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BLOG for equality now

The AEB PROJECT – Update (9/1/10). TWO MONTHS and our FLAG WAVES BRIGHTLY.

AEB_3x6Hello AEB enthusiasts!

The AEB Project launched in earnest July 4th, 2010 with a nationwide conference call, hosted by EqualityGiving, and attended by an amazing group of activists!

Warmly embraced, almost 2 months later The American Equality Bill has definitely joined the conversation! Equal Civil Rights NOW – is a growing mantra!

Grassroots activists all over are stepping up and contacting their Congress people, folks are doing their own petitions, blogs are peppered with AEB references, and we’ve made the Advocate, Bilierico, LezGetReal and CNN ireports.

The early visionaries at EqualityGiving.org are happy, and our partners at ActonPrinciples.org have really stepped up with our AEB Sponsorship Hunt Pages listing all Senate and Congressional offices (open and waiting for YOU to post feedback from your outreach – links below).

We’re even hearing rumors that we’re too pushy, which is music to our ears!!!

But it’s JUST THE BEGINNING and the resistance from the status-quo is strong. Already, some staffers of potential sponsors are counter-lobbying the AEB trying to create divisions in the grassroots ranks. This will NOT BE AN EASY ROAD as we always new.

The single most important thing you can do is to create a full campaign in your Congressional District to get that vote (sponsor). Republican or Democrat. And SHARE THE STORY on the FB page.

My mother is going after Rep. Bill Young (R.FL-10 Clearwater). I’m going after my Rep., Congressman Rangel (D. NY) (see letter below). This is happening all over, but time is very short.

To really start this party, we need ONE SPONSOR to file by NOVEMBER. So we need to FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS.

Now is the time – before Nov. 2nd – to call this issue. Push now. Push hard. Go public, have a rally at their campaign office, call and fax their offices (as we have President Obama and Gillibrand), form a state-wide AEB team and group-target potential sponsors directly, etc. etc.

BUT YOUR DISTRICT IS THE PRIZE. OR, ONE CONGRESS PERSON FROM YOUR STATE. Focus, focus, focus. Deadline NOV. 2nd!

This is YOUR Campaign. It’s starting to fly, but it needs a big gust of wind to take wing.

We are all volunteer, all grassroots!

2nd class citizenship & 2nd rate demands NO MORE!

Let’s do this.

Love, Tif

p.s. Without pushing, The AEB main FB page doubled, but let’s build it! Share the link: http://bit.ly/AEBnow.

I. ON-GOING ACTIONS:

CONTACTING your Rep. During Recess (TOP priority. Urgent! On-going)
a. Sample letter to Rangel: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=278882199073&ref=ts#!/topic.php?uid=278882199073&topic=15867
b. A mother’s letter to Young: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=278882199073&ref=ts#!/photo.php?pid=6960536&fbid=491248188635&op=1&o=all&view=all&subj=278882199073&aid=-1&oid=278882199073&id=584103635
c. General sample letter on group AEB listserve: [email protected]: http://groups.google.com/group/aeb1?hl=en

FAX WHITE HOUSE – AEB NOW!
a. BLOG Call to Action: http://www.actonprinciples.org/2010/08/17/last-weeks-historic-white-house-meeting-exposes-limp-agenda-wh-asks-hold-our-feet-to-the-fire-so-lets-do-that-fax-brian-bond-at-white-house-to-demand-our-civil-rights/
b. FB WH Action Page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=278882199073&ref=ts#!/pages/The-American-Equality-Bill/152463468103529?ref=mf

FAX GILLIBRAND (NY)
http://www.actonprinciples.org/2010/08/27/action-alert-fax-senator-kirsten-gillibrand-today/

FLYERS: “Please File The AEB” (for anyone to use on their Congress/Senators)
http://bit.ly/AEBpleaseFILEpdf

ELECTION CYCLE: CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE (now)
http://www.bilerico.com/2010/08/questions_for_the_candidates.php

II. NEW PETITIONS & FB PAGES

http://www.change.org/petitions/view/petition_for_full_equality_for_all_americans (active)

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=278882199073&ref=ts#!/pages/The-American-Equality-Bill/152463468103529?ref=mf

FB PROFILE PICS: AEB NOW or SO+GI Civil Rights NOW
(lots of colors)
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=278882199073&ref=ts#!/photo_search.php?oid=278882199073&view=all

III. STRONG ORGANIZATIONAL AFFILIATIONS

http://www.equalitygiving.org/ (look for our flag)

http://www.actonprinciples.org/

(other exciting partnerships in the works!)

