Thank you for visiting
www.EqualityJusticeForAll.org
(EqualityJusticeForAll.com, EqualityAndJusticeForAll.us
)
Devoted to promoting equal rights for EVERYONE.

(This page is in simple html and can easily be copied and pasted)

 

**************************************
When we deprive the equal rights of one, we threaten
the equal rights of everyone. An injustice anywhere should
be an injustice everywhere - Dr Martin Luther King, Jr

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Repeal 'DADT' not in Dec but NOW through the Defense Authorization bill
Senate Armed Services Committee will be marking up the annual, must-pass
Defense Authorization bill and it must include repeal of DADT.
Tom Toles Cartoons, The Washington Post, May 25, 2010
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/tomtoles/

Welcome to the
'Equality/Justice For All'

Photo and video
Gallery


 


brought to you by

International
DanceSPORT

and
Entertainment

SameGender DanceSPORT
could well be one of the most effective forms of Grass roots
LGBT activism available to us today without even asking for attention.
Try it, the rainbow link above is proof....

This web site is a result of the 2009 introduction of bill 18-482 "The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009" by members of the city council of Washington DC. As one who sat in the front row of the DC Council chambers during this historic event, including the introduction of the bill as well as during both days of over 200 testimonials on October 26th and November 2nd (none of which I would have missed for anything), the voting on the final bill on two separate occasions by the DC City Council and finally the signing by Mayor Fenty, I decided to post some of the resulting testimonials, press releases and information that were an outcome. This also includes other interesting information available online about this last segment of discrimination and inequality being used against the LGBT community that must still be eliminated in this great country of ours, 'The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave'. Those discriminatory practices are Marriage Inequality in the US, DOMA, Proposition 8, Don't Ask, Don't Tell (by far one of the most demeaning and destructive laws for both LGBT military personnel and the military itself passed by our federal government out of nothing more than political pandering to the right wing), and more including the hold-up of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in Congress. If anyone has any additional interesting information to include on Marriage Inequality, 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' or any other forms of hate crime or hiring, firing or fair housing discrimination in America, please send it along to me to consider for posting. It doesn't need to be LGBT inequality but rather any type of discrimination.
Thanks,
T. L. Chasteen

The struggle for Marriage Equality in DC Click here.

 

**************************************
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent
about things that matter - Dr Martin Luther King, Jr
**************************************



This site maintained by:

www.PleaseDanceWithMe.com
(www.InternationalDanceSPORT.com, www.DancingWithTheDCStars.com)
the home of
Terry Chasteen's
International DanceSPORT & Entertainment

We offer the most professional and authentic dance entertainment available throughout Metropolitan Washington DC.
Plus we provide easy, flexible and fun instruction for the entire family
in every style of social dance from around the globe
that literally ANYONE can afford (and your 1st class is FREE! with a 2-for-the-price-of-1Pass online for 1st-timers).

TerryChasteen@PleaseDanceWithMe.com
TerryChasteen@InternationalDanceSPORT.com
TerryChasteen@yahoo.com
202-462-0870

Visit all of our highly-opinionated awareness projects at:
www.NobodyAskedForMyOpinionBut.com
www.EqualityJusticeForAll.org

www.StopAllCellPhoneDriving.org

www.StopDisabledAbuse.org
.... and let's not even get started on the environmental abuse that almost
each and every one of us continues to bombard this life-giving
planet with every single day....and too many are too lazy to stop it.
animated clip art "site created with PRIDE"

 

Topic menu of this web site under construction
(for now scroll down and take the much more scenic route including many topics of activism
for Equal Rights for everyone plus animal rights and the environment)

You may also follow my postings on
facebook
Clip art hose fecebook

 

 

News clip of Rachel Maddow
Rachel Maddow on Obama getting a lot done in spite of the conservative spin:

"Love this administration or hate it, the last time any President did this much in office, booze was illegal. If you believe in policy, if you believe in government that addresses problems...cheers to that."
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540.../vp/37937282#37937282


News clip photo of Chris Mathews
And if you believe in a 'Do-Nothing' Congress, the only goal of which is to cause the failure of this administration through FEAR and spin and doubt directed at BOTH sides of the aisle, then you must feel like you're in heaven right about now.
(Chris Mathews on 'Morning Joe' on uncovering the secret FEAR campaign of the RCN
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036789/vp/35706805#35715196


Billboard linking Obama, Hitler draws complaints
A billboard created by an Iowa tea party group that compares President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Lenin is drawing sharp criticism.

Outrage was expressed at linking Obama to Hitler, the leader of Nazi Germany who oversaw the killing of 6 million Jews and whose invasions of neighboring countries led to World War II.

"When you compare Obama to Hitler, that to me does a disservice to the Jews who both survived and died in the Holocaust and to the Germans who lived under Nazi regime rule,"
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_iowa_obama_billboard

 

July 8, 2010 These are HUGE happenings regarding SameGender couples on the Today Show and DOMA! (links below):
1) Jonathan Howard & Gregory Jones: 'Today Show Hosts A Modern Wedding'.
2) TODAY SHOW opens wedding to same-sex couples.
3) Two huge victories for marriage equality; parts of federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) ruled unconstitutional.
4) Federal Court Strikes Do...wn DOMA Section 3.
5) American Foundation for Equal Rights=instant results on impending Prop 8.

