OR CALL: NAE: 202-789-1011
Re: Stop Hurting Gay People
Dear Religious Leaders:
Rev. Leith Anderson, National Association of Evangelicals
I am writing to ask that your organizations please cease and desist from opposing legislation to end discrimination against gay families in immigration reform and generally stop all efforts against LGBT equality and justice.
As you currently oppose gay couples in immigration reform, our bi-national gay families suffer immeasurable harm and anxiety under existing law, facing forced separation and life uncertainty, despite being legally married and in committed relationships. This harm is man made and can be ended by you.
Moreover, as evidenced by the recent murder of Mark Carson in NYC and anti-gay attacks around the world, cultural and religious advocacy against the LGBT community causes severe psychological and physical suffering for our people. And this must stop.
Neighbors murder and rape us because you tell them to disrespect us. And our children commit suicide because they are taught to hate themselves and are not safe at home or school. Where do the children go to hide from this? Where do our souls go to be safe?
Your position is literally killing us. And your political advocacy blocking our efforts to protect ourselves means that this harm continues unchecked. Division and judgment, not love and compassion, prevail in this context.
With love guiding us all forward, the majority of people of many faiths now support LGBT couples, and all faithful, including your own, increasingly support our equality and dignity as equal human beings and co-habitants of earth. All souls are equal, are they not?
In this spirit, we beseech you to seek the greater goodness in your heart and to end the active persecution and political lobbying against LGBT happiness and safety.
The religious freedom of other faiths dedicated to performing our unions depend upon your standing down. The end of our vast suffering depends on your standing down. And the love of humankind for one another depends on your standing down.
We look forward to a public announcement that your organizations will no longer oppose our political quest for protection from discrimination and equality, so we can all live peacefully and with love, across all faiths and all peoples, in all of our glorious diversity.
(INSERT YOUR NAME)
p.s. Working together, you all could end LGBT persecution around the globe if you chose to do so.
Last week was a nightmare as Senator Schumer and the gang left bi-national same-sex couples out of the Senate outline. Read my full piece on it in Huffington Post here.
And NOW we need a serious media machine to help get the message out that we have huge faith-based support, and vast support from the main immigration coalitions and campaigns.
We NEED the HRC and others to collectively launch a full media campaign strategy for us, and we need it immediately. The bill is being rushed, drafting is happening behind closed doors, and once filed in the Senate it’ll be tough to amend.
We need UAFA language in the bill as filed – period. And we need this demand out there and loud.
For this, we need a MOVEMENT MEDIA MACHINE that can:
1. Get the message out about our faith based support, which Immigration Equality has so wonderfully secured, but has not adequately promoted. 2,500 clergy from all 50 states and denominations, and a large group of organizations (listed below) Did you know this?
2. Respond to articles like this in the Washington Post & this piece even in the Huffington Post – which glorify the secret letter of a handful of Bishops. A HANDFUL OF BISHOPS and the USCCB media machine (HRC, GLAAD take note please), are dominating this conversation, and we are entirely absent it appears.
3. Get the message out about the support for gay family inclusion from leading immigration coalitions: FIRM (Fair Immigration Reform Movement), New Yorkers for Real Immigration Reform, Humane Immigration Rights of Los Angeles, The Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Asian-Pacific Caucus, and the President’s principles. Did you know this?
AND BEYOND MEDIA WE NEED TO:
4. Get the LGBT Caucus organized and speaking on this. Where for example, is our set of principles or advocacy – public visible advocacy – for UAFA? For CIR? Why is Rep. Nadler the only voice on this?
5. We need a strategy to deal with Senator Graham.
6. We need to have rallies organized in New York targeting Senator Schumer. In Florida targeting Senator Rubio. In Nevada targeting Senator Reid. And McCain too. Get out from behind the desk people!