IV. SPONSORSHIP HUNT (put your name next to your Target)

SENATE TARGETS: http://www.actonprinciples.org/aeb-senate/

HOUSE TARGETS: http://www.actonprinciples.org/aeb-house/

V. AEB IN BLOGS & NEWS

http://www.bilerico.com/2010/07/the_american_equality_bill_an_idea_whose_time_has.php

http://lezgetreal.com/2010/08/prop-8-evidence-posted-by-court-for-all-to-finally-see/

http://www.pinkbananaworld.com/content-detail.cfm?ID=371170

http://lezgetreal.com/2010/08/reclaiming-the-civil-rights-movement-who-owns-the-dream/

http://www.actonprinciples.org/2010/08/22/hello-%E2%80%98used-to-be%E2%80%99-activists-it%E2%80%99s-time-to-resurrect-our-civil-rights-struggle-is-at-hand/

http://lezgetreal.com/2010/08/this-blogger-is-fuming-with-the-white-house/

http://www.advocate.com/Politics/Marriage_Equality/White_House_Meeting_Red_Hot/ (linked to ActonPrinciples.org blog on White House Fax)

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-482233

VI. YOUTUBE speech about THE AEB

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4LWus-twi0&feature=player_embedded

VII. JOIN (and lead) YOUR STATE AEB LISTSERVE!

We’ve created AEB gmail listserves for every state for you to use to gather a team or find others working on AEB in your state. They are open. The lists are: AEB-(state abbreviation)@googlegroups.com. So for example the New York group is: [email protected] Exception: AEB-Idaho. To locate and join them, search gmail groups with first part only: AEB-NY. Please let me know if there are any issues ([email protected]). We can make you a manager so you can tailor the page to local flavor!

The MAIN AEB Project listserve is:  [email protected]    Come one, come all.

EXPIRED

Call To Action: Campaign and Vote For Charlie Ramos For The NY State Senate 9-14 Primary Election, Defeat Ruben Diaz Sr.

Just two weeks left until the September 14th Primary! Please join the campaign and pass this on to everyone!

Call To Action: Campaign and Vote For Charlie Ramos For The New York State Senate

Vote Out Obstructionist Ruben Diaz Sr.

Join the campaign and contribute here:

-by Tommy News

Please pass this on to everyone, especially to those in the Bronx, New York

Countdown to the September 14th Primary Election
Charlie Ramos Vs. Ruben Diaz Sr.
New York State Senate 32nd District, South Bronx, New York

On December 2nd, 2009, by a vote of 38 Nays to 24 Yeas, The State Senate Voted Against Marriage Equality. Every single Republican and eight Democrats voted for discrimination. Our goal is to defeat and remove all 38 from office, Bronx State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. lead the vote against equality and we must lead him out of the Senate doors by electing Charlie Ramos to fill his Albany Senate seat.

In addition to leading the Senate against Marriage Equality, Diaz once suggested that the Gay Games would encourage homosexuality and spread H.I.V. In 2003, he sued the city to shut down a high school for gay and transgender students. Diaz recently joined forces with convicted felon and former Senate leader Joe Bruno to block every single piece of pro equality legislation from reaching the Senator floor. He lead the fight to block initiatives by Governor Paterson, effectively shutting down the Senate last year and affecting all New Yorkers. He threatened to shut down the Senate again if a vote on Marriage Equality was brought to the floor. When it was, he led the Senate to defeat the bill. More recently, Diaz blocked GENDA and stripped tax equality rights from couples married in other states.

