Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I can't believe its a scant two weeks until the National Equality March! While I fend off my haters ("BENEDICTIA ARNOLD!") and pack my cutest protest undies, I've been doing a lot of thinking about the fact that the President will be on the other coast--in San Francisco no less (gayer than the march)--while we're all making our way down 15th St., around Lafayette Park, past the White House and down Pennsylvania Avenue to our nation's great Capitol. Golfing. Typical straight.
My number two reason for being against the march when I was against the march was that I questioned the wisdom of being there when the President and Congress would not be. Even Bill Clinton attended the Millennium March (via video, that is). Then again, which Senators and Representatives were going to attend? Probably the ones who will be there anyways. Jerrold Nadler? Check. Tammy Baldwin? Check. Jared Polis? Check. Y'all better have invited my girl Debbie Stabenow. She'll come, and believe you me, she can party better 'en any of us!
The President has always been somewhat of a cold fish to us anyway. He likes us, but we don't have a lot to talk about. He invites us over, but then its a little awkward when he's flippin' through the channels on his way to ESPN and we gasp when we see that the European Skating finals are on ESPN2 (why is 2 before 1 anyway?). Michelle's always been our lady...
Continue reading on Bilerico.com: Let the President go golf, I'd rather Michelle anyway.
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009
"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'"
In the words of one of my favorite living gay men, stop talking to the dining room tables! Let us be clear, my friends. Creatures like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Ann Coulter are not human. They are characters of their own devising; they are caricatures of human villainy. People who reduce themselves to monsters are appropriately regarded as monsters. They do not deserve the respect and dignity given to the least of humanity, for they are wolves in woolen garments, ghouls wearing the human form. Having dwelt too long in prideful isolation, they were long ago possessed by the desert demon, Selfishness, and, like all mad and unholy things, want nothing but to spoil the healthful, consume the weak, and madden the sane. They are anarchists, who wish to return to a lawless, primitive age when predators like they could glut their empty bellies in a cannibalistic feast. But sociopaths do not always murder the bodies of the race to which they are no longer joined. Sometimes they try to murder our souls.
We are demonized by devils. The unclean and polluted accuse us of impurity! They talk day and night of a gay conspiracy, a liberal conspiracy, a secular conspiracy. Indeed, nothing gives Ann Coulter a boner like the idea of being a martyr to her imaginary gay-liberal-secular agenda. Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh become wetter than the sea-licked shores of Lesbos at the idea of fighting to the death against a Socialist-Islamic-Feminist regime. And so I say, Let’s give them their heart’s desire. Let us conspire! Let us attack! One need not be nice to a cartoon. It does not become a gentle soul to attempt diplomacy with a fable or to engage in social relations with a fiction, especially the sort of audacious and pernicious fiction properly called a lie.
Insane people, of course, cannot help being insane. They should not be held responsible for their unwelcome and unfortunate condition. However, the creatures I am discussing are not people. Perhaps they were once, but that day has long passed. Furthermore, they are not insane. They have willingly embraced a philosophy of radical individualism. They are a community of monists, a collection of atoms whose only bond is their mutual repulsion of all social and communal ties. Indeed, they are monotheists, but their god resides in the mirror, not in the heavens. This is why, although the one they call their Lord advocated social justice and dwelt ever with the lowly and the outcasts, feeding the hungry and healing the sick, and although his early Church willingly created communal funds to fight famine and sustain widows and orphans, these people sabotage the Samaritan for trying to give health care to his neighbor, punish the father for daring to feed his prodigal son, and censure the bridegroom for inviting beggars to his table.
They regard all social institutions that empower individuals’ bodies and minds as malevolent impositions on their freedom, but they emphasize security, especially the strength of the military and private gun ownership, because they spend so much time thinking privately and understanding themselves as individuals. Indeed, the modern fixation on finding, knowing, and being true to one's self while simultaneously suspecting and attacking all external influences and definitions is founded on the same imperfectly digested Existentialist insight of our basic subjectivity and solitude. This excessive concern for private safety in the form martial power in many cases leads to an escalation of violence and certainly to an escalation of potential for violence. Thus, concern for private security without concern for other, more social and communal needs diminishes society's peace and security. This is but another aspect of the great danger these beings represent to the health of our democracy.
Still all is not lost. May we stop being afraid of fear-mongers! We do not need to negotiate with terrorists. Let their rotting mouth accuse us of closing our ears and minds. We have heard their nonsense. We have listened to their lies. But no more. We can live up to our ideals. We can build a better world... if only we can stop talking to dinning room tables.
The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.
I'm so with you Pam!
New Media is opening doors for the LGBT liberation movement that have not been opened before. However, we can't forget that these are free, online services--the Far Right has just as much access to these things as we do. We need to stay ahead of the curve, we need to empower individuals--deputize everyone to be a voice for the movement, and give them the power of knowledge and history so that they can speak with authority.
