Thank You Mr. Obama For Making DOMA Unconstitutional

I got this email today from Freedom To Marry:

Michel,
Great news.

This morning, President Barack Obama took a historic step that will help advance the freedom to marry. On the recommendation of the Attorney General, the President has determined that sexual orientation discrimination should be presumed unconstitutional.

Because of this, the Department of Justice today concluded that the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” is an unconstitutional and indefensible law.

As litigation challenging federal discrimination has unfolded, Freedom to Marry called on the President to protect same-sex couples and their families by applying heightened scrutiny against sexual orientation discrimination. And today, the President heeded our call.

Will you join me in thanking the President for refusing to defend this discriminatory law?

http://freedomtomarry.org/ThankObama
Make no mistake–the President’s decision didn’t happen overnight. It was the result of thousands of marriage supporters like you who have shared your stories, made phone calls, and sent e-mails demonstrating the harm that DOMA inflicts on families.

Until pending federal cases shake out, or Congress takes action, DOMA will still be in effect, but the President and the Justice Department are now on the right side of history, standing against anti-gay discrimination.

This brings us closer to Freedom to Marry’s goal of ending federal marriage discrimination and fully protecting all loving and committed couples and their families.

Join me in thanking President Obama for taking this crucial step towards ending the exclusion of gay and lesbian couples from marriage.

http://freedomtomarry.org/ThankObama

We still have a long way to go, but I know that with supporters like you, Michel, we’re closer to victory.

Thanks for all you do,

Evan Wolfson
Executive Director

Not only is our president making history by being the first African-American president, but he is also making history by making sexual orientation discrimination unconstitutional.

I don’t know why it has taken this long to make it unconstitutional. I mean, it’s unconstitutional for everyone else to be discriminated against but it’s ok to discriminate against gay people?  I don’t know why it took until the year 2011 for this to happen.  It’s amazing to me how far we have come and I guess better late than never right?

So thank you Mr. Obama for your support of gay people’s rights.

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Coming to Terms with Gay Rights

Where once it was culturally unacceptable to be involved in a homosexual lifestyle, today it is celebrated in certain circles and viewed as a viable family alternative in others.

Gay Rights is a term we have all heard and read about, but what does it mean?

If it means that those involved in a gay lifestyle are no longer subjected to laws that forbade this lifestyle then the rights have already been extended.

Many would argue that Gay Rights is much more complicated than that.

Some homosexual lobbyists are pursuing and sometimes winning a very specific argument in state governing bodies and in the corporate world. The argument is that gay couples should be extended insurance privileges in the same way traditional marriages receive.

Public schools often have books dealing with alternate lifestyles (including homosexuality) on their library shelves.

Gay Pride parades are featured in cities throughout the world.

It would seem that the rights of homosexuals are being improved with each passing day. In Massachusetts, gay marriage is recognized while a handful of other states recognize civil unions among same-sex couples.

There are even a growing number of churches that will perform and recognize same-sex civil unions. Some denominations have also accepted gay clergy.

Some African Americans have been vocally opposed to comparing Gay Rights with Civil Rights. The feeling among some is that African Americans were born with their skin color while many consider homosexuality to be a choice.

There has been an argument that there may be a gay gene that makes it almost impossible for a gay or lesbian individual to act different. This runs contrary to reports that indicate there may be a gene that may make an individual more susceptible to becoming homosexual, but the choice remains with the individual unlike a choice of skin tone in African Americans. If there is a choice in one scenario and no choice in the other then some cannot bring themselves to view these two movements in the same light.

Another area of contention is hate crimes bills that are discussed in the courts as well as on the floor of the senate and congress. The idea is to enforce a more severe penalty for crimes that are considered motivated by hatred. While this is not limited to homosexuals it is inclusive of crimes committed against this sector of society.

Proponents indicate this will serve as a deterrent to those who may have considered violence against a gay or lesbian individual. Opponents of hate crimes legislation indicate that this only leads to someone trying to interpret the motives behind an act of violence. They also believe that harsh penalties are already in place to deal with violent crimes without the need for additional penalties that may be viewed as entirely subjective.

Some might further argue that the gay community will not be content to settle for equal rights, they will push for protected or elevated rights. Those who espouse this argument believe that the protected status may actually result in a lessening of rights for heterosexual citizens.

The many layers of this argument are debated both publicly and behind closed doors and the debate is bound to continue as each individual comes to terms with their own belief system and how this issue fits within that point of view.

Discuss the Gay Rights at Controversial Forums. Have Debates in our Debate Forums.

Author: Thomas Phelps
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Sean Penn As Harvey Milk – Gay Rights Take Center Stage

When Hollywood needed to find a star for the movie Milk, about a San Francisco gay politician named Harvey Milk who was murdered in 1978, tough guy Sean Penn showed he could morph into any character at all. He disappears into the role of Milk with tenderness and true artistry. Penn and his co-stars – James Franco, Emile Hirsch, and Diego Luna – felt totally comfortable playing gay roles, which shows how times have changed in Hollywood. Previously, playing that type of role could have kept an actor off the A list, so progress has been made. However, top stars who are actually gay don’t feel safe enough to come out of the closet yet, so there is still a long way to go. It’s rather like gay rights.

In watching Harvey Milk’s 1978 battle against California’s Proposition 6, which would have banned gay teachers in public schools, audiences can’t help but ponder the halting progress on gay rights in light of the current battle raging over gay marriage. Gays and countless straight supporters took to the streets to protest what they saw as an assault on civil rights over the passage of Proposition 8, which effectively banned gay marriage in California. What would Milk have done? “He’d be right there on the streets with the marchers,” film director Gus Van Sant said.

