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Fairness Works – The American Dream In

Posted by admin On July - 1 - 2009

Fairness does work.  Unfortunately millions are not protected from unfair job termination because of sexual orientation or gender identity.  Join the Impact hopes to change the landscape by helping pass three important pieces of legislation, the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT), and the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).

The American Dream is a fundamental promise to each and every citizen that they have the opportunity to advance beyond their current condition to a better life rich with opportunity. The Dream is an ideal our country continues to strive for but does not always fulfill.  For some gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people the Dream is challenged by workplace discrimination and early termination based solely on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Yesterday,  June 30, Lt. Dan Choi who has worked bravely for his country as a mission critical soldier with Arabic language skills, was fired because he publicly acknowledged he is gay. This injustice must end now! We have to fight to end institutionalized discrimination and homophobia, and education is part of that fight.

It is time for America to wake up, to learn, and to urge Congress to end decades of discrimination right now!

Here’s how YOU can help.  A committee of Join the Impact volunteers developed a set of tools for you to use to teach your friends, families, and neighbors about ENDA, EFCA, and the repeal of DADT.  These tools will help you explain workforce discrimination, its impact on our culture, our military, and our families. Knowledge is power, and together we will focus our power on our Representatives during the August recess.

To learn more and to sign-up to host a Fairness Works American Dream-In, simply go to http://jointheimpact.wetpaint.com/ to sign up. You can also help spread the word on facebook!

Still haven’t set up your in-district visits to help pass ENDA? Find out how here http://bit.ly/10Ot47

Your help is vital to the success of this program.  Please volunteer, so together we can make an impact!

Obama defends DOMA, we defend our families

Posted by admin On June - 12 - 2009

The following Op-Ed was written by Joe Mirabella. Joe Mirabella is a volunteer for Join the Impact as the Washington State Community Organizer.  Mirabella is a full time writer and content developer for an online retailer. He is engaged to marry his partner of 5 1/2 years in their home state of Iowa.

The Obama Flip-Flop campaign was a creative attempt to convince Obama to instruct the Justice Department to refuse to defend the DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) lawsuit started by GLAD.  Presidents have the option to let lawsuits go through undefended when they believe they are unconstitutional.  Both Clinton and Bush exercised this option.  Unfortunately, the Justice Department released a 50  page brief today outlining the Obama administration’s defense of DOMA.  Check out the AMERICAblog for their translation of the motion. (A copy of the brief is at the end of this post.) In the mean time let me summarize; it is not good.  The Obama administration is attempting to diminish the two Supreme Court cases that most of our rights are based on, Loving vs Virginia and Lawrence vs Texas.

The LGBT community supported President Obama and his campaign with our money, our valuable time, and our votes.  We believed the President when he promised us he was going to repeal DOMA, end Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Pass the Employment Non Discrimination Act, support Hate Crimes Legislation, and more.  We believed the President because he offered the country hope and our community needed hope more than any other community in America.  We needed a friend in the White House who was willing to lead us through the civil rights movement of the century.  We needed someone who was not going to stab us in the back.

Mr. President you flip-flopped.  We should have known.  You started your Presidency with one of the most anti-gay Pastors in the country giving your inaugural prayer, Rick Warren.  You further hurt us by remaining silent on proposition 8.  The one moment you mentioned our advances in Iowa and other states was in jest at the correspondence dinner. You asked the Supreme Court to ignore an appeal on Don’t Ask Don’t tell for “unit cohesion”.  You did all these things and yet your promises remained on Whitehouse.gov (FYI his promise to repeal DOMA is no longer there.)  Some of us still hoped, myself included, that you would do the right thing and not defend DOMA.

I no longer have hope for you President Obama.  I no longer believe you are on my side. Your adminstration is using the arguments of our worst enemies to uphold laws that destroy our families.  I should have known. I should not have been so enchanted by your beautiful speeches and colorful campaign posters. Mr. President you are no different than the rest.  You used our community to get to the White House and now you have pushed us aside. This time is different though, because we won’t take it anymore!

