Friday, November 14, 2008

The Fight for Same-Sex Marriage

So what are we supposed to do now that Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage in California (as well as the similar initiatives in Florida and Arizona) has passed?

Lawsuits have already been filed regarding Prop 8 in California. One basic argument being made is that to allow the majority to vote to deny fundamental rights to a protected minority is unconstitutional. Can you imagine if the people of California were able to vote to deny, say, black people the right to marry?

So what else can the rest of us do, including those of us outside California?

Now of course, the easiest way to join in the fight is to sign a petition...

Of course, the easiest way is not always the most effective way. By all means, please do sign the petitions! Just don't stop at that, because it's not enough.

Contact your congressperson and your local officials directly and tell them why same-sex marriage (and other civil and gay rights issues) are important to you.
Also write to the politicians, government officials, and other public figures that opposed Prop 8 - like Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, and even Arnold Schwarzenegger - and thank them. You can search the Voting Records of the elected officials in your community to see what their stances have been on gay rights issues.
Congressional Directory

Directory of Local Governments


Download and fliers and graphics to show your support of same-sex marriage. Go blue for equality by displaying a blue light in your window or storefront. Wear your support with one of our new cafepress t-shirt designs:

[Click each image for more items]


Support the companies that funded the fight against Prop 8 (such as Google, Apple and Pacific Gas & Electric) and the many organizations that opposed the proposition (like the League of Women Voters and the California Teacher's Association).

Make a donation to any of these groups that fight for gay rights:

National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

GLAADThe Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

Let California Ring
Public education campaign to "open hearts and minds" about the freedom to marry and the respect, support, protections, and responsibilities that come with marriage.

EQ|CA - Equality California
In the past 10 years, Equality California has strategically moved California from a state with extremely limited legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals to a state with some of the most comprehensive civil rights protections in the nation.

Human Rights Campaign
America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.

Immigration Equality
A national organization that works to end discrimination in U.S. immigration law, to reduce the negative impact of that law on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and HIV-positive people, and to help obtain asylum for those persecuted in their home country based on their sexual orientation, transgender identity or HIV-status.


In addition to preserving civil rights (such as the freedom of speech or the right to due process), the American Civil Liberties Union works to guarantee the right to equal treatment and protection under the law.

Lambda Legal
A national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.


Boycott the many businesses that endorsed or donated to "Yes on 8". Californians Against Hate have compiled a list of the top contributors to the cause. (You can also search the Donation Records of the people in your area to see what candidates they've supported).

You should also contact groups and organizations that funded the "Yes on Prop 8" campaign and tell them that you will not support them because of their position on same-sex marriage.

One of greatest supporters of Proposition 8 was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This has not only caused many Mormons to resign from the church in protest of the "hatred" and "discrimination", but has also prompted people to work towards stripping the Mormon church of its tax-exempt status. The argument is that since the IRS law has restrictions on political campaigning and lobbying, they should not be eligible for tax-exemption (which would seriously diminish their anti-gay marriage funds).


We urge you to check out some of the campaigns against Proposition 8 (and for same-sex marriage in general). Keep updated on their various events and projects.

Just a few random websites:
Follow NoOnProp8 on Twitter, add Equality Now on myspace, or search for "prop 8" on facebook.

Also... Here's a cute myspace blog from comedian Ian Harvie, giving "tips" on how to make a go of marriage equality next time and an awesome "Special Comment"from Keith Olbermann, on how horrible Prop 8 is. Just because.


There will be a nation-wide protest against Proposition 8 outside city halls across the country this Saturday, November 15 at 10:30 am PST/1:30 pm EST. We hope to join the protesters gathering in NYC and encourage everyone to look for one in your area: here! (If you can't find a location near you, get involved and organize your own!) Check out for more information on Saturday's events and please pass the word on.

Also check out Equality California's list of events, the list of Prop 8 protests and rallies provided by Queers United and

Fight for same-sex marriage in your state. Right now same-sex marriage is legal is only two U.S. states: Massachusetts and Connecticut. (A few other states offer "civil unions" or "domestic partnerships"). There are limitations to what someone in say, New York, can do about the law in California, Arizona or Florida... but we can reach out on the local level to try to encourage change and progress.

We should all be working towards gay rights on a national level as well. We need federal legislative action that would invalidate Proposition 8 (and eventually, every other gay marriage ban or restriction). Repealing the federal Defense of Marriage Act would be a big step in the right direction. DOMA states that no state needs to recognize a same-sex relationship as a marriage (even if it considered a marriage in another state) and the federal government is forbidden from doing so.

