Thursday, November 13, 2008

I'm Exhausted....

I haven't been this tired -- or this involved in our community -- in years. And I am not doing nearly as much as so many other organizers are to make this coming Saturday a success.

It will be an amazing experience -- simultaneous marches, rallies and protests. Across the country. All for one cause.

I've hung signs all around two different neighborhoods, in many restaurants, bars, cafes and bookstores. Handed out fliers and chatted with dozens of people outside of the KD Lang concert here in San Diego tonight. Attended a training and planning session this evening with dozens of other dedicated volunteers.

But now I need my rest. Saturday morning will be here soon enough -- and the excitement is killing me!


Join us for a Peaceful, Positive Protest -- a Protest Against Proposition 8:

San Diego

Saturday, November 15 -- 10:00 AM Protest March

From 6th and Upas to SD County Admin Building
1600 Pacific Highway

1:00 PM Protest Rally
SD County Admin Building

Monday, November 10, 2008

Keith Olbermann Stands Up For Love
and San Diego Prepares to

In one of the most heartfelt pleas for justice and love and humanity that I have heard in a long time, MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann comes out STRONGLY against Proposition 8.

Please take some time in your busy day and watch this video:

And, in more local news...

The National Protest Against Prop 8 / JoinTheImpact
along with local organizers ask you to join us:

Saturday, November 15th
10:00 a.m.
6th Ave and Upas St

March for Our Rights!

This is San Diego's cooperative effort, along with protesters in other cities across the nation, to rally and march against hate.

Not in San Diego? No problem. Click here to check out the JoinTheImpact website. Click on links to check for organizers in your city who may need help getting the word out. Or perhaps you are a community organizer and your city has no one working on this important national protest.... You know what to do!

Click the thumbnail above for a .pdf to print and post (legally, please!) in your favorite coffee shop, restaurant, grocery store or ice cream parlor.

Our rights are too important for you to not get involved.

- T

San Diego Anti-Proposition 8 Rally - GIANT Saturday Edition

The support from and turn-out by those inside the gay community and also by so many other right-thinking citizens is amazing. The outpouring of energy, strength, commitment and, yes, even ANGER is overwhelming and revitalizing. The protests are taking place across the state -- and even across the entire country. Check out Join The Impact to see where upcoming protests are taking place near you. Another excellent source is Queers United. Or contact your local gay and lesbian center, such as San Diego's excellent The Center.

[Click this blog post's title for more photos of San Diego's huge Anti-Prop 8 March on Saturday.]

We must keep fighting for our rights. I know we all have busy lives with many responsibilities and duties pulling us in multiple directions. I am no exception. My time is divided between work, family, our current search for a new home -- all of these things, along with the mundane (grocery shopping, laundry, beauty sleep, the latest episode of Ugly Betty) can take up a lot of our time, keeping us from getting out and doing what we know we must do to repeal Proposition 8.

But, if we continue the fight -- if we continue to come together in such huge numbers as we did on Saturday the 8th here in San Diego -- we will certainly be heard by those around us. And they will know that we are seriously pissed off by the lack of social justice their passing of Proposition 8 has demonstrated.

On Saturday, by the estimates of the San Diego Police Department, somewhere between 8000 and 10,000 participants took to the streets to show their support for gay marriage. These thousands upon thousands upon THOUSANDS of protesters could have stormed churches, meetinghouses, temples, ministries, tabernacles -- what ever you call your evil place of worship. (We know who you are and where you prey if you gave funds to Yes on 8 -- it's on your Yes on 8 website!)

And yet, all 10,000 participants behaved wonderfully. Not one single arrest took place, not one incident was noted by the police. I'm very proud of how my community, and those from outside the community who joined us, behaved this past weekend.

Even the REPUBLICAN Govern-ator, our own Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, seems to have had a change of heart regarding gay marriage. He now has spoken out encouraging us all not to give up the fight. And he reminds us that we have a goal in mind: bring this issue back before the Supreme Court (as we have already done!) and have them settle it ONCE AND FOR ALL!