Today Show Logo
1) Jonathan Howard and Gregory Jones: 'The Today Show Hosts A Modern Wedding' to include SameGender couples.
http://www.facebook.com/notes/jonathan-howard/the-today-show-hosts-a-modern-wedding/442945070311

2) TODAY SHOW opens wedding to same-sex couples. http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/38156203
... See More
3) Two huge victories for marriage equality. Federal judge in Boston ruled, in two separate cases, critical parts of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. http://www.baywindows.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=glbt&sc2=news&sc3&id=107807

4) Federal Court Strikes Down DOMA Section 3.
http://www.glad.org/current/news-detail/federal-court-strikes-down-doma-section-3/

5) American Foundation for Equal Rights will give you instant results on Prop 8
http://www.equalrightsfoundation.org/action/alert-e1/
-------------------------------------------------

From Jonathon Howard and Gregory Jones:
Thank you NBC and the Today Show, for truly making your "Modern Wedding Contest" modern. Same-sex couples will be allowed to enter the wedding contest this year, and every year from here on out.

The deadline to submit an entry to the contest will be extended until Monday and the e...ntry form will also no longer read 'bride and groom'.

First off I want to thank each and every one of you in America who took a moment to sign the GLAAD petition, to spread the word, and to show that we can all make a change. Obviously a special thank you goes out to Jarrett Barrios, Cindi Creager, Seth Adam and all the other hard working and dedicated members of the GLAAD team. GLAAD relentlessly advocated for same-sex couples to be able to enter The Modern Wedding Contest after the blog 'GoodAsYou' broke the story last week. Today was a victory for our community.

The Today Show Hosts A Modern Wedding
Please first notice how I have taken the quotation marks off Today Show and Modern Wedding! Thank you NBC and the Today Show, for truly making your "Modern Wedding Contest" modern. Same-sex couples will be allowed to enter the Modern Wedding Contest this year, and ever year here on out. Th...
By:Jonathan Howard

------------------------------------

Today Show Logo
You Spoke and NBC Listened. Thank you to everyone in America who emailed by the thousands to make this happen. This is just one more notch in favor of Equality/Justice For All:

Today Show's "Modern Day Wedding Contest" Opened to Same-Sex Couples. GLAAD thanks you for speaking out about NBC Today Show's "Modern Wedding ...Contest." This afternoon after GLAAD met with NBC executives and shared our community's concerns, the network agreed to open the contest to same-sex couples.The announcement comes a week after GLAAD learned that the contest had excluded gay and lesbian people. 'Good As You' blog first alerted us to the problem after discovering the contest's application included only "bride" and "groom" as options for applicants to choose.

GLAAD - Today Show's "Modern Day Wedding Contest" Opened to Same-Sex Couples
http://www.glaad.org
Update on NBC Today Show's "Modern Wedding Contest:" This afternoon after GLAAD met with NBC executives and shared our community's concerns, the network agreed to open the contest to same-sex couples.
---------------------------------------------

Get Decision Day Updates for Proposition 8 from Plaintiffs Paul Katami & Jeff Zarrillo.
A huge milestone in the fight for marriage equality is imminent. Soon Judge Walker will render his historic decision on Proposition 8. By signing up for text and email updates from 'American Foundation for Equal Rights', you will be ...one of the first to know when this historic decision is made and what you can do to help.

Action » Get Decision Day Updates | American Foundation for Equal Rights
http://www.equalrightsfoundation.org
American Foundation for Equal Rights
Top of Form

We believe that AFER Advisory Board members John Podesta and Robert Levy summed it up perfectly in a an op-ed in the Washington Post,

"Our history will soon be written by young people who are seizing the reins from the baby boomers. They seem prepared to reject laws that serve no purpose other than to deny two committed and loving individuals the right to join in a mutually reinforcing marital relationship." We couldn't agree more. Sign up and be part of this historic moment.


----------------------------------------------


Via American Foundation for Equal Rights:
These are two huge victories for Marriage Equality:
In an enormous victory for same-sex marriage, a federal judge in Boston today (Thursday, July 8) ruled, in 'two separate cases', that a critical part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional.

1) In one challenge brought by the state of Massachusetts, Judge Joseph Tauro ruled that Congress violated the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution when it passed DOMA and took from the states decisions concerning which couples can be considered married.

2) In the other, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, he ruled DOMA violates the equal protection principles embodied in the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

 

Bay Windows - New England's largest GLBT newspaper
http://www.baywindows.com

 

Terry Chasteen July 08, 2010 Today, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional with respect to claims brought by seven married same-sex couples and three widowers from Massachusetts. Under the ruling, the plaintiffs are entitled to the same federal spousal ...benefits and protections as every other married couple.

 

This is HUGE for Equality/Justice For All in America.

http://www.EqualityJusticeForAll.org/

---------------------------------------------------

News & Multimedia

- Federal Court Strikes Down DOMA Section 3 | GLAD: Equal J
http://www.glad.org

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders is New England's leading legal rights organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status and gender identity and expression.