Diaz has also angered Teachers and workers unions, and he has used his religious Fundie pulpit to blur the separation of Church and New York State at every turn.

It is time to send Reverend Diaz packing to bang his Bible elsewhere, and replace him with Charlie Ramos in the September 14th primary election in the South Bronx. I urge you to get involved and join us in this effort. Please pass this message on to everyone in your address book.

Vote For Charlie Ramos!

Five Actions To Take:

1- Join The Charlie Ramos Campaign, Volunteer, Contribute, and Spread the word here.

This September, we have the opportunity to bring real change to New York State and to the South Bronx. These times demand bold and honest leadership. For far too long, we have accepted the status quo, but we deserve more, much more. It is time to put an end to the reign of politicians who do not share our values and betray our trust over and over again. We must fight to restore faith in our state government and uphold the values of our community.

If you believe in real democracy and freedom for all, you know that we the people have a choice in what kind of leadership we need in 2010. We need your help to bring a true, honest, and hardworking leader to Albany.

Charlie Ramos’ Vision:
Civil Rights: Every individual’s civil rights must be protected; discrimination and harassment based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or physical and developmental ability should be banned.

Reproductive Freedom: Women and men – not politicians – deserve the right to make personal decisions about their reproductive health in accordance with their own personal and moral beliefs.

Health Care: Every individual should have affordable, quality health care.

Education: It is essential that we invest in quality public education for all.

Environment: We must commit to restoring and protecting our environment.

Economic Justice: Prosperity should be accessible to everyone, not merely the few.

Join the campaign and contribute here:

http://www.charlieramos2010.com/

Charlie Ramos’s email is: [email protected]

2- Sign Up for FIGHT BACK NEW YORK

This fabulous organization is dedicated to replacing the anti-equality members of The NewYork State Senate.
Sign up here:
http://fightbackpac.com/

3- Join the Andrew Cuomo For Governor campaign.

Attorney General Cuomo is a strong ally of the LGBT community. He has pledged to make marriage equality in New York State a top priority. We thank outgoing Governor David Paterson for his strong pro-equality advocacy and activism, and we must help Andrew Cuomo win the election and continue his work.

Sign up here:
http://www.andrewcuomo.com/

4- Join Marriage Equality New York MENY

Organization committed to securing the right to civil marriage for same-sex couples. Blog with related news and calendar of upcoming events.

http://www.meny.us/

5- Join Tommy’s Yahoo Group dedicated to electing a pro-equality New York State Senate.

On December 2nd, 2009, by a vote of 38 Nays to 24 Yeas, The State Senate Voted Against Marriage Equality. Every single Republican and eight Democrats voted for discrimination. Our goal is to defeat and remove all 38 from office, most especially Bronx State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr; who lead the vote against marriage equality.

Click Here and Join:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NewYorkStateSenateForCivilRights/

http://www.charlieramos2010.com/

BLOG for equality now

WORRIED about LGBT Voter turn-IN on Nov. 2nd?? So am I. Here’s what President Obama could say to our community if he really wants us to vote!

Dear friends in the LGBT Community,

I know you are unsatisfied with my record to date on your concerns, our concerns. I hope this communication helps to change that.

To begin, I consider your cause to be equal in importance to every other struggle for civil rights and human dignity. To prove this, I am upping the ante on the Employment Non-Discrimination Bill (ENDA).

As currently envisioned, ENDA creates a separate employment non-discrimination law for “sexual orientation and gender identity.” I will not sign that bill. I can not in good conscious, being myself a success story of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which protects everyone else.

So today I am introducing a civil rights-version of ENDA that puts “sexual orientation and gender identity” inside the employment provisions of the Civil Rights Act where they belong. This is the law that protected my jobs my whole life and led to the one I have now; and you deserve nothing less.

This country long ago rejected the idea of “separate but equal” and today I join that proud heritage. I will fight to pass this bill, and to have a vote either way, by June 2011, working with either a Republican or Democratic Congress.

