Friday, April 8, 2011

Freedom to Marry's Roadmap to Victory

Values Oregon

Via JMG: Tweet Of The Day - Louis Marinelli

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: HomoQuotable - Kerry Eleveld

"President Barack Obama has just announced his 2012 bid for re-election and the inevitable push for LGBT support - donor, voter, and activist - has begun. To be sure, many LGBT Americans would much rather see Barack Obama still gracing the Oval Office come January of 2013 than a Republican. And so, many of us are faced with a familiar dilemma: should we sublimate our intrinsic desire to continue advocating for full equality to the urgency of reelecting a man who has presided over some of the greatest advances in the history of the LGBT movement? My answer: No.

"This not an either-or proposition in my opinion, nor should we feel compelled to surrender our basic humanity to the whims of the election cycle. That type of thinking is a relic of days past when politicians held firmly to the notion that addressing LGBT concerns would undoubtedly be a drag on their electability. What we have witnessed over the past couple years is just the opposite. The repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell' scored huge points with President Obama's target voters -- independent, moderate, and progressive alike - and his declaration that the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional reestablished his ability to show bold leadership. Here's our new reality: The right thing to do is also the popular thing to do." - Former Advocate White House reporter Kerry Eleveld, writing for Equality Matters.

Read Eleveld's complete essay.

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: BREAKING: Major Defection At NOM, Top Organizer Now Supports Gay Marriage

Jeremy Hooper has a big scoop over at Good As You today, where he exclusively reports that a top organizer at NOM has announced that he now supports marriage equality. Louis Marinelli, known to some of us the virulently nasty moderator of NOM's Facebook page and the organizer of last year's laughably unattended national bus tour, tells Hooper all about his dramatic change of heart. An excerpt:
As a supporter of civil marriage equality, any statements I’ve made in the past about not recognizing homosexual relationships for one reason or another, of course it goes without saying that I no longer stand by these comments and I apologize for the insensitivity. Same-sex couples, whether they are married, in civil unions or domestic partnerships, ought to be recognized for what they are. I consider myself agnostic and while homosexual acts may very well be “immoral” in the eyes of Christian morality, I can no longer stand by any comments I’ve made in the past about the immorality of homosexuality.

There are a variety of different sets and sources of morals and no one has the right to impose their set on the rest of society. Once I wrote that homosexuals are deceitful people who care only about themselves or something to that effect. Honestly, aren’t we all? It was wrong for me to exclude everyone else from that description. We all lie and when it comes down to it, we will do what is best for ourselves. So throwing in a little levity, I stand by the comment but want to apologize for limiting its scope to the gay community.
Go and read the complete interview at Good As You, where Marinelli also denounces Paul Cameron and Peter LaBarbara. And now we wait to see if Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown will have anything to say about this.......

reposted from Joe

Via Five things Obama can do by executive order for the LGBT community

Yesterday, John posted Kerry Eleveld's piece, Doing the Right Thing for 2012, below. It's very good. She makes the case that we must continue the push for equality, even as Obama's reelection gets underway. And, she laid out what we should ask the President to do using his existing power. These asks are based on the initial requests made by the national LGBT organizations, notably HRC and NGLTF, to the Obama transition team. These were initially presentated by the groups at a December 2008 meeting attended by John Podesta and including now-campaign manager Jim Messina. (Funny how often Messina's name pops up when LGBT equality is involved.)

As President, Obama has the executive authority to do all of these items. He doesn't need a bill passed by Congress or a court ruling. They need to be done. From Kerry:

[W]e should concentrate our efforts on five broader initiatives that would incorporate many of the recommendations originally presented by NGLTF and HRC, but in a more comprehensive way. Of the suggestions made by NGLTF, for instance, over half of them took a piecemeal approach to providing nondiscrimination protections at the agency level as well as making those agencies more inclusive in areas such as data collection, definitions, and research.

Rather than assembling a patchwork of progress agency by agency, President Obama should issue executive orders or amend existing ones that set a government-wide precedent for equality in the following ways:

1) Directing the federal government to include LGBT Americans in all federal level data collection efforts.

2) Mandating that all federal contractors must have policies providing nondiscrimination protections for their employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

3) Prohibiting federal funds from being used to discriminate against LGBT Americans.

4) Prohibiting discrimination against military service members on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

5) Adding gender identity protections to President Clinton's executive order 13087, which protected civilian federal workers from bias based on their sexual orientation.
Reasonable enough. Now, we need the administration to do it.