Showing posts with label Election 2008. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Election 2008. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Voice for Equality: Steve Schmidt

Steve Schmidt is an American campaign strategist and public relations worker for the U.S. Republican Party. He specializes in political "message development and strategy." Schmidt was the senior campaign strategist and advisor to the 2008 presidential campaign of Senator John McCain. Early in his career, Schmidt was communications director of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. In 2001, he was the spokesman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, becoming the Communications Director by 2002. He left the NRCC in early 2003 to work for the lobbying firm Direct Impact Company. Schmidt joined the Bush administration as a Deputy Assistant to the President and Counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney. In 2004, he was a member of the senior strategic planning group, led by White House adviser Karl Rove, that ran President George W. Bush's re-election campaign; Schmidt oversaw the reelection "war room." In 2005 and 2006, he was the White House strategist in charge of the U.S. Supreme Court nominations of Samuel A. Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts. Learn more here.

On April 17, 2009, Steve Schmidt addressed a meeting of the Log Cabin Republicans, stating his support for marriage equality and saying the Republican party needed to embrace it:
I doubt voters under thirty will abandon social attributes that distinguish them from older voters; among them, a greater acceptance of people who find happiness in relationships with members of the same sex. And I believe Republicans should re-examine the extent to which we are being defined by positions on issues that I don’t believe are among our core values, and that put us at odds with what I expect will become over time, if not a consensus view, then the view of a substantial majority of voters...It cannot be argued that marriage between people of the same sex is un-American or threatens the rights of others. On the contrary, it seems to me that denying two consenting adults of the same sex the right to form a lawful union that is protected and respected by the state denies them two of the most basic natural rights affirmed in the preamble of our Declaration of Independence – liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That, I believe, gives the argument of same sex marriage proponents its moral force...In closing, I’ll return to our national creed, what Lincoln called the inestimable jewel of American history, and offer my respect for and urge my fellow Republicans to respect every human being’s rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness as much as they cherish their own.
Schmidt also spoke of his lesbian sister and her partner, saying "...they are an important part of my life and our children's life. I admire your group [Log Cabin Republicans] and your organization and I encourage you to keep fighting for what you believe in because the day is going to come." [Link]

Freedom to Marry salutes Steve Schmidt as another Republican Voice for Equality! Learn about other Voices for Equality here.

If Mr. Schmidt's support inspires you, get involved!

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

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Evan Wolfson: A Teachable Moment in Starting Conversations

Freedom to Marry
January 21, 2010
Evan Wolfson:
Freedom to Marry's latest Voice for Equality (drumroll, please)... Cindy McCain. The wife of the 2008 Republican candidate for president came out in support of the freedom to marry, posing for the NOH8 campaign in California. She reminds us that we should write no one off, and owe it to others to start a conversation and ask them for their support. [Link]

Friday, January 8, 2010

High-Stakes Freedom to Marry Trial to Begin in California on Monday

The Associated Press
January 7, 2010

Lisa Leff previews next week's start of the federal Proposition 8 trial: "To prevail, Olson and Boies will try to prove that denying gays the right to wed serves no legitimate public purpose and that Proposition 8 was motivated by legally irrelevant religious or moral beliefs or even anti-gay bias." [Link]

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Marriage Equality Lawsuit in California Slated to Begin on January 11
January 5, 2010

A federal court case arguing that Calif. Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Constitution is slated to begin January 11. Some LGBT lawyers and legal scholars have concerns that even if the case is successful, it "could set the issue on a collision course with a less-than-sympathetic U.S. Supreme Court." [Link]

Monday, December 28, 2009

Op-Ed: A transitional year for marriage equality

Los Angeles Times
December 27, 2009
Jonathan Rauch states: "For the marriage equality debate, 2009 was transitional instead of transformative, but the year was historic nonetheless. To mangle Churchill, it was not the end, nor even the beginning of the end, but it was at least the beginning of the middle." [Link]

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Prop. 8 Foes Seek Initiative Sponsors' Internal Records

Los Angeles Times
December 2, 2009
Lawyers for two couples told a federal appeals court Tuesday that they need access to internal communications from last year's Prop. 8 campaign to show that the anti-gay measure was designed to create "discriminatory animus" toward gay and lesbian people. [Link]

Monday, November 16, 2009

Film Documents Mormon Role in Marriage Equality Debate

The Associated Press
November 15, 2009
Miami-area filmmaker and former Utah television journalist Reed Cowan discusses his experiences coming out to his Mormon family and talks about his upcoming film, 8: The Mormon Proposition, which documents the Mormon church's involvement in the anti-gay Prop. 8 campaign last year in California. See film trailer here. [Link]

Monday, June 22, 2009

Foe of N.Y. marriage equality probed

The Journal News
June 22, 2009
A national organization headed by an Ossining woman that has pledged to spend more than $1 million to defeat a marriage equality bill in New York is defending itself in California against allegations that it was organized by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to defeat similar bills nationwide. The National Organization for Marriage said last week that it would spend $500,000 to help mount primary challenges against Republican state senators in New York who vote for the freedom to marry bill proposed by Gov. David Paterson. The California Fair Political Practices Commission is investigating complaints that NOM operates as a front for the Mormon church and that the church failed to report millions of dollars in nonmonetary contributions to the campaign. Critics in that state say the church began the effort by recruiting Maggie Gallagher of Ossining - who has forged a career writing about marriage for conservative think tanks - to establish NOM. [Link]