Civil rights should not be a partisan issue and it is our responsibility – our prime responsibility under the Constitution – to provide protection from discrimination against the LGBT community — just as we protect all of our respected communities and peoples.

This is what I intend to do. This is change you can believe in.

Now shut up and go vote (this part is optional :-) .

President Obama.

AND HERE’s THE LANGUAGE FOR HIS BILL:

Sec. 1. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §2000e, is amended to add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as prohibited basis’ for discrimination in employment.

a. The following definitions shall be added at the end of §2000e:
(o) The term “sexual orientation” means homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality.
(p) The term “gender identity” means the gender-related identity, appearance, or mannerisms or other gender-related characteristics of an individual, with or without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth.

b. Sections 2000e-2(a)-(d), §2000e-2(h), §2000e-2(j), §2000e-2(l), §2000e-2(m), §2000e-3(b), 2000e(g)(2)(A), §2000e-16(a), and §2000e-16(c), are amended every time the phrase “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin” appears to include after the word “sex” the following words:- “sexual orientation, gender identity,”.

———-
He doesn’t have to tackle the full range of CRA protections. But this would be a respectable down-payment safely within the range of employment non-discrimination which has overwhelming popular support.  It would also show us the respect we deserve.

Will it cost him something? Maybe.  Maybe the opposite.  But at least then the outcome will have been something to admire.

I eagerly await this email from the DNC, OFA, or Obama himself. I used to look forward to opening those OFA emails that came directly from him. Not so much any more.

To send this idea to the White House, fax it (free and easy on faxzero.com) to:  President Obama, 202-456-2461.

EXPIRED

AmericaBlog: Take the Pledge – Don’t Ask, Don’t Give

From AmericaBlog:

Don't Ask, Don't Give“It is not enough to look back in wonder at how far we have come; those who came before us did not strike a blow against injustice only so that we would allow injustice to fester in our time. That means removing the barriers of prejudice and misunderstanding that still exist in America.” -Democratic Party Platform, 2008
President Obama promised to be a “fierce advocate” for LGBT Americans.  But while making modest progress on a scant few issues, on the major campaign promises made to our community, the President and the Democratic party have failed to keep their commitments.

There has been little, if any, pressure from the White House for votes on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).  The administration continues to send mixed signals on the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT).  And we’ve been told not to expect the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to even be considered until President Obama’s second term.  In the last two weeks alone, we were angered that the Obama administration continued to defend DOMA in the courts — last June, the administration’s lawyers even compared loving gay relationships to incest and pedophilia — and we were saddened that the White House and the Democratic party refused to help us defeat anti-gay ballot initiatives in Maine and Washington state.  LGBT Americans, our families, and our friends kept our promise at the ballot box, we now expect President Obama to keep his in the White House.

Until the Democratic Congress passes, and President Obama signs, legislation enacting ENDA, repealing DADT, and repealing DOMA, we ask you to join us in pledging to postpone contributions to the Democratic National Committee, Organizing for America, and the Obama campaign.  This temporary (we hope) boycott is sponsored by AMERICAblog, and cosponsored by Daily Kos, Michelangelo Signorile, and Paul Sousa, among others.

This isn’t forever, the Democrats have it in their power to end this today — all it takes is choosing to keep their promise.

Please join us in taking the pledge, below.

I pledge not to donate to the Democratic National Committee, Organizing for America, or the Obama campaign until Congress passes, and the president signs, legislation enacting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT), and repealing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

BLOG for equality now

Twitter Updates for 2010-08-28

BLOG for equality now

GetEqual’s Fabulous ENDA Timeline has a MAJOR MISLEADING FLAW. ENDA, in truth, is a “SEPARATE WATER FOUNTAIN” for the Gays.

GetEqual has done an amazing timeline on ENDA.

http://getequal.org/2010/07/enda-timeline-broken-promises/

But it has ONE MAJOR MISLEADING Flaw.

