Wednesday, September 23, 2009

'Tis the Season

It's officially fall now, folks, and that means it's Election Season! In honor of this, my favorite season, I give you a quick round-up of LGBT-related political issues in these United States!

On or before Novemeber 3rd, in Maine, vote No on Question 1 to keep marriage legal for all Mainers.

On or before Novemeber 3rd, in Washington (State, not DC), Approve Referendum 71 to keep domestic partnerships legal!

On or before Novemeber 3rd, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, vote Yes on Ordinance 1856 to keep non-discrimination the official policy of the City of Kalamazoo, even for LGBT Kalamazooians (that can't be the right word). The opposition to this is particularly disgusting and transphobic.

All three of these campaigns need help. Financially, if you're not local to them, but also through volunteering your time if you are there. As happened in California last year, people are feeling very confident that the good guys can't help but win. That's just not true. Forget about logic, about reason, about everything you thought you knew about simple human decency, and believe that we are at risk of losing ALL of these fights. If you are in California, I can hook you up with a way to help out in Maine.

In non-ballot-based LGBT politics, try calling your federal representative and senators about supporting ENDA (HR 3017 and S 1584), the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that has a chance of being the first federal law explicitly granting rights to LGBT Americans. Once you've covered that issue, be sure to mention to them that the Uniting American Families Act will make it possible for gay people to sponsor their partners for immigration. If they're still listening, you can bring up Jerry Nadler's proposed Respect for Marriage Act, the bill that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and allow state-recognized marriages to be recognized federally. Politicians need an earful of passionate advocacy to make the medicine go down in the most uncomfortable but effective way.

Those are the hot-ticket items for the politically-oriented LGBT community at the moment, but there are lots more issues to get worked up about. Try this one on for size. It may be the most important one we've got right now.

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