ever -- an unprecedented online storytelling project to bring the Prop 8 trial into the lives of the American people and transform the debate over marriage equality.

As the next phase in our year-long "Testimony: Equality on Trial" project, our new campaign will empower same-sex couples, their families, and allies to fundamentally change the conversation about same-sex marriage in America -- establishing today's ruling as the social and cultural foundation for victory in the Supreme Court.

To defend Judge Walker's historic decision, we need to go on offense against the Prop 8 campaign, NOM and Focus on the Family. That's why Tom Dolby and Drew Frist, just married last year, have pledged to contribute $25,000 if our community can match it in the next 48 hours. Will you help us make the match and defend Judge Walker's decision in the court of public opinion? Click here to contribute $25, $50, $100 or more right now! DEADLINE: FRIDAY, 11:59 PM:

Ted Olson, the legendary attorney who teamed up with one-time adversary David Boies to successfully lead this case against Prop 8, said it better than anyone:
"If there was ever a trial in the history of our country that the American people should have seen, it was this one."
I couldn't agree more. To prevent the right-wing from spouting the same lies that were debunked and destroyed in Judge Walker's courtroom, we must translate today's victory in court to victory in the hearts and minds of Americans.

That's why we collected nearly 140,000 signatures to televise the Prop 8 trial -- a campaign cited in a dissenting opinion to the the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision against broadcast. It's also why we launched the Prop 8 Trial Tracker and the NOM Tour Tracker -- generating more than 2.5 million views and 44,121 comments combined. And it's why we are bringing this trial to life across America with the next phase of Testimony: Equality on Trial.

Today's historic decision must be defended in the court of public opinion. That's why Tom Dolby and Drew Frist have stepped up to make a $25,000 matching grant challenge to the Courage community so we can fight back together against the right-wing's framing of this trial, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. But we need your help now to make the match in the next 48 hours. Click here to contribute $25, $50, $100 or whatever you can afford. DEADLINE: FRIDAY, 11:59 PM:

Thank you for all you have done to make today's victory possible. With your ongoing support, full equality will eventually be the law of the land.

Rick Jacobs
Chair, Courage Campaign Institute 

Courage Campaign Institute is a part of the Courage Campaign's multi-issue online organizing network that empowers more than 700,000 grassroots and netroots supporters to push for progressive change and full equality in California and across the country. To get involved in the Courage Campaign Institute, visit "Testimony: Equality on Trial" -- our year-long campaign to bring the Prop 8 trial into the lives of Americans.

To power our campaign to defend the Prop 8 decision, please chip in what you can today:

Via JMG: Is Mexico Next For Marriage Equality?

Today Mexico's Supreme Court ruled 8-2 that the legalization of same-sex marriage in the nation's capital did not violate the Mexican constitution. Mexico City legalized gay marriage in March, but the ruling was challenged with the backing of the Catholic Church. Today's decision not only squashed that challenge, it further stipulated that gay couples were free to adopt. How long before we see the expansion of marriage equality to all of Mexico?
reposted from Joe

Today's funny from Facebook

Via JMG: BREAKING: Target Apologizes For Funding Minnesota Anti-Gay Political Group

Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel has bowed to national outrage and issued an apology (just to his employees, so far) for funding an anti-gay Minnesota PAC to the tune of $150,000. Steinhafel's letter says the company "will more closely scrutinize" political donations in the future. Minnesota Forward, the recipient of Target's dough, funneled the money to anti-gay candidate for governor, Tom Emmer. Is this enough to call off the LGBT dogs? We shall see. And no word yet from Best Buy, who made a similar donation.
reposted from Joe

Via HRC:

Human Rights Campaign
Dear Daniel,
The right wing is coming out swinging, with their sights set on the election. Can you help us raise $100,000 in the next week to fight back?
We'll send you an HRC luggage tag as a thank-you.
Yesterday, when a California court ruled that Proposition 8 violated the U.S. Constitution, the radical-right "National Organization for Marriage" (NOM) immediately went ballistic, saying the case could "strip millions of Americans of our core civil right to vote..."
The ruling has fueled a right-wing fire that was already raging: NOM is in the midst of holding anti-equality rallies in 20 cities, and rabidly anti-marriage candidates are making headway – including one who's received major support despite his ties to a group that condoned executing gay people.
It all adds up to a right-wing onslaught – groups firing up their activists for a make-or-break election this November and anti-equality candidates bolstered by new sources of funding. And yesterday's court decision kicked it into high gear.
With your help, we're mounting a major grassroots campaign against the right-wing effort to shift the balance of power – by getting lawmakers elected who support equality, voting out those who don't, and preventing hateful initiatives. But it won't be easy. We face a wave of anti-equality candidates backed by Tea Partiers and front groups.
The stakes are enormous, Daniel, and the danger of defeat is real. And that's why we need you in the fold as an HRC member. Can you help?
Between yesterday's historic Prop. 8 decision and the recent rebuke of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the right wing is spitting mad. NOM’s leaders have raised the specter of a "culture war" and threatened retribution at the ballot box: "Let me promise you one thing: This is going to light a fire for November." The Family Research Council called an earlier DOMA ruling "an attack on America's moral foundations."
When extremists lash out, it's not just about rhetoric. They raise money – a lot of it – off their bare-knuckle tactics.
And the right-wing candidates they've gotten on the ballot – people who could stand in the way of marriage equality in states like Minnesota – are also enjoying an unprecedented flow of donations in the wake of relaxed campaign finance rules.
To fight back, we're counting on the generous financial support of our members. We need to get grassroots organizers into the field, train and mobilize volunteers, run ads, speak out in the media, and fight the right-wing rhetoric daily.
The victories we've earned this year could be short-lived. They could spark a devastating backlash unless we're there to defend and build on them.
Thanks in advance for being there when your help is needed most.
Joe Solmonese
Joe Solmonese
This link is specific to you, so please make your own gift before you forward to your friends. Having trouble clicking on the links above? Simply copy and paste this URL into your browser's address bar to reach the donation form:

via AFER:

