115|175:175
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Thank You Queer Rising for Helping get Marriage Equality in NYC

You make us PROUD….

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Talking About Equality: Lt. Dan Choi On Netroots Nation Conference

Thank you Lt. Dan Choi calls out the Obama Administration on its lack of truthfulness on where President Obama stands on Marriage Equality.

BLOG for equality now, TAKE ACTION for equality now

ONE SENATE VOTE NEEDED FOR NEW YORK GENDA BILL

ActOnPrinciples has now added the Public Whip Count for GENDA in the New York Senate. http://www.actonprinciples.org/gendanysenate/

PUBLIC WHIP COUNT
Sponsors & Cosponsors 3
Yes 28
Leaning Yes 1
Undecided 5
No 23
Unknown 2
TOTAL 62

The New York Assembly passed AB 5039, a bill adding gender identity and expression to the state non-discrimination laws by a vote of 78-53 yesterday. This is the third time the Assembly has passed a comprehensive gender identity non-discrimination bill.  The legislation now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Now is the time for New York Senate to take up the legislation in this session, especially with just ONE VOTE Needed.

From a recent HRC press release: According to New York State Assembly Member and key sponsor of the legislation, Daniel O’Donnell. “Transgender individuals all across New York State currently live in fear of being fired from a job or denied housing based upon gender expression; this must be changed. New York will be a stronger, more just place when we all can live secure in the knowledge that our government protects us.”

AB 5039 would amend the state non-discrimination laws to add gender identity and expression to the list of characteristics protected from discrimination in employment, education, public accommodations, housing and credit. It would also add gender identity and expression to the state hate crimes law.

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UPDATED: Grading the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus in the 112th Congress

In order to achieve full federal equality, we need an important institution such as the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus to actually be efficient and turnkey in our efforts to demonstrate and increase the support for all pieces of LGBT friendly legislation.  I am hopeful that the Equality Caucus leadership either: 1. Encourages all of its members to support and cosponsor ALL LGBT-friendly legislation introduced by its membership and other allies in Congress or 2. Explains to the larger LGBT community why the Equality Caucus isn’t supporting specific pieces of legislation.bw_teacher_pupil_blackboard-300x204

According to their website (http://lgbt.tammybaldwin.house.gov/): The Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus was established in the U.S. House of Representatives in June 2008 by Co-Chairs Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Barney Frank (D-MA), along with Members of Congress who are strongly committed to achieving the full enjoyment of human rights for LGBT people in the U.S. and around the world.”

The Caucus is now co-chaired by four openly gay members of Congress:  Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Barney Frank (D-MA), Jared Polis (D-CO), and David Cicilline (D-RI).  In addition to the Co-Chairs, the membership is comprised of 19 Vice-Chairs and 73 Members, which totals to 96 members (Current website doesn’t reflect the resignation of Jane Harman (D-CA).

It is commonly understood amongst LGBT advocacy organizations and activists, that with the recent loss of Democrats in the House of Representatives during the 2012 election, the 112th Congress might be a challenging field to secure passage of any LGBT legislation. Given the current political environment, one would expect that the Equality Caucus formed with the mission to achieve equal rights for LGBT people would immediately and unequivocally support ALL pieces of LGBT friendly legislation introduced in this Congress.

However that isn’t what is happening.  As the chart below describes, only one member of the LGBT Equality Caucus (Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)) is sponsoring all 10 pieces of legislation receiving a score of 100% or an A, 3 members are sponsoring 9 pieces of legislation receiving a score of 90% or B, 17 members are sponsoring 8 pieces of legislation receiving a score of 80% or C, 20 members are sponsoring 7 pieces of legislation receiving a score of 70% or D, and 54 members are sponsoring 6 or less pieces of legislation receiving a score of 60% or below or F.

Equality Caucus Score June 2011

Act on Principles is giving the following grades collectively to the Equality Caucus based on its percentage support of LGBT friendly legislation introduced in the House of Representatives. Currently, there are nine pieces of legislation in the House that impact LGBT equality. Shockingly, the Equality Caucus receives a mediocre report card consisting of two A’s, two B’s and six F’s.