As far as grassroots vs traditional organizations in the future of the movement: I'm a member of many of those organizations, and I still see their value. However, our newly empowered grassroots efforts should be informing the 'big organizations' and not the other way around. We are desperately in need of a national infrastructure that is NOT another bureaucratic institution, but a lightweight decentralized network facilitating fast communication, synchronization and cooperation between smaller, nimbler locally-headed groups, facilitated by a highly effective, connected and informed network of citizen journalists who keep the gears turning.
How this could possibly be assembled from the mish-mash of systems and egos we currently have to deal with is beyond me, however, I think it can be done. Our community is a collection of some of the most intelligent, highly creative and highly motivated people in America. We may not have as much money as the Far Right and as Religious conservatives, but we have human assets unmatched in our rivals' ranks.
I am proposing now that Equality Across America (EAA) not establish itself as yet another 'National Org' that takes its place next to the others. Nor do I propose it replace any or try to wrestle The Task Force, GLAAD or HRC from their spots. I want to see EAA be something different. EAA can create a new system for decentralized, democratic bottom-up communication and cooperation between small, grassroots efforts within the community to help bring attention and resources to every little issue our local LBGT communities are facing. EAA can raise the profile of LGBT people from small town and southern states, and raise their voices up to finally be part of the national conversation.
EAA can help us standardize some of the resources we use, and help our local activists effectively use resources like listservs, blogs and fundraising mechanisms like ActBlue to their full advantage. EAA can help us connect communities on all sorts of levels--gay bar owners who want to pitch in can connect with other gay bar owners around the US, drag queens that want to make a difference can connect with other drag queens around the US. EAA can also help us hear the stories of others who don't get heard, or help us tell our stories if we have been silenced in the past.
If not the EAA then something must come and take this mantle. It can't be an existing organization, because this effort will eventually just get lost among their other projects. It can't be one of our well-meaning, but profit-driven gay media companies. Its got to be born anew from the spirit of now. I'm looking forward to see if its born in DC this October!
I'll see you there!
Monday, September 21, 2009
If you're still against the March, I have no intention of trying to change your mind. I probably share many of your same reservations, believe it or not. However, I've personally weighed out the pros and cons for myself; not the pros and cons for everyone, mind you, just my personal reasons for going and not going. I still maintain that the March's planning process has been... lets say... less than perfect. Then again, perfection isn't a requirement for being a good activist or leader. Just an attempt to do what's right at all times.
I've donated my money to Maine, Kalamazoo and Washington; actually three times to Maine NoOnOne. In fact, I've given more to NoOnOne this year than I've given to ANY of my other usual favorite causes. I'm not going to quit giving, either.
But when all of the bills were paid, there was money leftover in the pot for me to do something else--and that something is going to the March. I don't see this as a vacation. This is an opportunity to meet and mentor some people I admire.
Some of the folk I sincerely hope come to the March and that I'm able to meet:
- The other Bilerico contributors, too numerous to mention (especially Michael Crawford, Alex Blaze, Tobi, Fr. Tony and Waymon Hudson)
- The Pam's House Blend Contributors (especially Pam [of course] and Autumn)
- Michael Jones from Change.org
- Joe Jervis from Joe My God
- Michaelangelo Signorile
- Chris Geidner of Law Dork Blog
- Andrés Duque of Blabbeando
- Rea Carey
- My cohosts on Lundon Calling Ace Lundon and Lance Helms
- of course, Cleve Jones and Kip Williams and everyone involved with the march
- All my awesome readers and retweeters
- All my old friends in DC (Lane Hudson) my old friends from the HRC and those I'll pick up on the way (Bil and Jerame)
What we do with this opportunity is up to us. There will be a lot of great people in D.C. with whom I'm sure I'll have a lot of fun. However, I specifically isolated the people above because I believe these are some truly great minds in our movement right now. If we were to get all of these people together in one room with the goal of creating a solid and workable strategy, I'm convinced we will have one. Some of these people have already proven this--Lane, Pam and others helped create the Dallas Principles.
The Dallas Principles are a perfect foundation. We must use the Principles as a backbone to build a multi-level nationwide strategy that includes all parts of our community. Here are some goals that I have for possible outcomes from our summit in Washington:
- FIRST: We must not leave out any level of action: Local, State and Federal. Each of these is important, and I won't begin to argue why here. Each can also help the other, which makes them all critical parts of the puzzle. While we can not leave out any letter from the alphabet out, we also can't ignore any level of involvement. How will we create an atmosphere in LGBT leadership that encourages and empowers local movements, without supplanting local leadership while at the same time growing our State and Federal/national organizations?
- SECOND: We must create a framework for a two-pronged approach to advocacy on both the State and Federal level that doesn't compete, but instead works in concert: one prong dedicated to the passage of an omnibus LGBTIQQ Equal Rights law in ALL FIFTY states, as well as on the Federal level; a second prong that--in the mean time as we wait for this omnibus LGBTIQQ Equal Rights law--will continue to win with laws protecting parts of our goals, as has been successful on the State level in some states (if not most to some degree or another) and to also continue working toward our first win at the Federal level.
- THIRD: We must create a system that utilizes and deploys our current resources while simultaneously cultivating new resources from the ground up. We have a profusion of resources and connections, but we should not only rely on old models. We should continue using the old models to our benefit while looking for new models and strategies to reach our goals. A big focus on youth and grassroots here would be crucial.
