Archive for the Actions Category

Log Cabin: GOP Says NY Sens. Can Vote For Gay Marriage

Posted in Actions, Governor David Patterson, Marriage, New York with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2009 by jeffbhall


The Log Cabin Republicans announced on Tuesday in The Advocate that New York State Republicans have been given permission to cast what is being called a “conscience vote” in favor of Gov. David Paterson’s marriage-equality bill.  The Republican State Legislative leadership is telling its caucus in the State Assembly and State Senate that the Republican Party will take no official position and are taking a neutral stand on the issue of marriage equality.  In essence the Republican Party is now more progressive on gay marriage than the Obama White House, which has stated it’s opposition to gay marriage.

Jeff Cook, who is the legislative adviser for the Log Cabin Republicans explained why this is such a significant decision.  Quoting from The Advocate article,

“…the decision stood in stark contrast to the tack taken in 2007, when assembly minority leader Jim Tedisco and the GOP leadership pressured assembly Republicans to vote against marriage equality.

“We were successful in that environment in getting four Republicans to vote yes, making it the first bipartisan vote on marriage in a legislative chamber,” Cook said. “But we would have probably done better if there was a ‘vote of conscience.'”

Cook called it “significant” that “the center of gravity in both parties has shifted on this issue to where Republicans now feel like their conference needs to be neutral and Democrats feel their conference needs to be emphatic in support.”

The article goes on to point out that a Siena poll released on Monday found 53% of the state’s voters want Governor Paterson’s marriage-equality bill passed, while only 39% are opposed to it.

In order to become law, the bill must pass both the State Assembly and the State Senate.  The New York State Assembly is expected to pass the equality bill; but the battle ground remains in the Senate.  While Senate Democrats, lead by Majority Leader Malcom A. Smith, have control of the Senate by a slim margin of 32 – 30, four Democrats are already vowing to vote against equality.  The four Democrats include Senator George Onorato (D-Queens) and Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. (D – Bronx).

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UPDATE: Why We Fight

Posted in Actions, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, New York, suicide on April 21, 2009 by jeffbhall

Last week we told you about the death of  Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover.  Carl killed himself because bullies constantly called him gay.  Today comes another sad reminder of why we fight.  Jaheem Herrera, also an 11 year old boy, committed suicide by hanging himself Thursday after, according to his family, relentless bullying at Dunaire Elementary School.


According to newspaper reports:

“Jaheem’s body was discovered by his 10-year-old sister, Yerralis, also a fifth-grader.

“His sister was screaming, ‘Get him down, get him down,’ ” Keene said.

When Keene got to the room, he saw Yerralis holding her brother, trying to remove the pressure of the noose her brother had fashioned with a fabric belt.

Jaheem was bullied relentlessly, his family said. Keene said the family knew the boy was a target, but until his death they didn’t understand the scope.

“We’d ask him, ‘Jaheem, what’s wrong with you?’ ” Keene recalled. “He’d never tell us.”

He didn’t want his sister to tell, either. She witnessed much of the bullying, and many times rose to her brother’s defense, Keene said.

They called him gay and a snitch,” his stepfather said. “All the time they’d call him this.”

We do not fight merely for political gain or to make a quixotic philosophical point.  We fight because this is more than a matter of equality under the law, it is literally a matter of life and death for kids  like Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover and Jaheem Herrera.

If there could possibly be a positive outcome of these deaths, The Power has recieved a report from one public school in Delaware that will be using the news of these senseless deaths to open a dialog between teachers and students on the topic of bullying.

In the mean time, you can take action. If you live in New York, call your state senator (click here to find out who they are) to tell them the importance of supporting the Dignity for All Students Act.  It has passed the Assembly every year for the last seven years.  Let’s make sure it becomes law.  For children like Carl and Jaheem.

Sign the petition to amend the Civil Rights Act to include LGBT people.

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Action: Tell Obama That Marriage Opponents Follow His Lead. Stop the Obama Defense Now.

Posted in Actions, Barack Obama, Brian Bond, Hawaii, Maggie Gallagher, Marriage, National Organization for Marriage, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2009 by thepowerny

Last  week we asked you to join us in calling Democratic members of the Vermont House of Representatives who had voted against the gay marriage bill to ask them to vote to override the Republican governor’s veto.  When we did, we learned about something rather disturbing.  We’ll call it The Obama Defense.  Time and again, callers reported back to us that Democratic office holders who espoused an opposition to gay marriage and a support of the existing civil union law defended their position by saying it was identical to President Obama’s.  They were right.

This has to stop now.  Contact Brian Bond, the White House  LGBT Liason, and ask him to tell the President that his separate-but-equal campaign position on marriage jeopardizes equality at the state level.  Tell him that when rogue Democrats at the state level oppose marriage using the Obama Defense, he has a duty as party leader to tell them to vote with their caucus for equality.  Tell him that with Democrats threatening to block marriage legislation in New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Hawaii, the only acceptable position is for him to support marriage equality now.   

brian_bondx3901Brian Bond
White House Director of Outreach and LGBT Liason
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500
Phone: (202) 456-1111


A year ago, gay people might have found a separate-but-equal pro-civil union position adequate, but Proposition 8 changed everything.   Proposition 8 banned same-sex marriage, but it did nothing to the existing California law which permits gay people to obtain civil unions.   That said, it completely exposed the animus that underlies such a system.  Our loss forced us to take a close look at the advertising that was used against us, the organizations that opposed us, and the lies, hate, and fear they spread there and that they are are now spreading throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic States.  In other words, we learned that separate is not equal. 

President Obama thinks that whether to recognize same-sex relationships is to be determined by the states and that his only responsibility in the matter is to make sure that recognized relationships get federal benefits. 

Unfortunately we have seen that his unwillingness to use the bully pulpit of the presidency to speak out for equality exposes us to greater lies and indignities.   As President, he has a duty to make sure that LGBT people are able to live with the same dignity and community respect as all other people.

The Windy City Times reported that when President Obama ran for the Illinois State Senate in 1996, he was unequivocally for same-sex marriage

President-elect Obama’s answer to a 1996 Outlines newspaper question on marriage was: “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.” There was no use of the phrase “civil unions”. [ Outlines purchased Windy City Times in 2000 and merged companies. ]

Now is the time for President Obama to return to that position, to lead the Democratic Party and the country as the “fierce defender of equality for LGBT people” that he says he always has been.  It is time for him to be a leader who provides no defenses for legislators who support separate-but-equal positions.

It is time for us to tell him that NOW IS OUR TIME.


Brian Bond
White House LGBT Liason
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500
Phone: (202) 456-1111

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Posted in Actions, Marriage, Vermont on April 6, 2009 by jeffbhall

Governor Jim Douglas thinks bigoted views are a personal matter

Just because we don’t all live in Vermont doesn’t mean we don’t have the power to help override this veto. You have The Power.

There are 10 democrats who voted against this bill; we only need to persuade 2 of them in order to make this bill veto proof. The names and office numbers of 2 democratic lawmakers will be listed on the here on the website of ‘The Power’ later today.

Once these names and numbers are posted, distribute them to everyone you know and don’t stop calling them until they change their vote.

We may not all live in Vermont, but we have already demonstrated that when we are united in our actions we have The Power to influence and cause real significant change. (Just ask Sen. Ruben Diaz from the NY state Senate)

POWER ACTION: Tell VT Democrats to Do The Right Thing Right Now!

Posted in Actions, Cynthia Browning, Marriage, Tim Corcoran, Vermont with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2009 by jonwinkleman

To win full marriage equality in Vermont we must push Democrats who voted against the marriage bill to vote with their party and override Republican Governor Jim Douglas’s veto.

Vermont Governor Jim Douglas is expected to follow through on his threat to veto gay marriage legislation tonight.  The Vermont House of Representatives could vote on whether to overturn the veto as early as Tuesday.   The legislation passed the House on Thursday with a vote of 95-52.  In order to guaranty that we will overturn the veto, we need 100 votes.   Don’t wait until after the vote to get angryAct now to ensure we win!