H.R.998: Student Non-Discrimination Act of 2011

Sponsor: Rep Polis, Jared [CO-2] (introduced 3/10/2011)

95% = A

H.R.1397: Employment Non-Discrimination Act
Sponsor: Rep Frank, Barney [MA-4] (introduced 4/6/2011)

93% = A

H.R.1116: Respect for Marriage Act

Sponsor: Rep Nadler, Jerrold [NY-8] (introduced 3/16/2011)

84% = B

H.R.1537: Uniting American Families Act of 2011

Sponsor: Rep Nadler, Jerrold [NY-8] (introduced 4/14/2011)

83% = B

H.R.1648: Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2011

Sponsor: Rep Sanchez, Linda T. [CA-39] (introduced 4/15/2011)

59% = F

H.R.1488: Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act of 2011

Sponsor: Rep Israel, Steve [NY-2] (introduced 4/12/2011)

53% = F

H.R.1681: Every Child Deserves a Family Act

Sponsor: Rep Stark, Fortney Pete [CA-13] (introduced 5/3/2011)

51% = F

H.R.1028: Equal Access to COBRA Act of 2011

Sponsor: Rep Weiner, Anthony D. [NY-9] (introduced 3/10/2011)

48% = F

H.R.1048: Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act of 2011

Sponsor: Rep Holt, Rush D. [NJ-12] (introduced 3/11/2011)

8% = F

H.R.2088: Tax Parity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act of 2011

Sponsor: Rep McDermott, Jim [WA-7] (introduced 6/2/2011)

2% = F

Before going into too much details on each of the bills, only Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus supports ALL TEN pieces of LGBT legislation introduced should be commended. And only three members support NINE OUT OF TEN.  Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and these other Members of Congress received a 100% score and 90% score on their co-sponsorship efforts, unfortunately they account for only 4% of the entire Equality Caucus (4 out of 96 members):

  • Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) – Caucus Member at 100% Sponsorship
  • Judy Chu (D-CA) – Caucus Member at 90% Sponsorship
  • Michael Honda (D-CA) – Caucus Vice-Chair at 90% Sponsorship
  • Steven Rothman (D-NJ) – Caucus Member at 90% Sponsorship

Conversely, the ten members of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus that are supporting only one or two pieces of legislation should be also noted. These Members of Congress receive a 10% to 20% score on their co-sponsorship efforts.  (We do not want to penalize the Equality Caucus or Equality Caucus Member Gabrielle Giffords due to her circumstances and medical condition that keeps her from participating in her Congressional activities. Her co-sponsorships will not be counted in the tabulations).   Those with only one or two co-sponsorships of any pro-LGBT legislation account for 5% of the Equality Caucus (5 out 95).

  • Xavier Becerra (D-CA) – Caucus Vice-Chair at 20% Sponsorship
  • Charles Gonzalez (D-TX) – Caucus Member at 20% Sponsorship
  • Hanson Clark (D-MI) – Caucus Member at 10% Sponsorship
  • Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) – Caucus Member at 10% Sponsorship
  • Frederica Wilson (D-FL) – Caucus Member at 10% Sponsorship

With a grade of an A, 95% (90 of 95 members) of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is supporting the Student Non-Discrimination Act (H.R.998: Sponsor: Rep Polis, Jared [CO-2] (introduced 3/10/2011)).  Those Equality Caucus members not co-sponsoring the Student Non-Discrimination Act include the following five members:

  • Robert Andrews (D-NJ) – Caucus Vice-Chair at 30% Sponsorship
  • Xavier Becerra (D-CA) – Caucus Vice-Chair at 20% Sponsorship
  • John Conyers (D-MI) – Caucus Member at 30% Sponsorship
  • George Miller (D-CA– Caucus Member at 40% Sponsorship
  • Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) – Caucus Member at 10% Sponsorship