7. We need the Equality Federation to get the state equality groups involved in (a) getting letters from the state and local representatives to their Congressional delegations (one small group is doing this all by themselves, with one volunteer. WHY?); and (b) securing support from ALL THE state-wide immigration campaigns for UAFA inclusion in CIR. Is anyone doing this? Not to my knowledge.
8. As we wait our turn in line for LGBT equality, WE NEEED A MOVEMENT STRATEGY that has an operational goal to get UAFA included in CIR. NGLTF had a whole conference about this, but where is the campaign? An email is not a campaign. A conference is not a coalition. If it’s happening behind the scenes – its so deep – I can’t find it – and it’s too deep.
This is a plea for help from the gay binational couples. We are in deep stress and anxiety. We have worked tirelessly to be part of the immigration team, but our own movement is not present. We are abandoned, and our movement is invisible.
p.s. Here is the ist of faith based groups and advocacy organizations supporting UAFA from Immigration Equality. Is any group helping to build this list? What is YOUR group doing for gay bi-national couples?
African American Ministers In Action – Equal Justice Taskforce
Where is the LGBT movement’s voter registration and GOTV drive? Maybe I’m missing it.
Both HRC and NGLTF have efforts on this, but they are pretty passive. NGLTF is better, has a theme “Queer the Vote” and has the basic functionality of registration and culling probable votes for later outreach it seems. But HRC’s “Take Action” button seems to redirect people to its blog and internal systems. Both are including it on regular newsletters, but there is little campaign, no energy, and no building of enthusiasm, which is what we need now.
Marriage Equality USA has the 20 Million More campaign, and individual states facing ballots have major media campaigns going on, helped by Freedom To Marry, HRC and others. But where is the national effort for the equality vote? For the gay vote?
There are four states with marriage ballots, a whole list of LGBT candidates for Congress, and a President out on a limb on marriage equality. Meanwhile, two reports – one by PBS and one by Gallop – tout that the LGBT vote could make a big difference in this tight race.
We should have a full-out messaging campaign going.
So where is our GOTgayV campaign? It’s not in the gay media.
On the Washington Blade home page, NGLTF is advertising, not to register to vote, but for their annual convention next February. And a quick glance at others – Gay City News (NYC), Bay Windows (New England), Bay Area Reporter (San Fran), The Advocate – reveals no ads to promote the vote (not even RocktheVote.org links).
Of all issues, voting is the most important to building political power. It’s reported that about 74% of LGBT people are registered, but there are more out there. And even with good numbers, a voter drive push is important to building enthusiasm and turn out. 30% of us voted Republican in the 2010 midterms, so a campaign targeting that group this year would have been really smart.
The good news is: IT’S NOT TOO LATE. But we need some star power, and we need it fast.
Come on GLAAD — break out some celebrity friends and get some fast videos together, and then spread them working with NGLTF & HRC, Equality Federation, and Pride Committees, and put it out there ALL together with one big push.
Let’s Get Out The Gay Vote!
GET OUT THE GAY VOTE
Almost 30 percent of gay people voted Republican in 2010. So here’s why they should vote for Obama this time.
The economics are good. Under Obama, stock prices have soared, the financial industry has been stabilized, student loan interest rates lowered, veterans benefits secured and provided, the American automotive industry saved and flourishing, equal pay for equal work protected, and Bin Laden removed.
These are conservative issues. A stable environment for business and wealth creation, which entails ensuring an educated workforce and an equal playing field for women. A strong foreign policy, and aggressive pursuit of justice for harms against this country, while ensuring international respect among nations, that is now quite strong.
On energy, domestic oil production is at an all time high, and imports at an all time low. The automobile deal set gas efficiency goals, embraced by industry, that will double the mileage on a gallon of gas, essentially cutting prices in 1/2 over the next decade. And he adeptly handled natural disasters after the spill in the Gulf and the Hurricane in the Northeast.
The economic crisis facing health care was also averted. If we did not tackle health care reform, it would have quickly consumed most of our productivity, meaning we would be working about 1/3 of our lives just to pay for health care. This still needs work. But going back is just pandering. It’s not an option because too many people are already benefiting, and the insurance industry just got a huge boost in customers.
