Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Video: Hathaway's Choice
February 9, 2010
HLN-The Joy Behar Show: Joy Behar, Michelangelo Signorile and Kelly Cutrone discuss actress Anne Hathaway's decision to leave the Catholic Church after her brother came out. Signorile: "I think most Catholics, even, disagree with the Pope on, certainly, the issue of choice, certainly, even the issue of marriage. They're split, for gays and lesbians. I think most Catholics realize that the institution is still a few centuries behind." [Link]

Asheville, NC City Council moves forward on Benefits for Gay Couples

Asheville Citizen-Times
February 10, 2010
The City Council of Asheville, NC voted 4-2 on Tuesday to have city staff report March 9 on how workers' same-sex domestic partners could get the same benefits as heterosexual employees' spouses, including health insurance, bereavement leave and prescription drug coverage. A majority of council members said they expect to vote for a final measure after the report. [Link]

New Hampshire Panel Recommends Against Repeal of Freedom to Marry

The Associated Press
February 10, 2010

A New Hampshire House committee Tuesday recommended against repealing the state's marriage equality law. The Judiciary Committee also voted Tuesday to recommend that the House kill a proposed constitutional amendment banning the freedom to marry. [Link]

Anti-Gay Iowa Lawmakers Fail in Effort to ban Freedom to Marry

The Associated Press
February 10, 2010

Procedural moves by Iowa Republicans that would have forced a vote on putting an amendment to ban marriage equality in the state constitution failed Tuesday because Republicans could not get enough votes in either the House or the Senate. It will now likely be 2014 at the earliest before voters could decide on the issue. [Link]

EDITORIAL: Prop 8 Judge Has Proven Record of Impartiality

San Francisco Chronicle
February 9, 2010

The San Francisco Chronicle editorial board counters arguments of those who claim Judge Vaughn Walker's sexual orientation will make him biased: "Walker did not think his private life was relevant to his ability to preside with fairness in the Prop. 8 trial. There is nothing in his long and laudable career to suggest otherwise." [Link]

Exclusive Interview: Video: Evan Wolfson of Freedom To Marry

The Bilerico Project
February 10, 2010
Evan Wolfson, Executive Director of Freedom to Marry, sits down with Bil Browning of The Bilerico Project at Creating Change 2010 to talk about marriage equality and why he believes it's the key to full equality. [Link]

Voice for Equality: Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige is an American recording artist, record producer, and actress. A recipient of nine Grammy Awards and many other honors, Blige has recorded eight multi-platinum albums and is known as "the queen of hip-hop soul" for blending elements of soul, funk, R&B and rap in her music. She has also made numerous television acting appearances including: The Jamie Foxx Show, Strong Medicine, Ghost Whisperer and 30 Rock. Charities she actively supports include: MAC AIDS Fund, American Association for Cancer Research and Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now, Inc. Learn more here.

On October 21, 2008, supermarket mogul, Ron Burkle, held a star-studded, no-press-allowed fund raiser in Beverly Hills to raise money to combat Prop 8 in California and secure marriage equality for gay couples. Mary J. Blige performed U2's One and two others songs at the sold-out event which had a minimum $1,000 donation requirement to attend. Blige—an outspoken gay rights supporter—was actually at the end of her tour and made a special effort to attend the fundraiser. In the end, the evening raised over $4 million for the cause. [Link] Karen Ocamb described the scene for The Bilerico Project:
The audience erupted as she [Blige] came to the stage, telling everyone she was pleased to be there - "This is what tonight is about - love." With heads bobbing, and couples clutching each other's hands...the scene looked and felt more like a secular revival than a political concert. Blige opened up about how she had survived being her own worst enemy, when no one would accept her - and "you say, 'No more pain, no more tears..." as tears started welling up in the eyes of those listening, identifying. "I chose to win!" she said, raising her fist in the air - to screams of glee and thunderous applause. "I am so sick and tired of people judging me..." This song, she said, was for all the people who felt the same. "Keep doing what you're doing," Blige said, and feel "how close we are in the universe." [Link]
Freedom to Marry salutes Mary J. Blige as a Voice for Equality! Learn about other Voices for Equality here.

If Ms. Blige's support inspires you - get involved!

**Make your NOMINATION for a Voice for Equality today.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Equality California to Host Canvasses across state for Freedom to Marry Week

Equality California
February 9, 2010

Equality California will host canvasses across the state in celebration of Freedom to Marry Week (February 8-14). As part of the weekend outreach efforts, same-sex couples will be joining EQCA volunteers and staff to discuss the freedom to marry with local community members. Enclosed is a list of the statewide canvasses. [Link]

Saturday, February 13

  • Fresno: 1055 N. Van Ness Ave., Ste. C
    11 p.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Los Angeles: Holy Faith Episcopal Church, 260 N. Locust St., Inglewood
    10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Riverside: 1410 3rd St., Suite #7
    12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • San Francisco: 2370 Market St. 2nd Floor
    12 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    Bloggers are encouraged to come to this canvass. Visit for more information.
  • Sacramento: 1722 J Street, second floor, Ste 9
    Second Saturday Art Walk between 6 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
  • San Diego: 4506 30th Street
    12 p.m. -5 p.m.