With a grade of an A, 93% (88 of 95 members) of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is supporting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H.R.1397: Sponsor: Rep Frank, Barney [MA-4] (introduced 4/6/2011).  Those Equality Caucus members not co-sponsoring the Employment Non-Discrimination Act include the following seven members:

  • Timothy Bishop (D-NY) – Caucus Member at 30% Sponsorship
  • Hansen Clarke (D-MI) – Caucus Member at 10% Sponsorship
  • Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) – Caucus Member at 50% Sponsorship
  • Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-MP) *Non-voting Caucus Member from the Northern Mariana Islands at 40% Sponsorship
  • Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) – Caucus Member at 30% Sponsorship
  • Nydia Velazquez (D- NY) – Caucus Member at 10% Sponsorship
  • Frederica Wilson (D-FL) – Caucus Member at 10% Sponsorship

With a grade of a B, only 84% (80 of 95 members) of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is supporting the Respect for Marriage Act (H.R.1116: Sponsor: Rep Nadler, Jerrold [NY-8] (introduced 3/16/2011)).  Those Equality Caucus members not co-sponsoring the Respect for Marriage Act include the following fifteen members:

  • Robert Andrews (D-NJ) – Caucus Vice-Chair at 30% Sponsorship
  • Xavier Becerra (D-CA) – Caucus Vice-Chair at 20% Sponsorship
  • Timothy Bishop (D-NY) – Caucus Member at 30% Sponsorship
  • Andre Carson (D-IN) – Caucus Member at 40% Sponsorship
  • Hansen Clarke (D-MI) – Caucus Member at 10% Sponsorship
  • Peter DeFazio (D-OR) – Caucus Member at 30% Sponsorship
  • Charles Gonzalez (D-TX) – Caucus Member at 20% Sponsorship
  • Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) – Caucus Member at 30% Sponsorship
  • Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) – Caucus Member at 40% Sponsorship
  • Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) – Caucus Member at 50% Sponsorship
  • Laura Richardson (D-CA) – Caucus Member at 70% Sponsorship
  • Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) – Caucus Vice-Chair at 30% Sponsorship
  • Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-MP) *Non-voting Caucus Member from the Northern Mariana Islands at 40% Sponsorship
  • Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) – Caucus Member at 30% Sponsorship
  • Frederica Wilson (D-FL) – Caucus Member at 10% Sponsorship

With a grade of a B, only 84% (80 of 95 members) of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is supporting the Uniting American Families Act (H.R.1537: Sponsor: Rep Nadler, Jerrold [NY-8] (introduced 4/14/2011)).  Those Equality Caucus members not co-sponsoring the Uniting American Families Act include the following fifteen members:

  • Robert Andrews (D -NJ) – Caucus Vice-Chair at 30% Sponsorship
  • Hansen Clarke (D-MI) – Caucus Member at 10% Sponsorship
  • Marcia Fudge (D -OH) – Caucus Member at 30% Sponsorship
  • Charles Gonzalez (D -TX) – Caucus Member at 20% Sponsorship
  • Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) – Caucus Member at 30% Sponsorship
  • Brian Higgins (D -NY) – Caucus Member at 40% Sponsorship
  • Eddie Bernice Johnson (D -TX) – Caucus Member at 40% Sponsorship
  • Bill Keating (D-MA) – Caucus Member at 30% Sponsorship
  • David Loebsack (D -IA) – Caucus Member at 30% Sponsorship
  • Christopher Murphy (D -CT) – Caucus Member at 30% Sponsorship
  • Gary Peters (D -MI) – Caucus Member at 40% Sponsorship
  • Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R -FL) – Caucus Vice-Chair at 30% Sponsorship
  • Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-MP) *Non-voting Caucus Member from the Northern Mariana Islands at 40% Sponsorship
  • Loretta Sanchez (D -CA) – Caucus Member at 30% Sponsorship
  • Nydia Velazquez (D -NY) – Caucus Member at 10% Sponsorship
  • Frederica Wilson (D-FL) – Caucus Member at 10% Sponsorship

With a grade of an F, 59% (56 of 95 members) of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is supporting the Safe Schools Improvement Act (H.R.1648: Sponsor: Rep Sanchez, Linda T. [CA-39] (introduced 4/15/2011)).  Rather than list all those Equality Caucus members not cosponsoring the Safe Schools Improvement Act let’s look at some other details.  All of the Equality Caucus Co-Chairs, except for Barney Frank (D-MA) are cosponsors of the bill. However, only 63% (12 of 19) of the Vice-Chairs of the Caucus are cosponsors of the bill.  This is a priority piece of legislation for the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) (http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/news/record/2702.html), as it “would require schools to implement comprehensive anti-bullying policies that address bullying and harassment and ensure the safety and well-being of all their students.”