Finally, even if you don’t vote on gay issues, it is significant that the United States has declared to the world that gay rights are human rights. You may feel safe and fine, or that no harm has come to you or others because of discrimination in America. But in Africa, people are hunted, raped and killed because they are gay or lesbian. Now Obama and Hillary have made it clear: they are not alone.
So whether moved by religious values of compassion for others, or simple humanity, that all people deserve to live with dignity, President Obama has set a new standard for the voiceless. And by securing the economic stability of our country, has poised the United States to advance the future of human rights, democracy and economic prosperity for all people.
If you are disappointed in Obama for not doing more, then reconsider what any one person can be expected to accomplish in 3 1/2 years. Then think again about what we faced in 2010, when you last voted Republican. Remember that the Republican House purposefully blocked economic recovery bills to undermine the President’s hope of re-election. Remember that Romney will not show you his tax returns or disclose his off shore accounts. And remember that the Republicans intend to amend the Constitution to outlaw your marriage, even if the Supreme Court supports us, as anticipated by June 2013.
Against this, consumer confidence is at a 4 year high, the stock market is booming, the housing market is returning, both wars are ending, unemployment is under 8%, and we are unquestionably on a roll as democracy sprouts new life around the globe. America is poised to be a great leader again, but it’s important that that leadership be principled.
President Obama is a man of principle. His support for LGBT rights and his clear intention to advance our equality under the law at home and abroad demonstrate this. His respect for others is virtually a short-coming as political campaigning goes. So, against the advice of many, he still pronounced his support for marriage equality, a dicey idea by any measure, demonstrating that this man does what is right, not what is politically expedient. Some might say he even acts against his own self-interest, but his self-interest is in doing what is right, that’s how he sees it. He knew he could not face himself if he had run and lost, but had bet against equality.
So if these ideals are to take hold in our politics, we have to pay tribute to principles and reward right action by taking right action ourselves. We have to buttress those who point us forward on justice and equality. Who help Americans when they are down. Who believe in the truth. Believe in community. Who believe in you.
President Obama believes in you. And he needs your vote. We all do. If you like Mitt Romney, then hold that thought for four more years. For now, all indications are that we are on the right path. So let’s follow it four more years, and then in 2016, if you’re not happy… roll the dice.
(reposted from Huffington Post Gay Voices: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/todd-fernandez/why-gay-republicans-shoul_b_1968002.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices)
COLORADO (Toss Up Presidential)
FLORIDA (Toss Up Presidential)
IOWA (Toss up Presidential)
NEVADA (Toss up Presidential)
NEW HAMPSHIRE (Toss up Presidential)
NORTH CAROLINA (Toss Up Presidential)
OHIO (Toss up Presidential)
VIRGINIA (Toss up Presidential)
WISCONSIN (Toss up Presidential)
Ushering in Pride Month, on Saturday, June 9th, 2012, activist Richard Noble completed his historic “Civil RIghts Walk Across America” to a hero’s welcome in Jacksonville as reported in the Florida Times-Union. Setting out from San Francisco last March, he had crossed 10 states and journeyed 2700 miles, carrying the Rainbow Flag and promoting The American Equality Bill, a one-bill strategy for equal LGBT civil rights.
The finish line ceremony perfectly captured the spirit of this strategy, which seeks to unite the vast LGBT movement into a common force for change. The local LGBT community center, The Rainbow House and RCN Magazine rolled out the red carpet, joining forces with the local ACLU, PFLAG, Tampa Pride, South Georgia Pride, Jacksonville Pride, Black Pride, and around 200 local activists, musicians and candidates.
