Friday, August 6, 2010

A Message from Marriage Equality USA

Dear Love Warriors -

Woo hoo - what a WEEK!  Now we march gaily forward as the sun comes out from behind the clouds and Prop 8 is declared unconstitutional!
As Karen Carpenter sang "We've Only Just Begun"


1. Marriage Equality USA Wedding March Across the Golden Gate Bridge - Sunday September 26, 2010, 9am - Noon

2. Marriage Equality USA VIP reception with Margaret Cho and Cho Dependent Show at Uptown Theater in Napa -  Sunday September 26, 2010,  6:30pm -10pm 

Wedding March across Golden Gate Bridge - SF

Please join us for our annual SF Wedding March across the Golden Gate Bridge on Sunday, September 26, 2010 - this is a fun, upbeat, social event for the whole family (including parents, kids and brave doggies)  that raises awareness and funds for the cause.    We meet at the Western End of Crissy Field and walk together across the bridge.   We ask for a $25 contribution that gets you a Marriage Equality USA t-shirt to walk in - and/or invite you to make this a walk-a-thon event to raise funds for our critical grassroots work.  Go to and create your online fundraising page for the Wedding March at the Bridge - feel free to cut, paste and modify the text  from and send it out to your friends and encourage them to do the same. But if you only have the time and not the money -come anyway and we are happy to have you with us.  

Margaret Cho VIP Reception and Show - Napa   

That evening, we have 48 tickets left for the Cho VIP event and Cho Dependent Show on Sunday, September 26, 2010 in Napa.  The  VIP tickets are $115 each and include excellent seats to the show and a small VIP gathering with Margaret Cho.  The regular ticket price for the show is $72  - so  for an additional $38 tax deductible donation to MEUSA you meet Margaret in a small gathering and get great seats for the show - what a deal!  The VIP Cho tickets can be purchased on-line at  Many of us are going to the Wedding March  in the morning then caravaning to Napa for some lunch/wine tasting before the reception so join us for one or both if you can!

Viva Maria Shriver!

Shriver against a ban on gay marriage

California's first lady says she is voting against a ballot initiative that would prohibit same-sex couples from getting married in California.

Maria Shriver said in an interview with KNBC-TV in Los Angeles that she is voting no on Proposition 8.

Shriver said, "I believe in people's right to choose a partner that they love, and that's a decision that I have come to, and I have felt that way for a long time."

an OMG via JMG!

BREAKING: Schwarzenegger Files Motion To Immediately Resume Gay Marriages

WOW. The governator has totally done the unexpected.
In an extraordinary court filing, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger asked Friday that gay marriages be allowed to resume immediately in California after a federal ruling that the state's voter-approved ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. The Republican governor filed his brief with U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn R. Walker before a Friday deadline to submit arguments on whether to continue a stay of Walker's decision against Proposition 8. "The Administration believes the public interest is best served by permitting the Court's judgment to go into effect, thereby restoring the right of same-sex couples to marry in California," wrote Kenneth C. Mennemeier, an attorney representing Schwarzenegger, in the brief. "Doing so is consistent with California's long history of treating all people and their relationships with equal dignity and respect."
UPDATE: Attorney General Jerry Brown has filed a motion opposing an extension of Judge Walker's stay.
2010.08.06 AG. Opp to Def Mtn for Stay

UPDATE II: Shannon Minter of the National Center for Lesbian Rights has posted the below explanation of what might happen next.

Minter notes that several California counties have indicated their readiness to begin issuing marriage licenses and performing civil ceremonies at once.

reposted from Joe

via sacbee:
Read Sacramento news, including local and breaking Sacramento news at The Sacramento Bee


August 6, 2010
Equality California |
Dear Daniel,
Moments ago, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown filed motions opposing a stay of Judge Walker’s decision to overturn Prop. 8.
This is the kind of extraordinary leadership we need from the next governor and attorney general—the kind Jerry Brown and Kamala Harris will deliver.
Thank you to everyone who has signed our petition to Meg Whitman and Steve Cooley, urging them not to defend Prop. 8 in Court.
If you haven’t yet, please sign our petition. Demand they refuse to defend Prop. 8 in court.
And urge everyone you know to do the same.
Having a governor and attorney general on our side is critical to restoring the right to marry for same-sex couples—either in court or at the ballot box.
In solidarity,

Geoff Kors
Executive Director
Equality California


Via colbert report: armagaydon!

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
How to Ruin Same-Sex Marriages
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

Via JMG: 2 Gay Tea Partiers Discuss Gay Marriage And Bigotry

reposted from Joe


Joe's Weekly Message
Dear Daniel, 

Our community is the target of many hateful laws and policies, but one law has come to symbolize the anti-gay cause at its most crass, ruthless and dishonest: Proposition 8. That showdown in California in 2008 pitted a right-wing lie machine against ordinary couples who just wanted to stay married. The lies won out that day. In fact, months later polls would show that many voters still believed them. Proposition 8 was built on lies.