I was once on the fence about the October march on Washington.  It is clearer to me now more than ever we can not wait. We need to show up and stand up.  We need to destroy our worst enemy — apathy.  We need to mobilize our communities to fight locally and nationally. We need to demand that our leaders not only say they are going to protect our families, but they must prove it through action.  Flowery speeches will no longeer woo us.  Colorful posters are a red flag now.  If you want the support of the LGBT community, you will have to earn it.

A group of leaders met this spring in Dallas to discuss the future of the LGBT civil rights movement.  They developed a set of ideals that I think are a good start. They are called the Dallas Principles:

In order to achieve full civil rights now, we avow:

1.Full civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals must be enacted now.  Delay and excuses are no longer acceptable.

2.We will not leave any part of our community behind.

3.Separate is never equal.

4.Religious beliefs are not a basis upon which to affirm or deny civil rights.

5.The establishment and guardianship of full civil rights is a non-partisan issue.

6.Individual involvement and grassroots action are paramount to success and must be encouraged.

7.Success is measured by the civil rights we all achieve, not by words, access or money raised.

8.Those who seek our support are expected to commit to these principles.

We are in a fight for our lives. Maine needs our help to protect marriage from a voter initiative to overturn the recent gain there.  Washington needs our help to protect Domestic Partnerships from a group of fundamentalists. Gays and lesbians are still being fired from their jobs because of who they were born to be.  Children are being hurt as they are ripped from loving same-sex parent’s arms and returned to foster care systems. Our community continues to be violently attacked in hate motivated crimes. Obama reminded us today that we are the only ones we can depend on to fight for our rights. Apathy is no longer an option. Either stand up for yourself now or don’t be surprised when we are left with nothing.

Join the Impact will be launching several tools in the near future to help you fight for your rights. In the mean time volunteer your time locally, get ready to go to Washington DC, donate your money to LGBT causes, demand your representatives vote for your rights, talk to people about our issues, and most importantly do not give up.

When Obama became President, he asked us to hold his feet to the fire when he was letting us down. Mr. President, you let me down.  Join me by telling the president he let you down by twittering the president @barackobama with the tag #promise

It is no longer okay for our elected leaders to take advantage of us. If you want our support, you will have to earn it through action.  You better start now, because we are watching.

Obama’s Motion to Dismiss Marriage case

Prop 8 Decision announced tomorrow!

Posted by willow On May - 25 - 2009

In November, over 6 months ago, we were devastated by the passing of California’s Proposition 8. Since March 5 our community has awaited the decision from the California Supreme Court on the validity of Proposition 8 and whether the 18,000 Marriages, JTI’s co-founder Amy’s among them, would stand.

Wanna get involved? Wanna help? Wanna know the moment the decision comes down?

1. KNOW THE RESULT- The court could issue the ruling as early as 10am. Be the first to know the decision with text alerts:
From National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) at http://www.nclrights.org/site/PageServer?pagename=nclr_getinvolved_mobilealerts

From Credo Mobile & Courage Campaign by texting DECISION to 27336

2. RESPOND- Whether we celebrate or protest, Day of Decision events have been organized throughout the US & Canada 90 cities & counting. To find the rally nearest you go to www.dayofdecision.com or text RALLY + your zip code to 27336

3. GET INVOLVED- Whether we win or lose Proposition 8, there is still much work to be done to get full equality under the law. We must engage communities that are reflective of Middle American values. In California this means heading to the Central Valley- which is why every Californian who is passionate about being involved in the fight for full equality in their state will be heading to Fresno for Meet In the Middle the Saturday after the Prop 8 decision. http://www.meetinthemiddle4equality.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3&Itemid=6

Join The Impact has endorsed Meet In the Middle because we believe strongly that when we envision the necessary work in the LGBT movement we MUST take our stories beyond progressive states, cities and neighborhoods. We must do the work where it is hardest. We hope you’ll join us in the fight.

Cleve Jones, Dustin Lance Black, Michele Clunie, Charlize Theron and 70 plus endorsing organizations will be there. Will you?

