Make the Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell a Priority

September 13, 2010

Last Thursday, a federal district court declared the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy unconstitutional, saying it violates both the First and Fifth Amendments. While we celebrate this victory, we know the fight is not over. Join NCLR, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, and our allies in making sure that our Senate leaders continue their fight to end this discriminatory policy.

Congress returns to Washington, D.C. this week, and the full Senate has its first opportunity in 17 years to do away with DADT when it votes on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which contains provisions that would allow for repeal of this law.

Call your senators at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to make the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell a top priority for the week of September 20th. Ask them to urge their joint leadership (Senators Reid and McConnell) to schedule this vote.

A full Senate floor vote is one of the last major legislative hurdles that stands in the way of the repeal. Unfortunately, Senator John McCain has been a vocal opponent of repeal from the start. He has indicated that he, along with other repeal foes, will pull out all the stops in coming weeks—from attempting to strike repeal language from the NDAA to offering weakening amendments, or threatening to filibuster the entire defense budget. We cannot let this happen.

Together we can make it clear to the Senate that repealing DADT should be a top priority this month. Together we can end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

In Solidarity,


Help Pass ENDA! Take This Quick Survey

August 3, 2010

As part of United ENDA, a coalition effort of nearly 400 organizations committed to passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), we’re continuing to work on passing long overdue employment protections needed by our community. We need your help to make sure that our demands for ENDA are heard. We need to hear your stories!

Have you been discriminated against or harassed at work because you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) or because your boss or coworkers thought you were? Or have you hidden your sexual orientation or gender identity because you feared you might be fired?

Members of Congress need to know how much discrimination LGBT people face on a day to day basis. Take this short survey and help end employment discrimination. We’ll keep your information confidential, but you can also choose to help us fight for ENDA by letting us share your story with members of Congress and the media.

Speak out for ENDA! It is up to all who care about equality to pass this bill.

In solidarity,


Join a Call for LGBT Family Immigration Rights

July 27, 2010

Please join NCLR and our friends at Immigration Equality for a teleconference call to learn about what you can do to help include LGBT families in comprehensive immigration reform.

Join Karen Narasaki of the Asian American Justice Center and Rachel Tiven of Immigration Equality Action Fund to discuss simple ways for you to help pass inclusive immigration reform. Other featured speakers include Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA), Bishop Minerva Carcaño, and families impacted by our broken immigration system.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010; 8:00 p.m. Eastern/ 5:00 p.m. Pacific
Call in 1-800-896-0105, Passcode 6946500#
To register and receive materials for the call go to www.LGBTforCIR.org.

The call is free and open to all. You’ll hear updates on inclusive family immigration bills moving through Congress now. And, you’ll learn all you need to know to set up a successful meeting with your Representative.

Have questions? To submit questions for our speakers before or during the call, please email uafanow@imeqactionfund.org.

Together we can make sure that comprehensive immigration reform includes all families.
In solidarity,


Call Your Senators Today to Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

July 8, 2010

We’ve made significant progress this past year, but we could still lose the fight to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The first repeal vote on the floor of the Senate could come as early as next week, and we need your help to show the Senate there is strong support for repeal.

The repeal language in the Defense Authorization bill is at risk of being filibustered, stripped out, or weakened by our opponents when the full Senate votes. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has threatened to filibuster the entire defense budget to stop repeal. Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and the repeal coalition are working to secure a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority, but we need your help.

Call both your Senators today at 202-224-3121. Tell them to support the repeal and urge them to support Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, and follow his lead when harmful amendments may be offered by opponents.

We have to stand up and tell our Senators we need their votes. Our LGBT troops deserve their support.

In Solidarity,


Tell Your Senators to End Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

June 9, 2010

Repeal advocates have made significant progress this past year, especially over the past two weeks, but we could still lose the fight to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

The first repeal vote on the floor of the Senate could come later this month or July. And that’s why we and our friends at Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) need your help to show the Senate there is strong support for repeal.

