Friday, April 18, 2014

Join the Impact

Activism Rooted in the Internet

Beyond California

Posted by amy On March - 9 - 2009

Prop 8 is a huge fight that we have going on when it comes to equal rights for members of the LGBTQ community.  When JTI began, we called for everyone around the nation (and the world) to unite as one voice for equal rights.  We explained that Proposition 8 is much more than California’s problem.  If Prop 8 is not repealed, it sets a precedent that the majority can vote on the rights of the minority.  As argued on Thursday, it states that people who are NOT affected by a lack of rights, can choose to keep those rights from a suspect class.  This is appalling.  California is a HUGE battleground right now which we will all continue to be a part of.  Beyond California, there are many many issues at stake that we all need to support and take actions on.

  • Only 13 states have laws protecting LGBTQ citizens from employment discrimination based on sexual or gender identity.
  • There are 7 more states that protect LGB citizens, but do not protect Transgendered citizens from employment discrimination.  Soon we will all come together to support a federal ENDA law that secures equal protections in the work space.
  • Throughout the country, families are at risk of deportation because we can not legally sponsor our partner to become a citizen of the US.  The Uniting American Families Act has been reintroduced to Congress, and we encourage you to call your representative and ask that they support this act and support our families!
  • In the state of Washington (my current home) a Domestic Partnership Expansion Bill has been introduced and will hit the Senate and House this week.  This bill will give Washington LGBTQ citizens protections under the law at a state-wide level that are equal to the state-wide protections of marriage. Those who oppose same-sex civil protections are stating that this law (which again uses the semantics of Domestic Partnership) is seeking to redefine the word marriage, even though we are not.  They are taking action and we need to respond by educating our representatives on the realities of this bill and how it will help us.
  • In the state of Hawaii, another battle surges as our LGBTQ brothers and sisters fight for Civil Unions.  The opposition has come out in full force and Hawaii needs you!  If you are from Hawaii or know someone who is, please contact your representative (or ask your friend to) and ask that they support HB444.
  • HB2234 is going to the House floor for a vote in Illinois.  This same-sex civil union bill does not grant all of the state-wide rights of marriage, but it does grant some very important protections.  Please take action by contacting your representative (if in Illinois) and asking that they support this bill.
  • Here’s a great state by state breakdown on LGBTQ adoption rights.  Clearly we have work to do.  With an average of 500,000 children needing families every year, only 50,000 get adopted.  In a country where so many go without family, why do we have to fight to provide safety, shelter, and parental care?
  • Despite the evolutions in the field of science, we still live in a country where gay and bisexual men cannot donate blood.  This ban on blood donations began with the AIDS crisis and a fear that blood donations would be tainted with the disease.  According to the CDC, the incidence of AIDS is lowering in gay and bisexual men and raising in the heterosexual community.  Yet this ban does not extend to members of the heterosexual community.  A JTI member and amazing organizer for many great grassroots groups has worked hard on this front with her program called the Right to Save.  She is calling for national actions on May 16th 2009 to send a message to the FDA that this policy is discriminatory.
  • These are just a FEW of the many battles brewing in this EQUAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.  Add more in the comments and let’s organize together to work toward winning these battles and our equal protections under the law.

Hours Away: America’s New President

Posted by amy On January - 19 - 2009

Tomorrow marks an amazing moment in the history of America that I am honored to witness. I still remember what everyone, including myself, was saying a year ago: America is not ready for an African American president. Now look where America is only one year later. In less than a year, we emerged from the overwhelming idea that America was not ready and took to the polls to prove that we were and we are!

I spent my evening talking with someone about laws governed by society. This conversation was about Same-Sex Civil Marriage. The person I was speaking with stated that Civil Marriage for same-sex couples will not happen because society is not ready. So where do you want us to be in a year? Will society be ready for Same-Sex Civil Marriage? What about a gender-identity inclusive Federal ENDA law? The passage of the Matthew Shepard Act? National adoption rights for LGBTQI couples? These are just a few opportunities in front of us. Help us decide, and then help us make it a reality. Share your ideas to make an IMPACT here.

Look how far our country has come in one year!  What will your IMPACT be to get us to the next level?  I can’t wait to see where we are next year, with the help of amazing people like you!

We Need Your Voice

Posted by amy On January - 14 - 2009

We need your help! When Join the Impact began, it was simply a blog post asking people to come together on a national level to join in one united voice against Proposition 8. In that first week, a great deal of things were asked of Join the Impact, one of which was a 3 month calendar. We put together the calendar as fast as we could and were not aware of the months of learning that laid before us. Now, Join the Impact is a little over 2 months old and we want to make the most out of it. From now on, we need YOU to help us plan what to do next. Light Up the Night was a success because one of our members suggested the idea. Since then, we have had many suggestions come our way and we want our community to have a say in what happens next, what our goals should be, and how we want to accomplish these goals.

Here’s what you can do to help:

  1. Offer up an idea by creating a thread on our event ideas page
  2. People will reply to that specific idea thread to help lend their support and constructive criticism.
  3. Every idea that reaches 100 votes (in the “was this comment valuable to you” tool of the thread), will get it’s own page and members will be asked to create a task force to help make that idea a reality.
  4. We will work with you to help your idea take flight and truly ensure that Join the Impact is your platform for YOUR voice!

Students For Equality Make a Difference on Jan 27th

Posted by amy On January - 1 - 2009

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.

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?

2nd Class Citizen?

Posted by amy 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?

Make it happen!

Posted by willow On December - 1 - 2008

You’ve seen what can happen when someone gets a great idea and runs with it. This website is a testiment to that. We get so many emails about exciting things that people are putting into action. Read the rest of this entry »

Our Fight on Film

Posted by amy On November - 30 - 2008

This weekend, I saw MILK. If there is nothing else you do next weekend, please please please go see MILK. We all deserve to know our history. Too many people do not even know what the Stonewall Riots were, or WHY they occurred. Few know about those who fought for the rights that we now have. We need to educate the country about our struggle, and that begins with educating ourselves and our allies. Read the rest of this entry »