"Today the Court simply affirmed that our country won't tolerate second-class marriages," says Mary Bonauto, GLAD's Civil Rights Project Director, who argued the case. "I'm pleased that Judge Tauro recognized that married same-sex couples and surviving spouses have been seriously harmed by DOMA and that the plaintiffs deserve the same opportunities to care and provide for each other and for their children that other families enjoy."
http://www.EqualityJusticeForAll.org/

I'm sure this will go on to the Supreme Court right along with Prop 8 and probably ENDA but so be it. It's the only way to put this nonsense behind us once and for all and these laws are without question in violation of the US Constitution.


(Slime Magazine Cover Girl Maggie Gallagher
of the epitome of hate, NOM, is NOT happy...)
-----------------------------------------------


Meghan McCain: Have a Courageous Conversation with your father on DADT | Courage Campaign

http://www.couragecampaign.org
It's hard to believe, but it's possible that the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell -- which will likely be debated in the Senate next week -- could come down to one heart-to-heart conversation between a daughter and her father. Meghan McCain, who has come out strongly in favor of gay rights in the last 2 years.


The Senate could take up the defense budget bill, including DADT repeal, as soon as next week. We need your help to show Meghan McCain, who is very supportive of Equality across the board, that now is the time to have a Courageous Conversation with her father so that he won't filibuster the bill. Please show your support by asking Meghan to help and send the following request to as many of your facebook friends who may help.
Thanks,
~ Terry

-------------------------------------------

Hawaii Five No
Hawaii's Gov Lingle vetoed HB444 cutting the ties to committed SameGender couples.

Today is Gov. Lingle's monthly radio show (assuming it's still scheduled as planned), where she takes calls from listeners (which may change from the uproar of this action).

...If you support Equality in this country for every US citizen, please call in like mad and let YOUR voice be heard and feelings known!

 

WEDNESDAY, JULY 7, 2010
"TALK STORY WITH GOVERNOR LINDA LINGLE" -
7:05 – 8:00 a.m. Hawaii time = 1pm EST, noon CST and 10am PST

Governor Lingle will discuss state issues on her monthly radio show with host Rick Hamada.

 

Listeners are invited to call 808-521-8383 from O'ahu or 888-565-8383 from the Neighbor Islands with questions and comments.
http://hawaii.gov/gov/schedule/pubschedule

 

The show can be heard live statewide on O'ahu (KHVH 830 AM), Maui (KAOI 1110 AM), Hilo (KPUA 670 AM), and Kaua'i (KQNG 570 AM), as well as on the Governor's Web site at http://www.hawaii.gov/gov.

Lingle Vetoes Civil Union Bill | News
http://www.advocate.com
Hawaii governor Linda Lingle has vetoed legislation that would have legalized civil unions in her state.

Reaction: Civil Union Veto
By Advocate.com Editors

http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2010/07/06/Lingle_Vetoes_Civil_Union_Bill/

Recordings of radio shows are archived on the Governor's Web site at http://www.hawaii.gov/gov.

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http://www.facebook.com/TLChasteen#!/8themormonproposition?ref=ts

 

 

MJ's Thriller dancers
Prepare with us for an upcoming MJ/Equality Flash Mob
to include 'Beat It', the entire authentic 'Thriller' dance
routine plus a surprise 'Equality' Hip Hop ending....stay tuned.....
Visit www.MichaelJacksonsThriller.com

 

 


http://www.facebook.com/WOHOF?ref=mf



































Love is what really matters....

 

 

Also consider joining us in one of THE most effective but overlooked forms of grass roots activism toward Equality / Justice For All available to us today; not in the courts or at the end of picket signs but rather Out On The Dance Floor (www.OutOnTheDance Floor. com ... for living proof of the success of coming Out On The Dance Floor!! click here).

Lambda DanceSPORT DC


www.LambdaDanceSportDC.org
(www.DancingWithTheACDCstars.com)

(Lambda DanceSPORT DC supports the art and sport of partnership dancing of all styles
for same-gender couples in the Baltimore/Washington Metropolitan area. Lambda DanceSPORT DC
is an
affilliate member of the Washington DC LGBT Sports Connection, Team DC )

 

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April News:
1) President’s Memorandum from the White House, April 15, 2010

“SUBJECT: Respecting the Rights of Hospital Patients to Receive Visitors and to Designate Surrogate Decision Makers for Medical Emergencies

“There are few moments in our lives that call for greater compassion and companionship than when a loved one is admitted to the hospital. In these hours of need and moments of pain and anxiety, all of us would hope to have a hand to hold, a shoulder on which to lean -- a loved one to be there for us, as we would be there for them.

Yet every day, all across America, patients are denied the kindnesses and caring of a loved one at their sides -- whether in a sudden medical emergency or a prolonged hospital stay. Often, a widow or widower with no children is denied the support and comfort of a good friend. Members of religious orders are sometimes unable to choose someone other than an immediate family member to visit them and make medical decisions on their behalf. Also uniquely affected are gay and lesbian Americans who are often barred from the bedsides of the partners with whom they may have spent decades of their lives -- unable to be there for the person they love, and unable to act as a legal surrogate if their partner is incapacitated….