- FOURTH: We can't forget about real life! What are we doing to try to lift up those who are struggling while we wait for our lawmakers to grow some balls? Our lobbying and activist organizations should do what they can to support groups that provide services that benefit needy LGBT people NOW. Community Centers, campaign funds, student groups, Legal groups, youth services groups, psychological services support and economic charities are important and need to be bolstered to the prominent status of our big lobbying groups.
What should guide any agendas is that we focus on the resources we have--including and perhaps most importantly our human resources--and embrace those in setting our goals. "No more crumbs," or "Federal strategy is a losing strategy" language is divisive and ultimately defeatist. We have a fabulous history with some incredibly innovative leaders. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. These must all be tossed aside to have any success here.
Backward-looking thinking will also be counterproductive. We must commit to not making the mistakes of the past, but we also must not dwell on those mistakes either. Our best leaders will help us deal compassionately with open wounds, but also deal with these wounds quickly and constructively--converting finger-pointing into problem solving.
Most of all, I hope that we come out with SOMETHING constructive after this event. I would not be going if I thought it was merely going to be just a big ole D.C. party--and if it turns out to be nothing more than an ego-trip, I'm going to be pissed. I'm going to D.C. with goals, I have a feeling I will not be the only one.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
About a month and a half ago, I was in Chicago for Market Days where I met up with a few of my friends from Chicago. No surprise, most are gay men, but one in particular is a straight, Indian woman with a great sense of humor. It just so happened that on Friday night, we decided we ought to show her all of the glorious bars of Boystown--dancing and partying all night long.
We somehow ended up in Cocktail (huge surprise, really).
For those of you who don't know Boystown well, Cocktail is a tiny bar at the corner of Roscoe and Halstead that features glittery and muscular male go-go dancers. Our foreign female friend had never seen go-go dancers before. She was fascinated, but needed some social lubrication (tequila) before she could approach the dancer and daintily slide him a $1 tip. Six shots later, she was covered in glittery stripper-sweat and excitedly doling out all of her dollars for more shows.
A few weeks later, I got a giggly phone call late one night.
"Where is that go-go club you took me to again?" She chortled out...
Continue reading my latest piece at the Bilerico project, "Dear Chicago Gays: I'm so sorry!"
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Whenever I record an episode of Lundon Calling with Ace Lundon and Lance Helms, I generally end up in tears, doubled over in laughter at some point. If you don't know him, Ace is a pretty goofy guy. An old-school activist from way-back-when, and an Entertainment Business legend; he's been in the business for longer than God. He knows how to get a laugh. He knows everyone, and he's always got a silly anecdote.
Last night, Ace recorded his first "remote" episode from Reno, Nevada where Ace spent several years in the 80's with his partner of 13 years, Patrick. We were joined, as usual by Lance Helms in Atlanta, as well as Ace's friend in Reno, Angela Brooks. We started recording an hour later than usual, and our producer, "Spiderman," warned me in advance that we weren't going to be watching the clock--which made me a little cranky.
Despite that, last night I ended up in tears anyway... and not from laughter...Continue reading my newest Bilerico post: A Very Special Recording with a Very Special Guy.
TOAST TO THE VERY SPECIAL ACE LUNDON!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
This is the Ameriqueer twitter RSS feed. Every day @Ameriqueer tweets dozens of news stories from the best LGBT/PWA news sources across the web. From amazing blogs like Bilerico, Pam's House Blend, Joe.My.God, Blabbeando, Rod 2.0, Good As You, to time-honored LGBT/PWA publications like 365gay.com, the Advocate and Poz Magazine. There are also some interesting new players like @latestlgbtscien, @TransNewsGirl and the @NathanOUTLoud Podcast. Find out when a new episode of your favorite LGBT PodCast is up--Lundon Calling. Don't forget that @Ameriqueer will also let you know what there's new content at your favorite LGBT blog, Ameriqueer!
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TOAST TO YOU, THE READER!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
N FREDRICKSON--True Hedonism: The Philosophy of Being Gay
"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best—" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.
My dear gay friends, love yourselves. Let the goal of your life be named Pleasure; consider Happiness the highest good. Set no god, ideal, or person above it. Denounce as a blasphemer and apostate of Truth anyone who proclaims a higher value, for those who are not rich in self-love will find their treasury empty when they seek to enrich others. Seek in all things the maximization of Pleasure. However, having decided to be happy and to be a faithful follower pleasure, use all your resources in its pursuit and acquisition.
We are rational animals. We should, then, use our cunning to increase and sustain our pleasures. And, although we live in a world that sometimes scorns the intellect, we should not be ashamed of the pleasure we take in thinking, in the activity of being rational animals. Likewise—for the mind only knows the comely form of Reason by moving through the world—I ask, Do we glory in the sensations of the body? Then Reason tells us we should care for our bodies. They are the temples of her twin sister, Pleasure; they are the holy spaces where fragrant incense fills the nostrils and sacred foods ravish the tongue, where hymns are offered in praise of the Beautiful, and where we worship the hot, wet, softness of the flesh with the dance and play of sex. Again I ask, Are we social animals, delighting in the company of our fellows? Then we ought to cultivate our social ties, our bonds of friendship.