If you've been paying attention to the media then I'm sure you've already heard about how Prop 8 passing is all the fault of black people. Or that scary stuff about ministers going to jail for refusing to do gay weddings. Or the new requirement of teaching same-sex marriage in public schools. Or the angry riots that gay people have been causing throughout California.

Yeah you've probably heard it all. The problem is that NONE OF IT IS TRUE.

It's up to us to speak out and try to correct the false information whenever we hear, read, or see it. Hold the media accountable if they report an inaccurate or untrue story, because we deserve the truth.


Although the general public basically considers the measure to have passed, technically it will not be law until December 13 when the state of California will officially call the results of Prop 8. (The measure passed by a difference of only about 504,000 votes, but there are still as many as 3 million absentee and provisional ballots that have not yet been counted).

And I wouldn't exactly call this good news, but it is still interesting to note that in 2000, 61.4% of voters supported Proposition 22 (the ballot initiative that originally banned same-sex marriage in California), while only 52.5% of voters supported Proposition 8 this time around. So it is a small sign of progress. We'll see on December 13th just how small it really is.

Forward this blog (or selected information provided within the blog) to everyone you know.

This is not just a "gay" issue or a "marriage" issue. This is a civil rights issue. If we stand for discrimination of any group, then we cannot expect to be protected from discrimination ourselves. If we condone or ignore denying rights to one segment of the population, then who knows what will be next. To quote Martin Luther King, Jr...
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Monday, November 3, 2008

Last Minute Election Link Round-Up

Conservatives Against Sarah Palin: The List is Growing (The Washington Note)
More and more top line conservatives are expressing doubts about Sarah Palin's qualifications to be Vice President.

A Drag on the Ticket? (Yahoo News)
According to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, the number one concern about McCain was Palin's perceived lack of qualifications.

The Fight Against Domestic Violence (Huffington Post)
Joe Biden discusses his National Domestic Violence Volunteer Act and more.

Five questions about America this election may answer (
The impact of the 2008 presidential campaign will depend not only on who wins but also on whether the results signify a deeper realignment in American politics.

Joe Biden Made Me Cry (BlogHer)
Senator Biden helped the National Domestic Violence Hotline "celebrate" its two millionth call. (We put "celebrate" in quotes, because it's not a good thing that two million women needed to make that call, but it is a good thing that those two million women were able to make that call and did make that call).

Tea with Barack Obama's sister (
An interview with Maya Soetoro-Ng on her "awesome" big brother, his early presidential leanings and their mother's legacy.
A look at the anti-woman policies of McCain and Palin.
Lies About Abortion (Jezebel)
This Fall in California, voters will have the opportunity to pass or defeat the parental-notification bill called "Sarah's Law".

John McCain's Domestic Terrorism Problem (Daily Kos)
John McCain voted twice against legislation that would protect women and their doctors, by making a federal law prohibiting bombings, arson, shootings, blockades and threats of violence at abortion clinics.

Palin: 'I Don't Know' If Abortions Clinic Bombers are Terrorists (Jed Report)
Do we really need to write a summary for this one? I think the title says it all.

NARAL Pro-Choice Voter Guide
Find out which candidates are pro-choice and endorsed by NARAL. (The link takes you to NARAL New York, but just click on the map to find candidates in your state).

Fact Check: The myths that wouldn't go away (Yahoo news)
During the campaign, McCain and Obama produced enduring myths that their running mates and supporters amplified and distorted even more.

Election day dress code (may be) enforced (
In some states, it may be prohibited to wear political gear at the voting booth, resulting in being turned away and in some cases, arrest. By definition, displaying political messages on T-Shirts, buttons and such is considered “electioneering” and is not allowed near some state's voting booths. So wear those t-shirts and buttons today, but keep them at home when you go to vote tomorrow!

Voters Across Nation Hit by Dirty Tricks (AOL news)
Intimidation, misinformation and plain old trickery are just an example of the lengths that some people will go to keep people from voting. Don't be fooled!

Election Information You Need (
Do a last minute check of your polling place and get info on candidates and ballot measures in your area. (Sponsored by the League of Women Voters Education Fund).