This from the Los Angeles Times in an interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger:

Schwarzenegger tells backers of gay marriage: Don’t give up
By Michael Rothfeld and Victoria Kim

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today expressed hope that the California Supreme Court would overturn Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that outlawed same-sex marriage. He also predicted that the 18,000 gay and lesbian couples who have already married would not be affected by the initiative.

“It’s unfortunate, obviously, but it’s not the end,” Schwarzenegger said in an interview on CNN this morning. “I think that we will again maybe undo that, if the court is willing to do that, and then move forward from there and again lead in that area.”

With his favorable comments toward gay marriage, the governor’s thinking appears to have evolved on the issue.

In past statements, he has said he personally believes marriage should be between a man and a woman and has rejected legislation authorizing same-sex marriage. Yet he has also said he would not care if same-sex marriage were legal, saying he believed that such an important societal issue should be determined by the voters or the courts.

Following that position, he publicly opposed Proposition 8, which amends the state Constitution to declare that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

Today, Schwarzenegger urged backers of gay marriage to follow the lesson he learned as a bodybuilder trying to lift weights that were too heavy for him at first. “I learned that you should never ever give up. . . . They should never give up. They should be on it and on it until they get it done.”

See, in my view, civil rights are NOT a matter for the lowest-common-denominator in our society to decide for the rest of us. If this were the case, we would still have slavery, laws against miscegenation and women's suffrage.... Such important advances in our society are often brought about only by level-headed, reasoning and reasonable courts -- not by the teeming, steaming, brain-dead masses.

Stay angry, stay focused and stay peaceful. Mostly, though -- STAY ON THE STREETS!

- T

Friday, November 07, 2008

San Diego Anti-Proposition 8 Rally - Friday Edition

I'm all outta words tonight.... If you want vitriol, read a few of my previous posts on the subject.

Instead, why not enjoy some pics I took this evening?

- T

- T

Stand Up For Your RIGHTS!

Protests are springing up all over the place. Californians are NOT turning the other cheek this time. Proposition 8 may have passed (by the slimmest of margins), but unfair is unfair -- and we're speaking out. This would be the first time Californians voted to take away civil liberties from a group of their own citizens. Is this how California should be known to the world?!

It is hard to find a definitive list of upcoming events to follow the first few protests in Los Angeles at the Mormon Temple yesterday and the day before. But, here is one blogger who is doing a good job of it. I will post any other lists of protest sites I find as they become available.

Here in San Diego, there will be a rally and march tonight:

Friday, November 7th. Rally and march will begin at 6th and Laurel at the edge of Balboa Park and progress downtown to City Hall. Meet at the rally site by 9 p.m. (2100 for you military types.)

Then there is this information from a site called Saddleback 8 Protest:

Saddleback Church Prop 8 Protest!

No one’s religious beliefs should be used to deny fundamental rights to others,” said Lorri L. Jean, chief executive officer of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center. “Our civil rights are inalienable.”

This peaceful protest will take place this Sunday (November 9th) at 10AM PST. Please spread the word!! Prop 8 is unfair and unconstitutional. A church’s definition of marriage should not be allowed to be applied to the whole population.

Rick Warren of Saddleback Church came out publicly in an email to his congregation telling them to Vote Yes on 8.

Please bring your friends - gay or straight. Christian or not. All who support marriage equality are encouraged to come show their support in front of one of the largest churches in America.

Bring your signs if you have them!

C'mon, San Diegans -- it's Orange County. It's not THAT far away!

Rick Warren had this to say about our rights:

Warren Endorses Prop 8 in California - October 29, 2008

CBN - Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren has publicly taken a stand against gay marriage in California.

In an e-mail to his Lake Forest congregation, Warren endorsed the state's proposed constitutional amendment. It defines marriage as being between one man and one woman.
On Nov. 4, California voters will go to the polls to determine if they agree with it.

"We support Prop 8, and if you believe what the Bible says about marriage, you need to support prop 8," Warren wrote. "I never support a candidate, but on moral issues I come out very clear."
"For 5,000 years, EVERY culture and EVERY religion -- not just Christianity -- has defined marriage as a contract between men and women," Warren wrote in the e-mail.

