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Archive for December, 2008

JoinTheImpact at Creating Change

Posted by admin On December - 12 - 2008

Join the Impact is Going To Creating Change. Are you?

Fired up and ready to go? Looking for training, inspiration and friends in our LGBT movement? Want to meet and talk with Willow Witte, one of the founders of Join the Impact? Willow will be leading a workshop on the Join the Impact movement.

The 21st National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change Conference is for you!

In its 21st year, the Creating Change Conference convenes the LGBT movement’s organizers, volunteers, leaders, and staff for five full days of training sessions, workshops, strategy-making, caucuses, and fun fun fun! Sponsored and produced by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Creating Change jumps off Jan. 28 to Feb. 1, 2009 in beautiful Denver Colorado. Let’s build the grassroots power of our movement. Let’s create change!

At Creating Change, you will learn from peers and colleagues, laugh with new friends, and grow in your own confidence and ability to create change in our world.

For more information about this one-of-a-kind life-changing LGBT event, visitwww.creatingchange.org.

Scholarships and low-income registrations are available. Check it out today!

Jon Stewart Has 1 of his 10 Conversations

Posted by amy On December - 11 - 2008

10 Conversations could change the world. Over the next 10 months, JoinTheImpact will continue to encourage each and everyone of you to have 10 respectful and heartfelt conversations about equality. You won’t change the mind of every person out there, but you’ll touch the minds and hopefully hearts of all. Although Mike Huckabee didn’t have a miraculous realization and suddenly join in the cause of Equal Civil Marriage, he did at least join in the conversation. He listened to the other side; to our side. And, although his mind wasn’t changed, someone watching may have changed their mind. This is why OUR VISIBILITY is so important! If we continue to come out by the Hundreds of Thousands and then the MILLIONS Day after Day, Week after Week, and Month after Month… then this conversation will continue. If we sit back and hope that only a few people will keep this going, then we risk a huge loss. Our allies are out there ready to join at our sides and fight this fight. Let’s continue to give them a reason to talk about one simple dream: A Truly Equal America! JTI and dozens (if not hundreds) of other organizations are working together to keep our community visible. Please show this world how all of us can MAKE AN IMPACT! Join us on December 20th to Light up the Night for Equal Rights! We need organizers in many cities still (and JTI has an amazing support system to help you organize)! Let’s not let the holiday’s overshadow our visibility. This is our time! This is our movement! And this is OUR OPPORTUNITY to continue this AMAZING CONVERSATION OF EQUALITY!

365Gay.com Breaks Down Calling in Gay

Posted by amy On December - 9 - 2008

Tomorrow, across the country, people will Call in Gay and dedicate their day toward volunteering! Where will you be tomorrow? What will you be doing? A great deal of people are hopping on board and rumors are starting to spread about which industry could be impacted the most. Equality groups around the nation are planning events to gain signatures for marriage equality. The Courage Campaign is going full force working toward 1 million signatures to repeal Prop 8. And volunteer efforts are being led at local homeless shelters, retirement centers, and venues for our Food Drive.

Here’s what David Craig (DWAG creator) has to say about Day Without a Gay – Shedding some light on the main question: Why Day Without a Gay.

Can’t call in Gay? You can still join in making a HUGE Impact.
Some of us are extremely lucky to work in a pro-LGBTQ company. People are out and proud and want to continue their impact at work. Others live in one of the 30 States where you can still be fired based on your sexual orientation. We encourage you not to risk calling in if you fear for your job.

That said, here are 5 ways you can make an impact tomorrow:
1. Volunteer your time and services after work
2. Do not buy anything
3. Do not watch TV or use your cell phone
4. Do not go online (yup, don’t even visit this site tomorrow)… Online advertising is everywhere and a simple page load could cause money to be spent.
5. Do not buy lunch (and don’t go out today to get what you need for lunch tomorrow), find something you already have and pack your lunch.

Some More Info on Day Without a Gay

Posted by admin On December - 9 - 2008

In a historic election, America voted for its first African-American President.
But opponents of full equality for another oppressed minority were also successful across the Nation.

It’s time to take a stand for FULL EQUALITY for ALL AMERICANS, including the LGBT Community!