Organizing for America, the Obama campaign, was on site registering voters and Raymond Paultre, the regional OFA director, offered rousing remarks to a strong reception. Dwight Eubanks, of the Atlantic Housewives brought his unique flare, and local diva, Dorothy Bishop, concluded the ceremony singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
While many of the speakers spoke of marriage, the star of the event was clearly Richard Noble and the pursuit of non-discrimination protections, both at the local level in Jacksonville where the City Council is facing strong pressure to add sexual orientation and gender identity to local laws, and the federal goal. Introducing Mr. Noble, Todd Fernandez, of The AEB Project, explained the possibilities of thousands of LGBT groups united in common cause and painted the vision of President Obama in a second term signing the equality bill into law on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial before a sea of rainbow flags.
The Walk Across America showed how this dream is possible by harnessing Mayoral Proclamations and City Council Resolutions from a diverse array of cities including West Hollywood, Oakland, Salt Lake City, Boulder, Austin, Houston, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Biloxi, Birmingham and Tallahassee. Representing millions of Americans, these elected officials are now leading the call on Congress to act, as a matter of urgent public welfare, to protect LGBT Americans from discrimination under federal law.
Inspired by spiritual reflection and moved by a rash of suicides, Mr. Noble, set out last March 2011, sleeping his first night on the sidewalk outside The Harvey Milk Library in San Francisco. “I carried the Rainbow Flag through the deserts of Nevada and across the Rockies, to Matthew Shepard’s fence and Wounded Knee, to gay groups and elected officials, all to help light a fire for full equality and to talk about the insidious psychological and physical harm LGBT Americans suffer from discrimination.”
His route passed from Northwest to Southeast, when winter came. He visited with the Oglala Sioux and Paiute Native Americans, where he received blessings and was given the name “Poo’e’ta’gwena”, Paiute for “Rainbow”, fitting because his walk made history by carrying the Rainbow Flag across America. All tolled he has spent 15 months on the road, aided one town at a time by locals he met on the road or via Facebook and new friends. Hundreds of small and large gestures sustained him, as canvassed in his his travel blog.
Along the journey, local LGBT groups offered loving support including the Metropolitan Community Church, New Orleans Pride, Out Boulder, the Gay & Lesbian Yellow Pages, openly lesbian Mayor Annise Parker, and others who opened doors and hosted events, several issuing their own Resolutions in support. All it took was to ask in most cases, and support flowed forth as local activists embraced the idea of seeking full federal equality.
This vanguard strategy first emerged with fanfare at the National Equality March, attended by hundreds of thousands in October 2009, and has since continued to build with actions like the Grand Central “Homo/Transphobia Kills” Die-In, and most recently, with The Pledge for Full LGBT Equality now supported by over 35 leading grassroots groups demanding equality by 2014 – the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.
So far, however, the corporate entities, HRC & NGLTF, have not yet embraced a call for full equality, but with new HRC President Chad Griffin at the helm, there is new hope that they will hear the call of the grassroots and step up and lead. “If a few volunteer activists can deliver what the Walk has, imagine what a concerted national coalition focused on one-goal could drum up,” said Mr. Fernandez. “The possibilities are endless, but we have to give the grassroots a bill to organize around, and so far the LGBT Congressional Caucus and HRC are our main obstacles to even filing a bill.”
From Florida, Richard will head to New York to march in Gay Pride with Occupy Wall Street, which is marching in solidarity in OccuPride 2012 under the banner “Occupy Loves You”. “I can’t wait to join the visionary activists breaking ranks with the establishment to demand full equality,” said Richard. “Happy Pride!”
- – -
Having walked across ten states and over 2700 miles, Richard Noble, a 46 year old gay rights activist, will arrive in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday, June 9th to a hero’s welcome for completing a historic “Civil Rights Walk Across America” carrying the Rainbow Flag and a bill seeking full federal equality for LGBT Americans – The American Equality Bill.
Eleven Mayors and three City Councils from a diverse array of cities, including Salt Lake City, Birmingham, Biloxi, Baton Rouge, Mobile, Austin, Houston, Oakland, Boulder, West Hollywood, Tallahassee and New Orleans issued official Proclamations in support of the Walk and demand that Congress add “sexual orientation and gender identity” to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and related laws, as a matter of urgent public health and welfare.