With a grade of an F, 48% (46 of 95 members) of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is supporting the Equal Access to COBRA Act (H.R.1028: Sponsor: Rep Weiner, Anthony D. [NY-9] (introduced 3/10/2011).  Rather than list all those Equality Caucus members not cosponsoring the Equal Access to COBRA Act let’s look at some other details.  All of the Equality Caucus Co-Chairs (Baldwin, Cicilline, Frank, and Polis) are cosponsors of the bill.  However, only 42% (8 of 19) of the Vice-Chairs of the Caucus are cosponsors of the bill.

With a grade of an F, 53% (50 of 95 members) of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is supporting the Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act (H.R.1488: Sponsor: Rep Israel, Steve [NY-2] (introduced 4/12/2011)).  Rather than list all those Equality Caucus members not cosponsoring the Freedom from Discrimination Act, let’s look at some other details. All of the Equality Caucus Co-Chairs, except for David Cicilline (D-RI) are cosponsors of the bill.  However, only 63% (12 of 19) of the Vice-Chairs of the Caucus are cosponsors of the bill.

With a grade of an F, 51% (48 of 95 members) of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is supporting the Every Child Deserves a Family Act (H.R.1681: Sponsor: Rep Stark, Fortney Pete [CA-13] (introduced 5/3/2011)).  Rather than list all those Equality Caucus members not cosponsoring the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, let’s look at some other details.  All of the Equality Caucus Co-Chairs are cosponsors of the bill.  However, only 69% (13 of 19) of the Vice-Chairs of the Caucus are cosponsors of the bill.  This is a priority bill for the Family Equality Council (http://www.familyequality.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ECDF) as it will “eliminate (sic) state laws, policies, practices and procedures that exclude potential adoptive and foster parents because of their marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity.”

With a grade of F-, 8% (8 of 95 members) of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is supporting the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act (H.R.1048: Sponsor: Rep Holt, Rush D. [NJ-12] (introduced 3/11/2011)). None of the Equality Caucus Co-Chairs (Baldwin, Cicilline, Frank or Polis) are cosponsors and only 11% (2 of 19) of the Vice-Chairs of the Caucus are cosponsors of the bill.

With a grade of F-, 2% (2 of 95 members) of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is supporting the Tax Parity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act of 2011(H.R.2088: Sponsor: Rep McDermott, Jim [WA-7] (introduced 6/2/2011)). The bill sponsored by Democrat Jim McDermott from Washington State is the least supported piece of legislation in the Equality Caucus with only 2 co-sponsors from the Caucus. None of the Equality Caucus Co-Chairs (Baldwin, Cicilline, Frank or Polis) or Caucus Vice-Chairs are cosponsors of the bill.

Act On Principles (www.actonprinciples.org) will continue publicly whip all LGBT supportive legislation in the 112th Congress, continue to evaluate the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus on their support of our equality, and work with organizations to ensure we achieve full federal equality.

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Dan Choi to Russia: “Love is Worth It”

Dan Choi has taken the LGBT movement by storm over the past year in fighting to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.   Follow Dan’s tweets here.

Now he is going global taking on Russia, and standing in solidarity with LGBT brothers and sisters in one of the most oppressive countries. You can follow the live blogging here at the Moscow Gay Pride Blog.

Here’s hoping the US State Department makes a statement condemning the violence.

The following landed in Act On Principles inbox this morning….

