Pageviews last month

Monday, November 30, 2009

ENDA in Jeopardy, and How To Get It Moving Again

 By Dr. Jillian Weiss

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act bill (ENDA), which was originally planned for a House vote in September or October, then November, now looks like it's headed for a February landing. That's problematic because it puts ENDA into the Senate during an ultra-difficult time: a major legislative logjam, a major jobs initiative, midterm election campaigns, and a promised Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal.

The House Committee responsible for moving ENDA along, the House Committee on Education and Labor, has been slow-walking it, claiming that it needs some minor "tweaks" on language that has been vetted for years. Rex Wockner's blog today features quotes from some high profile activists questioning the delays, including political consultant Steve Hildebrand and former National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman. Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin has also been quoted as saying that delay is not good.

Meanwhile, community action calls to Committee Chair George Miller of California over the past week have been unsuccessful in obtaining any statement or action. However, under the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives, three members of the Committee can demand a markup, which must be scheduled within three days. The names of friendly Committee members are provided after the jump so you can call and demand action.

A nation-wide community conference call has been scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 1st, at noon (ET) to discuss actions we can take to push a vote on ENDA now. It will last one hour. The agenda is posted after the jump. All are welcome, and I hope you will join us.

Register here:

Click here for more info:">

Sunday, November 22, 2009

OUT is proud to introduce the new OUT University Scholarship Program!

OUT Scholarships are directly in line with our mission to connect and empower local organizations to share resources, skills and information, forging statewide strength in order to achieve equality and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Floridians.

Out first scholarship program begins this week in support of fundraising and board development trainings by realChange Partners (details below) for all our local member organizations.

Not a member of OUT yet, just click here and send us your application ... it's FREE!

To apply for a scholarship to these great realChange Partners fundraising and board development trainings, simply email us at with your request. We only have a limited number of scholarships and the trainings begin this afternoon, so apply soon!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Human Rights Campaign Responds to Misleading Claims by Organizations Seeking to Discriminate

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today responded to the “Manhattan Declaration” produced and released by 145 evangelical, Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christian leaders indicating that they will not cooperate with laws that conflict with their beliefs, including those recognizing same-sex couples. The document also references the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) as a threat to religious liberty.  Yet ENDA – which prohibits workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity – broadly exempts religious organizations.  The declaration also argues that religious groups that receive public funds to perform social services are unfairly burdened by state and local laws on marriage equality and non-discrimination.

This declaration simply perpetuates the fallacy that equality and religious liberty are incompatible and that every step toward fairness for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community is another burden on religious people.  In reality, non-discrimination laws are working all over this country, where religious freedom is existing side-by-side with equal opportunity," said Harry Knox, director of the Human Rights Campaign’s Religion & Faith Program.  "Advocates of LGBT equality have taken great pains in their legislative efforts to ensure that the rights of religious organizations and people under the First Amendment are protected.  It is deeply cynical for the authors of this document to paint themselves as victims because they cannot have a free hand to discriminate, including with taxpayer dollars."

As a rabbi I am offended that this group of Catholics, Orthodox Christian and evangelical Christians are once again trying to foist their theology on government,” said Rabbi Denise Eger, member of the HRC's Religion Council and the founder of Congregation Kol Ami.  “They already have the religious freedom to discriminate against gay people in their churches. But if they take government funds for social services then they must abide by the rules of equality that are a foundation of our Constitution.”

Knox also commented upon the claim that religious entities should be able to take public funds without treating LGBT people and same-sex couples equally.  "These organizations must decide if they are in the charitable business for charitable reasons or for political reasons.  Governments representing entire communities must not be held hostage by any group that puts its own desire to discriminate above the needs of the larger community,” said Knox.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

You Can Be Fired For Being Gay - Unless You Act

The House Education and Labor Committee is getting ready to move ENDA soon, but you may have heard that the committee vote has been pushed back a few weeks. It's more important than ever that you call and email members of Congress to make sure that our voice is heard in support of ENDA on Capitol Hill. Right-wing groups are using lies to delay the bill, claiming that ENDA will grant "special rights to homosexuals" and take away religious freedoms.

We're working with a broad coalition of more than 20 organizations to generate 25,000 calls to Congress this week. That kind of grassroots pressure can help drown out these lies and push Congress into action.

That means 57 calls to your representative today. Can you be one?

