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A New Initiative: Loving Everywhere

For the first time in a decade, on March 26th and 27th, the Supreme Court will hear two cases about LGBT equality. Their rulings on these two cases will likely direct same gender marriage laws for the next decade(s).

The cases are ably handled by two civil rights organizations: The ACLU LGBT project and the American Foundation for Equal Rights.

But you can do your part to ensure a positive ruling. So, we have started the Loving Everywhere project. We are asking couples to send a picture of themselves with a thoughtful letter to each Supreme Court justice explaining the importance of having their marriage recognized not only by the federal government, but also by all 50 states and territories. (This can be achieved by requiring that all states either allow same gender marriages or recognize out of state marriages.)

We all understand the importance of our marriages being valid everywhere. We know of the problems that occur when you travel or relocate and suddenly you are not considered married.

Loving Everywhere is a connection to the 1967 Loving v. Virginia case, in which the Supreme Court ruled that interracial marriages should be valid everywhere. At that time the majority of Americans opposed interracial marriage (while today most Americans support same gender marriages). At that time, contrary to today, interracial couples legally married could be imprisoned just by moving to a state that did not allow such marriages. When President Obama was born in Hawaii to an interracial couple, their marriage was illegal in many states.

The purpose of Loving Everywhere is to inform justices of the need for our marriages to be recognized everywhere, not just by the federal government or a few states.

The personal touch of a picture and a thoughtful letter has a unique impact. Go to LovingEverywhere.com to get the names and address and start writing! Remember, the cases will be heard at the end of March.

Please tell your friends and family to do the same!

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New Book– The Gay Agenda 2012: All Out

We are delighted to announce that Juan has written a book about LGBT equality, and it is now available. We think that you will find it to be an indispensable guide for every person interested in reaching legal equality and for anyone who wants to understand why equality matters.

Book Cover The Gay Agenda 2012 All OutHere are comments from the reviewers:

“You have certainly tackled a HUGE and BROAD topic and done a marvelous job.”

“It is a compendium/combination of all of the following: an Op Ed, a manual, encyclopedia article, memoir, pep talk.”

“The book will be a wonderful resource to anyone who cares about achieving full equality.”

“It may be the first book that tells the unvarnished truth!”

“It is definitely an easy read since the chapters are only two or three pages long!”

“I’m impressed.”

“Such a terrific project, book, contribution!!!!”

“It is a very logically constructed book and an easy read.”

You can review the table of contents and full information about the book here. The book is available now in paperback (from the publisher, from Amazon, and elsewhere worldwide) for $14.99 and in iBooks ($9.99) as well as Kindle ($9.99). If you believe, like we do, in giving copies of interesting books to friends, coworkers, members of your association, etc. you can get multiple copies of the paperback at 20% dicount by entering code LDQBYR43.

This book is up-to-date and gives advice on how each and every person can help to reach equality simply by voting, or encouraging others to vote, in the election next month.

This is actually Juan’s second published book. His first one was about computers (written in Spanish while he was in his twenties.) Quite an evolution!

BOOK EVENTS

There are already several events organized to talk about the book and signing copies.

Miami – October 9 and 12

Philadelphia – October 17

Washington DC – October 18

New York – TBA

Stanford University – November 1.

If you are interested in any of these events or want to arrange one in your area, please contact [email protected]

Happy reading!

www.GayAgenda2012.com

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Romney and Obama positions on LGBT equality

We just completed a detailed analysis of Obama and Romney’s positions on equality:

www.eQualityGiving.org/2012-Presidential-Election

It’s an easy-to-read table. Clicking on the headers gives you full details on their positions.

President Obama is clearly pro-equality.

A superficial reading of the analysis may give you the impression that Mitt Romney is “not so bad” on our issues. In reality, as the Log Cabin Republicans knew when they fiercely opposed him in 2008, Romney is clearly anti-equality.

On many issues, Romney may appear to be neutral, but his statements reveal that he:

  • Opposes Federal ENDA.
  • Opposes Marriage Equality (one of the few policy positions in which he has always been consistent).
  • Opposes Civil Unions.
  • Only supports some sort of weak domestic partnerships.
  • Supports a Federal Marriage Amendment to the US Constitution that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. He has been very consistent on this stating that he believes in a uniform definition of marriage across the country (as marriage between a man and a woman).

The real issue is not that a Romney presidency would halt our movement towards equality for four years. In reality, it would halt us for a generation or more, or even take it backwards, because of his clearly stated intention to appoint ultra-conservatives to the Supreme Court, like Justices Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito.

To show that he is very serious about it, Romney has appointed Robert Bork as the chair to his Judicial Advisory Committee. As you know Robert Bork was nominated for the Supreme Court, and he was so extreme that he was voted down by the biggest margin ever on a nomination to the Supreme Court.

Check our analysis here:
www.eQualityGiving.org/2012-Presidential-Election

Tell others, so nobody gets fooled: Romney is anti-equality. A vote for him will set back our rights for at least a generation.