This week, United States District Judge Vaughn Walker issued a ruling concluding that California has no legitimate basis for denying marriage to same-sex couples. The court concluded that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. This ruling followed a trial during which every false justification for Prop 8 came under scrutiny. The opinion ticks through each false premise-same-sex couples are not good parents; marriage equality threatens opposite-sex couples-and rejects them all. In the end, all that is left is truth: "plaintiffs ask California to recognize their relationships for what they are: marriages." We are all grateful to the brave couples, their acclaimed counsel and the American Foundation for Equal Rights for standing up for equality. 

Of course, our opponents at the National Organization for Marriage were screaming injustice before the ink on the decision had dried. The group, which is already on a 20-city tour to argue against our equal rights and to prove that they are persecuted (really), has a new message: this court has threatened the voting rights of every American. That’s right-if the gays can get married, then you are disenfranchised. It makes sense if your idea of "right to vote" is "right to discriminate." Good luck with that, NOM.  

Our opponents do have one thing right: our right to vote is important. Legislators enact the laws that protect us or those that restrict our rights. Some have the power to set public workplace policies and others are responsible for appointing and confirming judges. That’s why HRC works in state and federal elections. It is also why we spoke out again this week against Target and Best Buy-100% CEI companies-who donated an astonishing $250,000 to a political committee that supports a rabidly anti-equality candidate for Minnesota governor. Over 100,000 of you responded to our call to action, asking the companies to make it right. Target's CEO has issued an apology, but has not yet indicated how the company will rectify the situation or prevent future donations to anti-LGBT candidates.  

When anti-LGBT lawmakers take office and our opponents get laws like Proposition 8 on the books, the federal courts can bring justice and prevent the majority from trampling minority rights. HRC has long been involved in promoting a fair-minded judiciary. Most recently, we endorsed Solicitor General Elena Kagan's nomination to be the 112th justice of the United States Supreme Court. On Thursday, the Senate confirmed her by a vote of 63-37. In the judicial nominations process, you always hear the refrain "elections have consequences." This thoughtful proponent of equal rights is a welcome consequence indeed.
Joe Solmonese
Joe Solmonese
President, Human Rights Campaign

Via JMG: Who At Target Donated To Yes On 8?

Abe Sauer writes at The Awl:
The truth is not that Target and its leadership have suddenly turned on their commitment to gay rights. It's more that it never really existed to begin with. Further research shows that Target has funneled significant funding to the most socially conservative of Republicans and that it boasts a frightening culture of anti-gay candidate support from Target's own stable of top executives. We have already noted that CEO Gregg Steinhafel and his wife both maxed out their personal contributions this year to Michele Bachmann and Tom Emmer. But Steinhafel is just the captain of the crew. Target's current group of top corporate officers have supported a murderers row of anti-gay politicians. Even more confusing, some of those anti-gay candidates supported by Target's PAC and its executives don't even represent Minnesota.
Read Abe Sauer's complete expose. 
reposted from Joe

Via JMG: One Step Forward

(Via - Andrew Sullivan)
reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Will The GOP Turn Prop 8 Into A Midterm Election Wedge Issue?

Probably not, at least according to some GOP flacks speaking to the New York Times.
Republicans said that dwelling on the issue could become a distraction in the effort to win back the House or Senate from Democrats this fall. At a meeting of the Republican National Committee in Kansas City, Mo., several party leaders and strategists said it would be a mistake for the midterm election campaign to suddenly become focused on gay marriage, immigration or other hot-button issues. The only path to winning control of Congress, they said, rested on making an economic argument. “This election needs to revolve around five issues: taxes, spending, the economy, jobs and debt,” said Ron Nehring, chairman of the California Republican Party. “That doesn’t mean that other issues aren’t important — they are important — but the first issue on the minds of people is the economy.”

Likewise, Murray Clark, chairman of the Indiana Republican Party, said Republicans were acting at their own peril if they suddenly starting focusing on the ruling. A protracted discussion about social issues, he said, could play into Democratic hands. “Can we declare a truce on some of the other issues unrelated to the economy?” Mr. Clark said in an interview in Kansas City, Mo.
Also quoted in the above-linked article is NOM's Brian Brown, who vows to make Prop 8 an election issue whether the GOP likes it or not. "I definitely think it’s going to have an effect on the 2010 elections. You’re going to see ads, you’re going to see folks standing up on this issue, and the people that support Walker’s decision are going to pay a price." 
reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Four Times Married Drug Addict Objects To Overturn Of Proposition 8


reposted from Joe

Via SacBee: Irate Prop. 8 backers say gay judge not impartial

After Vaughn Walker was nominated for the federal court in 1987, gay activists took issue with his role as a lawyer for the U.S. Olympic Committee who successfully sued to bar a San Francisco sports festival from calling itself the "Gay Olympics."

Via California Ripple Effect:

Our Constitution Is a Living, Breathing Document

By Marc Solomon, EQCA Marriage Director, Crossposted from the Bilerico Project

Reading the words of Judge Walker moves me deeply. Once again, our constitution is a living, breathing document, and today it protects our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, just as it should protect all people and peoples when the government treats them unequally because of who they are.

Our community should take great pride in this ruling--all of us. For while the ruling is the direct result of a wise judge and a skilled legal team, the conditions that enabled this ruling are the result of the brave, courageous, and hard work of so, so many, in California and elsewhere. Equal protection and due process are abstract legal concepts until we, individually and collectively, bring them to life. Only nine years ago, in 2001, when I first got involved in the fight for marriage equality in Massachusetts, there were many--including a large number in our own community--who argued that asserting the right to marry would hurt our cause dramatically, even leading to the reversal of the most basic civil rights laws protecting our community.

But those fears did not prevail because same-sex couples and LGBT individuals--and those who love and care about them--knew what was right, and stood up and made strong, brave and compelling cases for their own love and dignity. It's not that they weren't afraid--many who I knew, in Massachusetts, California and elsewhere--were frightened about speaking out authentically about their lives. But they did it anyway, because they knew of its fundamental importance. And not one person that I know regretted afterwards having done so.

When I think about today's ruling, I think about Tom and Ron in Indio, CA who met when they were 19 and 23, who served their country in the military, and who have been together through thick and thin now for 57 years and are facing, together, the challenges of growing old. I think about Jill in Riverside, who married her partner of 23 years last year, only to lose her to breast cancer this past April, and who is now raising three kids on her own. And I think of the Moyas from Marino Valley, a hard-working Latino couple who have just adopted their third child. All of these people have been speaking up, in their communities, in the press, and with their families about their lives together, their commitment to one another and to their family. They and so many like them are the ones who have made marriage real for their neighbors, community, and ultimately for judges and voters.

One final thought about today's ruling. This story is far from written--and it's a story we get to write. Just as our community's hard work led to today's victory, if we are to see full marriage equality in California and throughout the country, we must stay at it. The writing of this human rights journey does not stop with any individual court ruling, powerful though it may be. Wins can be just as ephemeral as losses, and so that means that we must continue to make our case, tell our stories, share our lives.

We've all seen the power of a loss, and the powerful, complicated, and often inspired energy that results from it. My greatest hope from today's win is that--at a time when our community has seen too many disappointments both in Washington and in California--we use this win to catalyze, rejuvenate, and redouble our work. Let's use today's win to remember that it's working--our stories are working--and that there's still much more work to do.

Let's start simple--pick out a line or two from today's opinion that inspires you, and share it along with why marriage equality matters to you, with friends and family members. Then join us in going door to door and telling our stories.

The path to victory is winding and in some ways complicated, but in other, more fundamental ways, it's simple--telling our stories, sharing our lives, demonstrating our humanity.

Learn more information about Prop. 8 on trial >

Read more....

From Facebook:

Via Poltico: California ruling puts Obama on spot

Stuart Gaffney, center, holds up a sign while celebrating the decision in the United States District Court proceedings challenging Proposition 8 outsi AP – Stuart Gaffney, center, holds up a sign while celebrating the decision in the United States District …

    The culture war is back.

    A federal judge’s ruling Wednesday striking down California’s ban on same-sex marriage is a historic and possibly pivotal legal victory for gay rights advocates, but the decision also poses a formidable threat to President Barack Obama’s strategy of relegating divisive social issues to the back burner.

    U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision is just the latest in a series of rulings and high-profile legal challenges drawing public attention to gay rights issues in a sustained way since San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom grabbed headlines in 2004 by OK'ing same-sex marriages in that city.

    As gay and lesbian activists celebrate what they hope is the leading edge of a wave of momentous court rulings and legislative successes, they remain uneasy with Obama’s nuanced position on gay marriage.
    During the 2008 campaign, Obama took what many on both sides of the gay marriage debate viewed as a straddle. He publicly announced his opposition to same-sex marriage, but he also said that he opposed the California ballot measure seeking to ban it, Proposition 8 — the same ban Walker ruled unconstitutional Wednesday.

    Obama explained the seeming contradiction at the time by saying that he opposes any measure singling out a group for adverse treatment by amending the U.S. Constitution or a state constitution, as Prop 8. did, even though legal experts said that was the only viable way to block gay marriage in California.

    Gay activists lauded Obama's stance but remain disappointed and a tad puzzled by his unwillingness to simply endorse gay marriage.

    Click image to see reaction to the Proposition 8 ruling