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/presidential-memorandum-hospital-visitation

2) New York Times April 15, 2010

Obama Widens Medical Rights for Gay Partners
By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG
Published: April 15, 2010
President Obama on Thursday ordered his health secretary to issue new rules aimed at granting hospital visiting rights to same-sex partners.
The White House announced the rule changes, which will also make it easier for gay men and lesbians to make medical decisions on behalf of their partners, in a memorandum released Thursday night. In it, the president said the new rules would affect any hospital that participates in Medicare or Medicaid, the government programs to cover the elderly and the poor. Article refers to Janice Langbehn’s experience when her partner, Lisa Pond was hospitalized.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/16/us/politics/16webhosp.html?ref=us


3) New York Times, by Tara Parker Pope May 18, 2009

Kept From a Dying Partner’s Bedside

When a loved one is in the hospital, you naturally want to be at the bedside. But what if the staff won’t allow it? That’s what Janice Langbehn, a social worker in Lacey, Wash., says she experienced when her partner of 18 years, Lisa Pond, collapsed with an aneurysm during a Florida vacation and was taken to a Miami trauma center. She died there, at age 39, as Ms. Langbehn tried in vain to persuade hospital officials to let her visit, along with the couple’s adopted children. In her lawsuit, Ms. Langbehn is being represented by Lambda Legal, a gay rights group. “We want to send a message to hospitals,” said Beth Littrell, a lawyer for the group. “If they don’t treat families as such, if they don’t let patients define their own circle of intimacy and give them the dignity and care to be with their loved ones in this sort of crisis, then they will be held accountable.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/19/health/19well.html?_r=1&ref=politics

 

4) Are the recent 'Tea Party' illustrations of the Obama administration a new tactic? Not at all. It's part of 'The Evil Empire' tactic of fear that was promoted by the RNC during an earlier special closed meeting that was unexpectedly found out by the media (see below)


 

And before we go any farther...Nobody asked for my opinion...BUT...

HOW MANY MORE INNOCENT AMERICANS MUST
DIE OR BECOME SERIOUSLY INJURED
BEFORE WE
STOP ALL CELL PHONE DRIVING
IN THE US?

Not one of the 60,000+ deaths or 250,000+ injuries in 2008 resulting from texting and talking on the phone is worth any one of those phone calls or text messages; not to mention the hundreds of thousands that have taken place since. This is not a teenager problem or a commercial truck or bus problem, this is a problem and an ongoing danger to innocent people that involves EVERY SINGLE DRIVER in this country. So why are we still pondering over the use of cell phones while driving in the US? DC and several states have already wisely and responsibly outlawed the use of all cell phones while driving and now it needs to be a national restriction. Are we going to continue allowing the lobbyists of the wealthy phone companies to continue ruling congress in America (which is now going to be even worse since the US Supreme Court has removed campaign finance restrictions instead of strengthening them), or are we each going to stand up to the plate and do something about it?

Please commit to making any
automobile that you're riding in a

Visit www.StopAllCellPhoneDriving.org to learn how you can help
to eliminate this deadly obsession from America's highways. Keep in mind
that the next life that is lost (and there WILL be many before we stop this
irresponsible practice) may well be your life or the life of someone you love.

 

*************************************************
Dissention is the greatest form of patriotism ~ Thomas Jefferson
*************************************************

 

 

Myth of the 'gay lifestyle' justifies bias
(LZ Granderson is a senior writer and columnist for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com, and has contributed to ESPN's Sports Center, Outside the Lines and First Take).

http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/04/06/granderson.gay.lifestyle/index.html

"I understand opponents of gay rights must highlight differences in order to maintain the 'us against them' tension that's paramount to their arguments. But this notion that sexual orientation comes with a different and pre-ordained way of life -- as if we're all ordering the No. 3 at a drive thru -- only highlights how irrational groups such as Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, the American Family Association and others like them are in this whole debate.

Pro-marriage organizations try to stop two consenting adults from marrying. Pro-family groups try to stop stable couples wanting children from adopting unloved orphans."
------------------------------------
Being gay doesn't dictate how people live their lives any more than being straight does. There are gay people who go to church every Sunday and straight people who do not believe in God. There are single gay men who believe in the sanctity of marriage and married straight men who apparently do not -- such as Gov. Mark Sanford, ex-Sen. John Edwards and Sen. John Ensign, to name a few.

The truth is the only thing all gay people have in common -- you know, besides being gay -- is that we face continuous rhetorical, social and legal attacks for simply existing, thus potentially making something as mundane as bringing a date to a work function [or a high school prom....] a fight-or-flee situation.
------------------------------------------

In 29 states, people can be fired simply for being gay regardless of their education, experience or job performance; servicemen and women can be dismissed from the military regardless of their qualifications, dedication and courage; and partners are unable to see their better halves in the hospital regardless of the love, commitment and life they share.

Wanting to be judged by the content of one's character isn't a special right, it's a constitutional one guaranteed by the 14th and 15th amendments.

---------------------------------

145 years since the abolition of slavery, 90 years since women were allowed to vote and 20 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act, we're still involved in McCarthy-like investigations, holding Briggs-like elections and taking opinion polls based solely upon "what" someone is as opposed to "who" they are.