The American Foundation for Equal Rights needs your support now more than ever. Donate now!
Dear Daniel,
Prop 8 proponents are appealing the federal court's decision right now – they have vowed to take this fight all the way to the Supreme Court. We need your support now more than ever. Join me and support American Foundation for Equal Rights Today.
When the federal court struck down Prop 8, it was a profound moment for millions of people who have been living with the denial of their fundamental rights. It sent a signal to gay and lesbian people everywhere that their love, relationships, and families will be honored and protected equally across our whole country. But make no mistake—if we give up now, our victory will be fleeting. Right now, anti-marriage forces are filing their appeal, and they are committed to fighting against us all the way to the Supreme Court.

Your contribution today means we can fight back and protect this ruling for everyone.

The defendants in this case, having already lost in court, will stop at nothing in their attempt to block equal rights for all Americans. They will tap their national fundraising network. They will redeploy the hateful and divisive rhetoric we heard during the Prop 8 campaign. They will flood the airwaves and the courtroom with their supporters, pseudo-science and deception.

We won this landmark case because we are morally and legally right. This case is about nothing more—and nothing less—than ensuring every American is treated equally in the eyes of the law. It’s about two people who want to get married not having the government stand in their way. It's about not having the government categorize them and their families as second-class, unworthy of the recognition and rights open to every other American.

Help us make our case: The fight is long from over, but when it is, with your help, this nation will be a more equal place.


Dustin Lance Black,
Board Member,
American Foundation for Equal Rights


Proponents of California's gay marriage ban have formally appealed a federal judge's ruling striking down the voter-approved law.
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via sacbee:

Within an hour after a federal judge declared that gay people in California have the right to marry, Wendy Rae Hill gathered her partner, two children and mother and headed to the Sacramento County clerk's office. - Read More

Via o Globo: Juiz derruba proposição que impede casamento gay na Califórnia

Para juiz federal, proposição 8 viola a Constituição norte-americana.
Aprovada há 2 anos por californianos, proposta vetava união homossexual.

Do G1, com agências internacionais *
A Corte Federal de São Francisco, na Califórnia, derrubou nesta quarta-feira (4) a proposição 8, que havia impedido os casamentos entre pessoas do mesmo sexo no estado norte-americano.

Na decisão, o juiz federal Vaughn Walker afirma que a proposição, aprovada por referendo em 2008, é "inconstitucional", já que viola o 14º artigo da Constituição americana, que prevê proteção igual a todos os cidadãos.

Spencer Jones (esq) beija o marido Tyler Barrick após ouvirem decisão em frente à Corte Federal em São Francisco, na CalifórniaSpencer Jones (esq) beija o marido Tyler Barrick após ouvirem decisão em frente à Corte Federal em São Francisco, na Califórnia (Foto: Jeff Chiu / AP)

A decisão foi uma resposta à ação impetrada por um casal de lésbicas que questionava a proposta 8, cuja aprovação em novembro de 2008 por 52% dos californianos anulou a decisão da Suprema Corte de Justiça do estado que autorizava os casamentos gays.
Nem os adversários nem os partidários do casamento homossexual acreditam que esta seja a decisão final sobre o caso. Ambos os lados disseram que a decisão deve ser objeto de recurso e, eventualmente, deve acabar na Suprema Corte dos EUA.

Schwarzenegger comemora
Pelo Twitter, o governador da Califórnia, Arnold Schwazenegger, comemorou a decisão do juiz. "Esta decisão confirma as completas proteções legais e as garantias que acredito que todos merecem", postou.
Na declaração completa, publicada no site do governo, o governador diz que o juiz "ouviu em profundidade todos os argumentos de ambos os lados sobre as questões fundamentais do devido processo legal, da igual proteção e da liberdade da discriminação".

Ao mesmo tempo, afirma Schwazenegger, a decisão "fornece uma oportunidade para todos os californianos para considerar a nossa história de liderar o caminho para o futuro, e nossa crescente reputação de tratar todas as pessoas e suas relações com igual respeito e dignidade."
*(Com informações da Reuters, France Presse e EFE)


A federal judge in California has ruled that Prop 8 -- the voter initiative that banned gay marriage -- is unconstitutional, CNN and NYT are reporting. Supporters of Prop 8 (that is, opponents of gay marriage) have already promised to...


Opponents of Proposition 8 cheer after hearing the decision outside of the Phillip Burton Federal Building in San Francisco (© Eric Risberg/AP)

Sam Harris

Judge Strikes Down Proposition 8! Equal rights for all in 2010!

Via JMG: Lady Gaga Reacts

posted by Joe

Rachel via JMG

Via JMG: Speaker Pelosi Reacts

reposted from Joe

This from a great former student in Fairbanks:

Btw: woopie here in California! We are still married!

Well - honestly folks will always be married.
End of story there. Enough folks will keep standing
up for what is simply right. Not special, not different, just right.
I believe with every fiber of my being that the force of good is
much more powerful than the force of evil.

The cretins will never 'get it'.

But it is cause for the happy dance that it is still legal - HOORAY and CONGRATS
for sadly - another teeny tiny step in the right direction.
 Dang, I cannot even imagine as to how frustrating and - gadzooks - even ANGERING
- that is.   It just shouldn't be.

Just as no human being can be illegal.

Love cannot be legislated.
It is just stupid.
Ah, but I am prolly just 'preaching to the choir'.

At the Celebration in Midtown Sacramento