Using broadcast film footage of the 1970s battles over gay rights, Van Sant shows how Milk, a community organizer, urged gays to come out of the closet. Milk knew that the more interaction there was between straights and gays, the more voters would understand what impact their vote would have. Milk’s message is just as valid today.

Gay marriage came to California this past June. Gay weddings flourished (over 18,000 of them), long-time couples celebrated, gay families with children were thrilled to be part of the legally recognized community. The summer wedding frenzy was set off by the May decision of the California Supreme Court, in its landmark marriage case, that said same-sex couples have a “right” to marry.

Others weren’t the least bit pleased. Those who deemed marriage to be a sacred union between a man and a woman – ONLY a man and a woman – and not a matter of legal contracts and civil rights, objected. So they put forth Proposition 8 to insert in the State constitution the words: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” Fifty-two percent of Californians voted yes on Prop 8 and it passed – right into an emotional uproar, protests on the streets, and legal rebuttals.

Now those words are before the California Supreme Court, which has agreed to a hearing of the legal challenges to Prop 8. The following issues are involved:

* Are the words a simple amendment or are they a constitutional revision, which should have required a two-thirds vote of the legislature?
* Does Prop 8 violate the constitutional separation of powers by restricting the judges’ authority to protect the rights of same-sex couples?
* Does Prop 8 invalidate the 18,000 same-sex marriages that took place between June 16th and the election?

If the justices uphold Prop 8, those who back gay marriage plan to put a measure before voters in 2010 to re-amend the state Constitution. If they toss out Prop 8, the opponents of gay marriage may put something back on the ballot or may even try to oust the Supreme Court justices by recall!

The justices are evidently divided on how to resolve the case. Their decision to delay hearings until as late as March without putting a stay on the law indicates conflict. That means that there will be no more gay marriages in California until oral arguments are heard. Justice Joyce L. Kennard reportedly voted not to hear the case at all, but she did agree to hear a case evaluating marriages instituted before the ban was in place. This is not a good omen for those in favor of gays’ right to marry.

There are also legal issues concerning the separation of church and state because of the huge amounts of money contributed by both the Mormon and Catholic Churches. California officials are presently questioning whether the Mormon Church accurately accounted for its role in the Yes on 8 campaign and are investigating their non-monetary contributions, such as phone banks, Web site, and commercials on behalf of Prop 8.

Why would 52% of the voters in California deny a minority the same rights they enjoy? Everyone, in my opinion, should be entitled to the same rights and privileges of marriage. The problem, in a nutshell, seems to be the word marriage. Those who consider marriage to be holy wedlock, rather than merely a legally binding relationship, might be willing to consider passage of civil rights legislation for same-sex partners if something other than the word marriage was used to describe it.

As I travel the country putting on public events where I work with thousands of lonely, depressed, and sick people, I have seen that anytime an individual is willing to make a commitment to a relationship, he is increasing his chances for health and happiness. The main task we have in our lifetime is to learn to love through the difficult lens of relationship. Research shows that established relationships tend to promote stability, so it seems that the more married couples there are, heterosexual or not, would actually benefit society. Instead of judging others and forbidding them from forming a union of happiness, I ask that we allow people to love and support one another. Life is hard enough; why do it alone?

With the Obama team in Washington taking over the reins after the Bush years of division and distrust, and proclaiming that unity and inclusion will be the new themes, I feel deeply that the time has come for us to put aside the things that separate us, including our fear of those whose lifestyles and sexual orientation differ from the norm.

Call it what you will, marriage means union. We can become more tolerant of all who seek union. We can support civil rights for all. And we can learn a lot from Milk.

Deborah King is a health and wellness expert and author of Truth Heals: What You Hide Can Hurt You. Learn more about your own ability to change your life through truth athttp://www.deborahkingcenter.com

Author: Deborah King
Article Source: EzineArticles.com

No on Prop 8

I need to ask for your help. There is an unfair ballot proposition that, if passed, will take away my fundamental rights. This is really important to me. Will you help me defeat Prop. 8?

Prop. 8 would eliminate the right to marry for same-sex couples. I trust you agree that eliminating fundamental rights – from anyone – is just wrong.

I hope you are already planning to vote NO. If you are, there are three things you can do below.

But just in case you’re unsure, I want you to know the real deal.

Virtually every major paper in California is against Prop 8. The L.A. Times says it is “a drastic step to strip people of rights.” La Opinión called Prop 8 “an unnecessary initiative”. The San Diego Union Tribune wrote that Prop 8 “offends many Californians’ sense of fairness.”

If that doesn’t convince you, I hope you’ll email me so we can talk about this.

If you plan to vote NO, there are a few easy things to help ensure it is defeated.

  1. Email everyone you know and care about and get them to help us defeat Prop 8.  Send them a message at  http://noonprop8.com/messages?r=friend.  You can quickly and easily send messages.
  2. Make a donation. The other side has raised over $10 million more than us.  They are using their war chest to spread lies and misinformation. Your donation will help us reach undecided voters who need to hear that Prop. 8 is wrong and unfair. http://noonprop8.com/donate?r=friend.
  3. Volunteer your time. Sign up to call undecided voters or help out in field offices across the state. http://noonprop8.com/volunteer?r=friend.

Thank you for doing all you can to defeat Prop. 8.

Here are some videos that I personally have not seen on TV and I really don’t know why.