True hedonism is rational. It is not the nearsighted pursuit of every possible occasion of pleasure. The devotee of Pleasure takes the long view and thereby acquires that peculiarly intense modality of pleasure known as Happiness. The hedonist knows that it is unpleasant, and thus immoral, to unduly upset the equilibrium of one's mind, body, and life. A hedonist is never prudish, but will abstain, knowing that disciplined, self-imposed restraint from satisfying a desire will only make the ultimate satisfaction of the desire more pleasurable. As a true and rational hedonist, she enjoys the unique quality of anticipation.
Is not desire painful? Yes, beautifully so. Hedonists know, with intimate and scandalous clarity, that pain has its place as a compliment to pleasure. Apply yourself to this art, the subtle science of increasing and sustaining your pleasure, and you will come to know yourself. The startling powers and limits of your body and mind will be revealed to you. The nature of your surroundings will become clearer, for the character of one's environment has much to do with one's own nature. Indulging in this, the naughtiest, most subversive, most masturbatory of pleasures, namely, the contemplative, you will, O my friends, become true hedonists; you will be happy; you will be gay.
Friday, September 11, 2009
16 ACRE CEMETERY
Published in the Central Review 2003
9/11 is an extremely important day for me. I'm a peculiar kind of patriot. I love the idea of my country very much, and I'm very very biased about it. America's system has the promise to be the greatest system on the planet--warts and all. I feel the Bill of Rights may even be the greatest political document ever.
That said, you can't lump me with the flag-waving, fireworks-shootin good 'ole boy patriots out there. I love the idea of my country, but I'm damn pissed at my country. Racism, classism, sexism and homophobia are counter to the very idea of this country, but certainly prevalent and permissible. However, institutionalized racism, classism, sexism and homophobia are disgusting and these things are holding us back from realizing the promise of this great experiment.
I'm a patriot, not because I'm proud of what my country's done in the past. I'm not proud of centuries of slavery and 'domestication' of women, both systems that used people like property to be bought and sold like a car. I'm not proud of the genocide of millions of Native Americans--and their continued use as a symbol for privileged middle-class white boys to center their privileged partying around. Don't get me wrong, I understand I'm privileged, and I do love to party, but It disgusts me that we treat human beings like animals to this day when the "Illini" play the "Bulldogs." 'Nuff said.
I'm not a patriot because of what my country's done in the past. I'm a patriot because of what my nation promises to be someday. This promise was made to me when those old white men in expensive clothes gathered in Philadelphia to sign the Constitution. In some ways its the greatest promise that any nation has ever made to its people: You're free, you're equal, you're in charge. That promise has not been made good for everyone. As a gay man, I'm neither free nor equal, and I'm HARDLY in charge.
But its there, this promise, in black and white--ink over 200 years old, but still there. Someday I still believe this promise will be made good. Whether I'm alive or not, I don't know. But someday, Americans will finally be able to cash in this promise--that no more will there be have and have-nots. No more will there be some who can and some who can't.
So on 9/11, a day that polarized this nation far more than any other, I do remember this promise, and I hold out my hope that the delivery is on its way. 9/11 made a lot of people Nationalists. 9/11 made me an ACTIVIST. I realized that I loved this country so much that I wanted to help make it better. I wanted to do what I could to help it make good on its promise.
So today I reflect on the 5000 people that--whether or not they believed the promise would ever come true--will never get to see if it does come true. I think of the damage and destruction we waged upon the third world leading up to that day, and whether or not we can make good on our promise if we continue exploiting poorer nations around the world.
I also reflect that--regardless of how justified or unjustified their anger is--Al Qaida makes no such promise. Flaws aside, America has a goal that seeks to create a heaven here on earth, and I for one think that that is a fantastic goal.
Its on its way. I'm a patient man. If I have to wait another 100 years for it, I will.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Netroots Magic: Joe Wilson's trashing is Rob Miller's treasure
Last night when the tweets began flooding in about S.C. G.O.P. Rep. Joe Wilson's misguided heckling of the President of the United States, I was preparing to record another episode of Lundon Calling, the weekly podcast I co-co-host with Ace Lundon and Lance Helms. None of us really had the opportunity to see it live, so I wasn't really sure what to make of the comments about someone throwing shade at the president. I thought it was merely the general raucous booing that Democrats also hammed up for Bush like a VH1 "____ Of Love" contestant.
"I agree--totally classless--but you have a short memory. Dems did same to Bush in state of union." I tweeted back to some friends.But my interest was piqued, During the first part of the show, Ace sort of takes the lead, so I started to investigate what folks were talking about. If you haven't seen it, here it is:
To read the rest and find out what good came from this please visit Netroots Magic: Joe Wilson's trashing is Rob Miller's treasure on Bilerico.com!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Of course, Lance had left us behind AGAIN, so it sort of had a funereal feel to the show. It's always a little less jovial without Lance's glass clinking there.