It's sad. We're such a great nation, still full of great hope and promise and yet we keep being tripped up by ignorance, which leads to fear and then eventually hate.

Being gay isn't a choice, but being a bigot certainly is.

---------------
We're just as diverse, intolerant, upstanding and tragic as our straight counterparts and unless there is an annual meeting I don't know about, the only item on the much talked-about 'gay agenda' is an abbreviated passage from the Declaration of Independence -- "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

LZ Granderson



"The Evil Empire", including President Obama, Nancy Pelosy and Harry Reid includes a document of F-E-A-R tactics found to help the Republicans take back control of Congress.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036789/vp/35706805#35715196
(Click on the Obama drawing appearing as 'The Joker' and labeled "GOP plays the fear game" of MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' web site)

F-E-A-R tactics found in a secret document to help the Republicans take back control of Congress as indicated by a power point program of the RNC finance director. The document was left by mistake after a closed meeting indicating "basicly this is how we do it, we Stroke the egos of the rich guys and we scare the small... donors."

Chris Mathews:
"The Evil Empire" a document of F-E-A-R tactics found to help the Republicans take back control of Congress as indicated by a power point program of the RNC finance director. The document was left by mistake after a closed meeting indicating "basicly this is how we do it, we Stroke the egos of the rich guys and we scare the small donors."

How can Republicans take control of the congress again? Well 4 letters; F-E-A-R. That's right, 'fear'. That's according to an RNC fundraising document obtained by the Politico Newsletter. It means more cries of 'socialism' and more pictures of President Obama painted as 'The Joker' in the Batman comics. ...

Ben Smith who broke this story from Politico, they're already tied into this; you say they were using this as sort of a lecture class, an instruction class, tell me about how it was used.

Ben Smith: "The finance director got up at this meeting of top donors and fundraisers in Boca Grande, Florida on Feb 18th and gave this as a power point presentation to them; basicly this is how we do it, we Stroke the egos of the rich guys and we scare the small donors."

Chris Mathews: What do you make of that, Republican strategist John feehery, your partiy is using this to raise money using fear, painting the President up like 'The Joker' with white face, using things like "extreme feelings toward existing administration, reactionary", even using the word 'reactionary', your party doesn't seem to mind that word reactionary too much, what are your thoughts, John?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Countdown: The Keith Oberman show "Howard Dean on the RNC's fear tactics"
Click on the Howard Dean photo labeled "Howard Dean on fear tactics" of MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' web site).

------------------------------


'Don't Ask Don't Tell' support letter has fake signatures by Eachel Maddow
(Click on McCain’s photo stating “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Support letter has fake signatures" of MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' web site)
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036789/vp/35706805#35715196

Rachel Madow:
The 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' letter of support of over 1,000 retired military offic...ers to retain DADT is being promoted by John McCain 0ver and over again now that his main support for the legislation, Colon Powell has changed his mind. It turns out that a number of the people who have signed the letter are 'dead', which is awkward...the people who coordinated the letter have explained that some of thse signers signed the letter before they died, but there is an exception. In one case a General who is now dead had his name signed to the letter before he was dead but not by him; by his wife. She signed the General's name to the letter saying 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' should be kept.

The General himself whose name had been signed on the letter against DADT before his death had not been able to communicate for six years or so due to Alzheimers. Another General told Service Members United that he "never agreed to having his name on the letter but it ended up there anyway" another said that he never remembered even being asked ... See Moreabout the issue let alone whether his name could be used; another retired flag officer whose name is on the letter is demanding that the group who put his name on it take it off.
In total, the average age of the signatories to the 'Don't repeal Don't ask Don't Tell Letter' is 74. The oldest signer is 98 years old. Service Members United notes that only a small fraction of these officers have even served in the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' period, much less in the 21st century military. Which does make it awkward for them to be taken as the authority on what the 19-year-olds of today's military think about gays in the military.

 

URGENT: Prison or death for LGBT Ugandans!
(Click here to find out how you can help them)

Help us capitalize on the President's pledge by asking your
representative and senators to move quickly to repeal DADT
.
(Click here to find out how you can help us)

Sen. John McCain can't keep his story straight on the military's
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
(Click here to find out how you can encourage Sen. McCain to do the right thing)
Even Sen McCain's wife, Cindy and daughter, Meghan are openly and aggressively opposing his view on this and other anti-gay legislation such as Proposition 8 in California.

 

 



 

DC board to again hear gay marriage bill challenge
Associated Press, 01/27/10

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/ap/dc-board-to-hear-gay-marriage-bill-challenge-82771322.html

WASHINGTON — Washington voters could overturn a bill allowing gay marriage in the city under a measure being evaluated by a city elections board. The district's Board of Elections and Ethics will hold a hearing on the measure.

----------------------------------------------------


Utah Rep. Chaffetz fighting D.C. gay marriage

By Lee Davidson, Deseret News, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705361461/Chaffetz-fighting-DC-gay-marriage.html

WASHINGTON — Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, introduced a bill Wednesday that seeks to overturn a new District of Columbia ordinance allowing gay marriage, but he predicts Democratic leaders will not allow it to come to a vote.

"I think they are afraid they will lose," he told the Deseret News.