Monday, June 15, 2009

Gays decry Obama's stand on marriage equality case

The Associated Press
June 12, 2009
Gay rights groups expressed dismay with the Obama administration Friday over its championing of the Defense of Marriage Act, a law the president pledged to try to repeal while on the campaign trail. The government filed a motion late Thursday to dismiss the case of Arthur Smelt and Christopher Hammer, who are challenging the 1996 federal act. The law prevents couples in states that recognize same-sex unions from securing Social Security spousal benefits, filing joint taxes and other federal rights of marriage. "The president made very explicit and emphatic campaign promises that he opposes DOMA and would provide leadership calling on Congress to repeal it," said Jennifer Pizer, marriage project director for Lambda Legal. "This brief is not consistent with that promise." [Link]

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Personal Touch Will Change Minds on Marriage

San Francisco Chronicle
May 30, 2009
For all the expensive television ads that were rolled out for and against Proposition 8, it is the personal touch that really changes minds. The opponents of Prop. 8 learned that lesson. That's why they're rallying in Fresno today as part of the first high-profile effort to get voters to undo the ban on gay and lesbian marriages. [link]

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Thousands Rally in California's Heartland for Freedom to Marry

Los Angeles Times
May 30, 2009
Aiming to reach out to conservative voters, about 3,000 gay-rights supporters gathered Saturday in California's Central Valley in a renewed campaign to win support for equal marriage rights. Just days after the California Supreme Court upheld Prop 8, activists launched a 14 1/2 -mile march from the town of Selma to Fresno, where they rallied in front of City Hall as a peaceful campaign-styled event to win back marriage rights. [link]

Friday, May 29, 2009

California NAACP Decries Prop 8 Ruling

Oakland Tribune
May 29, 2009
"The rights of gay and lesbians to marry is most certainly a civil rights issue of the first order," said Alice Huffman, president of the California National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "By refusing to overturn Proposition 8, the California Supreme Court deferred to a simple majority to eliminate equal protection rights for a disenfranchised minority. This is what the NAACP has fought about for over 100 years." [link]

Christian Group Asks to Fight Federal Suit on Freedom to Marry

Mercury News
May 29, 2009
The Alliance Defense Fund is seeking to formally fight a federal lawsuit aimed at overturning California's gay marriage ban. The ADF spent more than $37 million in leading the campaign to pass Proposition 8 in November and successfully defended it before the state Supreme Court. The judge will hold a hearing July 2 to consider the group's request and whether to temporarily suspend the ban while considering the lawsuit. [link]

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Statement of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. on the Proposition 8 Ruling from the California Supreme Court
May 28, 2009
'By allowing a bare majority of the California electorate to deny access to marriage to a minority group, the California Supreme Court set a dangerous precedent. As Justice Carlos Moreno recognized in dissent, "The majority's holding is not just a defeat for same-sex couples, but for any minority group that seeks the protection of the equal protection clause of the California Constitution." ' [link]

David Hyde Pierce Reveals Marriage

Seattle Post-Intelligencer
May 28, 2009
Emmy- and Tony-winning actor David Hyde Pierce revealed on The View that he and his longtime partner married last fall. The former Frasier star said Thursday that he and TV producer Brian Hargrove tied the knot "very quietly last October 24th." The couple has been together for 25 years. [link]

Federal Challenge to Prop 8 Launched

Bay Area Reporter
May 28, 2009
"The best way to maximize the chances of winning a lawsuit is by creating the climate that enables judges to do their job," said Evan Wolfson, head of the national Freedom to Marry group. Wolfson said that marriage rights are more easily won by "building more public support, and doing the same kind of work needed to restore the freedom to marry at the ballot-box in California" and other states. [link]

Olson, Boies Unite to Fight Calif. Ban on Marriage for Gays in Federal Court
May 28, 2009
Gay-rights lawyers on Wednesday welcomed longtime conservative lawyer Theodore Olson into the fight for the freedom to marry, but warned him and liberal colleague David Boies that they could hurt the cause more than help it by launching an attack on California's Proposition 8 in the federal courts. "There is no end run around the nitty-gritty work of social change," Evan Wolfson, executive director of the New York-based Freedom to Marry, said in a telephone call. "If it was just about hiring a good lawyer and filing a good brief, we'd have won decades ago." [link]

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Divorce for Gay Couples Still Legal in California

New York Times
May 27, 2009
Gay and lesbian couples who took advantage of California’s brief fling with gay marriage last year to tie the knot, but now can’t stand the sight of one another, will be relieved to hear that gay divorce remains an option. Also, because most gay couples who’ve married thus far had already been together for many years, the divorce rate for gay couples is still low, says Evan Wolfson, founder of Freedom to Marry. “I expect that, over time, gay people will probably have the same rate of [marriage] failure as non-gay people,” says Wolfson. “And that’s part of the point. People should be treated equally.” [link]

Stars Take to Streets to Protest Prop 8 Ruling

May 27, 2009
On Tuesday morning, the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8 — the gay marriage ban passed back in November — and on Tuesday night some of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities joined thousands of protesters. Celebrities in attendance included Drew Barrymore, Kathy Griffin, George Takei, Kelly Osbourne, Deborah Gibson, Emmy Rossum, Sophia Bush, Perez Hilton and Shanna Moakler. [link]