Friday, October 22, 2010

Via TheWorkingGroup: Embracing Differences


Via HRC:

Joe's Weekly Message
Dear Daniel, 

As the leaves begin to fall and the temperatures dip, many of us are pulling out sweaters and putting away the artifacts of summer. But as we shift from swimsuits to warm soups, tough elections across the country are in full swing. As beautiful as the fall can be, we can't simply sit around and watch the leaves change. There are critical elections contests underway that impact what matters most to us: our families, safe workplaces and equality for all Americans.

This fall, HRC staff is across the nation, digging in and making sure our members know how critical these races are for LGBT people and our allies. Election results matter and we have some big challenges. By Nov. 2nd, 30 HRC staff members will have been on the ground in 16 states, their efforts multiplied by volunteers dedicated to ensuring our community's voice resonates in the outcome. Stop by our DC headquarters almost any night and we'll enlist you in phone banks alerting members in key states to get involved and, most importantly, to vote.

In Pennsylvania, Regional Field Director Sultan Shakir has been leading a team assisting several key races. Sultan and other HRC staff have been emboldened by amazing volunteers, who are doing what it takes to win, whether that's canvassing door-to-door, making calls or swelling the ranks of a rally. Mobilizing HRC members to vote is essential to ensuring a supportive Congress or State House.

There's no better example than Minnesota, where the outcome could determine the future of marriage equality. The state legislature is poised to pass a marriage equality bill next year, but it means little without a governor in the corner office to sign it into law. That's why HRC has made a big investment in Minnesota and with contributions and staff, including Regional Field Director Tony Wagner, on the ground.

The promise of marriage equality also sits on the horizon for New Yorkers. After narrowly losing last year, it was clear we needed to change the composition of the New York state Senate to win. That's why for months, HRC has been involved in races throughout the state; including our campaign strategist Brian Ellner. As we ramp up in this final full week, several prominent New Yorkers have lent their voice to our New Yorkers for Marriage Equality campaign. There is real momentum in New York, and these last days will be critical.

While these examples may be some of the headline states for our community, we have mobilized a grassroots army from Washington State to Florida, and from Delaware to Nevada. In the space I have here, I can only offer a snapshot of our electoral and field work. I do know that none of this would be possible without the support of our HRC members. Whether donating to pro-equality candidates or campaigns, canvassing where you live or emailing your family and friends to vote, all of you make change possible. 

As we east coasters bundle up, we are reminded of the changes that arrive each season. Let’s stand together to make sure that the changes in November lead us closer to a policy-making landscape of men and women who will truly represent our families and communities. And that means, one final push for equality until Election Day, Nov. 2nd.

Thank you for all you are doing this Fall.

Joe Solmonese
Joe Solmonese
President, Human Rights Campaign

P.S. In other news, this week HRC released our Congressional Scorecard that rates Senators and Representatives on LGBT equality issues. Find out how your leaders rate.

Via JMG: Majority Of Americans Agree: Churches Contribute To LGBT Suicides

A large majority of Americans, two-thirds in fact, believe that the way that churches treat gay people contributes to LGBT suicides. (This is probably self-apparent, to you.)
Two out of three Americans believe gay people commit suicide at least partly because of messages coming out of churches and other places of worship, a survey released Thursday found. More than four out of 10 Americans say the message coming out of churches about gay people is negative, and about the same number say those messages contribute "a lot" to negative perceptions of gay and lesbian people. Catholics were the most critical of their own churches' messages on homosexuality, while white evangelical Christians gave their churches the highest grades, the survey found. The Public Religion Research Institute asked 1,017 Americans their views on religion and homosexuality between October 14 and 17, in the wake of a highly publicized rash of suicides by gay people. Gay rights campaigner Dan Savage said the idea that churches send out an anti-gay message "totally jibes with my experience and that of millions of other gay and lesbian people."
Tony Perkins? Slaggie? Reaction?

reposted from Joe

VIa JMG: AUSTRALIA: New Poll Shows Majority Support Gay Marriage

A just-released poll reveals that 62% of Australians now support marriage equality.
Australian Marriage Equality spokesperson Alex Greenwich and PFLAG national spokesperson Shelley Argent OAM called on both major parties to listen to the Australian people and allow a conscience vote on the issue. "Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott cannot ignore the majority of Australians who believe same-sex couples should be able to marry and the even greater majority who want a conscience vote on the issue", Greenwich said. PFLAG national spokesperson, Shelley Argent, said "if Catholic counties like Spain, Argentina and Portugal can right this wrong then why can't Australia?" The Galaxy poll also showed that 80 per cent of Australians aged between 18 and 24 support same-sex marriage and 72 per cent of households with children aged under 18 were also in favour. 74 per cent of Labor voters and 48per cent of Coalition voters support equality. Support for a conscience vote is uniformly high with 80per cent of Labor voters and 75 per cent of Coalition voters supporting it.
Full polling results here (PDF).

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Janet Porter Prays for Control of Government

And This We Pray: Please, Jeebus, Put Christians In Charge Of America

Janet Porter prays that America "recognizes the lie of separation of church and state, which exists only in the Soviet Union." (Soviet Union?) Janet also prays that Jeebus knock some sense into those 19 states without anti-gay marriage laws! Glory! Prai$e Hi$ Name! The donation plate is now being passed!
posted by Joe

Via JMG: Dan Savage's Reaction To President Obama's "It Gets Better" Video

thank you Mr. President!

Organizing for America
Daniel --

Yesterday, President Obama recorded a video message for the "It Gets Better" project.

Take a look:
Watch the

Recently, several young people took their own lives after being bullied by their peers for being gay or being perceived as gay.

The President's message -- like thousands of others that have been recorded and uploaded to the project -- is one of hope and support: You are loved, you are not alone. It gets better.

Please watch the video, and then share it with anyone you think may need to hear this message:



Mitch Stewart
Organizing for America

Via Freedom to Marry:

Freedom to Marry header

NOM's Maggie Gallagher is at it again.

In a New York Post column earlier this week, Maggie used made-up facts to attack LGBT youth and LGBT activists, including Freedom to Marry's Evan Wolfson, to justify NOM's relentless campaign against LGBT people and their families.

Even as she and other anti-gay activists continue to use damaging rhetoric that promotes fear and bullying against LGBT youth, Maggie says, "These kids need help, real help. They should not become a mere rhetorical strategy, a plaything in our adult battles."

Join Freedom to Marry and Evan Wolfson in telling Maggie she can't have it both ways.

Sign our open letter to Maggie Gallagher calling on her to end her attacks against LGBT people and their families:

For years, Maggie has been a leading figure in the anti-gay movement. Along with activists like Brian Brown, president of NOM, and Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, she has helped create a toxic climate of prejudice that sends the message to youth that being gay is a "dysfunction" that one should work to "overcome."

In light of recent anti-gay bullying and a series of tragic suicides, Maggie's continued use of anti-gay rhetoric is especially troubling.

Join us in telling Maggie Gallagher to get out of the discrimination business and to stand with those of us who support equal protection and respect, for all.

Thanks for all you do,

Michael Crawford
New Media Director, Freedom to Marry
© 2003-2010 Freedom to Marry |

It Gets Better - Turtle Creek Chorale

Via JMG: Tweet Of The Day II - Barack Obama

reposted from Joe

President Obama: It Gets Better