After correctly listing that in 1974, NY Congress people introduced a bill to directly Amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to add “sex, sexual orientation and marital status,”  the timeline then makes a misleading connection to that strategy.

Here’s the too-clever transition moment in the timeline:

“1994 — The modern version of the Civil Rights Amendment, now called the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), is introduced with gay-only protection without public accommodations or housing provisions.”

This is misleading because it suggests that ENDA IS an Amendment to the Civil Rights Act (CRA). When in fact, ENDA is a separate law, apart from the CRA. A separate and unequal law JUST FOR employment non-discrimination covering “sex. orient. and gender identity” (SO+GI), whereas “race, color, sex, national origin, and religion” are protected from employment discrimination UNDER (IN) the Civil Rights Act (Title VII).

ENDA is a separate water fountain – for the gays! And no one is saying it!

This makes ENDA a scam – because I for one didn’t realize this until I studied the bill.

Here is the text of ENDA.
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-3017

Interestingly, ENDA looks, smells, and sounds similar to the CRA (and it references the CRA many times for enforcement etc.), but doesn’t put us in the CRA, because back in 1994 (and supposedly today) – the NAACP, NOW, etc. (the groups currently protected by the CRA) told the gays to STAY AWAY – DO NOT TOUCH – the CRA.  And we obeyed, supposedly for “allied” support, which hasn’t helped pass the bill in 16 years.  Yet still, we obey.

It was “their law” and “civil rights” belonged to the black civil rights movement — and those groups asserted then, and the NAACP still says, that they are afraid of making any changes to the CRA that might open the law up to Republican attempts to water down THEIR protections. So we did our own – for gays only – and we are STILL not yet asking for equal treatment and inclusion in the CRA.

How long will we allow the “fears” of protected groups to justify our exclusion?

And what does it say about US that we are STILL NOT even ASKING for equal inclusion in the CRA?

No one is being honest about this. If it passes, as is, Pres. Obama will go down in history as a mixed-race President who created a separate water fountain for gay people in employment discrimination. The law that protected HIS JOBS since he was a child (born in 1961, CRA passed in ‘64) WILL NOT INCLUDE US.

Those laws – called the CIVIL RIGHTS Laws – do more than end discrimination, they are a statement of U.S. policy AGAINST discrimination which says everyone protected under them are equal – race, color, sex, nat. orig., religion – all traits and covered groups – are equal to one another. By putting us apart – we are saying the opposite.

Even after/if ENDA passes, we will still have to fight to GET IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT – in an equal way. We will still not have “Civil Rights” for us.

I REALLY WISH our community would START TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT ENDA. If we know and tell the truth – and decide to accept this 2nd class citizenship-strategy, then FINE.   But let that be a decision made in full disclosure.

The wording “the modern version of the Civil Rights amendment” – is misleading in an highly subtle way. This is not an amendment to the CRA, in any way, and not the equivalent of the 1974 bill filed by Ed Koch and Bella Azbug which, as I understand them, DID PUT US IN THE CRA – because at the time, we felt we were EQUAL to “race, color”. Now we act as if we are not, because those groups told us to stay away, and we still bow to that social pressure which is nothing but homophobia misrepresented as fear.

WE CAN FIX ENDA – and put “SO+GI” in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. But this will take PRINCIPLE and SELF-RESPECT, which our current movement does not have.

Here is that language (Drafted by Karen Doering):

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §2000e, is amended to add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as prohibited basis’ for discrimination in employment. Sections 2000e-2(a)-(d), §2000e-2(h), §2000e-2(j), §2000e-2(l), §2000e-2(m), §2000e-3(b), 2000e(g)(2)(A), §2000e-16(a), and §2000e-16(c), are amended every time the phrase “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin” appears to include after the word “sex” the following words:- “sexual orientation, gender identity,”.

THIS IS WHAT EQUALITY UNDER THE LAW LOOKS LIKE.

(And this is what The American Equality Bill calls for: http://bit.ly/AEBillonFB).