If you’re outside California or can’t make it to Meet In The Middle you can support by giving a small donation, even $5 helps, to Meet In The Middle at http://www.meetinthemiddle4equality.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=71&Itemid=18

Fidelity

Posted by amy On February - 5 - 2009


“Fidelity”: Don’t Divorce… from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

The Courage Campaign never ceases to amaze me!  California is filled with some amazing orgs, but when it comes to Prop 8, the Courage Campaign always knows how to take the message of the damage Prop 8 has caused, and deliver it in a way that really hits home for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation.  So here is a BIG THANK YOU to the Courage Campaign for putting together this inspirational campaign and taking our movement another step in the right direction!

Justice for Oscar Grant – Shot by BART Police

Posted by willow On January - 12 - 2009
It is difficult for me to find words at the moment to express my feelings of absolute horror and disbelief around the shooting of Oscar Grant (graphic and not suitable for children or work) while being detained by the BART security with three other men. So I will instead focus on developing an appropriate response with my actions and let the the words of one woman who emailed us to bring this to our attention summarize my thoughts on this issue:
“This is a national issue. This is a Civil Rights issue. This is a part of our fight against hate.

Given the recent bruises our community and our movement has taken from the allegations of non-support by fellow communities working for civil rights, this seems like the right time to stand united against hate crime in any and every form.

The media tried to drive a wedge between the LGBT community and the black community after the passing of Prop 8 in California. The exit poll initially said that 70% of black people voted for Prop 8. The poll was wrong. New studies have come out saying that the percentage was closer to 58%. Racism acted quickly the day after the election. Our response to racism needs to be as swift and as consistent as our response to homophobia and heterosexism.”

Oscar left behind a 4 year old daughter and a family that deserve our honor and support. We must stand with them and express the sorrow we share for their loss and help to push for justice in the name of Ocsar Grant.

When an unarmed man who is peacefully pleading with his friends to remain calm as they are being detained is forced to lay down on the cold cement to be shot in the back people should not rest until justice is served! The response to this unnecessary death by the public has been swift. The video posted on youtube has created an outrage that brought people into the street in protest.

A facebook group has been created to draw attention to this crime which mentions this event:

PRAYING FOR PEACE, WORKING FOR JUSTICE
RALLY FOR OSCAR GRANT
WED JAN 14TH 4PM
FRANK OGAWA PLAZA
14TH AND BROADWAY OAKLAND, CA

Stand in solidarity with concerned citizens of Oakland, youth, clergy and elected officials who want Justice for Oscar Grant. Not one more life.

For those outside the Oakland area I strongly encourage you to contact local community leaders to find out if there are vigils in your city being held in Oscar Grant’s name. Go! Spread the word! Get people there! We must stand together against violence and hate crimes. If there is nothing organized in your city, then please make it happen.

There is a fund being set up by the family. When we have information about this fund we will update this post.

You can help spread the word. Join the facebook group.
facebook link http://poprl.com/CQq

One of the protesters from Oakland has the following to share:

FIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO DEMAND JUSTICE FOR OSCAR GRANT:

1.  Contact the DA of Alameda County. As of January 12, 2009, The District Attorney STILL HAS NOT PRESSED CHARGES against the police officer who shot and killed Oscar Grant about TWO WEEKS AGO.  Demand that Johannes Mehserle be charged and arrested for murder now.

ALAMEDA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
(510) 272-6222 phone
(510) 271-5157 fax
1225 Fallon Street # 900
Oakland, CA 94612

2.  Hold the media accountable. When the news reported that the protests on Wednesday, January 7, 2009 “turned violent”, they got it wrong!  The protesters at the Fruitvale BART Station (organized by a grassroots organization called CAPE – Coalition Against Police Executions) were peaceful.  The vandalism that occurred in downtown Oakland was a different group.  They were two separate news stories, but the news collapsed them into one or completely ignored the peaceful protest.

