Thursday, October 23, 2014

Join the Impact

Activism Rooted in the Internet

In a roller coaster ride of hypocrisy yesterday, the Yes on 8 Campaign filed a brief to revoke the 18,000 marriages of same-sex couples that were made between June 16th and November 4th. Yes that’s right, the very people who have sworn that their actions were meant to “protect” marriage and families, are now trying to FORCE 18,000 FAMILIES INTO DIVORCE! How does this protect marriage or the family at all?!

Do they understand how this takes their entire argument one gigantic step backwards? Granted, their arguments have always been illogical, but this just seems to take the cake. How is it possible to protect marriages and family by saying to the nation that it’s imperative the state force 18,000 families into a state of divorce? Seeing the lack of logic in their argument, the CA Attorney General quickly filed a motion to revoke Proposition 8! This was a surprise change of mind on his part and part of me wonders if the Yes on 8 hypocrisy sparked this.

That’s the message that we need to BURN into the minds of everyone around the country:
NO FORCED DIVORCE!

This effects everyone of us, regardless of the state we live in. I have heard a lot of people say lately “Why should something in California effect me?” It’s simple: If it can happen in California, it can happen ANYWHERE with ANY of our RIGHTS! In Ohio, for instance, Domestic Partnership Registries were just passed (at the city level in Cleveland). This is simply a registry – something where you can document that you’re partners. How does this harm anyone? Well, a group of proponents to this initiative have already begun planning their own version of Prop 8 to take away this registry. In Arkansas, same-sex couples were denied the right to adopt. Throughout the nation, 37 states have DOMA written into their constitution. TONIGHT is the time to illuminate the hate with love, knowledge, visibility, and honesty. NO ONE has a right to force my family into divorce!

Tonight is your opportunity to spread this message far and wide! Show the nation what our struggle is all about! Let’s LIGHT UP THE NIGHT FOR EQUAL RIGHTS!

Good Luck to ALL of you tonight. And thank you SO MUCH for all of your hard work!

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!

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.

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/

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.

Change is on the Horizon

Posted by amy On November - 25 - 2008

Has anyone heard the news from Floriday today? In a landmark decision, the Florida ban on gay adoptions was declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL! Our movement has made many strides since Stonewall and even before then. Read the rest of this entry »

Join The Impact – Over 1 Million Strong!

Posted by amy On November - 14 - 2008

Tomorrows events will turn out over 1million people organizing across 300 cities in all 50 states and 10 countries world-wide! Please get the word out to all of your friends. This has grown beyond a national event – this is HISTORICAL! Read the Press Release Here…

What Happens Next

Posted by amy On November - 14 - 2008

I’m sitting on a plane flying from Vegas back to Seattle, WA. I have been in Vegas for 3 days for a work-related conference and have spent my nights into early mornings in my hotel room, sifting through emails, answering phone calls, and getting the word out. You know how sometimes you sit on a plane and end up in a nonstop conversation with the person next to you? And since their proximity is so close to you, there is no real way to stop the conversation without being rude. And none of us want to be rude to the person we are going to sit next to for the next 2-3 hours. Well the people behind me are in this predicament. They first started talking about what is truth, then shifted to truth in politics, and then I heard it… the statement that made me wake up from my attempt at sleeping, open this computer, and start writing: Someone asked “Have you heard of this protest thing happening? Have you heard of Join The Impact?” I must admit, I have now been rudely eavesdropping as these people continue the conversation. On a plane ride, flying across the country, two perfect strangers are talking about our rights!! Ladies and Gentleman, we have started something huge! Saturday is fast approaching and it’s time I share with you what we plan to do next.

It is the wish of the JoinTheImpact team to keep working with and for our community. Over this week, we have been contacted by multiple organizations and fellowships who want to work with us to continue this conversation, to drive this movement, to work harder than we’ve ever worked before and make a gigantic difference in this world! JoinTheImpact is about unifying as one and working together to bring about positive change. On November 4th, our opponents thought that they won. They thought we had fallen. On November 7th, a call to action was made and on November 15th our community WILL RISE! Moving forward, we will not step down, we will not be silenced, and we will not compromise our rights! JoinTheImpact will team up with other grass roots organizations like MillionGayMarch.com and other like-minded organizations that share our same goals – We will band together for rapid movement and ultimate coverage. Together with these organizations we are forming OFFER: the Organized Fellowship For Equal Rights. JoinTheImpact and other members of OFFER will help guide this movement, but we need you in the drivers seat! As I said on November 7th, we can not do this alone! This community is unifying and we need to act with one loud, proud, and strong voice!
Read the rest of this entry »