The repeal language in the Defense Authorization bill is at risk of being filibustered, stripped out, or weakened by our opponents when the full Senate votes. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has threatened to filibuster the entire defense budget to stop repeal. SLDN and the repeal coalition is working to secure a filibuster-proof, 60-vote majority so that the defense bill can be acted on.

SLDN and the repeal coalition will work with Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) to fend off these threats to repeal.

But we can’t do this alone.

We need supporters like you in each state to call both of your Senators today. The time to push back on the opposition is now.

Call both your Senators at 202-224-3121 today and tell them to support repeal and follow the lead of Senator Carl Levin on any attempts to strike repeal or weaken the language.

Although the Defense Authorization bill is considered “must-pass” legislation, that won’t stop opponents of open service from trying to turn the Senate’s upcoming votes on the Defense bill into a political showdown.

Call your Senators today and urge them to support Senator Levin and follow his lead when harmful amendments may be offered by opponents.

Stand up and tell our Senators we need their votes. Our LGBT troops deserve their support.

In Solidarity,


San Francisco — Help Move ENDA Forward!

May 17, 2010

ENDA is stuck — and ONLY YOU can help get it moving again. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is our champion, but she needs us to help her move ENDA. We need as many people as possible to show up in front of Speaker Pelosi’s office — will you come? Will you bring friends, family, and fellow supporters of LGBT equality to stand with us?

San Francisco — Help Move ENDA Forward
Tuesday, May 18
4:30 – 6:30 pm
7th & Mission Streets
San Francisco Federal Building

We know that Speaker Pelosi supports ENDA. We want her to know that this legislation is a community priority — and we support her efforts to move this bill through Congress. She needs to hear from her constituents. She needs our support, and ENDA needs a vote in Congress.

We are ready. We have the support. We must have a vote on ENDA now.

If we don’t get a vote in the House very soon, we will not have time to get ENDA passed in the Senate. If this doesn’t happen now, it could be years before we have another chance to enact this most basic civil rights law. The President will sign ENDA into law — but only if it passes Congress.

Please stand with us on Tuesday, as we join local and national LGBT and civil rights groups in a week of action in honor of LGBT civil rights leader Harvey Milk. Let’s get ENDA to a vote!

Together, we can push ENDA forward. Will you join us?

See you there,


Include LGBT Families in Comprehensive Immigration Reform

April 26, 2010

Senate leadership has indicated that they wish to move a comprehensive immigration reform bill soon. Currently, immigration law does not allow LGBT people to sponsor our partners and children for immigration. This means that many LGBT families are forced to separate or move abroad to stay together. This cruel discrimination must end. We cannot allow Congress to exclude LGBT families from immigration law.

Comprehensive immigration reform is not comprehensive unless it includes ALL families. It must include the Uniting American Families Act (S 424) which allows members of our community to sponsor our partners and children for residency in the U.S.

Sen. Schumer will be introducing a comprehensive immigration reform bill soon. Please email or call Sen. Schumer’s office at (202) 224-6542 and tell him: “I urge you to include the Uniting American Families Act and LGBT families in comprehensive immigration reform.”

Our families should not be forced to make heartbreaking choices, including leaving the United States to be with the person we love. Together, we can make sure no one is left behind, and that comprehensive immigration reform includes all families.

In Solidarity,


For Clay and Harold, and the Promise of Equality

April 19, 2010

By now you probably have heard about NCLR’s latest case, a heartbreaking story about Clay Greene and Harold Scull, an elderly gay couple in Sonoma County, CA, who were kept apart when Harold was hospitalized in 2008. During the last weeks of Harold’s life, the county terminated Harold and Clay’s lease, removed Clay from his home, and confined him to a nursing home against his will. The county also auctioned off all of their belongings. Clay grieved alone, away from his home, and stripped of all his possessions.