THIS WEEK LANCE IS BACK, and I can't wait to find out what Ace has cooked up for us tonight when we record.
In the mean time, please take a listen to last week's edition of Lundon Calling!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
AN EASY WAY TO DOUBLE YOUR MONEY - BIL BROWNING
For the next 48 hours, a generous Projector has made an offer to the Bilerico community that can't be ignored! Our reader will match up to $1000 total raised on Bilerico if at least 12 people donate in the next 48 hours.
Donate to No On 1/Maine Marriage Equality via Bilerico's ActBlue page and your donation will be doubled!
We currently stand at 13 contributors who've donated $565 to Maine. We need 25 donorsby noon on Thursday to get the matching funds. Our donor will match the total amount of contributions raised by our new donors up to $1000.
We've set a goal of raising $5000 from the Bilerico communities for the fight in Maine. That's paltry compared to the Maine Catholic Bishop's decree that all Catholic churches in Maine will hold a special second collection next Sunday for the anti-gay forces pushing the referendum.
Don't miss this chance to get double your money's worth of equal rights!
If a dozen people donated $83, we'd meet our goal. We could also do it with 20 people donating $50 or 40 Projectors giving $25 each. Even if you can only spare $10, we'll gladly take it and pass it on - as a $20 donation!
Keep in mind, this isn't a wealthy man willing to give spare change to Maine. This is someone just like you or I - struggling to make ends meet in today's economy. Our demographics info shows us that most Projectors aren't rich; they trend toward the lower income activist types.
Making a $1000 donation will put a dent in our donor's pocketbook too, but he's willing to do it for Projectors who will join him in helping Maine keep marriage equality.
Big thanks to our anonymous donor and to contributor Phil Reese for setting this up for us.
PS - Won't you help us raise $2000 for marriage equality in Maine? After all, when was the last time you could really double your money this easily?
READ BIL BROWNING'S ORIGINAL POST.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Read "Where you can help us win today."
"What's so important about local races? I don't care about marriage! I don't care about things happening in another state. I don't understand why I should support local causes when we can apply a band-aid to D.C. and everything will instantly be all better--bye bye boo-boos!
"After all, the laws that are made in Washington apply to all of the states. Better to win it there and get ENDA and marriage everywhere at once, than to get a patchwork piecemeal system of unequal competing laws."
If this rings true with you, you're absolutely 100% correct! Passing bills that guarantee our rights through DC would automatically give us equality all over the nation--case closed. The only problem is, I can't name a single law that was passed out of both houses of congress and signed by the president that expressly benefits LGBT people. That's because there are none. We've spent 40 years and millions--if not billions--of dollars working DC, and the only laws we've seen passed that mention us are two that make us even more second-class citizens: the Defense of Marriage Act and Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
Our biggest DC victory was stopping the discriminatory Constitutional Marriage Protection Amendment. Seriously. Our biggest DC victory was not actually a real win, but avoiding a huge defeat. DC is a money pit and a hole. We can't stop working it hard, but its time we propose a new strategy.
Let's make the 'local' national. (More after the jump)Continue reading "Where you can help us win today."
Thursday, September 3, 2009
In order to win, we need to support. we can't support every single local campaign this Fall, but perhaps 10 to focus on for starters, and build from there. What would happen if 100 people gave just $10 to each of these 10 campaigns? What if those 100 people were 1000 people? Do you think you could convince just 10 people to give $100--$10 each--to these campaigns, and then in turn have them convince 10 more people to do the same?
Monday, I released my list of 10 campaigns. Tuesday, I gave you 10-7: 10. Wisconsin Domestic Partnership Benefits Supreme Court Challenge; 9.
Today, I want you to learn about the last three awesome contests, and decide if you can support Victory. We're all strapped, but if you can spare $100 and get 10 more people to do so as well, we WILL continue our march to VICTORY!
3. WAFST APPROVE Washington Referendum 71 -- Washington Families Standing Together is fighting hard against the very shady, very slimy Protect Marriage Washington--headed by shady dealers Larry Stickney and out-of-state hater Gary Randall--to stop this Anti-Family Referendum from Amending the Constitution and repealing the Equal Protections that WASHINGTON citizens have enjoyed since Domestic Partnerships were signed into law in 2007. This is a CLEARLY homophobic bill that seeks to very clearly communicate hatred to the LGBT community.
The campaign is off to a great start, 40,000 people signed the internet-driven Decline to Sign Pledge, which certainly compete with the number of signatures that anti-family Protect Marriage Washington using shady practices will have been able to get. However, there is a LOT more work to do, and a huge campaign of this magnitude will require generous support.
On their donation page, WAFST suggests making a symbolic donation of $71 (as do I), but according to Thomas Pitchford, Finance Committee member and Equal Rights Washington Development Director, if you were to click the link and fill in the 'other' box for $10 your donation will buy them the ability to touch hearts and change minds. "[Once the campaign goes into full throtle], we need to get more aggressive in the media market"
The WAFST folks are going to be fighting a dangerous and well-funded anti-Equality rhetoric machine. According to Pitchford, WAFST will combat Gary and Larry by "put out big messages that people can grab onto to make them real and think about this as a friend or a neighbor." Your $10 will help put ads "on the radio, tv and in newspapers" to help educate Washington citizens about this tricky referendum.