At the finish line in Jacksonville, where the City Council will soon vote on a local civil rights ordinance, the Rainbow House GLBT Community Center and River City News Magazine will host a welcoming event starting at 1 p.m at the Rainbow House, 2857 Myra Street.
Dwight Eubanks of the Real Housewives of Atlanta and local leader Audry Morman will join representatives from LGBT Prides across the region, the ACLU, PFLAG, The American Equality Bill (AEB) Project and Obama for America in honoring Richard Noble and the Walk.
“I was overwhelmed by the rash of suicides, and so I walked,” said Richard Noble, who put his life in storage and started out from San Francisco last March, 2011. “I carried the Rainbow Flag through the desert and across the Rockies, to Matthew Shepard’s fence and Wounded Knee, to gay groups and elected officials, all to help light a fire for full equality and to talk about the insidious psychological and physical harm LGBT Americans suffer from discrimination.”
His route passed from Northwest to Southeast, when winter came. He visited with the Oglala Sioux and Paiute Native Americans, where he received blessings and was given the name “Poo’e’ta’gwena”, Paiute for rainbow, fitting because his walk made history by carrying the Rainbow Flag across America.
All tolled he has spent 15 months on the road, aided one town at a time by locals he met on the road or via Facebook and new friends. Hundreds of small and large gestures sustained him.
In Nevada, Lauren Scott, a transgender activist, buried food and water every twelve miles in the desert. While kids on the Sioux land in South Dakota offered him a soda, a mother driving by in Orange Texas gave all the change in her ashtray.
Along the way, he adopted a dog, Trinity, who walked over 700 miles, two of his supporters developed breast cancer, and one 23 year old, who had given up his room to Richard, thereafter died in a car accident. The stories captured in his travel blog are too many to canvass.
The Walk helped amplify The American Equality Bill (AEB) Project, a grassroots initiative with EqualityGiving.org designed to change the strategy of the modern LGBT movement from piecemeal issues to full federal equality via a one-bill solution outlawing discrimination categorically.
“When the Walk began this strategy was cutting edge, but now the politics and conversation are catching up,” said Todd Fernandez, the Campaign Facilitator for The AEB Project. “President Obama and the NAACP are now out front on this, and over 35 leading grassroots groups have joined together in demanding Congress enact full LGBT equality by 2014 – the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.”
Along the journey, local LGBT groups offered loving support including the Metropolitan Community Church, New Orleans Pride, Out Boulder, the Gay & Lesbian Yellow Pages, openly lesbian Mayor Annise Parker, and others who opened doors and hosted events, several issuing their own Resolutions in support.
“We’ll now deliver the bundle in D.C. to the LGBT Congressional Caucus and the Human Rights Campaign, which have yet to demand full federal equality, and President Obama who seems charged to make our equality a reality,” said Richard. “Having visited roughly 200 cities and towns, it’s obvious we can’t do this one at a time and it’s time for the federal government to take action.”
All are invited to attend the Walk Finish Line event, June 9, 2012, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rainbow House, 2857 Myra Street, Jacksonville, FL.
- – -
Finish Line Event Speaker Lineup:
COLUMBUS: Tuesday, April 10 — 12:00pm until 1:00pm
FAIRFIELD: Wednesday, April 11 — 3:00pm until 5:30pm
FINDLAY: Friday, April 13 — 5:30pm until 6:30pm
TOLEDO: Saturday, April 14 — 9:00am until 11:00am
WESTLAKE: Sunday, April 15 — 8:30am until 1:30pm
CUYAHOGA FALLS: Sunday, April 15 — 3:00pm until 6:00PM
Thank you to GetEqual OH and the Freedom to Marry Ohio Coalition and other groups and individuals WILLING TO TAKE A STAND !!!
