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Organizations – Pro and Anti Marriage Equality/LGBT Rughts

 

Let’s Admit What Really Went Wrong in Houston

Friday, November 6th, 2015

Hayden MoraIt’s a dangerous myth that Houston was unexpected. National leadership of the LGBTQ movement has known or had very good reasons to suspect that our opponents — still reeling from their defeat around same-sex marriage — would seize on trans issues to energize their supporters, refill their treasuries, and create a new opportunity to gain traction with voters and the public at large.

But our funding has been so focused on marriage equality that we were left fighting for the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance without the proper resources for political strategy, organizing, and effective, wide-scale public education. We were caught unprepared and that is inexcusable.

The voters’ decision on HERO comes at a pivotal time in our movement and raises key questions for all of us — especially our leaders — about what happened, why it happened, and where to go from here. How much and how quickly we learn from this loss depends on whether we, as a movement, engage in an unsparing and rigorous analysis not just of the Houston campaign, but also the ways in which we have and have not prioritized trans issues.

The reaction to the loss itself is telling. Many whose engagement is bounded by the victory of marriage equality and the goal of passing the Equality Act are left shocked. On the other extreme, for those who spend most of their lives working on the “margins” of our community — the undocumented, the young, people of color, trans folks, and those that hold multiple marginalized identities — Houston is like a distant rainstorm amid an ongoing level 5 hurricane of profound and pervasive violence and oppression. Identifying how and working toward bridging this divide is part of the crucial work that must occur in order for us to develop a stronger, smarter, and more holistic strategy of how to move forward.

By Hayden Mora – Full Story at The Advocate

WATCH: United Nations ‘Free & Equal’ video marking #IDAHOT2015

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

IDAHOT logoIn at least 76 countries around the world, loving someone of the same sex is illegal and, in ten countries, it is even punishable by death. In many more countries citizens are denied their right to live as their preferred gender identity.

As well as legal discriminations, social homophobia, biphobia and transphobia daily serve to deny millions of people across the world their basic human dignity. International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to this issue.

The date of May 17th was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. IDAHOT day is now celebrated in more than 130 countries.

It has received official recognition from international institutions such as the European Parliament. Most United Nations agencies also mark IDAHOT with specific events. LGBTI organizations, governments, cities, human rights organizations, corporations and celebrities have all taken action on May 17th to:

  • draw media attention to the issue of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia
  • demand attention from policymakers and engage in lobbying activities
  • network with like-minded organizations and develop new partnerships, at home or beyond.

This year, the United Nations Human Rights Office ‘Free And Equal’ campaign has released this video called ‘Faces’, which asks: ‘Can you see past the label?’

Click to continue »

The Four Worst Supreme Court Arguments on Marriage

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Matt BaumeMichigan says that they don’t want to let gay people get married because that would be demeaning to gay people.

Kentucky says that their marriage ban isn’t discriminatory, since LGBTs are free to get straight-married.

Ohio wants to maintain its marriage ban out of concern for the people who voted for it. And Tennessee is just fixated on sex.

By Matt Baume – Full Story at AFER

“Sharing Our Experience” Webinar Tomorrow

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

2015-02-19_storytelling_webinar_w_ECF

Marriage Equality USA is co-sponsoring a storytelling webinar hosted by Family Equality Council on Thursday, February 19. Sharing Our Experience is free and we’d love to have you join us. Sharing our personal marriage stories and experiences has proven to be our most powerful tool for changing hearts and minds in support of LGBTQ equality overall.

Please RSVP now!

USA: New Poll Says 60% of Likely Voters Support Marriage Equality

Friday, February 13th, 2015

titleA new poll from HRC shows a heightened level of support for marriage equality among likely voters.

Politico reports:

With the U.S. Supreme Court poised to rule this spring on whether same-sex couples nationwide should have the right to marry, a gay rights organization on Friday released a new survey showing support for gay marriage at 60 percent among likely voters in the 2016 election. The Human Rights Campaign — a Washington, D.C.-based tax-exempt nonprofit that works to “achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans” — says its survey shows conservatives who claim the country will balk at court-imposed marriage rights are out of step with public opinion. The poll was conducted late last month by the Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. According to the survey, 60 percent of likely voters say they favor “allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally,” while 37 percent oppose allowing gays to marry.