"I'm convinced that traditional marriage wins when it's up for a vote," Chaffetz said. "Thirty-one times in a row when it has come up for a vote in the states, traditional marriage has always won."

He said he is working on obtaining a hearing on his referendum bill, but they're very clear about that, because they're afraid of a vote. They're afraid of the public."

A response from blogger Jason:
”Just so everyone knows, the reason we don't vote on these issues in DC us because we are not allowed to vote on human rights (DC has a non-discrimination law which includes sexual orientation so a public referendum to remove the equal rights of ANY minority in DC would be senseless). That is the law here as it should be everywhere. Denying (any minority of their) equal protection isn't something we do here just because it (might be) popular. That didn't work out too well when the confederacy did it 150 years ago. Protecting the rights of minorities is an essential part of the US constitution.
You people don't seem to mind if your hair-dresser is gay or if you get a good laugh out of a drag queen in a movie. You only have a problem with us when we want to be treated equally. Thinking the institution of marriage will be destroyed if we are allowed to marry is ridiculous. If you really want to fix marriage, why don't you outlaw divorce?”
------------------------------------
Utah Republican Introduces Bill to Block DC Gay Marriage
January 28, 2010

http://www.gayapolis.com/news/artdisplay.php?artid=3220

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, introduced a bill Wednesday that seeks to overturn a new District of Columbia ordinance allowing gay marriage, but he predicts Democratic leaders will not allow it to come to a vote. "I think they are afraid they will lose," he told the Deseret News.

"I wish it would come up for a vote, because I think traditional marriage would win. But with the Democrats controlling the House, the Senate and the presidency, I can't imagine that this would make it through the process." So, he said, the bill is "more symbolic than it is realistic."

--------------------------------

A New Threat to the Sanctity of Marriage
by Angry Mouse, Sun Jan 17, 2010
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/1/17/824810/-A-New-Threat-to-the-Sanctity-of-Marriage

Social conservatives love to bemoan the disintegration of traditional values. Women in the workplace, babies born out of wedlock, etc. And then, of course, there is the greatest threat of all, the threat that could destroy the sacred institution of opposite marriage forever: gays and lesbians exchanging rings, registering at Macy's, and committing to love each other forever. Horror of horrors!

In 2004, "values voters" flocked to the polls to ban gay marriage in 11 states, heeding the call by President Bush to protect the "most enduring human institution, honored and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith."

Never mind that, as Nate Silver recently noted, divorce rates are actually higher in states that have banned gay marriage. Meanwhile, Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate in the country, a divorce rate that has declined 21 percent since legalizing gay marriage in 2004.

And never mind that Alaska, the first state to ban gay marriage, has seen the highest increase in the divorce rate. As we all know, facts have a liberal bias.

It’s touching that social conservatives are so concerned with protecting the sanctity of marriage. Like thrice-married, admitted adulterer Newt Gingrich -- who dumped his first wife, while she was recovering from cancer, to marry his mistress, whom he then dumped when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, so he could marry his intern. Despite doing his personal best to drive up divorce rates, Newt knows that the real enemy of traditional marriage is the "gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us."

Or Senator John Ensign, who supported the Federal Marriage Amendment Act because "marriage is the cornerstone on which our society was founded." Apparently, a second, lesser-known cornerstone on which our society was founded is the ancient practice of getting your parents to pay off your mistress’s husband. Ah, tradition.

Or Senator David Vitter, a chief proponent and sponsor of the 2006 senate bill to ban gay marriage, who claimed that gay marriage has been as devastating for the nation as Hurricane Katrina and said that defending marriage is the most important issue ever. Naturally, when he talked about defending marriage, he meant defending it from homosexuality -- not from, say, cheating on your wife with prostitutes you pay to dress you in diapers.

Or everyone's favorite governor-in-love and Appalachian trail hiker, Mark Sanford, the great defender of marriage against presidential blowjobs and, of course, gay marriage.

The list of conservatives so concerned with protecting marriage goes on and on and on. But perhaps they would be more successful in defending marriage from these oh-so-dangerous threats if they turned their attention away from gay marriage and instead focused on a potentially bigger threat: the internet.

Yes, the internet. (more at The Daily Kos)
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Changes proposed in the Marriage laws for same-gender couples in the District of Columbia.
(1) Oct 6, 2009 Bill # 18-482 "The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009" was introduced into the DC City Council.
(2) Oct 26, 2010 the first set of testimonials were heard in the DC City Council for bill # 18-482
(3) Nov 2, 2009 The 2nd set of testimonials were heard in the DC City Council for bill # 18-482
(4) Tues, Dec 1st, 2009 The first vote for bill # 18-482 passed the DC City Council at 10-3 in favor.
(5) The required 2nd vote took place on Tuesday, Dec 15th with 11 voting for and 2 voting
against.
(6) Fri, Dec 18, 2009 Mayor Fenty then signed the bill into law on Fri, Dec 18th with 30 days
review by congress after it reaches them before the bill could become law.