45 States ban gay marriage in some form.
30 states ban gay and lesbian employment protection
16 states are planning to ban gay adoptions and fostering.
Civil Unions are denied the 1100 Federal benefits of marriage.

Join us on December 10th, International Human Rights Day.

STRIKE! Take the day off, close your business, or call in sick. (unless you may get fired because you are gay or lesbian)

BOYCOTT! Don’t buy anything, spend money or support the economy.

PARTICIPATE! Don’t stay home! To volunteer, petition or protest, go to adaywithoutgays.com.
(If you live in CA, go to couragecampaign.org to find out how to help overturn Prop 8.)

____________________________________________________________

WHAT ABOUT THE ECONOMY?

THIS IS ABOUT RAISING AWARENESS. A one-day strike/boycott is symbolic and will not harm our economy in any way that won’t be fixed the next day. However, for millions of gay and lesbians, the current economic situation is made even worse without the rights and benefits of marriage or employment protection. Also, gay marriage would have brought $683 million and over 2200 jobs to CA in 3 years. If you support America’s economy, support Gay Marriage.

“The world only moves forward. We will be citizens! The time has come.” – ANGELS IN AMERICA

Let’s Step it Up a Notch

Posted by amy On December - 9 - 2008

On November 28th, 2008, we began the first annual LGBTQ Food Drive for Equality. Now, a week and a half later, we are on the way, but not quite there yet. We have about HALF of our cities from November 15th signed up to collect for the food drive and Light Up the Night for Equal Rights. WE NEED YOU’RE HELP.

The road to full equality is not going to be one that we drive through over night. Many of you know this. Some of you have been fighting for our equal rights for a lifetime. Many have been fighting for years. And a great deal of us felt the unavoidable spark to step up and fight the minute we saw the results for Prop 8. November 5th awoke a NATION and WORLD of activists! November 15th was our first display of visibility, but if it stops there, then we have accomplished nothing. If we are going to achieve full equality, then we need to unite again! And Again! And Again! We need to remain a united front until EVERY one of us is afforded the same protections under the law that 90% of our citizens enjoy. Since November 5th, some amazing organizations have gained and reignited their voices for equality. We are working with those organizations to ensure that our community has a constant avenue for action and outreach.

Our next two large events offer some great opportunities for our community to build bridges with those who do not understand us or our cause. We ask you to join us during the season of giving to provide food for those in need. Let us go above and beyond. Let us set aside our own struggles, our own needs, to demonstrate to the nation and the world the collective power of the LGBTQ community to be a force of betterment for all society. We will rise above the divisions to recognize that we are all human, we are all working to carve out a space for ourselves in the world, and we all want the same simple opportunities. We ask that you reach out to your local faith based organizations and work with them in this food drive. Reach out to voting districts that voted YES on Prop 8 and show them who we really are. ACTIONS speak LOUDER than WORDS.

Before Prop 8 passed, a great deal of propaganda swayed the movable middle. This propaganda played on people’s fears. It made people believe that we were asking for “special rights.” Take action now to assuage these fears and educate those who believe in these falsehoods. LET OUR ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN THEIR WORDS! This food drive has the opportunity to be hugely successful, but not without your help. Light Up the Night for Equal Rights gives us the chance to educate the nation about the supposed “special” rights we are fighting for: The right to keep a job regardless of sexual orientation, the right to fight for our country, the right to host our partner of years for US citizenship, the right to see our spouse in the hospital, the right to inherit the property of our spouse when they pass, the right to marriage, and so much more… We will make these BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS known on December 20th, and over and over again.

So LET’S STEP IT UP A NOTCH. Let’s get out there and collect food and get out the word for Light Up the Night. Here’s what you should do:

Step 1: Figure out who’s in charge or step up as the organizer–visit your city’s page
Step 2: Get a list of faith based food pantries in your area
Step 3: Figure out where you’re going to store the donations until 12/20

Step 4: Get a plan of action together for collecting/dropping off donations
Step 5: Track your success! Add your donation totals to this page

Tools of the Week

Posted by amy On December - 5 - 2008

In an effort to continue the conversation of equality, the JoinTheImpact team would like to provide you with a weekly set of “tools.” Each week, we will pick from the MANY websites, announcements, blog posts, videos, etc. that have sprung up, and let you know about them. Last week, we did this by providing a Thanksgiving Cornucopia of Knowledge. Here’s some more food for thought:

The NGLTF’s Creating Change Conference is Coming up and JoinTheImpact will be there! Creating Change is an amazing conference that personally changed my life when I was 19. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet with other members of the LGBTQ community and work toward equality! Creating Change offers many great scholarships to get you to this important conference. Please take a look at their site and find out how you can attend!