Released. No charge, no fine. Russians stay in police custody probably overnight.
Few bruises on left leg, scratches and swelling right ear. Punched in the face 5 times. Still alive. Overall best pride march yet.
Looking forward to Kansas on 6/22-26
Hillary Clinton still needs to say something about the Russian ban on this freedom of expression. We were absolutely non-violent.
My twitter feed has some pics from the jail, and other details from the event.
Love is worth it.

Thank you Dan. We stand with you in solidarity.

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UPDATED: Grading the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus

In order to achieve full federal equality, we need an important institution such as the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus to actually be efficient and turnkey in our efforts to demonstrate and increase the support for all pieces of LGBT friendly legislation. I am hopeful that the Equality Caucus leadership either: 1. Encourages all of its members to support and cosponsor ALL LGBT-friendly legislation introduced by its membership and other allies in Congress or 2. Explains to the larger LGBT community why the Equality Caucus isn’t supporting specific pieces of legislation.bw_teacher_pupil_blackboard-300x204

According to their website (http://lgbt.tammybaldwin.house.gov/): The Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus was established in the U.S. House of Representatives in June 2008 by Co-Chairs Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Barney Frank (D-MA), along with Members of Congress who are strongly committed to achieving the full enjoyment of human rights for LGBT people in the U.S. and around the world.”

The Caucus is now co-chaired by four openly gay members of Congress:  Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Barney Frank (D-MA), Jared Polis (D-CO), and David Cicilline (D-RI).  In addition to the Co-Chairs, the membership is comprised of 19 Vice-Chairs and 73 Members, which totals to 96 members (Current website doesn’t reflect the resignation of Jane Harman (D-CA).

It is commonly understood amongst LGBT advocacy organizations and activists, that with the recent loss of Democrats in the House of Representatives during the 2012 election, the 112th Congress might be a challenging field to secure passage of any LGBT legislation. Given the current political environment, one would expect that the Equality Caucus formed with the mission to achieve equal rights for LGBT people would immediately and unequivocally support ALL pieces of LGBT friendly legislation introduced in this Congress.

However that isn’t what is happening.  Act on Principles is giving the following grades to the Equality Caucus based on its percentage support of LGBT friendly legislation introduced in the House of Representatives. Currently, there are nine pieces of legislation in the House that impact LGBT equality.

Shockingly, the Equality Caucus receives a mediocre report card consisting of one A, three B’s and five F’s.

H.R.998: Student Non-Discrimination Act of 2011

Sponsor: Rep Polis, Jared [CO-2] (introduced 3/10/2011)

95% = A

H.R.1397: Employment Non-Discrimination Act
Sponsor: Rep Frank, Barney [MA-4] (introduced 4/6/2011)

87% = B

H.R.1116: Respect for Marriage Act

Sponsor: Rep Nadler, Jerrold [NY-8] (introduced 3/16/2011)

84% = B

H.R.1537: Uniting American Families Act of 2011

Sponsor: Rep Nadler, Jerrold [NY-8] (introduced 4/14/2011)

82% = B

H.R.1648: Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2011

Sponsor: Rep Sanchez, Linda T. [CA-39] (introduced 4/15/2011)

54% = F

H.R.1488: Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act of 2011

Sponsor: Rep Israel, Steve [NY-2] (introduced 4/12/2011)

49% = F

H.R.1028: Equal Access to COBRA Act of 2011

Sponsor: Rep Weiner, Anthony D. [NY-9] (introduced 3/10/2011)

47% = F

H.R.1681: Every Child Deserves a Family Act

Sponsor: Rep Stark, Fortney Pete [CA-13] (introduced 5/3/2011)

44% = F

H.R.1048: Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act of 2011
Sponsor: Rep Holt, Rush D. [NJ-12] (introduced 3/11/2011)

7% = F

Before going into too much details on each of the bills, the three members of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus that are supporting ALL NINE pieces of LGBT legislation introduced should be commended.  These Members of Congress received a 100% score on their co-sponsorship efforts, unfortunately they account for only 3% of the entire Equality Caucus (3 out of 96 members):