(Click here for details)
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D.C. judge rules against marriage referendum in the District of Columbia
D.C. judge rules against bid to force referendum on same-sex marriage : Election board decision is upheld in key victory for gay rights activists.
By Tim Craig - Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, January 15, 2010
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/14/AR2010011402616.html

A D.C. Superior Court judge ruled Thursday that same-sex marriage opponents do not have a right to call for a referendum to determine whether such unions should be legal in the District. (more at the Washington Post)
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DC court rejects bid for a gay marriage referendum
The Associated Press, Thursday, January 14, 2010
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/14/AR2010011402546.html

WASHINGTON -- A judge in Washington, D.C., has thrown out a lawsuit by opponents of gay marriage against the city's elections board.

Plaintiffs led by a Maryland pastor, Bishop Harry Jackson, sued after the Board of Elections and Ethics refused to put their initiative on the ballot. The measure would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman. The board ruled it violated the city's Human Rights Act. (more at The Washington Post)
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PROPOSITION 8 ON TRIAL
Tuesday, Jan, 12, 2010 - A historic trial over California's Proposition 8 began in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, promising to feature clashing witness testimony over equal rights, the meaning of bigotry and discrimination and the purpose of marriage.

And regardless of which side wins this case it will ultimately end up in the Supreme Court to determine once and for all across this nation, the constitutionality of state-wide bans against marriage equality (I cannot wait. I will be up at 5:30am if necessary every morning to be able to sit in the front row of the audience each and every day that this case is on trial in the Supreme Court of the United States, just as in the council chambers during the original DC Council introduction, two DC Council votes, nearly 200 testimonials and final signing by the Mayor of DC Bill 18-482 "The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009").

------------------------------------------


Obama will ask in State of Union for end to 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
By Ed O'Keefe, The Washington Post, Jan 27, 2010


http://views.washingtonpost.com/post-user-polls/2010/01/dont-ask-dont-tell-obama-repeal.html

This rediculous law pushed through congress by the hate-mongers and self-loving right-wing-nuts of America in 1933 was signed into law by President Bill Clinton as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. It was intended as a compromise between the military's desire to continue banning gays completely from its ranks and Clinton's campaign promise to allow gays serving in the military to be open about their sexual orientation. In the meantime thousands of talented personnel that were highly trained by the military at an INCREDIBLE cost to all of us as taxpayers were dismissed at a time when their talents in foreign language, technology, medical care and many more necessary ocupations were needed most. This bill was undoubtedly one of THE most devisive, bigoted and rediculous laws ever railroaded through congress in this "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave". I for one am ecstatic that a President finally has the guts to expose it's useless and destructive character and to make an effort to remove one more insult to LGBT Americans once and for all.

--------------------------------
Prop 8 Trial Plaintiffs: Kristin Perry and Sandy Stier; Paul Katami and Jeff Zarillo
Mercury News, Posted: 01/11/2010

http://www.mercurynews.com/samesexmarriage/ci_14168911

Kristin Perry and Sandy Stier of Berkeley have been in a relationship for nine years, and are the parents of four boys.

Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, of Burbank, have been together eight years, and have been trying to marry the past two years.
----------------------------------
At heart of Prop. 8 trial, a clash over motives
By Susan Ferriss, sferriss@sacbee.com The Sacramento Bee
Published: Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010

http://www.sacbee.com/295/story/2471539.html

This week, when a federal trial resumes in San Francisco, attorneys challenging Proposition 8 will continue building a multilayered argument that voters' action created an unconstitutional law based on prejudice and unfounded fear about homosexuality. An appeal is expected at a higher court, no matter the outcome of this trial and eventually it will end up in the US Supreme Court...and I cannot wait....

---------------------------------
Prop. 8 witness thinks same-sex marriage undermines heterosexual marriage
By Susan Ferriss, sferriss@sacbee.com, The Sacramento Bee
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010

http://www.sacbee.com/295/story/2492104.html

The star witness for backers of Proposition 8 testified Tuesday that he's confident – but has no evidence – that same-sex marriage would increase divorce rates and lower the rate of heterosexual marriage.

Most Popular Comment:
"He opposes gay marriage partly because of studies contending that children have better "outcomes" if raised by a biological mother and biological father." These studies are about children of divorce. It is total common sense that most kids will do better when they do not have to go thru divorce and custody battle proceedings (which can get very ugly in a lot of cases). This has nothing to do with Gay couples that would adopt and/or use artificial insemination or surrogacy. They are grasping with these horrible witnesses that are just bigots. You know they use to say the same thing about biracial children. That it was cruel and they would have horrible lives (Mayor Fenty and Pres O'Bama are prime examples of those horrible and unproductive lives). I just do not get it. Regardless of how you feel personally, people should still have the same constitutional rights period. Please understand that when you start messing with others rights and liberties in the name of God and religion, it will only be the beginning. What right will you allow the the voting public to take next??
-- tonid123

-----------------------------------

Historians tell of longtime discrimination against gays at Prop. 8 trial
DEFENSE ATTORNEY SAYS NARRATIVE IS 'IRRELEVANT'

By Susan Ferriss, sferriss@sacbee.com, The Sacramento Bee
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010

http://www.sacbee.com/295/story/2457716.html

SAN FRANCISCO – A congressional report in 1950 supporting firing gays said "one homosexual can pollute an entire office."
And there's more...