It takes about 45 seconds. So set yourself a reminder on your phone. Stick a note to your computer. Or stop reading this and do it right now. Whatever you do, make sure to CALL 202-224-3121 TODAY.

If you've never called Congress, let me assure you, it's easy. And it will make a huge difference – if we don't continue to push Congress into action, they'll happily sidestep controversial issues like ENDA!

Call your representative at 202-224-3121 before 5 p.m. ET.
Most likely, one of the interns for your representative will answer and ask where you're calling from and why. You're calling to express your support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 3017) and urge the representative to work hard to pass it. Most calls end right there. But if you like, you can add:

In 29 states, it's legal to fire someone because they're lesbian, gay, or bisexual; in 38 states, it's legal to fire someone for being transgender.

The American people believe in fairness and understand that employees should be judged on their merits, not on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act is NOT about special treatment. It simply gives these workers the same rights and protections as their colleagues.

Mention that your representative's support of this bill will affect your future support.

2009: An inspirational year for LGBT equality

Selisse Berry This year has shaped up to be one of the most inspiring in the movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, with history-making legislation in the works.
We celebrated a successful 2009 Out & Equal Workplace Summit in Florida – attracting nearly 2,000 attendees and some of the world’s most well-known leaders – and federal lawmakers passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the first federal law that is specifically inclusive of the full LGBT community. 

President Obama not only signed the act into law, but soon after announced the official end of the HIV Travel and Immigration Ban. It is inspiring to see our federal leaders taking a stand to protect the LGBT community from problems that have existed for far too long.

Federal lawmakers are now considering crucial legislation that would protect the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community from discrimination at work with the fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Out & Equal has worked tirelessly for more than a decade to assure that the nation's leading corporations provide policies and protections for its LGBT employees in the absence of federal protections. The federal government is now poised to do what most major corporations have been doing for years – putting policies in place that protect employees from discrimination.

While this bill has a good chance of passing, your help is needed. It is essential that you contact your Senators and urge them to support this bill, known as ENDA. President Obama has said that he is ready to sign this bill. All we need now is for the Senate to act.
It has been an exciting year for growth at Out & Equal as well.

We saw the launch of Out & Equal, a unique job search and employment networking website that links diversity-friendly employers with top LGBT talent. LGBTCareerLink allows businesses the opportunity to expand their professional networks and contacts with job seekers and employers who are looking for top-notch talent. In its very brief history, LGBTCareerLink has successfully surpassed benchmarks for websites of its size.

Diversity training has also seen a remarkable increase in the past year. Designed for a wide variety of audiences our training programs are specifically tailored for corporations, mid-to-small businesses, educational institutions, faith communities, governmental agencies, community groups and nonprofit organizations.

During 2009, our Town Call speaker series, which features guest speakers presenting on current and pertinent topics via one hour telephone conference calls, was expanded to once per month. Each Town Call attracts busy working professionals and employee resource group members across the world.

All of these new and exciting programs and activities, when added to
Out & Equal’s existing programs, demonstrate an ever increasing assortment of the educational and forward-thinking resources that are open and available to everyone.
Now, while this is all positive news that’s worth celebrating, there is still much more work that needs to get done in order for us to realize our vision of workplace equality for all.
By working together on ENDA, we will see our vision of workplace equality for all become reality at workplaces throughout the country.

I am privileged to be part of a wonderful organization and community that brings together a group of diverse individuals and institutions all working toward a common mission.
Let's work together to make change. Together, we can be the difference.
Selisse Berry signature
Selisse Berry
Executive Director

VIGIL to Remember Gay Teen Jorge Lopez Mercado: Stop the Slaughter

A Vigil will be held in Philadelphia on Friday evening, November 20th to remember 19-year-old Jorge Lopez Mercado.  Lopez, a Puerto Rican native was found partially burned, decapitated and with arms and legs dismembered, on the side of the road near his home town Caguas, Puerto Rico on Saturday, November 14th.

The Vigil will be held at the Church of St. Luke and The Epiphany, 330 South 13th Street in Philadelphia from 6:30 to 7 p.m.  

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender organizations, activists and allies are invited.  The Vigil will include the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus, Gloria Casarez, LGBT Liaison to Mayor Nutter, Cynthia Vasquez, youth activist at the Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative (GALAEI), and Malcolm Lazin, Executive Director of Equality Forum.

There were 29 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) hate crime murders in the United States in 2008. 