Small donations have been at the heart of the campaign to safeguard Equality in Washington since the start. "[The campaign was built on] little amounts by people who want to give something... and are starting to participate for the first time."
According to Josh Friedes, WAFST Campaign Manager, "small contributions bundled together allow you to buy airtime on local television stations in more conservative parts of the state we need to educate every day Washington citizens that the Domestic Partnership law is important to families in the communities that they live"
Traditional campaign means mail, but it also means innovation--and new methods of reaching people through social networking sites are amazingly affordable.
"$10 will easily buy us a social network ad," allowing WAFST to target millions of people to support Equality. Be sure to give.
2. One Kalamazoo campaign to protect City Non-Discrimination Ordinance -- in May, the city of Kalamazoo, Michigan passed an inclusive Non-Discrimination Ordinance in housing, employment and accommodations, but the enemies of Equality are forcing a ballot measure to repeal the ordinance this fall. One Kalamazoo, led by former Stonewall Democrats head Jon Hoadley, has been formed to educate the people of Kalamazoo on this ballot question to assure that Equality is the rule in K-town. If you give just $10 to the One Kalamazoo, your donation will help the organization:
- Mail 20 voters real information about the Kalamazoo Non-Discrimination Ordinance
- Buy water for a night of canvassing
- Pay for one of our local testimonial shoots
- Pay for a month of online access fees
- Pay for internet for the office for a month
- Register 50 new voters on campus
- Buy targeted online advertising for a week
- Pay for a radio ad
"Winning in Kalamazoo sets the tone for the national debate. Every time a local non-discrimination ordinance passes it moves us closer to passing important pieces of federal legislation like the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. And inversely, if we lose the fight, it could slow down progress federally, let alone have a devastating affect on everyone who lives and works in Kalamazoo."
The haters have been turning up the heat lately by attacking the gender identity protections in the ordinance, something that One Kalamazoo is attacking head-on.
"Finally, we must stop the attacks on transgender people. If it appears that attacking transgender people can score cheap political wins, then we'll be faced with a wave of these fights across the country. We need to show that equality means equality, fairness means fairness. Winning in Kalamazoo takes the wind out of the sails for these anti-transgender attacks."
Please Support One Kalamazoo in their effort to protect the Kalamazoo ordinance with a donation of at least $10.
1. Maine Freedom To Marry No on Question 1 -- Maine Freedom to Marry was featured two months ago on Ameriqueer in a blog entitled: MAINE BIGOTS MAKE IT OFFICIAL--THE TIME TO START FIGHTING IS NOW! In an effort to try to convince people to support these incredibly important efforts first before they pay their flight tickets to DC for the National Equality March, I also republished the post on Bilerico (check out some great comments from native Maine residents).
Now Question 1 is written and on the ballot--and enemies of Equality are going to try to push us back into the closet in this crucial New England state. Maine is going to be the bellwether of Marriage Equality now that California's Proposition 8 has thrown a wrench into our progress. A defeat in Maine could mean a reduction in momentum for our movement as well as encouragement for the enemies of Equality. Veteran political strategist Steve Hildebrand considers Maine our most crucial battle this fall, and we can't ignore him.
Evan Moody broke down what campaign contributions will do in Maine in my previous post:
- $33 buys a tank of gas for an organizer
- $62 buys 100 pieces of direct mail
- $328 buys office space to open a new field office (of which there are only four)
- $800 buys one weeks pay for two field organizers
- $1,078 buys one 30 second television spot
Your dollars are greatly needed. If you were to give $10 to Maine this month, you could help pay for pamphlets, office supplies, or just help them out with their office utility bills to help the operation continue to run smoothly. If you're going to give to one campaign this fall, it needs to be this one.
Please consider giving to the three campaigns above today (and the other 7)--even if it's only $1. Then ask everyone you can to pitch in as well. Maybe you can be part of a REAL REVOLUTION!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
This week, Lance will once again be missing, but we are going to have a very special guest: Ace's good friend Becky Groves!
"It's a birthday!" by Bil Browning
Let's see who we've got in today's birthday column? Why, it's Phil Reese! Don't believe me? He told you so himself!
Normally I just post an embarrassing childhood picture of the contributor and encourage everyone to leave snarky comments about how old they are. Since Phil is one of the contributors I've actually met in person (he's only a couple of hours away), I feel obligated to give him a little... more.
You see, poor Phil's boyfriend ran off to DC this morning with another man.* You'll note that Phil obviously has a drinking problem** (as shown in the standard childhood photo to the right***), so I'm sure this latest mishap will only reinforce his abandonment issues. Should you wish to find Phil tonight and give him your best regards, he'll be hanging out at Billy Bob's Beer, Bottoms & Bar Floozies celebrating with the first floozy who'll take a check.****
Now won't you - at least - wish the poor guy a happy birthday? Or you could also make a donation to the No On 1/Maine Marriage Equality campaign in his honor. Or both.