"There is no reason to change the universal, historical definition of marriage to appease 2 percent of our population. This is one issue that both Democrats and Republicans can agree on. Both Barack Obama and John McCain have publicly opposed the redefinition of marriage to include so-called 'gay marriage,'" he added.

"Of course, my longtime opposition is well known," he continued. "This is not a political issue, it is a moral issue that God has spoken clearly about. There is no doubt where we should stand on this issue."

"This will be a close contest, maybe even decided by a few thousand votes. I urge you to VOTE YES on Proposition 8 -- to preserve the biblical definition of marriage. Don't forget to vote!," Warren concluded.


And, in a very gracious move, the gay and lesbian community in Utah is staging a protest at LDS company headquarters. Read this interesting article to find out more about it.

I send out a big thank you to those Utahns who stand behind us in our fight for equal rights.

- T

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Done Sittin' Idly By

Time to take to the streets.

We're not in the mood to be placated or toyed with. It turns out when you begin to take people's civil rights away, it does strange and unpleasant things to their psyches. You force them into action -- which is exactly what happened today. Watch here to see video of the demonstration at the Mormon Temple in Los Angeles today.

And here's a laughable snippet from a news organization somewhere along the Utah/Idaho border (KIDK News):

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints temple in Los Angeles is closed as hundreds of people are protesting around the building.

The protesters are upset about the LDS support of the Proposition 8 ban against gay marriage.

Opponents of Proposition 8, which outlawed gay marriage in California, are marching, waving banners and chanting. The protest started about two hours ago.

Los Angeles Police Department has put several officers on the scene.

Thousands of gays protested in LA Wednesday night shutting down streets. At least seven people were arrested, four at the intersection of Hollywood and Highland, where one man jumped on top of a police car.

Television cameras captured one protester struggling with officers and being struck on the legs by batons.

The LDS temple is apparently being targeted because of church members' funding and support of the proposition.

Church spokeswoman Kim Farrah issued the follow statement concerning the protest:

“The Church acknowledges that such an emotionally charged issue concerning the most personal and cherished aspects of life — family and marriage — stirs fervent and deep feelings.

The Church calls on those involved in the debate over same sex marriage to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility towards each other. No one on either side of the question should be vilified, intimidated, harassed or subject to erroneous information.”
[text highlighted by me]

Can you BELIEVE the hypocrisy spewed by the Mormon spokeswoman?! "No one ... should be vilified ... harassed..." Is she KIDDING?! Did she even WATCH the videos her damn organization funded?! Or did she not see them, cuz she's watchin' TV in UTAH! Not here where she sent her damn money and where her funds were doing their evil work?!

And don't you "call on" me to act civilly and respectfully. Those days are over, church-lady! I will loudly and proudly demand my rights here in CALIFORNIA. Your demands may sway people in UTAH with that type of chiding, but here in CALIFORNIA, I get to decide how I act toward those who will deny me my rights.

The LA Gay and Lesbian Center has set up a website to allow those who wish to donate money to fight the legal battle against the Proposition 8 fallout. And, best of all, they will send a postcard to President Monson, king of the Mormons, telling him that this donation was made IN HIS NAME to fight hatred and bigotry. (A bit of an inside joke as I see it: his church baptizes dead people into the LDS faith who have had no say in the process - - - cuz they are DEAD.)

Also, a local group here in San Diego is gathering signatures and planning rallies to begin the process of removing the Mormon Church's tax-exempt status. Seems that if you spend too much time and money on political actions and not enough on feeding the poor, letting black people into your church, sheltering the homeless or just plain leavin' people the hell alone then you become something other than a tax-exempt church! Find this group's information here.

I know that the Mormons were not the only group that spent dollars and nonsense on Prop 8 -- but they were the biggest, loudest and most 'generous' and therefore have earned (now, how did that spokeswoman put it...?) - - - OH YEAH - - - VILIFICATION, INTIMIDATION AND HARASSMENT!!