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The Job in the Military is Not Done Yet

The repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell takes effect today. It is a very good reason to celebrate and to thank the large number of people and organizations that worked tirelessly for 17 years to see this day.

TODAY WE ARE A LITTLE BIT MORE EQUAL

Federal LGBT Legal Equality Index rises to 12%Today we are delighted to update our Federal LGBT Equality Index which today rises to 12% from 8% (which was obtained when President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Bird Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act two years ago).

Why didn’t the Index rise to 16% as expected for reaching the goal? Read below.

STILL OUR SERVICEMENBERS WILL NOT BE TREATED EQUALLY

The DADT repeal legislation that passed Congress last December was significantly different from the Military Readiness Enhancement Act introduced earlier in two important ways:

  • Does not include nondiscrimination provisions
  • Does not include LGBT servicemembers in the Department of Defense Equal Opportunity Policy
    So, the legislation does not ensure that our servicemembers are treated equally. Nor does it include transgender members.

Furthermore, article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice has not been revoked by Congress (despite requests from the Military). This article forbids any act of sodomy (whether among people of the same gender or not).

Equality in the military will require Congress to act again, otherwise a future administration could ban LGBT members from serving by using a directive from the Department of Defense—without need for an act of Congress or even an Executive Order from the President.

If Congress doesn’t act, another venue that can bring equality is the successful lawsuit that the Log Cabin Republicans are pursuing with the intention to proving, to the Supreme Court if necessary, that discrimination of LGBT people in the military is unconstitutional.

MONITORING PROGRESS

To monitor progress, we have created After DADT; this is a resource that lists 49 pending issues for LGBT servicemembers to be treated as equals.
This resource is sponsored by eQualityGiving and is maintained on our website by Tom Carpenter. Tom is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and served on active duty in the Marines from 1970-1976. He was also in the Marines Reserves from 1974-1982. When he resigned his commission in 1980 as Captain, he was a highly skilled attack pilot. Tom was Co-chair of the SLDN board from 1998-2005 and currently is a second term SLDN board member and Co-chair of the Forum on the Military Chaplaincy.

Check the list of 49 pending issues for LGBT equality in the military.

While we celebrate today as an important day for LGBT equality, we need to continue to fight for full legal equality… including, still, in the military.

EXPIRED

eQualityThinking Panel #16: Grand Finale Panel

Don’t miss the sixteenth panel of eQualityThinking, the free, open, virtual convention for LGBTQ equality. This is the final panel.

You can hear this panel live today Thursday, March 31, 2011 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm EDT (3:00 pm to 4:00 pm PDT)

Click to get the dialing information for this eQualityThinking panel.

eQualityThinking-logoIn the last two months, we have held 16 panels, with 82 top panelists and 27 question moderators. We covered the topic of LGBT legal equality in depth and breadth.

In our final panel today, we bring you three people who are Thinking Bigger and Acting Differently to advance LGBT equality in three very different ways.

Please allow us to keep you in suspense about who the three great panelists actually are. Can you guess?

PANELISTS

- First Panelist: A fearless Member of Congress who will use a DIFFERENT approach to BIG legislation for LGBT equality.

- Second Panelist: A person, whom you may have not heard of yet, who is creating a BIG organization with a DIFFERENT approach to LGBT issues like never seen before.

- Third Panelist: A person who came out two years ago and went BIG time in a DIFFERENT way to help change the law.

QUESTIONS MODERATOR
The political reporter of the oldest LGBT newspaper in the nation

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eQualityThinking Panel #15: Your Passion, Your Voice

Don’t miss the fifteenth panel of eQualityThinking, the free, open, virtual convention for LGBTQ equality.

You can hear this panel live this Sunday, March 27, 2011 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm EDT (4:00 pm to 5:00 pm PDT)

Click to get the dialing information for this eQualityThinking panel.

eQualityThinking-logoYou will hear from five filmmakers whose films are likely to have an impact on people’s perception of LGBT.

You will hear from our youth… their own perspective… their own voice.

You will hear from next generation donors.

You will hear from four of the authors of The Dallas Principles. What has been the impact two years later?

You will hear from the webmaster and users of Act On Principles… an innovative platform to do whip counts and focus our efforts to reach lawmakers to pass LGBT equality legislation.

Do not miss this panel!

PANELISTS

LGBTQ EQUALITY THROUGH FILM
Filmakers, producers, writers talk about their work

  • Brynn Gelbard, Director/Producer, Devote Campaign
  • Craig Harwood, Producer/Writer, The Most Famous Woman in the World
  • Christopher Mason, Filmmaker, Driving Equality
  • Patrick Sammon, Filmmaker, The Genius of Alan Turing
  • Bruce Presley, Founder, Downtown Loft Studio

VOICES OF YOUTH
Several youth will contribute their voice here to the dialog about LGBT equality.

