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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Barack Obama and Prop 8

A commenter on Citizen Crain writes:

Barack Obama? Interesting story here ...

Several months ago, he took great pains to state that he believed marriage was between a man and a woman and that it was a sacred union. The YES on Prop 8 campaign used his exact words to do robocalls (I got one) urging support for Prop 8. Now, keep in mind -- Obama stated that he opposed Prop 8, but never went on state TV to clarify his position. He did not come out and shame the YES campaign for lying about his position on this issue. Why?

Because supporting gay marriage is political poison. He did not want to support GLBT marriage rights because it might cost him. I get that. But he could have done more. He let his own words be used in a dishonest way to advance the anti-gay agenda of hyper-Christian bigots in California and Utah. He could have gone on TV and rebuked the Prop 8 campaign.

This is extremely cynical from Barack Obama and his campaign.

More on the Impact Rally

More on the rally:

Fight the H8: Protest Proposition 8

Saturday, November 15
350 S. 5th St., downtown Minneapolis
(In front of the Hennepin County Government Center, next to the Light Rail)
Invite people on Facebook:

Board Room (3rd Floor), Coffman Memorial Union, University of Minnesota (East Bank), 300 Washington Ave. SE

While celebrations erupted Tuesday night over the election of the first African American president, many also watched in sadness as California, Arizona, and Florida voted down marriage equality for LGBT people. Since then, tens of thousands have taken to the streets to oppose this discrimination and declare that the right to marry the person you love is a fundamental human right, regardless of sexual orientation!

Saturday, November 15th has been called as a National Day of Action in support of LGBT rights ( Tens of thousands will protest all over the country, in every state, declaring our opposition to all forms of discrimination and demanding an end to homophobia – and to help launch a new civil rights movement, for full equality for gays, lesbians, and transgender people.

This is an issue of equal rights for all Americans! Stand up and make your voice heard! Join us in pressuring the California government to overturn Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage.
SPREAD THE WORD! Please pass this e-mail on and alert your friends, classmates, co-workers, family members, progressive groups, etc.

Join our Facebook group and invite ALL your friends! -

For flyers, questions, etc. contact: / 617-599-3026

Minneapolis protest initiated by Socialist Alternative –
(To co-sponsor, and if your organization would like to speak or be involved, please be in touch! We are hoping to build a broad coalition of groups supporting this demonstration!)

For more info on the November 15th National Day of Action, visit

Outfront Minnesota commented on this in their newsletter, though they failed to provide specifics:

If You Plan to Protest California's Vote to Overturn Marriage Equality
OutFront Minnesota has received a number of inquiries about people who would like to protest California's vote last week which eliminated the civil rights of same-sex couples to marry. We know that people are quickly organizing multi-city protests at city halls and government buildings in the Twin Cities and nationwide this Saturday and possibly the following Saturday. Announcements of planned protests will be posted on our online calendar. There also a number of online-based protest activities you can join.

OutFront Minnesota supports peaceful, legal protests in response to the California vote.

Talking Points and Placard Suggestions:

Taking away rights is wrong
America is about equality for all
My Family is Equal
Marriage equality is a civil right
Defeat in California won't defeat the equality movement
Say no to hate
My family's rights are not subject to popular vote
California marriage vote was wrong
No H8 in our State
I am equal
I am not a second class citizen
Love will prevail
Justice and Equality for All Families

OutFront Minnesota recognizes and appreciates the need for GLBT equality supporters to come together and stand in solidarity in favor of civil rights for all Americans. We honor the desire of people to publicly congregate and declare that efforts to denigrate one group of people will not be tolerated and that our state will be committed to achieving equality for all people.

We also hope that these efforts inspire GLBT equality supporters to be active year round in moving the movement for justice forward. Check back to OutFront Minnesota's Action Center for ideas and ways to participate in this work for equality.

