I know it’s late, but this is important…

14 Sep

Hey, Ismael — I need your help for just a minute…

I don’t know if you saw the news today from North Carolina, but the state legislature there just passed a bill that will — yet again — put our rights up for a popular vote.

We were planning to send a different email today (we’ll send that one tomorrow!) but I couldn’t, in good conscience, just let this news pass without weighing in…even though it took me a while to figure out what I wanted to say…

I don’t know if you remember the feeling you had on Election Night 2008 but, as a resident of California, the passage of Prop 8 was like a kick to the gut. And, as a native Mississippian, I don’t want my Southern family in North Carolina to feel the same thing. Couples across NC (even straight couples) who have domestic partnerships will lose that right, and all other LGBT couples will be prevented by constitutional amendment from marrying in the future — even if the Defense of Marriage Act is repealed.

Today’s vote means that — in May 2012, on the day of the Republican primary and extra-high Republican turnout — North Carolina residents will vote on whether LGBT folks are worthy of marriage. It’s like a big, state-wide “Do you love me? Check yes or no!” note — and we all know how those turn out…

This “ballot-bashing” — essentially a hate crime at the ballot box, for those who don’t want to get their hands dirty by kicking us around themselves — is sickening. We know that calling these efforts out for what they are will result in folks dismissing us as politically unstrategic and naive — and I don’t give a damn. I’m tired of begging people to like us while they decide whether we “deserve” equality.

So here’s what I need you to do:

1. President Obama is traveling to Raleigh tomorrow. Though he issued a statement today saying he opposes the ballot measure, we need leadership from him in order to end this ballot-bashing. Will you sign our petition asking the President to “evolve already” on marriage equality?Click here to add your voice!

2. Join us on a conference call next week (after “Dancing With the Stars,” which you’ll hear about in our email tomorrow) to talk about how to push back on this ballot initiative. We’ll have local North Carolina activists on the call to talk about how to push back on this campaign to discriminate against us. “Like” our Facebook page or email us at info@getequal.org to get more info!

Over the next year and half we will hear the continued hate rhetoric of the conservative right — that’s no surprise. But we have a choice to make — sit on our asses and watch our rights get stripped away, or fight back and send a clear message that there’s a cost to messing with queers!

Rise up, recruit, organize and fight back! Our rights are actively being stripped away state by state — and if we don’t start organizing now and taking BOLD action to push back against this hate-filled oppressive campaign, we will die as unequal as we were born.

Ballot-bashing like this is NOT American. It does not reflect the pledge of “liberty and justice for all” that my five-year-old daughter is learning each morning as she recites the Pledge of Allegiance in her first days of kindergarten. I want to change things for her and for our family — and I’m willing to recruit, organize and take action until our families are as equal as the family that lives next door.

We expect nothing less than the same thing from our President and from the Democratic Party, and want them to take a stand for the full equality of LGBT Americans. The time is now for full equality in all matters governed by civil law — nothing less than EQUAL is acceptable!

Get Out! Get Active! GetEQUAL!

Robin McGehee, Director

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