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Waiting to Learn the Fate of Our Families

November 03, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Featured, Thought of the Gay

noon1Today, three major human rights issues are being placed in the hands of the voters of Washington state, Kalamazoo, Michigan and Maine.  In Washington State, voter’s are being asked to approve Referendum 71, which essentially gives same-sex couples all state (but not federal) rights provided to opposite-sex couples.  It’s a “separate but equal” initiative, but will help our families tremendously in dealing with legal challenges and medical issues.  Ballots are mail-in only, so it could be a while before we know the results.

In Kalamazoo, the voters are being asked whether or not an amendment to the current City Ordinance should take effect.  The original anti-discrimination ordinance prohibits discrimination based upon race, religion and other suspect classifications.  The amendment is designed to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the current ordinance.

In Maine, voters are being asked to deem same-sex marriage illegal in the state.  Maine already recognizes same-sex marriage, so again (as in California) we see the people voting to take away a right that already exists – a disgusting precedence for a “free” people.

Because of these three very important human rights battles, I feel a bit like the person in the waiting room at a hospital waiting to find out the fate of my loved one.  I no longer have any influence or control at all over the turnout.

Voters in Maine, to beat my analogy to death, have our relationships in their hands.  They are prepared to decide whether my family can continue to be legally recognized as a family or not.  That’s the only question being presented really.  Are same-sex couples a “family”?

Regardless of the way the vote goes, they will not be able to conquer our love for our would-be husbands or wives.  They will not divorce us.  Our relationship, our love, our person will remain fully intact as we identify ourselves to be.

So, I sit in the waiting room with one glimmer of hope – my love will survive.  Unfortunately, I don’t know what condition he’ll be in when I get him back.

Yes We Do – Help in WA, ME and MI

October 29, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Featured, iQreport, Thought of the Gay

noon1You’re help is needed now more than ever in the quest for equality.  It’s time we start taking action.  Obama told us “Yes we can,” but first, we have to DO.  I’ve signed up to help in Washington already, and moments after posting, I’ll be heading over to sign up to help in Maine.  But one person isn’t enough.  Send everyone you know the following information, courtesy of Equality Texas and fight along with me for equality for ALL!


Washington:

Who we are: Approve Referendum 71 is the campaign to preserve domestic partnerships in Washington State. By voting to approve, voters retain the domestic partnership laws that were passed during this year’s legislative session, including using sick leave to care for a partner, adoption rights, insurance rights, and more.

What we need: We need phone bankers to get our supporters out to vote. Washington is an all mail-in ballot state, and we need to ensure our supporters put their ballots in the mail. Also, youth turnout is a critical component of our campaign, and youth turnout historically drops in off-year elections. So we need a lot of help to turn them out.

How you do it: Sign up here to make remote calls for Approve 71. We’ll then contact you for a training, and you can make GOTV calls.


Maine:

Who we are: The No On 1/Protect Maine Equality campaign is working to protect Maine’s recently-passed law legalizing marriage equality for same-sex couples. Our opponents have put the issue on the ballot for Nov 3, 2009. Because of Maine’s early voting election laws, people are already voting at the polls, so we need help immediately to turn out our side at the polls.

What we need: We need you to devote a few hours to Call for Equality. Call for Equality is a virtual phonebank set up so that you can call Maine voters wherever you are. Much of Maine is rural, where canvassing isn’t effective, so we need to reach these voters- along with other supporters- by phone. All you need is a phone and internet connection. No experience required! We’ll provide the training, and all you need is a a few hours to help get a win in Maine.

How you do it: Click here to sign up for a training and your shift. There are lots of times available for your convenience.


Kalamazoo, MI:

Who We Are: The Yes on Ordinance 1856 / One Kalamazoo campaign is working in Michigan to support the City Commission of Kalamazoo’s twice approved ordinance for housing, employment, and public accommodation protections for gay and transgender residents. Opponents forced a public referendum on the ordinance so dedicated local volunteers, led by former Stonewall Democrats Executive Director Jon Hoadley, are working to ensure voters say YES to fairness and equality and keep Ordinance 1856.

Why The Urgency: In the final weeks, the opposition has gone all out with aggressive disinformation and misleading red herrings to try to defeat the ordinance. This includes signs that say “No to Discrimination” (even though voting No actually supports continued discrimination of GLBT residents), transphobic door hangers and fliers, and now radio ads that falsely suggest that criminal behavior will become legal when this simply isn’t true. The Yes on Ordinance 1856 supporters are better organized but many voters who want to vote for gay and transgender people are getting confused by the opposition.

How To Help:

1) Help the One Kalamazoo campaign raise a final $10,000 specifically dedicated to fight back against the lies on the local TV and radio airwaves and fully fund the campaign’s final field and GOTV efforts. Give by clicking here.

2) If you live nearby and can physically volunteer in Kalamazoo sign up here. If you know anyone that lives in Kalamazoo, use the One Kalamazoo campaign’s online canvass tool to remind those voters that they need to vote on November 3rd and vote YES on Ordinance 1856 to support equality for gay and transgender people. Click here to contact voters