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sarah Palin Presents 25 Reasons Not To Vote for Sarah Palin

Since our "John McCain Presents 50 Reasons Not To Vote for John McCain" blog entry was so successful, we thought we'd also let Sarah Palin tell us why we shouldn't vote for her and McCain!

1. "I will tell Americans straight up that I don't support defining marriage as anything but between one man and one woman."

2. "...she is not my 'gay friend', she is one of my best friends, who happens to have made a choice that isn't a choice that I have made. "

3. "When I hear a statement like that coming from a woman candidate with any kind of perceived whine about that about that excess criticism or you know maybe a sharper microscope put on her, I think "man, that doesn't do us any good" - women in politics, women in general wanting to progress this country. I don't think it bodes well for her, a statement like that, because again, fair or unfair, it is there. I think that's reality, and I think it's a given. I think people can just accept that she is going to be under that sharper microscope. So be it! I mean, work harder, prove yourself to an even greater degree that you're capable, that you're going to be the best candidate, and that of course is what she wants us to believe at this point. So it bothers me a little bit hearing her bring that attention to herself on that level."

4. "I told the Congress, 'Thanks, but no thanks,' on that Bridge to Nowhere."

5. "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities."

6. "A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. I'm not one though who would attribute it to being man-made."

7. "As for that V.P. talk all the time, I’ll tell you, I still can't answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the V.P. does every day?"

8. We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation."

9. "...our leaders, our national leaders, are sending soldiers out on a task that is from God. That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan".

10. "I'm the mayor, I can do whatever I want until the courts tell me I can't." [after being questioned about spending over $50,000 in city funds to redecorate her office, without the city council's authorization]

11. Katie Couric: "What other Supreme Court decisions do you disagree with?"

Sarah Palin: "Well, let's see. There's -- of course -- in the great history of America rulings there have been rulings, there's never going to be absolute consensus by every American. And there are -- those issues, again, like Roe v Wade where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So you know -- going through the history of American, there would be others but --"

Katie Couric:
"Can you think of any?"
Sarah Palin: "Well, I could think of -- of any again, that could be best dealt with on a more local level. Maybe I would take issue with."

12. "I like being here because it seems like here and in our last rally too -- other parts around this great Northwest -- here in New Hampshire you just get it."

"I'm very, very pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing ... any hint of any kind of unethical activity there. Very pleased to be cleared of any of that." [after an Alaska legislative report found that she had broken Alaska's ethics law and abused her power]

14. "What would your response be if I asked you to remove some books from the collection?"

15. "They are also building schools for the Afghan children so that there is hope and opportunity in our neighboring country of Afghanistan."

16. "I may not answer the questions that either the moderator or you want to hear, but I'm going to talk straight to the American people and let them know my track record also."

17. "I'll try to find you some and I'll bring them to you." [when asked to cite specific examples of how John McCain has pushed for more regulation in the Senate]

18. "They're in charge of the U.S. Senate so if they want to they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes..." [wrongly answering a question on what the vice president does]

19. Charlie Gibson: "What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?"

Sarah Palin: "They're our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska"

20. Charlie Gibson: "Do you agree with the Bush Doctrine?"

Sarah Palin: "In what respect, Charlie?"

Charlie Gibson: "Bush -- What do you interpret it to be?"
Sarah Palin: "His worldview?"

21. Katie Couric: "If a 15-year-old is raped by her father, do you believe it should be illegal for her to get an abortion, and why?"

Sarah Palin: "I am pro-life. And I'm unapologetic in my position that I am pro-life."

22. "There's a place in Hell reserved for women who don't support other women." [misquoting Madeline Albright]

23. Katie Couric: "Some people have credited the morning-after pill for decreasing the number of abortions. How do you feel about the morning-after pill?"

Sarah Palin: "Well, I am all for contraception. And I am all for preventative measures that are legal and save, and should be taken, but Katie, again, I am one to believe that life starts at the moment of conception. And I would like to see …"

Katie Couric: "And so you don't believe in the morning-after pill?"

Sarah Palin: "I would like to see fewer and fewer abortions in this world. And again, I haven't spoken with anyone who disagrees with my position on that."

Katie Couric: "I'm sorry, I just want to ask you again. Do you not support or do you condone or condemn the morning-after pill."

Sarah Palin: "...personally, I would not choose to participate in that kind of contraception."

24. " the governor of this state that produces nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of energy." [actually, it's more like 3.5 percent]

25. "You know the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick."