Tag Archives: Allies

Our Allies – 12,000 Wrap White House to Stop Keystone XL Pipeline

6 Nov

We’ve spoken a few times here about our need for allies in the movement for full LGBT equality under federal law in the US. Unfortunately in our work with many different progressive organizations, it is sometimes difficult not to notice the lack of LGBT involvement in the larger progressive movement. There is of course a whole chicken/egg part of this discussion which includes arguments about whether or not the greater progressive movement wants our involvement or whether or not we want to be involved.

Either way, what we do know is that without allies in our fight, we cannot win. And some of the most effective allies we can have are activists – those people who are unafraid to stand up and speak out for what is right. Social justice is about building something, making friends, keeping them with you and using the power of many to win.

Today, we were proud to be street captains in helping to organize 12,000 people to stand hand-in-hand circling the White House. We joined many other LGBT activists and friends in the action. We were there to protest the building of the Keystone XL Pipeline which would take oil from the Tar Sands in Canada tot eh Gulf of Mexico. People have dozens of different reasons for protesting this pipeline, but among my most motivating reasons is the fact that if it took us to 3 months to plug the BP oil spill (and we knew that happened because of an explosion), how many millions of gallons will spill into our country’s drinking water when that one breaks?

Of course as I said, there are dozens of other reasons to protest this pipeline – everything from it being built on Native American land which would defy treaties from many generations ago to it not alleviating our dependence on foreign oil in the slightest. One thing is clear, this is something we all need to care about.

And when you show up to a rally because it’s the right thing to do, wear your colors. Let the other people there know that the LGBT community cares about what’s important for all of us.

Enjoy some photos from today’s incredible action at the White House. FYI – we’d hoped to wrap around the White House in a single file line. We wrapped around almost 3 times with 12,000 people.



Pop The Question: Maryland Marriage Equality

2 Feb

As some of you may know, I grew up in Maryland. Ive spent most of my life in and out of the Free State and in fact most of my friends and family live in the state still.

Having been active in the Washington, DC equality movement I was elated last year when marriage equality was finally won in the district. For myself, and a number of nearby native Marylanders, it was a bittersweet moment. Though I have marriage equality where I work and hang out, those rights evaporate on the short metro ride to where I sleep.

We now stand on the precipice of winning marriage equality in Maryland and a number of great organizations are working full steam to make this happen.

Equality Maryland is taking the lead in lobbying state legislators to pass SB 116, the “Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act”, partnering with Freedom To Marry and others to build a grassroots movement for Maryland marriage equality. Freedom to Marry Political Director, Sean Eldridge (who recently announced his engagement to Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes) did an interview with Swirl Radio outlining the state of marriage equality in the country. In it, he outlines legal and judicial strategies as well as upcoming legislative fights.

Our friends at Friendfactor have launched a click to call campaign called “Pop The Question“. The campaign empowers gay Marylanders to ask their straight friends to advocate on their behalf. Allied friends can then call Maryland legislators and voice their support for marriage equality, and their gay friends, through the passage of SB 116. Pop the Question makes it quick and simple for supporters to take this meaningful grassroots action with just a few clicks.

“Gay friends are much more important to most Marylanders than issues or ideology,” says Friendfactor
Founder Brian Elliot. “Our straight friends want to show support, but they don’t always know how or
when. Pop the Question solves those problems.”

So Friends, are you ready to make a few calls? This vote is coming up very soon and we need all hands on deck for this final push. Use the Friendfactor tool, check out the Equality Maryland wesbite for Volunteer opportunities, and take a few minutes out of your day for Marriage Equality in the Free State.

Maybe soon that short metro ride wont take me out of range of my civil rights.