Marriage Equality USA Needs our help with a very important survey.

Our organization, Marriage Equality USA, has created an on-line survey to collect input on California’s Prop 8 campaign and the status of marriage equality in the other 49 states. We also a series of questions to help us evaluate public education strategies and messaging based on their level of effectiveness within their local communities. Finally, we’ve asked for personal stories that will not only allow us to better describe the impact of being denied the freedom to marry, but the harm that comes through these initiative and/or ballot measures processes.

Here is an AMAZING way to turn the ignorance of the Fred Phelps movement into outreach for the LGBTQ community: The Phelps-A-Thon
Here’s a great film that you could pass around from: http://www.loveisloveshortfilm.com/

Why Day Without a Gay

Posted by admin On December - 4 - 2008

We’re getting a great deal of discussion on The Impact about the Day Without a Gay. A lot of people have questions about what to do on December 10th, why we chose the 10th, or why we chose this event in general. As such, I thought I’d take a minute to explain the purpose behind Day Without a Gay (although David Craig has his own personal story that explains why he came up with this idea).

Simply put: The LGBTQ Community contributes $700 Billion per year to the US Economy. When you put that into perspective, that’s the same amount as the economic bailout package. Our community could be, in a sense, the economic bailout… so we’re good enough to put billions a year into the system, but not good enough to be afforded the same rights as everyone else who contributes to that system? This is ONE of the THREE things Day Without a Gay is all about.

  1. An economic boycott for 1 day. On December 10th: International Human Rights Day. Do not use your phone, do not turn on the TV, do not go online, do not buy ANYTHING. Take it one step further if you wish: take $80 out of your bank account and keep it in your pocket all day. We are taxpaying citizens who are asking for the same rights as every other tax paying US citizen.
  2. A day of VOLUNTEERING. That’s right. Don’t sit in your house with all your lights off staring at the wall. Let’s get out there and show this world just how much our community has to offer. There are many ways to volunteer: Go to a soup kitchen, talk at a local school, work at a retirement center, collect food for the LGBTQ Food Drive, or work with your local LGBTQ organization to get marriage equality petition signatures in your area. Join The Impact is teaming up with the Courage Campaign to gather 1 Million Signatures to repeal Prop 8. These are just a few ideas.
  3. A day of VISIBILITY. We are asking that people call of work for this event. This is a great way to show just how many of us there are. Now here’s the IMPORTANT thing to note: there are still many states that do not have sexual identity inclusive ENDA laws. In other words, in many states, an employer can still fire an employee for being Gay. Consider your situation both economically and personally before calling off work. There are MANY WAYS to show visibility on December 10th. If you cannot call off work, we ask that you show up to work wearing a White Knot, but don’t forget to PACK YOUR LUNCH and refrain from that tempting coffee run.

So Join us in making an impact in many ways on December 10th. Let’s show the nation just how expansive our impact can be – how we give to the economy, and how we can all come together and give to our local communities. View the PRESS RELEASE here.

To quote Prop 8 the Musical “There’s Money to be Made.” How are we going to pay for the economic bailout? Why not allow the LGBTQ community to join in Civil Marriage? Could you imagine how much we would spend on weddings?! Well let’s find out how much won’t be spent on December 10th.

Why Day Without a Gay

Posted by amy On December - 4 - 2008

We’re getting a great deal of discussion on The Impact about the Day Without a Gay. A lot of people have questions about what to do on December 10th, why we chose the 10th, or why we chose this event in general. As such, I thought I’d take a minute to explain the purpose behind Day Without a Gay (although David Craig has his own personal story that explains why he came up with this idea).