  • Judy Chu (D-CA) – Caucus Member
  • Michael Honda (D-CA) – Caucus Vice-Chair
  • Steven Rothman (D-NJ) – Caucus Member

Conversely, the ten members of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus that are supporting only one or two pieces of legislation should be also noted. These Members of Congress receive an 11% to 22% score on their co-sponsorship efforts.  (We do not want to penalize the Equality Caucus or Equality Caucus Member Gabrielle Giffords due to her circumstances and medical condition that keeps her from participating in her Congressional activities. Her co-sponsorships will not be counted in the tabulations).   Those with only one or two co-sponsorships of any pro-LGBT legislation account for 11% of the Equality Caucus (10 out 95).

  • Robert Andrews (D-NJ) – Caucus Vice-Chair
  • Xavier Becerra (D-CA) – Caucus Vice-Chair
  • Timothy Bishop (D-NY) – Caucus Member
  • Hanson Clark (D-MI) – Caucus Member
  • Peter DeFazio (D-OR) – Caucus Member
  • Charles Gonzalez (D-TX) – Caucus Member
  • Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) – Caucus Member
  • Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) – Caucus Vice-Chair
  • Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) – Member
  • Frederica Wilson (D-FL) – Caucus Member

With a grade of an A, 95% (90 of 95 members) of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is supporting the Student Non-Discrimination Act (H.R.998: Sponsor: Rep Polis, Jared [CO-2] (introduced 3/10/2011)). Those Equality Caucus members not co-sponsoring the Student Non-Discrimination Act include the following five members:

  • Robert Andrews (D-NJ) – Caucus Vice-Chair
  • Xavier Becerra (D-CA) – Caucus Vice-Chair
  • John Conyers (D-MI) – Caucus Member
  • George Miller (D-CA– Caucus Member
  • Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) – Caucus Member

With a grade of a B, only 87% (83 of 95 members) of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is supporting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H.R.1397: Sponsor: Rep Frank, Barney [MA-4] (introduced 4/6/2011). Those Equality Caucus members not co-sponsoring the Employment Non-Discrimination Act include the following twelve members:

  • Timothy Bishop (D-NY) – Caucus Member
  • Hansen Clarke (D-MI) – Caucus Member
  • Peter DeFazio (D-OR) – Caucus Member
  • Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) – Caucus Member
  • Doris Matsui (D-CA) – Caucus Member
  • Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) – Caucus Member
  • Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) – Caucus Member
  • Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-MP) *Non-voting Caucus Member from the Northern Mariana Islands
  • Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) – Caucus Member
  • Paul Tonko (D-NY) – Caucus Member
  • Nydia Velazquez (D- NY) – Caucus Member
  • Frederica Wilson (D-FL) – Caucus Member

With a grade of a B, only 84% (80 of 95 members) of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is supporting the Respect for Marriage Act (H.R.1116: Sponsor: Rep Nadler, Jerrold [NY-8] (introduced 3/16/2011)). Those Equality Caucus members not co-sponsoring the Respect for Marriage Act include the following fifteen members:

  • Robert Andrews (D-NJ) – Caucus Vice-Chair
  • Xavier Becerra (D-CA) – Caucus Vice-Chair
  • Timothy Bishop (D-NY) – Caucus Member
  • Andre Carson (D-IN) – Caucus Member
  • Hansen Clarke (D-MI) – Caucus Member
  • Peter DeFazio (D-OR) – Caucus Member
  • Charles Gonzalez (D-TX) – Caucus Member
  • Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) – Caucus Member
  • Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) – Caucus Member
  • Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) – Caucus Member
  • Laura Richardson (D-CA) – Caucus Member
  • Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) – Caucus Vice-Chair
  • Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-MP) *Non-voting Caucus Member from the Northern Mariana Islands
  • Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) – Caucus Member
  • Frederica Wilson (D-FL) – Caucus Member

With a grade of a B, only 82% (78 of 95 members) of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is supporting the Uniting American Families Act (H.R.1537: Sponsor: Rep Nadler, Jerrold [NY-8] (introduced 4/14/2011)). Those Equality Caucus members not co-sponsoring the Uniting American Families Act include the following seventeen members:

