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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.

The Elephant in the Room – Rick Warren

Posted by amy On December - 18 - 2008

Over the last 24 hours, many have asked what Join The Impact’s take is on the pick of Rick Warren for President Elect Barack Obama’s invocation speech. Thousands of members have expressed anger, fear, sadness, confusion, aggrevation… the list goes on. Simply put, this is a slap in the face… especially in the wake of Proposition 8. In an effort to unify America, Obama’s choice could easily divide us further. In such a historic election, it is embarrassing that a man who DOES NOT stand for change is given a stronger voice than those that do.

The Reverend Rick Warren has spoken openly about his approval of Proposition 8 – saying that allowing Same-Sex Civil Marriage will somehow take away his freedom of speech. Honestly, I have no clue how an argument like that even holds water. There are still racists in this world Mr. Warren, and they still have the freedom to express their ignorance as unfortunate as it may be. This will not change for you WHEN WE DO RECEIVE FULL EQUALITY. The fact is, our fight for equality is like pulling off a band aid: if you continue to fight it, it’s only going to hurt more… either way, that band aid is bound to come off and you’ll realize that there is no scarring at all. Our rights do not affect you, they affect US!

If President Elect Barack Obama DOES NOT revoke his invitation to Rick Warren, then I see only one solution for the President Elect: find an openly gay leader and ask that they too have an opportunity to speak. Obama’s goal is to represent ALL Americans and he is grossly under-representing 10% of the population! To save face, he must contact an intelligent, well-known, political, and LGBTQ man or woman to speak at his inauguration. Some ideas that come to mind: Eliza Bayard of GLSEN, Joe Solmonese of the HRC, Andrew Sullivan, Kevin Jennings, Rea Carey of the NGLTF, the list goes on and on. Ultimately this might be a golden opportunity to educate the public and increase LGBTQ representation on Inauguration day by DEMANDING an LGBTQ speaker. Of course, if Obama were to choose a fully inclusive religious leader to give the invocation speech, then he can kill two birds with one stone… but it seems like he’s making it difficult on himself, so it’s time we give ourselves a voice and make our visibility known! We will NOT BE IGNORED!

I keep coming back to the following: Obama can’t go back on his word. Sure, politics is politics – everyone goes back on their word too many times to count. But President Elect Barack Obama has made it clear that these should not be the standards. He sold us on his character, his ethics, and his morals. He sold us on his promises. In many ways, this issue is a double-edged sword. He promised to give EVERYONE a voice and that includes Rick Warren. He promised to include ALL ideas and beliefs in his cabinet. Therefore, in SOME points of view, his choice of Rick Warren, could also be viewed as him sticking to his promises. So, Mr. President Elect, we at JoinTheImpact implore you to CONTINUE sticking to your promises. If EVERYONE deserves a voice – then GIVE US ONE AS WELL. You made many PROMISES to the LGBTQ community. So when will you start calling on one of our leaders to speak? It is our duty to continuously remind President Elect Barack Obama of the MANY promises he made to our community: REPEAL DOMA, REPEAL Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, STRENGTHEN Hate Crimes Legislation, PASS a Fully Inclusive Federal ENDA law… and now, since you have clearly given one viewpoint a voice, you must also give us a VOICE on inauguration day as well!

On December 20th – We will all UNITE to Light Up the Night for Equal Rights. Our Goal is to REACH 1 Million People. Based on our numbers, this is an easy goal to accomplish. So now is the time to STEP IT UP A NOTCH. Now is the time to show this country exactly why Rick Warren DOES NOT speak for us. If Obama won’t give us a voice, then WE HAVE TO DO IT OURSELVES! On December 20th, we have been asking that you come with “2nd Class Citizen” shirts on. Clearly, Barack Obama has chosen someone who DOES consider us 2nd Class Citizens to speak on behalf of all the people. We need to let the people know the words that are being put in their mouths. As such, I’m grabbing a sharpie and making some changes to my message on Saturday night. The messaging on my shirt will say the following: “RICK WARREN THINKS I’M A 2nd CLASS CITIZEN… Do You?” Join us to make our voices heard! Join us to make an impact! And Join us to SHED LIGHT on the darkeness of this important issue!

Make an IMPACT in the White House

Posted by amy On December - 14 - 2008

So what are you up to this week on December 17-19? How about helping to shatter a glass ceiling? This week, EQUAL REP was formed calling on people across the nation to urge President-elect Obama to appoint Mary Beth Maxwell the next Secretary of Labor.

In more than 200 years, the United States Cabinet has never included an openly gay member. Growing national focus on GLBT civil rights has therefore made the Secretary of Labor appointment a national issue in the struggle for equal representation.

Maxwell is being closely considered for the position and she is highly qualified. She is the founding Executive Director of American Rights at Work, a national advocacy organization launched in 2003 whose mission is to modernize and reform the labor laws of our nation to better meet the needs of 21st century employers and workers. She is a longtime activist for better collective bargaining rules and a big proponent of the Employee Free Choice Act. She’s a vocal progressive and would make a fantastic Secretary of Labor.

In a short amount of time, Maxwell has also earned the endorsements of the AFL-CIO, Change to Win Federation, the CEO and President of American Income Life Insurance, and the Human Rights Campaign just to name a few.

There is a special significance to this moment as we mark the thirtieth anniversary of Harvey Milk’s assassination. It is both a reminder of how far we’ve come as well as the work that remains to be done.

Join the facebook event, invite your friends, and plan on giving the Obama administration a friendly nudge to put his call of change into action. Here’s to hoping that Mary Beth Maxwell is the next Secretary of Labor!

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On December 20th, we will come together to Light Up the Night For Equal Rights and hopefully enter into the new year a bit early – moving from a time of no LGBTQ representation in the White House, to a new era in the movement for FULL EQUALITY. So let’s prepare for our National candlelight vigil with a week of change. Let’s make an IMPACT in the White House!

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.

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?

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?

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 »