While the poll measures likely voters vs. people in general, it’s still a great number to see.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Marriage Equality USA Community Call Tonight

Friday, January 9th, 2015

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Join Marriage Equality USA and partners for a national COMMUNITY CALL to be held tonight, January 9th to discuss the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals marriage hearing. We will also talk about the current status of the marriage cases before the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).

TIME OF CALL: 6pm PT / 7pm MT / 8pm CT / 9pm ET

SIGN UP NOW FOR THE JANUARY 9th CALL!

Today the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans will hear marriage equality cases Robicheax v. Caldwell from Louisiana, Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant from Mississippi and DeLeon v. Perry from Texas.

You are invited to our Community Call to discuss what occurred in court, to hear community reaction, and to ask questions about what the hearing might portend for the marriage equality movement. This call is open to all supporters of marriage equality and allies — feel free to share this info!

Participants on the call will include: Kathleen Perrin, Director, Equality Case Files and and host John Lewis, Director of Legal and Policy, Marriage Equality USA. (Additional panelists to be announced.) The call will be moderated by Brian Silva, Executive Director of Marriage Equality USA.

To receive the call in information, sign up now! All attendees will receive the call information on the morning of Friday, January 9.

~ The MEUSA Communications Team

LGBT Organizations Should Not Criticize President Obama’s Immigration Move

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

President Barack ObamaDear LGBTI Activists, Advocates and Organizations,

Now that the dust is settling I want to again applaud President Barack Obama for his push toward immigration reform with the Executive Order (EO) he spoke of last night.

The President could not feasibly do much more than he did – because of the current political climate, which necessitated the EO in the first place. Hence I do not believe LGBT organizations should criticize President Obama for not doing more at this time, and should instead support this move as a courageous and imperative tool toward full comprehensive immigration reform for all.

The speech and resulting EO is clearly orchestrated to provide as little ammunition to the Republican Party as possible. The President kept it to an enforcement order only, issuing a challenge for the Republicans to get to work on the immigration legislation they are pretending is not there. Remember Comprehensive Immigration reform already passed the Senate and has been at Speaker Boehner’s feet for how long?

President Obama cannot legislate in place of Congress; that is their job. This EO serves as a push-and-shove challenge to the Republicans to now get off their obstructive butts to finally govern on the issue of immigration.

It really is a political tool to challenge the Republicans to do something or choose death in 2016. That is clearly why the President could ONLY give ‘so little,’ as some may see it, at this time – and yet to so many parents and children he has given so much! Almost 5 million will be impacted in a life changing way.

As LGBT activists we should applaud helping the millions consisting of families with children, including many in our community too. Some LGBTI people may be left out – as are many heterosexual people and others in our LGBT community may be excluded simply because our families do not have equal rights – to that I say – where is our Full Equality Bill? Therein lies the real fight for us as a LGBT community. And of course we all support Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) for all; and we all ought to support the President in urging the newly elected majority Republican Congress to legislate appropriately on this issue of a broken immigration system. The EO goes mere inches in this direction as it only is enforcement related and does not provide a path to citizenship.

As LGBTI activists our job is not to criticize the President for his immigration EO when he is so clearly faced with the limitations he has – he can only issue an enforcement related EO – as the safest way to tackle these Republicans and do the much needed push.

This has still taken courageous leadership and for that we should be grateful. As an LGBT community with a very supportive President, why would we want to participate in setting him up for EO’s that could be challenged successfully by his enemies? It is bad enough as it is – they will challenge him on this EO and do anything than can to find a way to impeach. They were talking impeachment in their speculative rhetoric before they even knew what he was going to propose. Instead they got an in the face challenge; a call to do their job. Now let us see if they are able to govern or not or will this be yet another excuse to continue to obstruct? However this time the ball lands squarely in their court and they can chose to hit it back or let it drop to the ground and trail off into a distant corner of the court.

We cannot forget that the President has all the guns of the Republicans pointed at him, fingers on the triggers, ready to shoot him down. And so he cleverly crafted this move in a way that points a canon right back at them. He could not do much more.

He said: We will refrain from deporting families and we will deport felons!” He said: “Stronger borders!” He basically said – ‘Now you, Mr. Speaker, its time to legislate on immigration and you Republican Party it is in your hand to fix this broken immigration system.’ All he could offer is something concrete and meaningful to spark this critical challenge.

We must now align with the President and so as a unified community we should focus on the Republicans and demand that they introduce the comprehensive immigration reform that will include all, as well as LGBTI people, as soon as possible.