We must stop the homophobic slaughter,” stated Malcolm Lazin, Executive Director of Equality Forum.  “Since Matthew Shepard’s murder in 1998, there have been over 16,000 gay hate crimes, and on average, about 1,450 GLBT hate crimes per year.”

Police have identified a suspect in the murder of Jorge Lopez Mercado.  According to Puerto Rican activists, gay hate crimes in Puerto Rico are not prosecuted.

We call on US Attorney General Holder to investigate and prosecute in federal court this horrific crime,” stated Lazin.  “The decapitation and dismemberment of Jorge Lopez Mercado reminds America that we need to eliminate homophobia in our schools, communities and culture.”

There will also be a Vigil in New York City on Sunday, November 22nd.  “It is our hope that communities around the nation will hold Vigils to remember Jorge and that his memory will be a call to conscience,” said Lazin.

Equality Forum is a national and international GLBT civil rights organization with an educational focus. Equality Forum coordinates GLBT History Month, produces documentary films, undertakes high impact initiatives and presents annually the largest national and international GLBT civil rights forum.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Acquisition of Washington Blade Fails


Washington, D.C., Nov. 18 -- In response to media inquiries and an apparent information blackout by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Nicholas F. Benton, owner of the Falls Church News-Press, a Washington, D.C.-area weekly, confirmed today that his corporation, Benton Communications, Inc., had won a bid from parties that included the SBA in September to obtain the assets of the Washington Blade from its bankrupt parent company for purposes of a seamless perpetuation of the nation's oldest gay community newspaper. The Blade was closed without Benton's advanced knowledge on Monday.
Benton said he regrets that the negotiations to complete the transfer of ownership failed to be completed, and that as a result he is unable to carry forward the Blade, its legacy, its employees, and its service to its community regionally and nationally.
Benton said that, after responding to a request for proposal in early September, he was contacted by agents of the sellers, including the SBA, later in that month and told Benton Communications' bid had been successful. Benton Communications won based on a number of factors, including:

1.the company's record of 19 years of the successful management and publication of an award-winning weekly newspaper not unlike the Blade in the and in same region,

2. its stated commitment to perpetuate the Blade's legacy, to offer on-going employment to the Blade's existing staff, and to continue the Blade's service to its readership and community of interest, and,

3. Benton's own history of involvement and leadership in the Blade's community of interest, including Benton Communications' standing as an officially certified "LGBT Business Enterprise" by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. There was also a cash offer which the SBA confirmed that Benton Communications had the resources to cover.
The process to complete the sale continued through e-mail, telephone and mail contact until as recently as Nov. 6, just 10 days before the news came on Nov. 16 that the Blade and other Window Media publications had been abruptly terminated. 
"Everything was in place, although moving slowly, to make the seamless transition we hoped for. But I remain unaware of what happened, and as a result of Monday's events, the Blade is gone after 40 years of publication, its employees are out of work, and the nation's and region's LGBT community has been stripped of an invaluable institution." Benton said.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekly ENDA Update: Could A House Vote Be Next Week?

U.S. Representative George Miller, Democrat of California's 7th Congressional District, is the Chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor, and a supporter of H.R. 3017, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. He will be presiding over the mark up of the ENDA bill this Wednesday at 10 am. You can view it at the Committee's website (see Live Webcast on the top right).

But ENDA could also be left until February, as recent comments by Congressman Frank suggest. I have also heard from someone in the know that the Senate may be in no rush to consider the bill, and might also be in slowdown mode, with markup in March and a vote in June.

That would put the ENDA Senate vote in the midst of midterm election campaigns, making support of the measure into a vulnerability for Senators up for re-election. The fragile coalition-building that has been going on in the Senate with the more conservative members of Congress is more likely to collapse in the heat of a likely-to-be very dirty, mudslinging election in which the Republicans struggle to gain a toehold in the most conservative parts of the country. That would increase the chances of ENDA dying in the Senate.

What will control the timing here, and how can we make it sooner, rather than later?

Click here for more info:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Lambda Legal Calls for Action During Transgender Awareness Week

“Remembering is not enough. We will keep working for equality.”

(New York, November 13, 2009) —In recognition of Transgender Awareness Week, November 15-21, ending on Friday, November 20 with the Transgender Day of Remembrance, Lambda Legal issued the following statement by Executive Director Kevin Cathcart:

In all the work we do at Lambda Legal, we are fighting for a basic principle: everyone has the right to be true to their sexuality, gender identity and gender expression and to live, work and love with dignity and equality. This is a core American value. Yet transgender people in this country too often face harassment, discrimination and physical violence. This is unacceptable and must end.  