I will not be able to attend. If anyone attends this, please let me know how it goes. (How many showed up, what was said, etc.)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dale Carpenter on the Protests Against Prop 8

Volahk Conspiracy:

An alternative to anti-Mormon protests: Leaders of the Mormon Church urged their followers to contribute to a constitutional ban on marriage for gay families, a call that apparently resulted in the bulk of the donations to that effort in California. Religious leaders and their adherents are of course free to oppose gay marriage. But when you enter the political fray, you are not exempt from public criticism and protest just because you are a religion or have religious reasons for your advocacy. It's not anti-religious bigotry to call attention, loudly and angrily, to what you have done.

Moreover, despite the focus on a few extremists whose words have indeed crossed the line into religious (and racist) bigotry over the past few days, the anti-Prop 8 rallies have been peaceful and mostly respectful. Frankly, if marriage had been denied to blacks, Mormons, Catholics, or almost any other group, it's hard to imagine the reaction would have been as mild as it's been.

Nevertheless, I am uncomfortable with pickets directed at specific places of worship like the Mormon church in Los Angeles. It's too easy for such protests to degenerate into the kinds of ugly religious intolerance this country has long endured. Mormons, in particular, have historically suffered rank prejudice and even violence. Epithets and taunts directed at individuals are especially abhorrent. Individual Mormons (and blacks and others) bravely and publicly opposed Prop 8. Even those who supported Prop 8 are not all anti-gay bigots, though I saw plenty of anti-gay bigotry when I was in California last week. As I've repeatedly argued, there are genuine concerns about making a change like this to an important social institution. Those concerns are misplaced and overwrought, but they are not necessarily bigoted.

All These Prop 8 Actions

It's a bit confusing to me why there are all these Prop 8 actions now - rather than putting energy into this prior to the vote when it would have made a difference.

That being said, the discussion of this issue is a healthy discussion, even if it can be a painful discussion. There's some interesting debate over this issue over at the Dallas Morning News Religion blog.

There's also an interesting article at the BBC.

President-elect Barack Obama won the support of large numbers of religious voters. He also energised huge numbers of African-Americans to vote.

In California, they turned out for Obama, but they also voted on Proposition 8. And 70% of African-Americans voted in favour of banning gay marriage. Their votes were pivotal on the issue.

So, ironically, in this most liberal of states, many of the same people who turned out to elect America's first black president also voted against gay marriage.

Black voters on the gay marriage law

Many African-Americans voted that way for religious reasons: "It isn't Godly," one person told me. Others dispute the argument that gay marriage is a fundamental civil rights issue.

One thing is for certain: the election did not bring an end to the debate over gay marriage. Right now, it is more hotly contested than ever.
Campaigners plan to keep it in the headlines. And they plan to take their fight nationwide.

California is a state that often sets trends for the rest of the US, but could it now harbour a problem for the new president?

Ironically, Obama might have been better off, if his campaign had been more active in trying to help defeat Proposition 8. His campaign could have made the difference with African American voters. I don't think there would have been nationwide protests over the amendments in Florida and Arizona and Arkinsas - even though the Florida and Arkinsas amendments are much harsher.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Join the Impact

From a Lloydletta Reader:

Here's the thing - with this past weeks election walls were broken down, electing Obama President, but more walls were put up in Arizona, California, Florida and Arkansas. It has really frustrated me, angered me and saddened me. In California, as you may be aware, this past weekend was filled with protests over Prop.8. It made me want to do something too. But, as I said, I'm a bit of home body. I mean what can I do. Well, I was checking things out online and saw

They are asking the gay community and our friends and family to stand together for equal rights. On Nov. 15th (this Saturday) the folks at JoinTheImpact are organizing a national day of marriage equality, pro-GLBT rights protests on November 15, on the steps of every city hall at 1:30 P.M. EST so 12:30 my time in Mpls.

I was hoping that you at your blog could somehow put the word out. I have a small group of friends, so I thought you all at your blog would be in a better position than I. I don't have a blog and we need everyone across the nation to find out about Nov.15th

Here is a sign to print up. I see this more than just a California problem. I see this more than justProp 8 -it's about equal rights. I can't organize an event (really I know 10 people tops), I've sent emails to The Saloon, the Gay 90's, The TC Gay Mens Chorus, Lavender, Vera's , Outfront, and several other places but I don't know what more I can do myself. Just wondering if you can help spread the word.

Has there been anything organized for this in Minneapolis? What about St Paul?