Yesterday, our community secured an historic victory with President Obama signing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Yet in less than one week, our rights are put to a popular vote in three states: Washington State, Maine, and Michigan.
Last year, the LGBT movement suffered tremendous defeats as we lost every LGBT-specific state ballot initiative on Election Day. We must make sure that we write a different ending to this story in 2009. Take action to support LGBT equality TODAY.
Below you’ll find information on the three ballot initiatives that need our urgent help. Together, we can re-write history.
To the finish line,
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.
Who we are: The No On 1/Protect Maine Equality campaign is working to protect Maine’s recently-passed law legalizing marriage for same-sex couples. Because of Maine’s early voting election laws, people are already voting at the polls, so we need help immediately to turn our side out to vote NO 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 few hours to help get a win in Maine.
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 LGBT residents. Opponents forced a public referendum on the ordinance so dedicated local volunteers 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 LGBT 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 LGBT people are getting confused by the opposition.
How you can 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 Get Out The Vote efforts.
Give here: www.actblue.com/page/3-2-1-countdown
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 LGBT people.
Contact voters: www.onekalamazoo.com/tellfriends2