History will reveal the truth of this, and all involved will have brought dishonor upon our community and themselves. Are we that desperate? Do we think that little of ourselves?

Sorry GetEqual friends. I know you did not create ENDA or this 2nd class strategy. I know you’re just trying to help move the existing agenda and hold folks accountable, and I wholeheartedly applaud that work.

But this timeline perpetuates the fraud. Please fix the timeline, or you and your supporters (including me) become a knowing party to the conspiracy.

You have to wonder: WHERE IS THE LGBT PRESS ON THIS? WHY ARE YOU NOT QUESTIONING THE DRAFTERS OF ENDA ABOUT THIS?

THE WHOLE POINT of our cause is that we are telling THE TRUTH. We are equal beings.  Homophobia does kill.  And we are entitled as a matter of human rights law and philosophy to be included fully in America’s non-discrimination laws, which we call The Civil Rights Act of 1964.

To get there, we have to start telling the truth about ENDA.

[BTW: ENDA IS NOT REALLY GAYS-Only EITHER. And that's important, but not easy to capture in a soundbite. ENDA is not really a gays-only law because it covers "Sexual Orientation" which could be straight, bi, or gay, and "Gender Identity" which covers the full range.  Obviously straight people and gender conforming people don't suffer discrimination like we do, and are not really the point, any more than "race and color" were intended to protect white people.]

EXPIRED

Fundraiser Tonight in New York: Elect Charlie Ramos to New York State Senate. Get rid of Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr.

Time Today · 6:30pm – 9:00pm

Location 450 West 17th St. (between 9th and 10th Ave) 14th floor
New York, NY

Created By Natasha Demands Equality Dillon, Marti Equality Cummings, Yetta G. Kurland

More Info Come out and support Charlie Ramos in his efforts to challenge the incumbent, Ruben Diaz Sr. Diaz, who is the number one obstructionist for Equality in NY. Charlie can beat him, but he needs our help!

Besides being the strongest opponent of Marriage Equality in New York, Diaz claims that same-sex marriage will bring the end of the world.

In 2003, Diaz filed a lawsuit to stop the expansion of the Harvey Milk School, claiming th…at the school infringed upon the rights of heterosexual students.

Also, Diaz oppose the “Gay games” from coming to NY, claiming that doing so would lead to an increase in AIDS and a wider acceptance of homosexuality by young people.

DIAZ HAS TO GO!!!! Come show your support and give what you can. Do it for your Equality if nothing else :)

If you are unable to make the event, but still want to contribute to Equality, please visit Charlie’s contribution page: https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/entity/24093

Donation: $25-$6,000. Suggested donation: $50See More

If you cannot attend, please donate what you can at the Charlie Ramos Campaign Website here and join the campaign. The Primary Election is September 14th! Please pass this on.

http://www.charlieramos2010.com/

EXPIRED

AEB ACTION ALERT: FAX Senator Kirsten Gillibrand TODAY.

FAX: NY SENATE (Candidate) Kirsten GILLIBRAND TODAY to get a Commitment NOW to file The American Equality Bill (in November).

FAX this flyer (free fax online faxzero.com)
http://bit.ly/AEBpleaseFILEpdf

To: 518-751-2556
Kirsten Gillibrand for Senate

BACKGROUND: Sen. Gillibrand has promised to add SO+GI to the Civil Rights laws (at some undetermined point in the future). We want her to say “YES” NOW to filing The AEB (in Nov). We want a commitment NOW during the campaign, while she’s seeking our support.

She’s attending a big fundraiser by our community out on Fire Island TOMORROW.
http://www.facebook.com/?tid=1271600648623&sk=messages#!/event.php?eid=125060430873925&ref=ts

Let’s remind her what we WANT! No more delays. Commit NOW.

NOTE: FRIENDLY ACTION. This is an e-fax number, and we’ve alerted the campaign office. This will NOT disrupt their operations, or be considered an unfriendly action. If you want to CALL the CAMPAIGN: 212-481-2010. Calls are good too. But please be nice.