  • Robert Andrews (D -NJ) – Caucus Vice-Chair
  • Hansen Clarke (D-MI) – Caucus Member
  • Marcia Fudge (D -OH) – Caucus Member
  • Charles Gonzalez (D -TX) – Caucus Member
  • Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) – Caucus Member
  • Brian Higgins (D -NY) – Caucus Member
  • Eddie Bernice Johnson (D -TX) – Caucus Member
  • Bill Keating (D-MA) – Caucus Member
  • David Loebsack (D -IA) – Caucus Member
  • Christopher Murphy (D -CT) – Caucus Member
  • Gary Peters (D -MI) – Caucus Member
  • Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R -FL) – Caucus Vice-Chair
  • Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-MP) *Non-voting Caucus Member from the Northern Mariana Islands
  • Loretta Sanchez (D -CA) – Caucus Member
  • Robert (Bobby) Scott (D -VA) – Caucus Member
  • Nydia Velazquez (D -NY) – Caucus Member
  • Frederica Wilson (D-FL) – Caucus Member

With a grade of an F, 54% (51 of 95 members) of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is supporting the Safe Schools Improvement Act (H.R.1648: Sponsor: Rep Sanchez, Linda T. [CA-39] (introduced 4/15/2011)). Rather than list all those Equality Caucus members not cosponsoring the Safe Schools Improvement Act let’s look at some other details.  All of the Equality Caucus Co-Chairs, except for Barney Frank (D-MA) are cosponsors of the bill.  However, only 42% (8 of 19) of the Vice-Chairs of the Caucus are cosponsors of the bill.  This is a priority piece of legislation for the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) (http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/news/record/2702.html), as it “would require schools to implement comprehensive anti-bullying policies that address bullying and harassment and ensure the safety and well-being of all their students.”

With a grade of an F, 47% (45 of 95 members) of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is supporting the Equal Access to COBRA Act (H.R.1028: Sponsor: Rep Weiner, Anthony D. [NY-9] (introduced 3/10/2011). Rather than list all those Equality Caucus members not cosponsoring the Equal Access to COBRA Act let’s look at some other details.  All of the Equality Caucus Co-Chairs (Baldwin, Cicilline, Frank, and Polis) are cosponsors of the bill.  However, only 42% (8 of 19) of the Vice-Chairs of the Caucus are cosponsors of the bill.

With a grade of an F, 49% (47 of 95 members) of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is supporting the Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act (H.R.1488: Sponsor: Rep Israel, Steve [NY-2] (introduced 4/12/2011)). Rather than list all those Equality Caucus members not cosponsoring the Freedom from Discrimination Act, let’s look at some other details. All of the Equality Caucus Co-Chairs, except for David Cicilline (D-RI) are cosponsors of the bill.  However, only 63% (12 of 19) of the Vice-Chairs of the Caucus are cosponsors of the bill.

With a grade of an F, 44% (42 of 95 members) of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is supporting the Every Child Deserves a Family Act (H.R.1681: Sponsor: Rep Stark, Fortney Pete [CA-13] (introduced 5/3/2011)). Rather than list all those Equality Caucus members not cosponsoring the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, let’s look at some other details.  All of the Equality Caucus Co-Chairs, except for David Cicilline (D-RI) are cosponsors of the bill.  However, only 52% (10 of 19) of the Vice-Chairs of the Caucus are cosponsors of the bill.  This is a priority bill for the Family Equality Council (http://www.familyequality.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ECDF) as it will “eliminate (sic) state laws, policies, practices and procedures that exclude potential adoptive and foster parents because of their marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity.”

With a grade of F-, 7% (7 of 95 members) of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is supporting the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act (H.R.1048: Sponsor: Rep Holt, Rush D. [NJ-12] (introduced 3/11/2011)). The bill sponsored by Democrat Rush Holt from New Jersey is the least supported piece of legislation in the Equality Caucus with only 7 co-sponsors. None of the Equality Caucus Co-Chairs (Baldwin, Cicilline, Frank or Polis) are cosponsors and only 11% (2 of 19) of the Vice-Chairs of the Caucus are cosponsors of the bill.