We are proud to represent Vandy Beth Glenn, a transgender woman who was fired from her job as a legislative editor by the Georgia General Assembly simply for being true to who she is. This fall she testified before Congress, urging members to enact the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) so that others will not be fired or face discrimination in employment based on their gender identity and expression or sexual orientation.

We are moving forward: Just last month, a new hate crimes law was enacted that, for the first time in our history, includes explicit federal protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.  Now Congress must act and pass an equally inclusive ENDA. Lambda Legal is asking our members and friends to call their representatives in Congress on Tuesday, Nov. 17 to urge them to work for passage of ENDA.

During this week, we remember those transgender people who have been harmed by hate and discrimination, and we remember those who have been killed. But remembering is not enough. We will keep working for equality.”

Thursday, November 12, 2009

House Committee To Vote On ENDA Nov. 18, 2009

The Human Rights Campaign can now confirm the House Education and Labor Committee will vote on Wednesday, November 18, 2009, at 10:00 a.m. on legislation to end the widespread practice of employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The vote was noticed moments ago.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 3017), introduced by Reps. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), would prohibit employment discrimination, preferential treatment, and retaliation on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity by employers with 15 or more employees.

Currently, it is legal to discriminate in the workplace based on sexual orientation in 29 states and to discriminate based on gender identity in 38 states. You can view a map of the states online:

Earlier today the Human Rights Campaign announced that as Congressional action looms on the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), it is extending the grassroots “No Excuses” campaign to increase constituent contact with Congress and awareness of the comprehensive website:

We launched a national action alert this week to grassroots members and supporters urging them to contact Congress and express their support for a fully-inclusive ENDA. HRC also plans to release details next week on its participation of a national call-in day organized by a coalition of groups urging members and supporters to call the Congressional switchboard in support of ENDA.

Meanwhile, HRC members and supporters have been overwhelmingly responsive this week to the organization’s national call to action on ENDA by sending off more than 62,000 emails or letters to members of Congress and newspapers urging for swift passage.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The view on the election: We didn’t lose, we’re winning - Mark My Words

By Mark Segal
PGN Publisher

We didn’t lose in Maine. We won. Eight years ago in this column, I wrote that the issue of gay marriage was many years away. What it would take is education, and education on the issue is caused by debate. The referendum in Maine on Tuesday gave us just that — a public forum on the issue, just as it did with Proposition 8 in California. Those were battles along the route to victory, which is equality. So how did we win?

This is a battle and the way to judge how you’re doing is public-opinion polls and the votes of the people. Eight years ago, this column predicted that we were about 10 years away from marriage equality. We actually did a little better thanks to states like Massachusetts and Iowa. But here’s the simple fact: When we started this struggle for marriage equality, our polling numbers were in the low 30s. Today, we’re in the high 40s: That’s a march toward victory. But it takes the long view and it’s not an overnight success just because it’s right. We have to be willing to work for it.

Let’s compare this issue with an issue we’ve been working on in this country since the late 1960s: employment nondiscrimination. In polls in the 1960s, job protection for “homosexuals” was supported by only 27 percent of Americans. You read that right. That was the major issue that we, as a community, kept our eyes on for 40 years. And guess what? We can claim victory. On Tuesday, in all places where nondiscrimination was on the
ballot, we won. And many of the LGBT candidates running for office won.  Again, that is backed up by the polls. Today, if you ask any group of Americans — even limit it to churchgoers — the majority do not believe in any job discrimination against the LGBT community. The latest tracking gives us support in the high 70s.

So here are the answers to Tuesday’s election. We’re gaining each time we make marriage a forum. It won’t happen overnight, but we need to use communication as the tool. Keep the discussion going. But let me point out that the best thing we can do for our community — whether LGBT, married or not, in the military or not — is to end discrimination. Not all of us are married, not all of us are in the military, but most of us are employed and need job protection. We’ve already done the education work on nondiscrimination: Now it’s time to do the political homework and bring it home.

Mark Segal is PGN publisher. He can be reached at

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Advocate: Dueling Thoughts

Yesterday, ex-editor of The Advocate wrote a scathing letter in The Huffington Post regarding the editorial direction of the iconic mag. You be the judge.