TEN Democrats voted against marriage last Thursday.  Three are expected to vote to override a veto as a show of party unity.  We need two more.  We must act today!

So if you do nothing else today, join us in calling these two Democrats to tell them to do the right thing and support the Democratic caucus in overturning the veto:

browningRep Cynthia Browning-Democrat
District Office: 802-375-9029
Home Phone: 802-375-9019

Email: (call first, it’s easier to ignore email)

Browning has been under extraordinary pressure from her colleagues, but has yet to move.   The Burlington Banner reported:  “Browning said her vote had nothing to do with religion, but rather the fundamental purpose of marriage. “It’s not based on religion. It’s actually based on a view of how our society works … on an anthropological basis,” she said. [emphasis added]

tim-corcoranRep. Tim Corcoran-Democrat
District Office: 802-447-0929
Home Phone: 802-442-8419

The Banner also reported: ” Rep. Timothy Corcoran II, a Bennington Democrat, also voted against the bill. He called the decision the most difficult of his seven years in Montpelier. “It came down to what my belief of what marriage is, and that is between a man and a woman,” he said. “I just couldn’t get over that at the end of the day.”

“I’m going to have to live with it,” Corcoran added. “No matter how I voted it was going to upset a lot of people. It’s unfortunate, but that’s my job, and ultimately I will be held accountable.” ”

And in fact he will. 

If you want to see marriage in Vermont, YOU MUST come out to these legislators (you can also come out as a straight person who has LGBT loved ones you care deeply about). Tell your own personal stories AND THEN tell them that their actions affect you and your loved ones and that they must vote with the Vermont Democratic Party to override Gov. Douglas’s veto. 



After you call (and tell your friends after they call), respond to this poll so we can keep track of how many people are calling:

And whatever happens, commit to supporting primary challenges against any Democrat who does not support an override of the veto.


For a complete list of Democrats who voted against marriage click here.  Answer the poll each time you call any of them.

Demonstration Today: Day of Decision – IA & VT

Posted in Actions, Court Decisions, Iowa, Maggie Gallagher, Marriage, Vermont with tags , , , , , , on April 3, 2009 by thepowerny


Today is a historic day for marriage equality and LGBT rights and we need to make our voices heard.


Today, the Iowa Supreme Court held unanimously that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. 


Yesterday, the Vermont House of Representatives passed marriage equality legislation by a vote of 95-52 in spite of a veto threat by Governor Jim Douglas.  In order to override the veto, 98 a votes are needed.  Republicans and Democrats alike voted against marriage equality, so we MUST make those legislators aware that the whole world is watching so that they will vote for equality after the veto.  They must hear us to know that there are consequences for voting against the side of justice.  To see a complete roll call, click here.


Join The Power and Civil Rights Front at 6:30 p.m. in Union Square, NYC for a demonstration of unity and power.  Invite all your friends and make your voices heard.


Don’t let the National Organization for Marriage drown us out.  They are working very hard to defeat us.


Call Governor Jim Douglas now to tell him not to veto the marriage legislation.  802-828-3333.  Click here to read his justification.


Stand up and speak out today.  Because you are The Power.  And NOW is our time.

Don’t Mess With The Gays

Posted in Actions, Marriage, Vermont with tags , , , on March 30, 2009 by thepowerny

Having threatened to veto the marriage equality bill that will soon be on his desk, Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas is learning what it’s like to be against marriage equality after Proposition 8. 


Since Friday you’ve been emailing him and calling him at 802-828-3333.  Click here to see The Power action alert.

Douglas received over 1500 letters over the weekend.   That’s a lot of mail in Vermont.  The messages were obtained by the Associated Press in response to an Access to Public Records Act  request.  According  to he’s also been followed everywhere by 200 polite but unrelenting protesters. 

Be sure to let us know when you call by clicking here

 Keep up the good work!  Now is our time