* It's not what it seems.
** He doesn't.
*** It's not a childhood photo.
**** Floozies won't take checks. I've tried.
Read "Its a Birthday!" and Leave a comment--ESPECIALLY if you donate to Maine Marriage in my honor!
TOAST TO BIL BROWNING! THANK YOU!
In order to win, we need to support. we can't support every single local campaign this Fall, but perhaps 10 to focus on for starters, and build from there. What would happen if 100 people gave just $10 to each of these 10 campaigns? What if those 100 people were 1000 people? Do you think you could convince just 10 people to give $100--$10 each--to these campaigns, and then in turn have them convince 10 more people to do the same?
Do you see where I'm going here?
Monday, I released my list of 10 campaigns. Yesterday, I gave you 10-7: 10. Wisconsin Domestic Partnership Benefits Supreme Court Challenge; 9.
Today, I want you to learn about three amazing races, and decide if you can support Victory. We're all strapped, but if you can spare $100 and get 10 more people to do so as well, we WILL continue our march to VICTORY!
6. Illinois Civil Unions -- Equal Marriage Illinois is putting bodies in the Dome in Springfield to push those lawmakers that are on the Fence to cast a vote in favor of Equality on the The Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act.
This traditionally progressive state, has fallen behind its bucolic Northwestnern neighbor, IOWA in terms of LGBT equality this year. While Civil Unions aren't full marriage, this Rep. Greg Harris/Senator David Koehler bill is a very positive step. "The bill in its current form (SB1716 HA#1) is one of a handful of pieces of legislation that can still be considered during the Veto Session next month" said Representative Greg Harris. "I think it would also be fair to say that in Illinois, and I imagine every other state, marriage equality will be a big question in next years election cycles."
A win in Illinois this fall will send a strong message to the rest of the nation--Equality can not be stopped. Send $10 through this portal and you will pay for lobby training and the creation of important educational materials. You could also give at Rep. Harris' P.A.C. or to Equality Illinois.
5. Dana Beyer 18th District Maryland House of Delegates -- As she charms her future constituents in Maryland's Chevy Chase area with her genuine friendliness and approachability, Dr. Dana Beyer is set to be the first transgender State Legislator in American history, and the highest ranked transgender elected official currently in the United States. As an eye surgeon, she certainly is attuned to seeing things not visible to most--but as a transgender woman, she'll have the most unique perspective in American politics--a perspective that will surely serve well her constituents, especially those at economic or political disadvantage.
"I am a national civil rights leader, and a proud progressive who works on behalf of all marginalized people and whose goal is to give the people of Maryland the progressive government leadership they deserve." said Beyer. Visiting the about section of her website backs that up. Her biography reads like the entire script of a Nobel Prize ceremony (certainly got to be somewhere in her future).
As a physician, Dana's main goal is to improve the basic quality of life for Marylanders and bring Health Care for everyone. That's a goal that all of us in the LGBT community (save probably a few who don't even read this blog) can definitely get behind. More than just being a historic campaign, this is a truly electrifying candidate who will make real change on a spectrum of issues for her constituents.
Dr. Beyer's race will be tough, but she is confident that the small contributions will make the difference. "Whereas $10 won't, in itself, buy anything these days," she told me "that $10, magnified by the online community a thousand-fold, makes all the difference We all know, from the Obama campaign, how expensive things are but we also learned the power of a movement to leverage those of lesser means."
"In my district, 250 $10 contributions will pay for a mailer to seniors, and 500 to all the women Democratic voters in the district. 1000 $10 contributions will pay for a week of blitz canvassing all over the district, three of which will touch every potential primary voter."
While Dana needs 'only' $150K, that money goes primarily to what is called "touches"--the candidate touching voters, either through direct mail (very expensive), professional canvassers (expensive), volunteers (cheap but require management) and the candidate (free, but time-consuming).
Small contributions don't directly buy that, but they add up quickly, and amount to "an investment in a better America." To help Dana claim her victory, click here.
4. Annise Parker Democratic candidate for mayor of Houston -- Annise's flashy website boasts some technical wonders, but Annise's real credentials are in her resume. The out lesbian is the city's current Controller, and a former City Council member who has worked closely with the poor and whose record on fiscal responsibility should be the envy of every Ross Perot and Pat Buchannon out there! According to Annise's website, $5 pays for campaign materials, gifts for helpful volunteers, materials for debates--so imagine what your $10 will buy! Jeri Brooks from the Annise Parker communications team says if you send $10, you're helping procure "t-shirts for campaign volunteers, water for block walkers, more literature to share [Annise's] vision, or gas to a house party. $10 says you are invested in the future."
Tomorrow, you will learn about three more amazing campaigns that you can make a difference by supporting with a very small amount today. 3. WAFST APPROVE Washington Referendum 71; 2. One Kalamazoo Michigan campaign to protect City Non-Discrimination Ordinance; 1. Maine Freedom To Marry No on Question 1
Please consider giving to the three campaigns above today (and yesterday's three)--even if it's only $1. Then ask everyone you can to pitch in as well. Maybe you can be part of a REAL REVOLUTION!