"What the hell happened? What colossal cluster of f-ups managed to devastate a magazine that was so important even ten years ago that every serious news media in the world turned to it for back up sourcing when covering gay issues?"

Ironically, Paul Colichman, CEO of Here Media wrote a letter
to his readers. In it he states:

Dear Valued Readers,

Fourteen months have passed since Here Media 
integrated the Advocate and Out brands into 
our company. As we are about to release 
our year-end issues, I thought it a good time 
to share our vision regarding these venerable 
and iconic properties.

Now today, Paul Colichman, CEO of Regent Media, responds 


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wisconsin Supreme Court Rejects Case Seeking to Strip Away Domestic Partnership Protections

Decision Ensures Domestic Partnership Protections for Over 15,000 Wisconsin Same-Sex Couples

(Madison, Wisconsin November 4, 2009) —Today, Lambda Legal and Fair Wisconsin applaud the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision to reject a lawsuit brought by Wisconsin Family Action, an antigay group attempting to strip away newly enacted domestic partnership protections for same-sex couples and their families.

We are pleased that the Court has rejected this challenge to an important law that was validly enacted to protect Wisconsin families,” said Christopher Clark, Senior Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal’s Midwest Regional Office based in Chicago. “Because of today’s ruling, Wisconsin’s same-sex couples and their families who depend on domestic partnership protections can take care of each other in times of illness and crisis. Even with the discriminatory amendment excluding same-sex couples from marriage, the Wisconsin Constitution does not prevent enactment of laws that offer basic decency and security for couples. ”

Fair Wisconsin, the statewide LGBT advocacy group, along with national and regional allies, recently helped enact these important domestic partnership protections for same-sex couples. Fair Wisconsin, vigorous opponents of the 2006 amendment banning marriage equality and civil unions, is defending the new domestic partnership law.  Lambda Legal filed to intervene in the lawsuit on behalf of Fair Wisconsin and its members to protect the few but fundamental protections granted to same-sex couples through the domestic partnership law. After reviewing the case, Wisconsin Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit.

We are elated with this decision from the State Supreme Court,” says Executive Director Katie Belanger. “Over 15,000 same-sex couples in our state need the basic protections domestic partnerships provide.”

Supporting "Traditional Marriage" by Outlawing Divorce

Nothing like putting people's feet to the fire. We thought this initiative would really test how sanctimonious pro-prop 8 voters really are. If it doesn't pass, it could actually work in our favor.

SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--John Marcotte, a married father of two who voted against last year’s Prop 8, might seem an unusual proponent for a bill designed to further “protect traditional marriage” until he explains how he plans to do it: by outlawing divorce in the state of California.

When I first heard about Prop 8, I figured that most of its proponents were homophobic, or had unfounded fears that allowing same-sex marriage in California would force classrooms to teach about the subject,” says Marcotte. “But when I learned that Prop 8 was really about protecting traditional marriage, I recognized that there was a real opportunity to go a step further and outlaw divorce, since it brings about the death of every traditional marriage.” 

Marcotte worked with an attorney friend to draft the legal language for his bill, The 2010 California Marriage Protection Act, and paid the $200 registration fee out of his own pocket to submit the proposal for consideration. His wife was initially hesitant to have Marcotte spend money on the idea, but donations quickly rolled into a website he created – – that have paid for the expense. The website features video PSAs and T-shirts for sale, including one that states: “You said, ‘Til death do us part.’ You’re not dead yet.”

Just two weeks ago, Marcotte received approval from the office of California Secretary of State Debra Bowen for his marriage initiative, which prepared a legal title and summary ( that will appear on initiative petitions, the first step in placing the bill on the California ballot in 2010. There’s good news for taxpayers too: according to the Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance, the state could save hundreds of millions of dollars annually due to the elimination of divorce court proceedings.

The onus is now upon Marcotte and the bill’s supporters to collect the signatures of 694,354 registered voters, or 8 percent of the total votes cast in the 2006 election, by the March 22 deadline. Due to signature-gathering irregularities, the proponents of the initiative will likely have to collect more than 1 million signatures to advance their proposed text to the ballot for voters to consider. A rally is scheduled for November 14 in Sacramento, where married couples will renew their vows on the steps of the Capitol. Marcotte has already found a number of supporters from both the right and the left and has accrued more than 7,000 followers on Facebook.