Simply put: The LGBTQ Community contributes $700 Billion per year to the US Economy. When you put that into perspective, that’s the same amount as the economic bailout package. Our community could be, in a sense, the economic bailout… so we’re good enough to put billions a year into the system, but not good enough to be afforded the same rights as everyone else who contributes to that system? This is ONE of the THREE things Day Without a Gay is all about.

  1. An economic boycott for 1 day. On December 10th: International Human Rights Day. Do not use your phone, do not turn on the TV, do not go online, do not buy ANYTHING. Take it one step further if you wish: take $80 out of your bank account and keep it in your pocket all day. We are taxpaying citizens who are asking for the same rights as every other tax paying US citizen.
  2. A day of VOLUNTEERING. That’s right. Don’t sit in your house with all your lights off staring at the wall. Let’s get out there and show this world just how much our community has to offer. There are many ways to volunteer: Go to a soup kitchen, talk at a local school, work at a retirement center, collect food for the LGBTQ Food Drive, or work with your local LGBTQ organization to get marriage equality petition signatures in your area. Join The Impact is teaming up with the Courage Campaign to gather 1 Million Signatures to repeal Prop 8. These are just a few ideas.
  3. A day of VISIBILITY. We are asking that people call of work for this event. This is a great way to show just how many of us there are. Now here’s the IMPORTANT thing to note: there are still many states that do not have sexual identity inclusive ENDA laws. In other words, in many states, an employer can still fire an employee for being Gay. Consider your situation both economically and personally before calling off work. There are MANY WAYS to show visibility on December 10th. If you cannot call off work, we ask that you show up to work wearing a White Knot, but don’t forget to PACK YOUR LUNCH and refrain from that tempting coffee run.

So Join us in making an impact in many ways on December 10th. Let’s show the nation just how expansive our impact can be – how we give to the economy, and how we can all come together and give to our local communities. View the PRESS RELEASE here.

To quote Prop 8 the Musical “There’s Money to be Made.” How are we going to pay for the economic bailout? Why not allow the LGBTQ community to join in Civil Marriage? Could you imagine how much we would spend on weddings?! Well let’s find out how much won’t be spent on December 10th.

Prop 8 The Musical

Posted by amy On December - 3 - 2008

In a country founded on the separation of church and state, the fact that we are denied equal protections under the law based on a religious belief, is nothing short of hypocrisy. And with anything hypocritical, someone always sees a way to shed a little humor on the situation that keeps the conversation going at full force. Thank you Marc Shaiman and all of the amazing talent that went into this video.

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

View the Press Release Here.

2nd Class Citizen?

Posted by admin On December - 2 - 2008

There has been a great deal of talk on The Impact about Light Up the Night and whether or not we should have 2nd Class Citizen T-shirts. Many feel that they are a 1st Class Citizen with 2nd Class Rights, and I think we should be allowed to express who we are in a way we are comfortable with. When it comes down to it, few will argue that our lack of rights incorporates a feeling of 2nd Class in one way or another. On December 20th, we want to bring light to this lack of rights and want you to feel comfortable expressing the 2nd Class status in your own way.

So many people still don’t understand what we are fighting for. Here’s some examples of the “unequal protections under the law” that the LGBTQ community faces:

  • We can not fight for our country without hiding who we are
  • In many states (like the recent law in Arkansas) We can not adopt a displaced child in need of a home and safety
  • In many states, we can still be fired because we are gay
  • My rights in Washington do not stand when I cross the border to Idaho. Therefor, if my partner were to fall ill on a cross country trip, she would be alone in the hospital and I would be powerless.
  • Partners cannot share insurance in many states
  • In many states, people can be murdered because of their sexuality, but their murderer will not be tried for committing a hate crime
  • A loving couple can share a home, but if one passes, that home can be taken from the other in states where shared property rights are not available.
  • Finally, a couple can share their lives, share expenses, share good times and bad over many years, but they still cannot gain the equal protections and recognition that two strangers can in one drunken night in Vegas. 2 Strangers + 1 20 minute ceremony + $50 + 10 shots of tequila = Holy Matrimony and 1st Class Protections Under the Law… now who’s crazy?