Archive for Jim Douglas

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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Vermont Same Sex Marriage and Obama’s Legacy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2009 by jonwinkleman

With the passage of full marriage equality for same-sex couples in Vermont, Iowa, Connecticut and Massachusetts, history has chosen lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights to be the defining American struggle for equality and civil rights during Barack Obama’s Presidency. President Obama has left little doubt that his role models are Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. Both of who have a legacy as courageous civil rights figures. Although racial discrimination still exists, most of the major legal and legislative battles for racial equality have already been fought. LGBT equality may be the civil rights issue that defines Obama’s historical legacy.


Monday morning, I called Vermont State Representative Cynthia Browning of Arlington at home and asked her to vote with the Vermont Democratic Party and support an override of Governor Jim Douglas’s expected veto of the same sex marriage equality bill. During out warm and friendly chat Rep. Browning implied that she was the real loyal Democrat because unlike the Vermont Democratic Party, it is she who is supporting President Obama’s exact position on same sex marriage.

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Vermont Legislature Is First In The Nation To Legalize Gay Marriage Without Lawsuit

Posted in Marriage, Vermont with tags , , , , , , , on April 7, 2009 by thepowerny


Thanks to Dlisted

Today is one of the most significant days ever in the history of gay rights.  This morning the Vermont legislature voted to overturn Governor Jim Douglas’s veto of the gay marriage bill they passed last week.  In doing so, Vermont became the first state ever to legalize gay marriage by legislative act without a court order.  Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut, and California were all the result of court orders, as was the civil union law of New Jersey. 

This is significant because until today, the gay rights movement, to the extent that there is a movement, couldn’t point to any statewide political victories on marriage.  Currently 29 states have constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage, while another 17 have laws that have the same effect.  Until recent court victories, more than 46 states had such laws in effect.  And most of those were passed in the last 10 years.  Proposition 8 only reinforced what should have been obvious.  This movement became too reliant on lawyers and too reliant on lobbyists.  The major organizations touted their accomplishments and lulled people into complacency to the point that there was barely a a grass roots movement to mobilize when the need arose.

Fortunately, Proposition 8 made people angry enough to take action to engage political leaders directly to demand the change we deserve.  The Vermont House of Representatives, which only produced 95 votes for marriage last Friday, heard your voices.  The Democrats pressured their colleagues to stand together, and with the assistance of two Republicans, delivered 100 votes to overturn the veto.

So savor this victory.  Because these are the kind of victories we need if we are going to win true equality.  We can’t rely on lawyers.  In every state that has a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage,  it’s going to take you, and your anger, and your willingness to pick up a phone, blog about an action, forward a video, change your Facebook status, Twitter your network, email a message, recruit your friends, organize a meetings, write a check, support a primary challenger, make your voices heard, hold leaders accountable, and get out the vote that is going to win marriage equality state by state. 

And it’s going to take that same willingness to stay angry and to ask your friends to get angry that we are going to need if we are going to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and pass comprehensive civil rights legislation.

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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

Let us know when you take action

Posted in Polls, Uncategorized with tags , , on March 28, 2009 by thepowerny