For Marcotte, his Marriage Protection Act is but the first step in raising awareness about the next great battle to protect traditional marriage within California but he hopes that other states will take his lead and join in on the movement. “This isn’t about taking away someone’s rights, it’s about what we value as a society,” he says. “We live in a divorce-promiscuous society. It’s on the television, it’s in the movies, the newspapers. It’s even in our kids’ textbooks. Just because almost half of all marriages eventually end in divorce doesn’t make it okay.”

Marriage Equality USA Redoubles our Efforts to Win the Freedom to Marry by Collecting Stories of ‘Happily Ever Afters’

San Francisco:  "Our hearts go out to same-sex couples in Maine who have had their fundamental right to marry stripped away by a slim majority," said Molly McKay, Marriage Equality USA.  "It's absolutely inhumane to put same-sex couples and their children through these grueling campaigns that only serve to promote hatred, ignorance and bigotry.  LGBT Americans deserve the same security and respect that marriage provides to all other families and we will continue on our journey that has brought us this far and continue to share our truth and the impact of discrimination – it is truly only a matter of time.  We, of the generation that has been tasked with the obligation to end legal discrimination against LGBT Americans must learn that life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain…and dance and march and sing and pray is what we will do…and as our most beloved Dr. Martin Luther King has said, we will do so, '[u]ntil justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.'"

"We must continue to heed the advice of Harvey Milk and 'come out' to everyone we meet as supporters of marriage equality, as LGBT people, as sisters, brothers, parents and friends of gay people," said Pamela Brown, Marriage Equality USA Policy Director.  "Last night, we achieved victories in Washington State and Kalamazoo, seven openly gay candidates won in elections spanning the nation from St. Petersburg, Florida to Salt Lake City, Utah and two are in run-off elections in Houston, Texas and the 58th District in Georgia. And as people witness same-sex couples happily married in six states, living their lives, mowing their lawn, paying their taxes and as our families become woven into the seamless web of community and citizenship, the injustice of separate of unequal treatment will grow more and more apparent.  To help highlight our common humanity, Marriage Equality USA is launching a stories project, particularly in states where marriage equality is a reality.  We want to encourage same-sex couples, their families, straight allies, and other community members to share their experiences on the impact and importance of extending the freedom to marry to all loving, committed couples.  The stories we collect will be presented through a digital stories project that we will release during February's Freedom to Marry month."

To have your story including in this project, please complete the on-line survey at:

"The diversity of our experiences is important to share because there are so many people to reach and we must reflect the reality that we are truly everywhere, in every community and demographic.  No one will do this for us, we must be the change we want to see in the world and it begins with sharing our truth.  Your story may be the one that will make a difference for some conflicted but potential marriage equality supporter," said Brown.  "So spread the word and send in your story today."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Equality Across America statement on the election

Today Americans in three locations voted on whether to recognize or deny the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people:

Residents of Maine voted on whether to overturn a state law that recognizes the right of same-sex couples to marry.
Residents of Washington voted on whether to overturn a state law that gives registered domestic partners the same rights, responsibilities, and obligations of married couples.
Residents of Kalamazoo, Michigan, voted on whether to overturn a city ordinance that bars discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

"It's shameful that America lets majorities vote on the rights of minorities," said Flik Huang, 24, a straight woman and San Francisco resident who helped organize the National Equality March.  "Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have been spending precious time and money fighting for something the U.S. Constitution says they should already have, which is equal protection under the law.  It's time for the federal government to end the second-class status of LGBT Americans."

Equality Across America is a network of decentralized organizers in every one of the 435 Congressional districts. These organizers form Congressional District Action Teams (CDATs) that work within their own communities to achieve full equality for LGBT Americans and their families. This includes the right to work our jobs and go to school free of harassment and discrimination; the right to safety in our daily lives, and protection from hate crimes; the right to equitable healthcare, and the right to donate blood; the right to equitable immigration policies; the right to marry; and the right to serve in the military openly.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Lesbian Lip Service

Listen at  

Lesbian Lip Service Debut Show Hosts Deita Klaus, and New LLS Hosts Chrissy & Jennifer!

News, Updates, Education, Information and New Music for the LGBT community.  Feature on the LA Gay & Lesbian Center in Hollywood.

Featuring music from April March, Fergie, Erasure, Hey Monday, Pink, The 88, Phoenix, Viva Voce, Deer Tick, Reel Big Fish, White Rabbits, & Julieta Venegas

Join Lesbian Lip Service Show at