The President gave us this EO as a tool, a mere tool, for just that – and any LGBTI activist or organization who cries foul, saying the EO is not enough is shooting this process in the foot, derogating from the Congress’s responsibility, and turning their back on the President in his hour of need.

If the Republicans were smart and wanted to save their 2016 chances of anything, they would have a CIR bill on the President’s desk in the first week they govern with their majority in both houses. Alas I think their anti-immigrant stance will prevail and will deliver something unacceptable or not at all. With that said we have to see this as a strategy so we can use the immigration issue toward taking over the Congress and Presidency in 2016. I am on board – how about you?

Best,

Mel

This post originally appeared on O Blog Dee O Blog Da

Marriage Equality USA Community Call on Sixth Circuit Hearing Tonight

Monday, November 10th, 2014

MEUSA Conference CallPlease join Marriage Equality USA and partners for a national COMMUNITY CALL to be held on the evening of Monday, November 10th to discuss the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals marriage equality ruling.

TIME OF CALL: 6pm PT / 7pm MT / 8pm CT / 9pm ET

Sign up now for the call!

On 6 November 2014, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled in marriage equality cases Bourke v. Beshear from Kentucky, DeBoer v. Snyder from Michigan, Obergefell v. Hodges and Henry v. Hodges from Ohio, and Tanco v. Haslam from Tennessee.

The Court ruled against equality, with the exception of of dissenting Judge Martha Daughtry, upholding the existing state bans on same-sex marriage and overtunring the lower court decisions in those states. There is much debate as to what happens next and if this ruling, which resulted in a Circuit Court split, will ensure that marriage will be addressed by the Supreme Court of the United States.

You are invited to our Community Call to discuss the ruling, to hear community reaction, and to ask questions about what this means for the marriage equality movement. This call is open to all supporters of marriage equality and allies — feel free to share this info!

Participants on the call will include: Chris Stoll, Senior Staff Attorney, National Center for Lesbian Rights; Larry Dupuis, Legal Director, ACLU of Wisconsin; Kathleen Perrin, Director, Equality Case Files; and host John Lewis, Director of Legal and Policy, Marriage Equality USA. The call will be moderated by Brian Silva, Executive Director of Marriage Equality USA.

To receive the call in information, sign up now! All attendees will receive the call information on the morning of Wednesday, August 6.

Anatomy of a Right-Wing Fabrication

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

IdahoTo right-wing extremists, it seemed to be just the story they were waiting for to validate their screeds against LGBT rights. But was it a true tale, or sweet little lies and distortions as tasty as (not-for-lesbians) wedding cake?

The story starts with an Idaho Christian couple compelled — forced! — to wed same-sex couples in their chapel. Exactly the scenario for which prominent opponents of marriage equality have been bracing themselves (and their followers) as more states and cities legalize same-sex marriage and adopt LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination policies.

With apparent relish, the right wing has spread the tale of the Hitching Post and raised the specter of persecuted ministers, with conservative pundits such as Mike Huckabee and Todd Starnes weighing in. The Idaho chapel’s owners resolved that they would shut down before they’d give in to the city of Coeur d’Alene’s supposed mandate that they let same-sex couples get hitched at the Hitching Post or face fines or jail time.

The hitch for the Hitching Post controversy? There was no such marriage equality mandate, or threat of jail time, fines, or any sort of legal action if the Hitching Post continued to refuse service to same-sex couples.

Authored By Stevie St. John – See the Full Story at The Advocate

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Idaho.

North Carolina Judge OK’s GOP Intervention, Says It’s a Waste of Time

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

North Carolina MapThe GOP and NOM have been granted the standing to intervene in a marriage equality case in North Carolina. Joe.My.God reports:

United States District Court Judge William Osteen today ruled that the GOP/NOM legal team has the standing to appeal North Carolina’s marriage equality case… But check out this smackdown towards the end of the ruling: Notwithstanding some of the ongoing cases on a national level, this discussion is merely academic in this court. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has issued its ruling in Bostic. As recognized by the district court in General Synod, this district court, sitting in North Carolina and the Fourth Circuit, is bound to apply that law. The parties to this case have the right to expect nothing less, whether they agree with the law or not. The issue presently before this court is solely whether to permit intervention for the purpose of preserving and taking an appeal. Although it is a very close issue, this court concludes that the motion to intervene should be granted, but only for the purpose of lodging an objection and preserving that objection to this court’s application of Bostic.

In otherwords, you’ll get your day in court, but at this point you’re just wasting everyone’s time and money.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in North Carolina.