Act On Principles (www.actonprinciples.org) will continue publicly whip all LGBT supportive legislation in the 112th Congress, continue to evaluate the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus on their support of our equality, and work with organizations to ensure we achieve full federal equality.

BLOG for equality now, TAKE ACTION for equality now

Adopt a State with GetEQUAL

Are you ready to Organize For Equality?

Organizing For Equality is a national strategy to create a grassroots network of state-based organizers building power in the LGBT community to demand full federal equality.

Rather than waiting around and hoping that someone else will work for our equality, OFE is taking the movement for full LGBT equality into our own hands. No longer will we wait around while partisan politics make our equality a political football. No longer will we wait around while the specter of a President Palin is raised to dismiss our criticism. No longer will we wait around while candidates raise money from their base on the backs of our youth by spewing lies about the morality of LGBT Americans.

Organizing For Equality will inspire members of the LGBT community to stand up for the dignity and justice that we all deserve. We will organize for full federal equality — no longer relying solely on piecemeal federal legislation that divides our community and forces us to leave behind areas of the country that are not “politically strategic.” This campaign is a line in the sand — an effort to mobilize LGBT Americans and allies around a vision to create an undeniable call for our full humanity.

Make a commitment — now — to take ownership in this fight for dignity and equality.

Will you join us?

TAKE ACTION for equality now

“Refuse To Lie” on your Tax Form

from Refusetolie.org

Each year the federal government demands that thousands of married couples lie, under penalties of perjury.

The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) not only denies legally married gay couples the benefits of heterosexual marriage, but we are also told to disavow our spouses and file our taxes as “single.”

Across the country, legally married gay couples are taking a stand. We are refusing to lie about the fact that we are married.

While tax time forces legally married gay couples to decide whether to comply or resist the government’s requirement that we lie, it is not the only circumstance where we face this dilemma. We are married and our commitment is to tell the truth every time we are asked to fill out a form or respond to a question about our marital status.

Taking this principled stand is not without risk and each person doing so needs to carefully consider those risks before deciding if it is a stand you are willing to take.

This website is intended to be a resource to all who decide to refuse to lie. And it is a place for everyone who believes in marriage equality to show your support and stand with us by adding your name to this effort.

BLOG for equality now

GetEQUAL exposes criticism by gay DNC official

From GetEQUAL:

BLOG for equality now

Bilerico: Robin McGeehee takes on Barney Frank on ENDA Stall

Robin McGeehee goes toe-to-toe with Barney Frank in a recent posting on Bilerico.  And shares how GetEqual uses the Act On Principles Whip Count.  We need , and are thankful that we have leaders like Robin.

McGeehee said in an interview with me for Bilerico that while she agrees “we always need to get the votes (needed to pass) any particular piece of legislation” but McGehee said “in my opinion it’s just as much (Rep Frank’s) responsibility to get those votes as a person who’s promised this to our community. I would put the same challenge to Rep. Frank and House leadership.”

GetEqual uses the website http://www.actonprinciples.org/enda-house/ to decide which House members to target for public demonstrations. Last week Ms. McGehee’s group held protests against Representative Chris Carney (D PA) because “This is another person that (Mr. Frank and Speaker Pelosi) should be calling to task. He’s got a D behind his name and he has not voted for hate crimes, did not vote for the Murphy Amendment, he did in 2007 vote for ENDA and he in my opinion is the epitome of what is wrong with the Democratic Party that claims (to be) the pride party or the pro-equality party. If (the Democrats) are gonna allow a legislator to take that type of stance then (the Democratic Party) is actually saying they’re not gonna hold their own representatives accountable. I don’t need to be giving blindly to the DNC to believe that (the House leadership) is gonna push Chris Carney to do the right thing.”

You should head over to Bilerico to read the full post by Bilerico guest blogger, Pam Daniels.