LET THE MEDIA KNOW THAT YOU WILL NOT STAND FOR SHODDY NEWS REPORTING.  Tell them that you are aware of and outraged by their mistake.  And that you expect a superior standard of reporting from them at the next rally (4pm, Wednesday, January 14, Oakland City Hall).

CBS 5 / KPIX TV
415-765-8717
http://cbs5.com/contact

KRON 4
4listens@kron4.com
(415) 561-8186

ABC 7
http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/feature?section=resources&id=5792275
abc7listens@kgo-tv.com
(877) 222-7777.

3.  Attend the next protest: Wed, Jan 14, 4pm at Oakland City Hall

Protest the Murder of Oscar Grant III
& All Victims of Police Brutality
Wednesday, Jan 14, 4pm
Gather at Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of City Hall
A peaceful march will follow the rally

4.  Attend the next organizing & mobilizing meeting. Come and find out what ways you can support the movement.  Take action.  Speak out.  Raise money.  Build coalitions.

Organize!  Mobilize!
An action planning meeting
Hosted by The Black Clergy & CAPE
Saturday, January 17, 2009, 4:00 PM
Olivet Missionary Baptist Church
807 27th Street @ San Pablo, Oakland

5.  Stay tuned for other actions, protests, etc., especially if you are in the Bay.  One way to keep up with what is happening is to join CAPE on facebook.com.

CAPE – Coalition Against Police Executions
CAPE is a coalition to insure that Oscar Grant is the last citizen executed by police in this country.

CAPE contact Information:
Blogspot: Click here
Facebook: Click here
Email address 1: joincape@gmail.com
Email address 2: followcapeoakland@gmail.com

DOMA Protest & Signature Drive 411

Posted by amy On January - 8 - 2009

We are just 2 days away from another NATIONAL event that will take us one step closer toward achieving full equality!  On January 10th, our voices will be heard around the nation as we shed light on DOMA and get 1 Million Signatures on our Open Letter to Barack Obama, reminding him of his promise to REPEAL DOMA!  This event is one that comes in many forms with rallies in almost every major city mixed with signature drives throughout the nation.  This Saturday, hundreds of cities around the nation will participate in one of our 4 fantastic options to get involved that include outreach, canvasing, and protests!  This will be a National Day of Impact!

It’s not too late to get involved.  Find an event near you today! If there is not an event in your area, it is not too late to put something together.  Take a que from Julie Phineas of LezGetReal.com – She has planned an entire day of signature gathering!

Check out her video encouraging people to attend her event!

There are 10 Ways to Help us reach 1 Million Signatures – Real People, Real Signatures, Real Change*:

  1. Gather signatures at your place of work (make sure it doesn’t hinder your HR policy)
  2. Go out to the bars on Friday and Saturday nights and get signatures
  3. Go to your local screening of MILK and get signatures from individuals in line or as they are leaving
  4. Go to local stores and ask that they put the signature pages at the counter
  5. Grab a friend and canvas your neighborhood asking for signatures
  6. Go to a local event to gain signatures (Art Walks, Concerts, etc)
  7. Email this blog post to friends and family, ask them to print out the signature page and mail it to Join the Impact
  8. Attend one of the 100 National Rallies on January 10th to gain signatures
  9. Go to church on Sunday and ask for signatures
  10. Use the power of the internet: Blog about it, ping all your friends on Facebook/MySpace, send this message to EVERYONE

*Many have asked why this is not an online petition.  Simply put, we want this to be as real as possible.  Online petitions have less validity and less impact.  We want to show Obama that we can mobilize 1 million people and we need to do this in the most organic way possible.  It’s easy to get 1 million signatures in an online petition.  It takes time, commitment, and energy to get 1 million physical signatures though.  Let’s show Obama just how committed we are to this cause!