  • Carolyn Laub, Executive Director, Gay-Straight Alliance Network, will introduce the youth panelists.

NEXT GENERATION OF GIVERS
New ideas? Different approaches?

  • Wesley Adams, Co-chair, Young Leaders Council of the New York Gay & Lesbian Center
  • Bill Lyons, Next Gen Giving Circle

THE DALLAS PRINCIPLES
Four of the authors of The Dallas Principles talk about impact 2 years later

  • John Bare, Donor
  • Ken Ahonen-Jover, M.D., Co-founder, eQualityGiving
  • Dana Beyer, M.D., Board Member, National Center for Transgender Equality  and Keshnet, the national Jewish LGBT education and outreach organization
  • Lisa Polyak, Board Member, Equality Maryland

ACT ON PRINCIPLES
Advanced technology used to monitor how Members of Congress intend to vote on our issues (whip counts)

  • Donald Hitchcock, Webmaster, Act On Principles
  • Heather Cronk, Managing Director, Get Equal

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eQualityThinking Panel #14: How Can Donors Accelerate Equality?

Don’t miss the fourteenth panel of eQualityThinking, the free, open, virtual convention for LGBTQ equality.

You can hear this panel live tomorrow Friday, March 25, 2011 from Noon to 1:00 pm EDT (9:00 am to 10:00 am PDT)

Click to get the dialing information for this eQualityThinking panel.

Click to post now an open question for the panelists.

eQualityThinking-logo

Among the topics to be discussed:

- What are the current areas of focus for major donors?

- How do donors make choices between issues and organizations?

- How do they measure impact and evaluate success?

- How do they balance giving for political campaigns and non-profits?

Panelists

- Ron Ansin, Founder, Ronald M. Ansin Foundation

- Joanne Herman, Author, Transgender Explained for Those Who Are Not

- Alix Ritchie, Founder, Provincetown Banner

- Paul Yandura, Cofounder, Scott+Yandura

Question Moderators

- Leslie Payne, Senior Director, Arabella Philanthropic Advisors

- Steve Rothaus, Journalist, Miami Herald

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eQualityThinking Panel #13: God and Gays

Don’t miss the thirteenth panel of eQualityThinking, the free, open, virtual convention for LGBTQ equality.

You can hear this panel live this Wednesday, March 23, 2011 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm EDT (3:00 pm to 4:00 pm PDT)

Click to get the dialing information for this eQualityThinking panel.

Click to post an open question for the panelists.

eQualityThinking-logo

An emotionally charged issue discussed by a religiously diverse panel of clergy, activists, and writers.
Panelists:

- Reverend Dr. C Welton Gaddy (Baptist), President, Interfaith Alliance
- Amber Khan (Muslim), Board Member, Muslim Advocates
- Rabbi Jack Moline (Conservative Jewish), Agudas Achim Congregation
- Sarah Posner, Author, God’s Profits, Associate Editor, Religion Dispatches


Question Moderators:

- Ari Geller, Vice President, Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications

- Donna Red Wing, Executive Director, Grassroots Leadership

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eQualityThinking Panel #12: Changing Hearts and Minds

Don’t miss the twelveth panel of eQualityThinking, the free, open, virtual convention for LGBTQ equality.

You can hear this panel live this Sunday March 20, 2011 from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm EDT (2:30 pm to 3:30 pm PDT)

Click to get the dialing information for this eQualityThinking panel.

Click to post an open question for the panelists.

eQualityThinking-logoCombining rigorous academic thinking from Harvard and NYU with successful ground work to create new insights for winning hearts and minds. The discussion moderater is Roberta Achtenberg, commissioner on the US Commission on Civil Rights. There is no better place to spend an hour this Sunday afternoon than on this panel listening and participating.

The panelists are:

- Julie Davis, Executive Director, Face Value Project at Harvard

- Patrick J. Egan, Ph.D., Asst Professor, Political Science, New York University

- Timothy Patrick McCarthy, Ph.D., Lecturer and Director, Human Rights and Social Movements Program, Harvard Kennedy School

- Phyllis Watts, Ph.D., practicing psychologist and President, Wild Swan Resources

The question moderator is:

- Roberta Achtenberg, Commissioner, US Commission on Civil Rights

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eQualityThinking Panel #11: Federal Legislation

Don’t miss the eleventh panel of eQualityThinking, the free, open, virtual convention for LGBTQ equality.

You can hear this panel live tomorrow Wednesday March 16, 2011 from Noon to 1:00 pm EDT (9:00 am to 10:00 am PDT)

Click to get the dialing information for this eQualityThinking panel.

Click to post an open question for the panelists.

eQualityThinking-logoThis panel discusses substantive and strategic perspectives for passing equality legislation in both chambers.

The panelists are:

- Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

- US Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

The question moderators are:
- Kerry Eleveld, Editor, EqualityMatters
- Kathy Levinson, Founder, Lesbian Equity Foundation