My newest Bilerico Post: The Equality March Endorsement List and Me
Yesterday, Towleroad unveiled a massive roster of A-list supporters for the National Equality March. We'll be marching next to my boyhood crush Chad Allen, Mad Men's Bryan Batt, my current crush Dustin Lance Black, Alan Cummings, Harvey Fierstein, the ever-gorgeous Judith Light, Jack Mackenroth, Judy Shepard, Charlize Theron, Bruce Vilanch and Judge David Young this National Coming Out Day.
It's an illustrious list full of A-list actors, politicos (Tom Duane, Tammy Baldwin, Danny O'Donnel, David Mixner, Richard Socarides and Christine Quinn are all on the list too) and movers and shakers from all over this great nation. Star-studded would be the descriptor.
I haven't exactly been ecstatic about the march, but I know its being done in good faith. Everywhere I look I see more supporters. I'm surrounded by supporters: Bil Browning, Pam Spaulding and other Bilerico bloggers, as well as my two co-hosts from Lundon Calling, the legendary Mr. Ace Lundon and Lance Helms...
Oh... and me. Apparently I am endorsing the National Equality March...
Keep Reading The Equality March Endorsement List and Me
Please comment on Bilerico.com.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
In order to win, we need to support. You and I can't support every single local campaign this Fall, but perhaps we can pick 10 to support with just a little bit of money today, and then get our friends to support those 10 too. What would happen if 100 people gave just $10 to each of these 10 campaigns? Each campaign could pay for the type of leg-work they need to change minds and hearts. What if those 100 people were 1000 people? Do you think you could convince just 10 people to give $100--$10 each--to these campaigns, and then in turn convince 10 more people to do the same?
Do you see where I'm going here?
Yesterday, I released my list of 10 campaigns. Today, I want you to just learn about four of these amazing races, and decide if you can support Victory. We're all strapped, but if you can spare $100 and get 10 more people to do so as well, we WILL continue our march to VICTORY!
10. Wisconsin Domestic Partnership Benefits State Supreme Court Challenge -- "Fair Wisconsin is focused on defending domestic partnerships from a legal challenge being brought forward by Wisconsin Family Action." says Katie Belanger of Fair Wisconsin.
The nonpartisan Wisconsin Legislative Council issued an opinion on May 6th, 2009, supporting the legality of the new domestic partnerships under an anti-Marriage Equality constitutional amendment, stating “it is reasonable to conclude that the domestic partnerships proposed…do not confer a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals in violation of art. XIII, s.13.”
Christopher Clark, senior staff attorney with Lambda Legal, concurs. “In the absence of such a conflict, we are perplexed and disappointed by the Attorney General’s decision and we encourage the Governor to vigorously defend the important legal protections that the legislature validly enacted to protect Wisconsin citizens.”
The situation for Fair Wisconsin has recently become very grave, and they're in need of a lot of support. Just last week, we found out that Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen would not be defending the law in the courts. “Fair Wisconsin is disappointed at the Attorney General’s decision,” said Katie Belanger, Executive Director of Fair Wisconsin in a press release two Fridays ago. “The Attorney General was elected to defend the State of Wisconsin from exactly this type of legal challenge, and we regret that he has chosen not to do so.”
“Because of the importance of this legislation," Continued Belanger, "Fair Wisconsin will seek to take an active role in this case and has retained Lambda Legal as counsel. We are confident that the State Supreme Court will arrive at a fair and just decision that upholds these basic protections for same-sex couples.”
Fair Wisconsin needs your help. Please click the link today to donate to Fair Wisconsin, and your small donation will help pay for the enormous amount of cash such a legal battle consumes.
Woods is out of the race, but has a bright future ahead of him! I will be replacing his slot with a new #9 to watch soon!
8. Charles Pugh Detroit City Council, Michigan -- Openly gay, former Detroit news anchor, Charles Pugh, is leading the pack of City Council candidates, after finishing first in the primaries a few weeks ago. Charles Pugh will be the first openly gay city council member in this fairly progressive but problem-plagued city. He's running to reform a city council that's been beleaugured with scandal as of late (remember Kwame Kilpatrick?) If you want to donate to Pugh's campaign, please click here.
7. Adam Ebbin 49th District Virginia House of Delegates reelection -- Adam Ebbin, a Victory Fund endorsed lawmaker, is returning to the polls on November 3 to defend his seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. An advocate of transportation and labor issues, Ebbin is more than just a gay candidate. If you want to give your help, click here!
Tomorrow, you will learn about three more amazing campaigns that you can make a difference by supporting with a very small amount today. 6. Illinois Civil Unions; 5. Dana Beyer 18th District Maryland House of Delegates; 4. Annise Parker Democratic candidate for mayor of Houston.
Please consider giving to the four campaigns above today--even if it's only $1. Then ask everyone you can to pitch in as well. Maybe you can be part of a REAL REVOLUTION!