Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
A lot of us are sad and angry over the passage of California Proposition 8—which reversed marriage equality and wrote discrimination into the California Constitution.
The Courage Campaign is working with other groups to overturn Prop 8 in the 2010 election. That'll take a huge grassroots mobilization, starting now—and to succeed, they'll need an army of us fighting together to win marriage equality for all.
Over 100,000 Californians have already spoken out together by signing the Courage Campaign's pledge to help overturn Prop 8—can you add your voice today? Click here to see the pledge:
Thousands of people are signing the pledge every day.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Herve Kempf: Taking Responsibility for a Historic Crisis
Leslie Thatcher, Truthout: "On Wednesday, November 5, 2008, Le Monde's environmental editor and author of 'How the Rich Are Destroying the Earth,' Herve Kempf, spoke to a large audience at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, where the Master of Arts in Sustainable Communities (MASC) Program and several other departments sponsored his presentation. MASC Chair Dr. Sandra Lubarsky suggested it was the most radical presentation the program had sponsored in some time: Mr. Kempf did indeed say it was not an exaggeration to call the wealth currently locked up in tax havens 'stolen.'"
As Martin Luther King wrote in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail:Will we be extremists for hate or will we be extremists for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice--or will we be extremists for the cause of justice? On November 4, less than six months after the California Supreme Court ruled that lesbian and gay people are fully equal under the law, a slim majority of voters declared that we are not.
In Arizona and Florida voters also took away rights we had not yet even been granted.
We are angry - and that anger has moved to the streets.
We are determined the world will see we are not an issue; we are families. Many of us are people of faith; many are people of color; our children play with yours; all of us are neighbors.
The Mormon Church played a huge role in the travesty called Proposition 8. In response, there have been protests at churches. The Mormon community faced persecution in its early years. In the wake of Prop 8, I question whether members of that community have forgotten the lessons of their struggle.
Likewise, the Roman Catholic Church disregarded the history of sectarian oppression and pursued a campaign of deceit and misinformation in support of Prop 8 reminiscent of the anti-Catholic movement of the early 1800s.
It is chilling to realize the Catholic and Mormon Churches knew they were telling lies - that marriage equality would require children to learn about homosexuality in school - priests would be required to solemnize marriages of same sex couples - and they lied anyway.
As our community and allies exercise our uniquely American right to protest, I hope we will remember the lessons of the HIV/AIDS protests in the 1980s. We were angry, but strategic; impassioned, but smart. Our actions in the streets will set the tone for the ongoing debate about marriage equality. Let us be motivated by our pain, while we model love and justice.
The fact that 70% of African Americans voted for Prop 8 has been particularly jarring. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have depended on the real leadership exerted on our behalf by African American leaders. As the Obamas move to the White House, the African American family is receiving long overdue respect. We, too, strive to have all families supported and valued by society.
We ask ourselves why the community that has endured the most violent and persistent discrimination in our country's history failed to understand our struggle for human rights. The results of the campaign have fueled rage. Yet this is misdirected anger. We obviously failed to communicate to African Americans the interdependence of our struggles.
The question before us now is, will we stray from our own path toward justice, and reduce a human rights movement to tactics of recrimination? How we respond to Prop 8 and defeats in Arizona and Florida will define our success, and say much about who we are.
To my community and allies, I say this: our anger is just; our goal is alive. We must remain worthy of the cause we fight for. Our cause is love; and only through love can we win the freedom to marry. In the streets and over coffee, our message must be consistent. We love our soul mates and our families; we love and respect our neighbors; we expect love and respect in return.
To reverse the outcomes of November 4, we must embrace our passion and anger, and redirect them to tasks that have as yet gone undone.
We must take this election as an occasion to look inward. In our California, Arizona and Florida campaigns, we asked diverse communities to hear our stories and respect our rights. But have we heard the concerns of the people we asked to listen to us? We assert that equal marriage rights are basic human rights. We must also show that our concern for human rights does not end with marriage. We must make clear alliance with those we seek as coalition partners.
As we ask communities of color and religious communities to engage and partner with us, we must demonstrate our commitment to the people and issues they care about. We must show that we will not abandon forty-seven million uninsured once we have domestic partner benefits, and that non-discrimination laws are not enough when legions of children are denied equal opportunity by failing schools, violence, and racism. We must stand with immigrants as they, too, seek to fully realize the American dream.
Now is the time to be constructive with our hurt and disappointment. This weekend, thousands in all 50 states will take to the streets with one common goal in mind—full equality for all—let us not forget that our cause is one of civil respect rooted in justice and fairness. Marchers will call not only for justice for LGBT families, but for an end to all the oppressions that hold our nation back and give the false impression that our differences are more profound than what we have in common. To locate a Join the Impact rally near you, please click here.
During and after the Join the Impact protests, we must all recommit ourselves to confront our neighbors with our love.
I will engage my Mormon, Catholic, and African American neighbors—and will ask them to engage me in their lives. I am ready to listen and act on their behalf while I make my case for their support.
November 4 showed us how much work is left to do, but it also brought out the passion we will need for that work. We must hold on to it, and use it wisely. We seek to live as loving families in peace and equality with our neighbors. We trust in the power of love.
Joe SolmonesePresident, Human Rights Campaign
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
"Sir, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here."The old man said "Okay," then walked away.
The following day the same man approached the White House and said to the same Marine, 'I'd like to go in and meet with President Bush.'
"Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here."The man thanked him and walked away.
The third day, the old man approached the same Marine and said, "I'd like to go in and meet with President Bush.""Sir, this is the third day in a row that you've been here asking to speakto Mr. Bush. I've told you every time that Mr. Bush is no longer thepresident and that he no longer resides here. Don't you understand?"
"Oh, I understand. I just love hearing it."
The Marine snapped to attention, saluted the old man and said, "See youtomorrow, sir."
Paul Waldman, The American Prospect: "After eight years of President Bush, we almost don't know how to function without him - almost. But before we move on, we should pause to remember just what we're leaving behind. Goodbye, we can say at last, to the most powerful man in the world being such a ridiculous buffoon, incapable of stringing together two coherent sentences. Goodbye to cringing with dread every time our president steps onto the world stage, sure he'll say or do something to embarrass us all. Goodbye to being represented by a man who embodies everything our enemies want the people of the world to believe about America - that we are ignorant, cruel, and only care about foreign countries when we decide to stomp on them."
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
"People really have to stop referring to this country as a Christian nation. The founders took great pains to avoid incorporating religious references into the Constitution, even going so far as to state plainly that no religious test should ever be considered a prerequisite for holding office. Somewhere along the line things have gone way off track, as conservative groups assume they have a right to define the country's core values and to dictate acceptable behavior for everyone else."
Legality of Same-Sex Marriage Ban Challenged
Ashley Surdin, The Washington Post: "The future of same-sex marriage in the Golden State will rest, once again, in the hands of its highest court. But this time, its fate will hinge on a different question: Can a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage go before voters? Or must it go before the legislature first?"