Thursday, August 19, 2010

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Via Servicemembers United:

Servicemembers United Announces Fall "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Lobby Day
First Ever Military Partners Meeting Also Planned in Conjunction with Lobby Day


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Servicemembers United, the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans, announced today that it will host another "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" lobby day for repeal supporters on Thursday, September 16, 2010. The fall lobby day, affectionately nicknamed "The Final Assault," will come at a critical time after the Senate reconvenes but before the chamber is expected to take up the repeal-inclusive defense authorization bill. Participants can register for the September 16th "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" lobby day at

"This lobby day will be the last major opportunity for supporters of repeal to come to Washington, make the case for this amendment, and hold their senators accountable on this vote," said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and a former U.S. Army interrogator who was discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." "Lobbying for repeal is now a lot more complicated than simply saying 'support repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' so we want to be able to explain the nuances of the current situation to repeal supporters and arm them with the detailed information they need to hold their Senators accountable."

During the lobby day, Servicemembers United will also host a first-ever meeting in Washington for military partners from around the country. Servicemembers United's Campaign for Military Partners initiative was created in 2009 to connect and support the partners of LGBT military personnel. Military partners who are interested in attending this meeting can register for this event at

The issue of military partners was also featured in the second web ad released by the Servicemembers United Action Fund today. The ad, which features a former naval intelligence officer and a Marine, also features the partner of an airman who was deployed to Iraq. The web and tv ads from the Servicemembers United Action Fund can be viewed at

Via JMG: Bull leaps into crowd in Tafalla Northern Spain 30 hurt

Walt Disney - Ferdinand The Bull - 1938

Via Courage Campaign:

Courage Campaign

Author Tom Dolby and his husband, Drew Frist, wrote the following message to the Courage Campaign community in the aftermath of the 9th Circuit stay of Judge Walker's historic decision striking down Proposition 8. Tom and Drew have been phenomenal supporters of our work, from funding Camp Courage to our Testimony campaign. Please read their very personal message below and help us build the "Courageous Families Photo Project" today. Thanks!

-- Rick and everyone at Courage

When we were married in Connecticut last year, we knew that the federal Prop 8 trial might change our lives in 2010. What we didn't know was that we would be anxiously awaiting the birth of twin girls, via a surrogate and egg donor.

So when we heard the news a few weeks ago that Judge Vaughn Walker had ruled Proposition 8 unconstitutional, we were overcome by emotion. In that moment, we realized that by the time our daughters were born, our family might have the same rights and dignities as every other loving family in California.

Unfortunately, that possibility of equality is on hold yet again, following the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision to stay Judge Walker's ruling indefinitely.

Still, we know that this journey to marriage equality is just the beginning. And we know that if we want our daughters to be raised with the inherent belief that their family is no less important than anyone else's family, we need to change the way Americans think and feel about LGBT families.

We need to change hearts and minds. All of us -- LGBT and straight -- together. Starting now.

That's why we're inviting you to join the Courageous Families Photo Project today. Will you send us a picture of yourself or your family, just like the one of us at our wedding below? We'll add it to a nationwide body of evidence demonstrating the joys of full equality and countering the destructive power of discrimination. Your family photo may even be chosen to be featured prominently on the Courage Campaign's web site. Just click here to upload your photo now:

As we progress along this new journey of parenthood, with the joy and fear that every prospective parent feels, we've found ourselves wondering: Will our children feel that they are valued in the world, that their parents are just the same as any other loving couple?

We hope so. That's why we are supporting the Courage Campaign as it launches the next phase of Testimony: Equality on Trial -- an unprecedented online storytelling project to bring the Prop 8 trial into the lives of Americans and change the conversation about marriage equality across the country.

In the coming year, the Testimony project will collect your depositions in the form of videos, pictures and written submissions. Every two weeks, the Courage Campaign home page will feature a real family picture selected from those pictures submitted through the Courageous Families Photo Project. This campaign will demonstrate that no two families look alike, but all families share the common bonds of love and -- most importantly -- deserve equal dignity and respect.

All families are welcome in the Courageous Families Photo Project: LGBT or straight. Single or coupled. Legally married or not. Together for one month or 50 years. We are all in this together. Will you help to change the way Americans think about families by sending a picture of you or your family today? Just click here to upload your photo:

At our wedding celebration for family and friends in Sonoma, our celebrant quoted the activist Parker Palmer as saying, "There is often a tragic gap between what is and what could and should be. To live in this world, we must learn how to stand in the tragic gap with faith and hope."
We ask that you stand with us in faith and hope as we work to ensure a safe and loving society for all of our children.

Thank you for joining us in launching this special project.

Tom Dolby and Drew Frist 

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 Judge Walker's decision striking down Prop 8, please chip in what you can today:

Via JMG: The Lands of Sexuality

Via JMG: Mexico City Mayor Sues Catholic Cardinal Over Gay Marriage Accusations

Mexico City's Mayor Marcelo Ebrard has filed a defamation lawsuit against Cardinal Juan Sandoval after the cardinal told the press that Ebrard had bribed Mexico's Supreme Court justices to legalize same-sex marriage and gay adoption.
Sandoval made the allegations on Sunday during an event in Aguascalientes state. He also used a slur against gays while decrying the recent high court decisions that were called victories for the gay-rights community, as L.A. Times correspondent Tracy Wilkinson analyzes in this story. Church authorities were not backing down. Sandoval said Monday he would not retract his comments, and the archdiocese in Guadalajara later said it had proof of the allegations against the Supreme Court justices. Statements in support were issued from the archdiocese in Mexico City, while the Bishops' Conference of Mexico also said it supports Sandoval. In the secular institutional corner, the Supreme Court censured Sandoval's statements unanimously, and Ebrard issued a stark warning to the highest-ranking prelate of Mexico's second-largest city: "We live in a secular state, and here, whether we like it or not, the law rules the land," Ebrard said, according to La Jornada. "The cardinal must submit to the law of the land, like all other citizens of this country."
Earlier this month Mexico's Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriages performed in the nation's capital must be recognized in all 31 states. Last week the same court upheld the constitutionality of allowing gay adoption in Mexico City.
a reposted from Joe

ViaJMG: SAN DIEGO: 12 Activists Arrested In Marriage Protest At County Clerk's Office

A dozen activists were arrested today at a San Diego county clerk's office when they refused to leave without being issued marriage licenses.
On the day hundreds of gay and lesbian couples statewide planned to obtain their long-awaited marriage licenses, a crowd of about 50 people gathered at the county clerk's office Thursday to protest a federal judge's stay of a federal ruling that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. Three people were taken away in plastic handcuffs by sheriff's deputies early in the demonstration and an additional nine people were removed later. A deputy said they were detained for blocking access to a county office. Tony and Tyler Dylan-Hyde and at least one other couple came to the county clerk's office this morning at 8 a.m. asking to receive their marriage license. "We believe that county officials and the Attorney General have the authority and the obligation to allow marriage licenses to proceed based on both federal court findings and that Prop. 8 is unconstitutional and the governor's filings in Prop. 8 cases," Tyler Dylan-Hyde said. "We are asking you to do what's right."
According to the linked news story, those arrested had blocked the entrance of heterosexual couples with appointments to get licenses.

a repost from Joe

Via JMG: Australian Sex Party TV Ad - JerkChoices

Via Service Members:



We've been working with SLDN's Susan LaBombard, who stopped by our home in Missouri last month, on an opinion piece that published Tuesday. The piece tells the story of our son, Pfc. Barry Winchell, who was murdered 11 years ago at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.   

Barry lived by the values of respect, selfless sacrifice, integrity and honor throughout his service in the Army. With the continued commitment of supporters like you who are working to repeal DADT, we can make sure that Barry's legacy of courage and love for country lives on.

Thank you.
-Pat & Wally Kutteles
Murdered soldier's parents: Repeal 'don't ask, don't tell'

Kansas City, Missouri (CNN) -- The coffee was brewing and we were just starting our day when the telephone rang the morning of July 5, 1999. It was a call that every parent prays never will come.

The Army colonel was calling from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where our son was based in the U.S. Army. A fellow soldier had attacked our son, Barry Winchell. He had been taken to a civilian hospital in Nashville, Tennessee.

We raced to the Kansas City airport. When we arrived at the hospital, Barry was clinging to life. His face was unrecognizable. Contrary to what the colonel had said on the telephone, Barry had not been kicked in the head by the other soldier. He had been beaten with a baseball bat as he slept in the barracks. The doctor said he had irreparable brain damage and recovery was unlikely.

Barry had been a victim of constant, vicious harassment after another soldier -- one of two involved in his murder -- started a rumor that he was gay.

Continue reading by clicking here...

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