Archive for the ‘Join the Impact’ Category

>Postcards

November 20, 2008

>Join the Impact has a good idea. Buy one of those touristy post cards, you know, that has a picture of something related to your state or city, and send to President Elect Obama with a hand written message.

Something like this:

Dear President-elect Obama,

Please ask Congress to repeal DOMA! All Americans should have the right to marry. Thank you in advance for advocating for the civil rights of your LGBT citizens.

Sincerely,

Your name and state


Take a picture of yourself with the postcard and email it to Join the Impact to add to their album, like this guy from Seattle, Washington did.

Mail the postcard to:
President-elect Barack Obama Presidential Transition Office
Kluczynski Federal Building
230 S. Dearborn St., 38th Floor
Chicago, IL 60604

To learn more about Join the Impact and how they might be working in Birmingham (this is new) come to the Alabama Stonewall Democrats meeting tonight at 6:00 at Logan’s in Crestwood. We will also be electing officers for next year.

Obama and Civil Rights

If you visit the Obama transition team site you can get an idea of what Barack Obama wants to accomplish in all areas.

“The Obama Administration has a comprehensive and detailed policy agenda.”

Click on Civil Rights and you will lean that he includes the rights of GLBT folk as civil rights. Included are:

Employment Discrimination: This includes passage of the Fair Pay Act to ensure that women receive equal pay, as well as ENDA, the inclusive employment non-discrimination act.

Expand Hate Crimes Protection: Passage of the Matthew Shepard Act, to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

In addition you can read about repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell“, expanding adoption rights, promoting AIDS prevention with a comprehensive AIDS/HIV strategy, empowering women to prevent HIV transmission, and repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and ensuring “that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions.”

The participation of tens of thousands in the recent protests who have never been involved in gay equality before is akin to the participation of thousands in the election who had never been involved in voting before. We are entering a new age of participation, both in general and in GLBT support. Equality Alabama, Central Alabama Pride, ACLU, Stonewall Democrats, Join the Impact, all of these organizations need your support. Become involved with one or more.

The opportunity before us is immense. Equality awaits us.

Back to the postcards. Obama will be receiving cards from all fifty states, from the state capitals, as Wakko points out, and other cities as well.

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>Carrying On

November 15, 2008

>I’ve received a lot of critical emails as well as some supportive ones. But to address some of the points that I am sure many others have as well, here goes.

As Jeff pointed out in a comment, Equality Alabama probably received information about the protest too late to do anything about it. It was a quickly thought up and organized event. That in itself should not have prevented the event from being a success.

I was told I don’t really do anything. Here are some facts. Not including the time I spent researching and posting blogs about the protest, I spent over 4 hours yesterday communicating with numerous attorneys and police officers and mayoral assistants and event sponsors in two cities making a last ditch effort to arrange for this event. Yes I was too late just as every one else was. But I am sure that some people were already aware of the permit requirements in Birmingham. I learned yesterday.

Permits to hold a demonstration on Public Property in Birmingham require a permit if more than 6 people are demonstrating. I spoke with a person in charge of issuing the permits yesterday, and not until we were in the process of completing the application did I learn that application must be made three days in advance. I begged, but he could not issue the permit.

I contacted Join the Impact to see what they would think about moving the event to Bessemer if I could get a permit here. They said go for it. I thought a good protest and then lunch at the Bright Star, Alabama’s oldest restaurant, would be a draw. I tried. Bessemer, too, requires a waiting period of two weeks. The officer I spoke with was very apologetic and supportive, once they were told what we were wanting to protest.

I let Join the Impact know and they felt it best to cancel the event here.

Yes I am an officer in a “gay” group and yes, that group did not actively support the event either. I tried to get the officers to support the demonstration, but when it comes down to it, and these are just my thoughts and no one else’s, Stonewall Democrats should support the Democratic Platform, which does not support same sex marriage, so that is an out, although a pretty weak one in my view. In addition, we are not an advocacy group, we are a partisan political group that tries to get people to register to vote and vote our way. All of that comes from me, not the other officers.

As for Central Alabama Pride’s vice president saying in a comment yesterday “Because of this status, the organization can NOT endorse or be in charge of political rallies/protests.”

All 501(c)(3) organizations are also permitted to educate individuals about issues or fund research that supports their political position as long as they don’t overtly advocate for a position on a specific bill.

From the IRS, ” it (a 501c3) may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

The protest was not about a bill or a candidate that voters here could vote on. It was to educate the public. Similar efforts to educate include Central Alabama Pride’s annual march, excuse me, parade, in June, where similar signs promoting same sex marriage and equality are found.

A representative from EA said “The recurring opinion I heard was that marriage is a state issue so demonstrating at city halls would be confusing.”

There is one state capital in each state. The legislatures by themselves are not going to change the laws in this state or any other. The support of the people is needed. There is a city hall in every city. More people could be educated by having events in every city.

Another email from an “EA” person said “Also protest are NOT effective or helpful for changing hearts and minds.”

Sorry. Rosa Parks’ action on the bus was a form of protest. Pretty effective.

The first ever demonstration for gay rights, in Washington DC, led by Frank Kameny, involved only a handful of people, in April, 1965.

That same year anti war demonstrations began. Pretty effective I believe.

Martin Luther King led a March on Washington. Wonderful protest.

I’ve protested in Montgomery. I’ve been to Washington. I’ve protested with members of Act Up at the Capitol. Don’t tell me that protests do not work.

Let’s just be more on the ball in the future and not let this happen again. If we need to start an organization whose only purpose is to protest, let’s do it.

>Birmingham Protest Cancelled

November 14, 2008

>Join the Impact has cancelled the Birmingham event. No one from Central Alabama Pride or Equality Alabama, the supposed leaders of our community, thought this important enough to acquire the necessary permit. In spite of my emails and myspace messages to leaders of both groups urging them to. Without the permit, there would be no police protection, and remember, there are crazies out there. Plus, we want to do everything by the book.

On Join the Impact numerous people indicated they would be there. I hope they see that the event is cancelled.

The rest of the nation will be protesting, we will be on the sidelines.

More protests will be held, I am told by Join the Impact, and I assured them this would not happen again.

This will make the extremists in our community happy, but change and progress is coming. It can not be stopped, in spite of ourselves.