Jan 10th DOMA Protest – Tools for Success

Posted by amy On January - 6 - 2009

Rick Warren – What Can You Do

Posted by admin On December - 18 - 2008

A quick list of tools for everyone wanting to take action on the pick of Rick Warren for Obama’s invocation speech:

  1. The HRC will be on EVERY Newssource tonight speaking out about this. Please tell your friends and family. Here’s a list of TV spots. Let’s educate the movable middle by getting everyone to see at least one of these spots.
  2. Come out on December 20th to Light Up the Night for Equal Rights and show the nation that we are one strong, united, and very visible voice! A reader just commented on our Rick Warren post that Evangelicals make up 7-16% of our country and we make up 10%. Why do they get representation and we do not? Make your voice heard on December 20th and spread the word of equality. Rick Warren Views us as 2nd Class Citizens… This needs to be known!
  3. Equality California has stepped up to provide a legitimate petition (since there are many out there) to get Rick Warren taken off of the list of speakers on inauguration day. Please sign the petition. Print it out and gather signatures at your local Light Up the Night event and forward the link to everyone.

Rick Warren – What Can You Do

Posted by amy On December - 18 - 2008

A quick list of tools for everyone wanting to take action on the pick of Rick Warren for Obama’s invocation speech:

  1. The HRC will be on EVERY Newssource tonight speaking out about this. Please tell your friends and family. Here’s a list of TV spots. Let’s educate the movable middle by getting everyone to see at least one of these spots.
  2. Come out on December 20th to Light Up the Night for Equal Rights and show the nation that we are one strong, united, and very visible voice! A reader just commented on our Rick Warren post that Evangelicals make up 7-16% of our country and we make up 10%. Why do they get representation and we do not? Make your voice heard on December 20th and spread the word of equality. Rick Warren Views us as 2nd Class Citizens… This needs to be known!
  3. Equality California has stepped up to provide a legitimate petition (since there are many out there) to get Rick Warren taken off of the list of speakers on inauguration day. Please sign the petition. Print it out and gather signatures at your local Light Up the Night event and forward the link to everyone.

Friday 12/12/08 – Tools of the Week

Posted by amy On December - 12 - 2008

As we near closer to our next HUGE NATIONAL EVENT on December 20th, we want to continue keeping everyone informed about what they can do between now and then to continue the conversation of equality and continue forward movement for LGBTQ Civil Rights.

A few things came up this week that made me realize just what this movement means to everyone. As we continue to drive attention to LGBTQ rights, more and more people are getting on board and Joining in to make an Impact. The conversation of equality is seeping into households that ignored it in the past. 8% of Those who voted “Yes” on 8 say they would vote “No” if they had a second chance. Day Without a Gay brought national attention back to this conversation with news coverage on ABC, CNN, and other national networks. Those who oppose us are starting to speak louder and we can’t let our voices be drowned out by them. On November 15th, we rose together as one, and now we must remain standing tall as one strong voice! We need to understand that this movement will NOT be won overnight. It will take time. It will take tears. It is the beginning ONLY of the next round, not of our struggle. So between now and December 20th, continue on with the Food Drive and utilize the following tools to help keep our visibility at a level this nation has never before seen!

Newsweek put out an amazing article on behalf of Same-Sex Civil Marriage. Newsweek has now seen a surge of angry letters from those that oppose our call for equal rights. Please join the HRC in letting Newsweek know that we support them and help to ensure our voices are not drowned out by others.

GayWallet.com, is a great website for the conscious LGBTQ consumer. Join them in the December 23rd, Gay Dollar Day Campaign in which we show how supportive our dollars can be and just how much we impact our economy.

It’s time we take our visibility to the next level. Join us in putting positive LGBTQ imagery EVERYWHERE. Let’s start by creating videos to raise awareness about our struggle, our lost rights, and the rights that 1 in 10 US citizens have never had. Create a video today that begins with one sentence: I Joined the Impact Because… Post this to YouTube and TheImpact and we’ll keep spreading the visibility of our movement and community!

Are you a Washington citizen? Join Equal Rights Washington in their One Minute For Marriage Campaign.

This is YOUR IMPACT. Join the Impact is your movement and your voice! Help us continue making an impact on this nation and the world! Join us on December 20th to Light Up the Night for Equal Rights and show this nation who we are!