Tips For Saturday – Your Checklist

Posted by amy On November - 13 - 2008

To everyone organizing and participating in Saturday’s INTERNATIONAL protest:

As Saturday’s events come closer, it’s time for that last minute check list to ensure that everything is covered:

  1. Do you have permits? If you do not have permits yet, please work with your local LGBTQ organiziation to quickly obtain these. If you do not have a local LGBTQ organization, then please contact your local police and governement to get their help
  2. Please be as transparent with the police as possible. If you, like many of us, have found that your event grew from 300 to 3000 overnight, don’t hesitate to tell the police about these new projections. They are there to protect you and shouldn’t be stretched thin.
  3. Make sure you don’t bring anything that would be considered a weapon – I know this sounds like common sense, but few people realize that the sticks they use for their signs have to be no thicker than 1/4″ or else they are considered a weapon.
  4. Do you have speakers? Every city is handling this differently and that is perfectly fine. If you want to have speakers but don’t yet, here are some suggestions: Local religious leaders that are also gay allies, local members of the media, local LGBTQ advocates, local radio personalities, you – are you the organizer? Then you should speak.
  5. Find your protest location. Contact the local organizer if you wish to volunteer.
  6. Organize your volunteers. Give everyone who you can manage a job to help you keep things moving. Gather emails (we will soon compile all of these with you).
  7. Finally – I want to make sure that we are always always always focusing on peaceful demonstrations. Please remain respectful of your neighbors and reach across the aisle to our opponents (I’m sorry for that extremely trite phrase considering how it’s been hammered into our heads this election year). This is an amazing opportunity to continue the conversation and drive change. Please keep promoting peace, respect, and outreach.

There are always loose ends to tie up. Please utilize the resources made available to you at HERE, and those available to you from your local organizations joining in this movement!

Thanks!

The JoinTheImpact Team

Who We Were Then & Who We Are Now

Posted by amy On November - 11 - 2008

The past three days have seemed like an eternity. So much has happened, and I realized that in all this, we never gave you any background about JoinTheImpact. On Friday morning, November 7th, I (Amy) received an email from a good friend, Willow Witte (our Cleveland protest coordinator). Willow like many of us, was fired up about Proposition 8 and seeking a way to mobilize. She had put up a post on her blog with an email template for people to write their local LGBTQ organization and ask for help planning something – anything. I responded to Willow’s email saying that we shouldn’t wait, we need to mobilize now and we need to on a national level, at the exact same moment, throughout the country. We have allowed our opponents to take our issues and make them local. Once they have divided us, they take their national movement and attack our smaller state-wide or even city-wide one. JoinTheImpact was forged as a way to give our community a national stage. We all must work towards equality in our state, but we need to know that every member of our community, across the nation cares about what happens in every state. California, Arkansas, Florida, and Arizona should not stand alone in this fight. We must all stand with them and for each other. These ideals are what spawned JoinTheImpact. That is who we were on November 7th at 9am PST.

Now, 4 days later, we are more than anyone could have imagined. Look in the mirror. We are you. We are your family. We are your loved ones and your allies. JoinTheImpact has not just gone national, it has gone international! Here’s the timetable so far:

1. November 7th – Launch
2. 5 Hours post launch – First 10,000 visitors
3. Midnight on November 7th – 20 cities organizing
4. November 8th (Afternoon) – Thanks to the help of organizers, we made CNN’s iReport.
5. November 8th (Evening) – Our site hit 35K visitors
6. November 9th (Morning) – 30 cities organizing
7. November 9th (Afternoon) – We got the attention of ParezHilton.com
8. November 9th (Evening) – The tipping point – Traffic jumped to 50K visitors/hour. With the help of Hostdango.com, we immediately switched to a new web server (Generously donated by Hostdango!)
9. November 10th 8am PST – Our initiative goes international! Now there are protests being planned around the world for the exact same minute on November 15th!
10. November 10th 11am PST – WetPaint.com enters the mix of local Seattle based companies donating time and services. Thanks to WetPaint, we now have an amazing Wiki to upload contact information and protest locations for every single city! They created a social site just for us: http://jointheimpact.wetpaint.com.
11. November 10th 11pm PST – 49 states have local organizers in over 80 cities!!!
12. November 11th – 1am PST – We reached 1million visitors!!
13. November 11th 8am PST – Hostdango shows even more generosity by upgrading us to an amazingly robust dedicated server to ensure that we can handle the traffic!
Read the rest of this entry »