“Good things don’t come to those who wait. They come to those who agitate!” Julian Bond

EXPIRED

WE MUST ASK! IF NOT NOW WHEN? Questions for Senate/Congressional Candidate Questionnaires – for EQUAL CIVIL RIGHTS NOW

WE MUST ASK! HOW ELSE WILL WE KNOW?

If anyone is doing candidate questionnaires, post primaries, I would like to offer the following questions for your consideration. We can not truly assess our support in Congress until we ask these basic questions about our inclusion in the non-discrimination laws that protect society, laws we call our civil rights laws, but which actually only stop interference with our fundamental human right to exist safely as who and what we are. If we miss the opportunity to ask these basic questions in this election cycle, we have to wonder what exactly our advocacy hopes to achieve and when. No more excuses!

QUESTIONS FOR SENATE AND CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRES

NON-DISCRIMINATION IN PRIVATE SECTOR EMPLOYMENT
1. Do you support the inclusion of “sexual orientation and gender identity,” along side “race, color, sex, national origin, and religion,” in the 1964 Civil Rights Act (Title VII) provisions pertaining to private-sector employment.

NON-DISCRIMINATION IN PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT
2. Do you support the inclusion of “sexual orientation and gender identity,” along side “race, color, sex, national origin, and religion,” in the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, the Government Employee Rights Act of 1991, the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995, and 3 U.S.C. 411 (a)(1) pertaining to government employment?

NON-DISCRIMINATION IN HOUSING
3. Do you support the inclusion of “sexual orientation and gender identity,” along side “race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or nation origin,” in The Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 3601, et. seq.) pertaining to the sale or rental of housing, real-estate transactions and brokerage services?

NON-DISCRIMINATION IN PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS
4. Do you support the inclusion of “sexual orientation and gender identity” along side “race, color, religion or national origin” in the 1964 Civil Rights Act (Title II, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 2000e et. seq.) pertaining to places of public accommodation?

NON-DISCRIMINATION IN PUBLIC FACILITIES
5. Do you support the inclusion of “sexual orientation and gender identity,” along side “race, color, religion or national origin,” in the 1964 Civil Rights Act (Title VII, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 2000e et. seq.) pertaining to the use of public facilities?

NON-DISCRIMINATION IN ACCESS TO CREDIT
6. Do you support the inclusion of “sexual orientation and gender identity” along side “race, color, religion, national origin, sex or marital status, or age” in The Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1691, et. seq.) pertaining to access to credit?

NON-DISCRIMINATION IN FEDERALLY FUNDED PROGRAMS OR ACTIVITIES
7. Do you support the inclusion of “sexual orientation and gender identity” along side “race, color, or national origin” in the 1964 Civil Rights Act (Title VI, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 2000d), subject to exemptions for religious organizations?

COMPREHENSIVE BILL
8. Would you sponsor or co-sponsor a comprehensive bill in 2010 to include all of the above provisions?

“Good things don’t come to those who wait. They come to those who agitate!” Julian Bond

BLOG for equality now

Mixner: “President Obama, At This Stage, Shame On You”

From Civil Right leader and LGBT activist David Mixner.  You can read the entire piece here.

First and foremost, the LGBT struggle is one of the great civil rights movement of our times. Given that, quite honestly, there is simply no logical personal or political reason for President Obama to be against marriage equality. At this stage there can only be two conclusions: that he is a political coward or that he does indeed hold prejudice against LGBT citizens. Nothing else fits at this stage. No one can make any more excuses and no one can justify his position any longer. Looking at the facts, the statistics, the political reality and at the President’s current position one can only

say “Shame on you, Mr. President. Shame on you.”

This weekend two factors forced me to focus on his lack of leadership on this issue. One was a brilliant article in the New Republic by Richard Just entitled simply “Disgrace” and the other was a chart published in The New York Timesshowing the massive change in support across the country for marriage equality. Combine that with a recent CNN poll that showed 52% of Americans believe now that marriage equality is a Constitutional Right and you see how ridiculous his position has become before the public.