Defend Marriage Equality in Maine!

October 8, 2009


In a chilling echo of California’s Proposition 8, marriage equality is under attack again right now.

In my home state of Maine, the people behind Prop 8 are trying to overturn our new same-sex marriage law with a ballot initiative. They’re running the same deceptive TV ads they used to scare voters in California. We can’t afford another Prop 8.

If Maine turns back this attack, it will be a historic victory with national repercussions—the first time voters approved a gay marriage law at the polls. A defeat will set back the No On 1: Protect Maine Equality
cause of civil rights for all Americans, including many of my friends and neighbors.

I’m donating to Maine’s “No on 1” campaign to defend marriage equality in our country. Can you join me by contributing $20 today? Click here to donate via ActBlue.

The polls in Maine are too close to call. Voting by mail just started, and early voting begins next week.

To keep up with the other side’s onslaught of misleading ads, the No on 1 campaign needs to raise $164,000 more by next week. Maine is a small state, so your donation will go a long way—but if they don’t make their fundraising goals, they may not have the resources to counter the lies.

I believe we can win this campaign with some help from the rest of the country.

Thank you for all you do.
–Eli, Noah, Ilya, Kat, and the rest of the team

Rep. Baldwin’s Reaction to House Passage of Hate Crimes Legislation

October 8, 2009

Rep. Tammy Baldwin (WI-02) reacts to the House of Representatives passing legislation that offers federal protection for victims of hate crimes who were targeted because of their sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability. The bill now awaits action in the Senate.

NJ Governor Corzine Talks Up Gay Marriage

October 8, 2009

by Carlos Santoscoy | On Top Magazine

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine is talking up gay marriage.

In responding to Newark daily the Star-Ledger, Corzine said “I think we ought to go to marriage equality.”

Corzine, a Democrat, has quietly promised the state’s gay and lesbian community that if reelected he would shepherd a gay marriage bill through the Legislature. Opponents have blasted Corzine, saying he is simply pandering to his gay supporters. Corzine signed a civil unions law in 2006, calling it a “proud” moment, but made it clear that he believed marriage was reserved for heterosexual unions.

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The National Center for Lesbian Rights Hails Congressional Action on Hate Crimes Bill

October 8, 2009

for Immediate Release

(Washington, DC, October 8, 2009)—Today, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) applauds the United States House of Representatives for taking action and voting to expand hate crimes protections. The House voted 281-146 in favor of a joint House-Senate “conference report” on a defense authorization measure that also includes the provisions that would expand the definition of federal hate crimes to cover attacks based on gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and military service. The hate crimes provision has been aptly renamed “The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.”  Among other things, this Act would give the Justice Department the power to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated violence where the perpetrator has selected the victim because of the person’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. Death penalty provisions that raised concerns and were previously included in the Senate measure are not included in the conference report, which now proceeds to the Senate for its final vote in Congress, which could take place as early as next week. President Obama has vowed to sign the bill.

Statement by Shannon Price Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights:

“Today’s House vote brings us one step closer to the day when hate crimes based on actual or perceived gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation, and military service are outlawed nationwide. We applaud all those who voted for this measure and  the families who have lost loved ones and worked so hard to bring an end to hate violence. When this measure is signed by the President, it will be a brighter day in this country.”

President Obama’s Maine Chance to Make the Case

October 8, 2009

by Evan Wolfson | Huffington Post

When President Obama speaks to gay and non-gay supporters of equality at the Human Rights Campaign’s dinner this Saturday, he has a lot of ground to cover. I don’t just mean the number of subjects to address, given the many ways in which lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in America are discriminated against. Nor do I just mean the pressures on the White House to begin delivering on promises made, or to respond to the disappointments and inaction that have made the Administration’s first year rockier than it needed to be, given the faith most gay people have that the President still shares our vision of an America where all are treated equally.

By ground to cover, I mean that President Obama has the opportunity — and I believe the obligation — to speak in moral as well as concrete terms about non-gay people’s stake in ending the exclusion and discrimination gay people endure. President Obama should not just talk about his general support for equality, and even just specific items he is working on, but, in addition, needs to make the case as to why Americans must continue evolving in support of fairness and freedom, and why anti-gay discrimination must end.

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House Votes to Expand Definition of Hate Crimes

October 8, 2009

by Carl Hulse | New York Times

The House voted by a wide margin on Thursday to expand the definition of violent federal hate crimes to cover those committed because of a victim’s gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

Democrats and advocates hailed the 281-to-146 vote, which put the measure on the brink of becoming law, as the culmination of a long push to curb violent expressions of bias like the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay Wyoming college student.

“Left unchecked, crimes of this kind threaten to ruin the very fabric of America,” said Representative Susan Davis, Democrat of California.

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Women More Likely to Be Expelled Under ‘Don’t Ask’

October 8, 2009

from the Associated Press

Pentagon statistics obtained by University of California researchers show that women are far more likely than men to be kicked out of the military under the “don’t ask, don’t tell policy” banning openly gay servicemembers.

Every military branch dismissed a disproportionate number of women in 2008 under the policy banning openly gay servicemembers. But the discrepancy was particularly marked in the Air Force, where women were a majority of those let go under the policy, even though they made up only 20 percent of personnel.

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