FOR BACKGROUND INFORMATION on the Family Research Council which is A DESIGNATED HATE GROUP by the Southern Poverty Law Center, see: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/family-research-council
Mr. Rustin: Born March 17, 1912. Pacifist, Conscientious Objector, Prison Reform Activist, Civil Rights Visionary, Arrested 23 times, Organized 3 Marches on Washington (including the ‘63 March), Steered the Career of Dr. MLK, Jr., Teacher and Practitioner of Gandhian Non-violence, and Out & Proud Gay Man in a Homophobic world. 1912 to 1987.
Today MARCH 17th is his Centennial & WE PAY TRIBUTE to an Activist and Organizer Unparalleled in Modern American History to whom much is owed. THANK YOU BAYARD RUSTIN!!
Happy birthday to you.
TODAY we commit to COMPLETING HIS LEGACY – by adding Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity to the 1964 Civil Rights Act he helped manifest. Please one and all – join in silent and loud commitment to this goal. WE SHALL OVER COME!
Please Take the Pledge for Full LGBT Equality TODAY & EVERYDAY.
There are PROTESTS today in NYC with OWS in Liberty Plaza and a six-month’ anniversary 24 hour REOCCUPATION of the Park.
There are PROTESTS today in Los Angeles of HRC and its failure to demand FULL EQUALITY and its unprincipled union with Goldman Sachs. http://www.facebook.com/events/318568688200137/
There are PROTEST today in New York City – of the homophobic St. Patricks Day Parade.
And the Radical Faeries are Honoring Mr. Rusting too! http://www.facebook.com/events/347500191954785/
AND THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING.
EQUALITY NOW FOR ALL!
(RePosted for: Tommy News Thomas and Irish Queers)
“Traditional Family Values”? NO!
New York City residents should call 311 and register a complaint.
Protest NYPD, Mayor Bloomberg, City and Church sanctioned homophobia
Take Action: NYC Saint Patricks Day Parade sends Message of Hatred and
Recently, Irish President Mary McAleese turned down an invitation to
A 1995 conservative U.S. Supreme Court decision allowed the private
In New York, gays have again been banned from marching in the parade
In the parade, public employees such as on duty uniformed police and
Therefore, we must protest not only the discriminatory exclusion of
The inclusive St. Patrick’s Parade in Queens, held before
We must protest as long as these homophobic and discriminatory
We insist the NYPD, NYFD, public schools, public agencies and
From Irish Queers http://irishqueers.blogspot.com/
On Saturday, March 17, the NYPD takes off the mask.
Fifth Ave. between West 56th and 57th St @ The St. Patrick’s Day parade
This Saturday, tens of thousands of cops will march in an explicitly
How much does the NYPD support religious anti-gay bigots? The NYPD
PROTEST NYPD HOMOPHOBIA and ANTI-QUEER VIOLENCE!
Write, Email, and Call The Parade Organizers Here:
NYC SAINT PATRICK’S DAY PARADE
St Patrick’s Day Parade & Celebration Committee
P.O. Box 295 Woodlawn Station,
Bronx, NY 10470
Phone Number: 718-231-4400 718-231-4400
Web Site: NYCStPatricksParade.Org
Web Site Information: [email protected]
General Info:Informa[email protected]
FAQ or Information requests
New York City residents should call 311 and register a complaint.
Contact New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg here:
Phone: (212) 639-9675
City of New York City
Contact New York Governor Andrew Cuomo here:
Contact NBC and other Media here:
Contact the Ancient Order of Hibernians Here:
Greater Gospel Temple Aoh
New York City residents should call 311 and register a complaint.
Contact and Boycott the Parade Sponsors:
275 Mount Carmel Ave.
Irish Connections Visa
Empire City Yonkers Raceway
FORD MOTOR COMPANY
Group Photos, Inc.
Ireland Calls Radio Show
Pride of Irish Heritage
The Irish Examiner
Sponsor links here:
POSTS ARE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THEIR AUTHORS