Sunday, February 14

  • Orange County: 1601 South Grand Ave, Suite F, Santa Ana
    12 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Voice for Equality Update: Anne Hathaway Left The Catholic Church For Her Gay Brother
February 6, 2010

Anne Hathaway (a Voice for Equality)
has revealed that she and her family made the difficult decision to leave the Catholic church when Hathaway's brother came out. "The whole family converted to Episcopalianism after my elder brother came out," Anne reveals in a March interview with GQ. "Why should I support an organization that has a limited view of my beloved brother?" [Link]

Video: Jon Stewart Exposes Sanford Marriage Hypocrisy

Comedy Central: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
February 8, 2010
Jon Stewart asks Jenny Sanford, estranged wife of Gov. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), if her husband's affair with another woman makes him a hypocrite because of his stance against marriage equality. [Link] See minute 5:00 - 5:30 in video.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Jenny Sanford
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

60 Members of Congress Call for LGBT-Inclusive Immigration Reform

Immigration Equality
February 8, 2010

Sixty Members of Congress, led by Freedom to Marry Voice for Equality, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), have issued a letter calling on President Obama and Congressional leaders to pass legislation which would end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) immigrant families. “No one,” the letter insists, “should be forced to choose between the person they love and the country they call home. It is time that our immigration laws kept families together instead of tearing them apart.” [Link]

Virginia Delegate Hopes to Reverse Denial of Freedom to Marry

The Gainesville Times
February 9, 2010

Delegate David Englin, D-Alexandria, wants Virginia to repeal its constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages. He says the amendment, which voters approved four years ago, is unfair to gay and lesbian couples. “If we are to take our founding values seriously, where we say that every human being deserves equal treatment under the law, then we cannot enshrine in the Constitution a policy that boils down to nothing but bigotry,” Englin said. [Link]

Candidates for RI Governor promise to support Freedom to Marry

The Associated Press
February 9, 2010

Both Democrats running for governor and former Sen. Lincoln Chafee, an independent candidate, will publicly pledge to sign a freedom to marry bill if elected, Marriage Equality Rhode Island said Monday. The pledges come as gay rights activists hope to capitalize on the departure of anti-gay Republican Gov. Don Carcieri, a staunch social conservative who's term limit has run out. [Link]

N.J. Gay Rights Group suspends Political Donations after Denial of Freedom to Marry
February 9, 2010

New Jersey’s largest gay rights group is suspending donations to political parties after feeling spurned by Democratic lawmakers who did not pass marriage equality legislation last month. Garden State Equality is also asking its 65,000 members not to contribute to parties. Chairman Steven Goldstein said, "No longer will we let any political party take our money and volunteers with one hand, and slap us in the face with the other when we seek full equality." [Link]

NH Panel to consider Measures that would repeal Freedom to Marry

The Associated Press
February 9, 2010
The House Judiciary Committee will recommend today whether New Hampshire's five-week-old marriage equality law should be repealed and will also vote on whether to support a constitutional amendment denying the freedom to marry. Supporters of these anti-gay measures admit their chance of success is slim, but they want to keep the issue before voters in hopes Republicans will regain control of the Statehouse from Democrats in November. [Link]

Voice for Equality: Pink

Pink, is an American singer, songwriter and occasional actress who rose to fame in early 2000 as an R&B singer, but then switched to a more rock and pop rock sound after her sophomore record. She has sold more than 10 million albums in the US and over 30 million records worldwide, and scored eight Top 10 US hits, won two Grammy Awards and became one of the best known female pop rock acts of the decade. On September 13, 2009, Pink performed "Sober" while doing a trapeze act at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, and on January 31, 2010, Pink did another trapeze act in the form of aerial silks at the 2010 Grammy Awards, this time performing the song "Glitter in the Air". Her Grammy performance was a sensation, receiving a standing ovation at the award show and tremendous interest online. Learn more here.

In April of 2004, Pink, a longtime LGBT advocate and Human Rights Campaign member, was asked by The Advocate for her thoughts on the freedom to marry and she sent the following response in less than 30 minutes:
If you wanna marry 'Joe millionaire,' go ahead. If you're a celebrity and you wanna marry your high school sweetheart for 55 hours, go right ahead. If you're J.Lo, and you wanna marry 18 people, for 6 days each, hey! Go right on ahead! But if you happen to be reasonably minded and have fallen in love and wanna marry your soul mate and make a life of it, and you just so happen to be the same sex, then NO! How dare you! You demon creatures! We'd rather you just buy gasoline and support our war and continue to consume and fear in our country so we can make money off you. But do us a favor — don't hold hands in public. Love, Pink. [Link]
Freedom to Marry salutes Pink as a Voice for Equality! Learn about other Voices for Equality here.

If Pink's support inspires you - get involved.

**Make your NOMINATION for a Voice for Equality today!

Proponents rally in support of Freedom to Marry bill for Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
February 9, 2010

Proponents of the freedom to marry gathered on the steps of the PA Capitol rotunda Monday and chanted, "Pennsylvania can't you see -- what equality means to me." They were supporters of Senate Bill 935, by Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery, which would honor the marriages of gay couples. Leach said laws outlawing marriage equality are "the last bastion of society-sanctioned discrimination." [Link]

Monday, February 8, 2010

Video: State of the LGBT Movement: Speeches Aren't Change, Change Is More Than Words

The Task Force
February 5, 2010
Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey delivers her State of the Movement address at the 22nd National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change on Feb. 5, 2010. [Link]
See two videos below:

Part 1

Part 2

Equality Maryland: Lobby Day Re-Scheduled to Monday, February 22nd

Equality Maryland
February 7, 2010

Due to the record-breaking snowfall, there are concerns about the safety of supporters and possible parking and accessibility challenges. Therefore Equality Maryland lobby day has been rer-scheduled for Monday, February 22nd. All other details remain the same as in our original post. [Link]

Iowans Rate Politicians Debating Freedom to Marry as Least of Their Concerns

Des Moines Register

February 8, 2010

A majority of Iowans think the issue of marriage equality doesn’t deserve lawmakers’ limited time. Among six hot-button topics, a new Iowa Poll shows questioning the freedom to marry ranks as the least important issue to a majority of Iowans. [Link]