- T

Thank You, Mayor Sanders

Last night at the San Diego Center, hundreds of members of the gay and
lesbian community gathered to hear some of the leaders in the fight to
defeat Proposition 8 discuss our options now that 8 seems to have passed.
We can expect many legal battles before this is over -- already, the ACLU,
HRC, and the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco are bringing cases
before the court to void the proposition's results.
And our city's mayor, who took such a strong stand against the proposition,
was recognized and then gave a rousing speech encouraging the crowd not to
give up the fight and to press on with our demands for true equal rights.
His daughter and her partner joined him on the stage.
There was some good-natured ribbing from the other leaders on stage, as
Mayor Sanders is a Republican. But, his stand and commitment is so
commendable that everyone gave the mayor a huge round of applause. In fact,
his speech may have been some of the most strident I heard last night.
Thank you, Mayor Sanders.
- T

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A Sea Change

A huge victory was won by Barack Obama and also by the United States tonight.

To think that so many Americans could look past race, an uncomfortably alien-sounding name and only a few years' experience in national politics and elect Barack Obama as our next president. It is truly amazing.

It is very heartening to know that, given the situation we're in today in the United States, we would look to someone with well-articulated, new plans for the country and not to someone mired in the past, linked to the current Republican administration and obviously representative of a less-than-popular, outdated point of view.

Congratulations, Mr Obama -- please serve us and represent us well. I have faith that you will.

And yet, on a night filled with such positive emotions and hope for the future, I'll be going to bed with some disappointment and anger in my heart.

It looks like my fellow Californians will have decided to take away from my fellow gays and lesbians marriage rights currently in place. I couldn't be more saddened that there are so many bigots and religious Neanderthals in my state.

Shame on all of you who voted for Proposition 8. Shame on you for not thinking with your heads and your hearts and instead following the 'party line' set down by the royalty in your various religious sects....

That so many churches got involved and made an election issue into an issue they would spend pulpit time and (tax-free!) money on disgusts me. Why must these bigots take an issue that has NO effect on them (unless they are involved in a gay or lesbian relationship) and push their hate-driven agenda on their 'sheep'? And why must there be so many 'sheep' who can't see past their superstitions?

Speaking in tongues? Handling snakes? Baptizing dead people? Avoiding cheese with beef? Really? You think this crap is still viable in the 21st Century?

Again: shame on you. Now crawl back into your caves.

And to those of you who did the right thing and voted NO on 8, I thank you and hope you know how much your vote is appreciated by those of us for whom you were trying to help secure civil rights.

- T

Saturday, November 01, 2008

What if they held a hate-fest . . .

. . . and nobody came?

S'posed to be about midway through the evil gathering -- sure does look mighty empty, doesn't it?

Did they perhaps fly their brooms instead of drive to the hate-fest?

Vote NO on Proposition 8!

Voodoo Snake-Handling Inquisitionists for 8

I'm working today -- right next door to Qualcomm Stadium. Usually, we have to deal with visiting Raider groupies or the occasional drunk Charger fan coming through the store.

Today, though, we'll be faced with a far more ridiculous yet malicious visitor: Yes on Proposition 8 religious fanatics.

It seems the religious nuts have decided to hold a 12-hour fast and prayer-athon to ask GAWD to pass Proposition 8. They're gathering at Qualcomm Stadium and fasting for 12 hours, so no food will be served there.

[The mall I work at has the nearest McDonald's and Subway, so you KNOW they'll be sneakin' out around lunchtime and coming over here. I decorated my truck to welcome them. (Don't ya just want to bake some bread and cinnamon rolls and barbecue some ribs next to the stadium -- and then rent a big industrial-sized fan...?)]

So, instead of getting out and building homes for the homeless, cleaning up trash on the highways and beaches or cooking meals for the many hungry families around SoCal, they're wasting hundreds of thousands of man-hours focusing all their hatred and bigotry and evil thoughts on just one cause: bug the old man on the cloud long enough and loud enough that he'll magically revoke civil liberties with his wand.

Very "Christian" of them, isn't it?

- T