Clay is now represented by dedicated attorneys, including the National Center for Lesbian Rights, who are committed to seeking justice for Clay.

Join us and our friends at GetEqual in sending a letter to President Obama, asking him to fulfill the American promise of “liberty and justice for all.” The time has passed for us to be expected to watch our community endure such ongoing inhumanity.

Last Thursday, President Obama issued a directive to the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a rule that would prevent hospitals from denying visitation privileges to same-sex partners. This was a step toward fairness and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans, but it falls short of his promises to fight for equality in marriage, the military, and employment.

As we push this week for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT), which bans openly gay and lesbian people from serving in the military, and for the passage of ENDA, which would protect LGBT people in the workplace, Harold and Clay’s story reminds us that there are no fractions of equality. President Obama’s memorandum last week is simply not enough. We expect and deserve to see real and sustained leadership on behalf of the full dignity and humanity of every member of our community.

Ask the President to call on Congress to act NOW to repeal DOMA and DADT and to pass ENDA, and ask your friends and family to do the same.

In Solidarity,

Kate Kendell, Esq.,
Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights

Robin McGehee, Kip Williams, and the GetEQUAL crew


Speak Out for Truly Comprehensive Immigration Reform

April 8, 2010

In the coming weeks and months, Congress is expected to turn its attention to crafting comprehensive immigration reform legislation, and we are closer than ever before to ensuring LGBT families are a part of that effort. NCLR is proud to be working with sister and ally organizations, including our friends at Immigration Equality, for a bill that helps everyone, including LGBT immigrants and their families.

Now, we need your help to pass an LGBT-inclusive bill!

We are working round-the-clock to make our voices heard, in every Congressional district, and this is your opportunity to be part of this historic effort. Meetings with elected leaders are an excellent opportunity to ask your Representatives in person for their support of the Uniting American Families Act (H.R. 1024) and its inclusion in comprehensive immigration reform.

Immigration Equality is looking for spokes-couples and individuals who have been directly impacted by this issue to be part of local, upcoming meetings with Members of Congress. These critically important, in-district meetings are the best way to encourage your lawmaker to support UAFA and to speak out, with other LGBT families facing discrimination under our current immigration laws, for a truly comprehensive reform bill.

If you have a story about obstacles you’ve faced under current immigration laws, please contact Prabhat Gautam with Immigration Equality, at pgautam@immigrationequality.org. Identify yourself as an NCLR supporter who would like to share your story with elected leaders.

No reform is truly comprehensive unless it includes LGBT immigrants and their families, too. With your help, we can ensure no one is left behind as we work to end discriminatory immigration laws.

In Solidarity,


Statewide GENDA Call-In Day—Act Now!

March 9, 2010

Last week, the New York State Assembly passed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA). The only remaining obstacle to the bill becoming law is the New York State Senate. Join NCLR and Empire State Pride Agenda in making sure that the Senate votes to end discrimination against transgender New Yorkers.

Here’s what you can do to make sure that we pass GENDA this year:

•    Call Sen. Tom Duane and your State Senator’s office today! You can find your State Senator’s Albany phone number here. After letting them know the urgent need for GENDA, call Senator Tom Duane at (518) 455-2451, and ask him to support GENDA and bring it to the floor for a vote.

•    After your call, please report your results to our partners at the Empire State Pride Agenda at prideagenda@prideagenda.org, and let them know which senators you called and what response your received. Your feedback will help us pass GENDA in 2010.

•    Phone bank for GENDA this Thursday. If you have time to spare, you can make a huge difference. Go to the Empire State Pride Agenda offices this Thursday, March 11th from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Contact Joanna at 212.627.0305 x103 or at jsolmonsohn@prideagenda.org for more information.

78% of New York voters already support GENDA, and it’s about time that the Senate listens and ends discrimination against transgender New Yorkers. We’re at a crucial moment, and with your help, we can make sure to pass GENDA now.

In Solidarity,


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