---------------------------------

Couples tell of toll from state gay marriage ban as Prop. 8 trial begins
By Susan Ferriss, sferriss@sacbee.com, The Sacramento Bee
Published: Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010

http://www.sacbee.com/295/story/2454951.html

SAN FRANCISCO – Kristin Perry testified that she feels discrimination "every day."

Sandra Stier, her partner, said she was "sickened" by television ads she felt suggested she posed a threat to children because she is lesbian.

Popular Comment:
"I do not believe that our society can ever live up to the promise of equality, and the fundamental rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, until we stop invidious discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation," - Ted Olson, conservative, GOP lawyer, arguing on behalf of LGBT couples to overturn Prop 8.

-- LaughsatRightWingNuts

----------------------------------
Judge Put Lawyers on Long Leash in Federal Challenge to Proposition 8
Dan Levine, The Recorder, Wednesday January 27, 2010

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Judge-Put-Lawyers-on-Long-law-3652235361.html?x=0&.v=1

Over 11 trial days, Walker would usually admit evidence with the caution that its importance would be determined later. On Tuesday, for instance, Yes on 8 lawyer Charles Cooper of Cooper & Kirk called David Blankenhorn as an expert in marriage as an institution. Yet, Blankenhorn is not a college professor and has never published anything peer-reviewed on same-sex marriage. He is president of the Institute for American Values, and David Boies of Boies, Schiller & Flexner challenged his expert qualifications.

Had this been a jury trial, the question of allowing Blankenhorn on the stand "might be a close one. This being a court trial, I'm going to let Mr. Blankenhorn testify," Walker said.

The exchanges between Boies and Blankenhorn on cross-examination got exceedingly testy. "My questions are designed to be precise questions so I get a yes or no answer, or I don't know," said Boies.

"No, sir, often the answers are not amenable to those choices," Blankenhorn responded. Walker didn't intervene until the two approached shouting level -- and then only gently. Eventually, the judge suggested a "good night's sleep" to help ease the process, and ordered the parties into court the following morning. (They had been scheduled to conclude Tuesday.)
-----------------------------------
Proposition 8 trial hears testimony that gay marriage would undermine marriage
By Maura Dolan, maura.dolan@latimes.com, L. A. Times, January 27, 2010

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-prop8-trial27-2010jan27,0,5839624.story?track=rss

But under cross-examination, by David Boies, an attorney for challengers of the ballot measure, a witness for defenders of the initiative acknowledged that he wrote in a book that permitting same-sex marriage would make the U.S. 'more American.'

Blankenhorn admitted he knew of no study that showed children reared by gay couples fared worse than those raised by heterosexual parents.

Blankenhorn also conceded that same-sex marriage would probably "improve the well-being of gay and lesbian households and their children."

Earlier in the day, a political scientist hired by defenders of Proposition 8 admitted under cross-examination that prejudice played a role in the passage of the 2008 initiative that banned same-sex marriage.

"At least some people voted for Proposition 8 on the basis of anti-gay stereotypes," Claremont McKenna College professor Kenneth Miller testified during the third week of the trial.

Boies, who cross-examined Miller, read aloud written statements Miller made that said minorities were vulnerable to ballot initiatives, and that federal courts needed to step in and protect them. One of the statements was from a paper Miller wrote in 2005.

Boies pressed Miller to say Roman Catholicism is the religion that has the most adherents in California, with about 30% of the state's population identifying itself as Catholic, followed by Southern Baptists.

Trying to show that gays lack power to protect themselves at the ballot, Boies said the Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are a "serious depravity" while the Southern Baptist Convention says homosexual acts are an "abomination."
--------------------------------
Proposition 8 trial ends its first stage
By Howard Mintz, San Jose Mercury News

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2010910955_eight28.html?syndication=rss

SAN FRANCISCO — The Proposition 8 trial ended on Wednesday, having provided an unprecedented glimpse into the social conflict over whether gays and lesbians should have the right to marry and serving as the first stage of a prolonged legal battle that all sides insist is destined for the U.S. Supreme Court.

"The American public has gotten a sense of what the facts are," said David Boies, who, along with former Republican U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson, was enlisted to represent same-sex couples in the challenge to Proposition 8.

Andrew Pugno, counsel for Proposition 8, said all the plaintiffs did in the trial was "put on a spectacular show" that belongs in a political debate over gay marriage, but is "irrelevant" to the legal issues.

David Blankenhorn, the leader of a national family-values organization, was one of two Proposition 8 defense witnesses, who was called to testify on the central role of procreation in marriage and the fact that, as he put it, gay marriage would lead to the "de-institutionalization of marriage."

During cross-examination Tuesday and Wednesday, Blankenhorn and Boies argued and shouted each other down, underscoring the heated differences that exist over whether procreation should be a reason to deny marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples.

Boies did hit Blankenhorn hard on some key points, including that Blankenhorn's writings appeared to support same-sex marriage, saying it would lead to more lasting relationships for gay and lesbian couples, improve the climate for children and reduce promiscuity.

Plaintiffs' lawyers argue procreation is not a prerequisite for heterosexual marriage, and a law such as Proposition 8 is fueled by anti-gay bias, not family values

The argument against the gay-marriage ban, meanwhile, rested throughout the trial on three central themes:
(1) that marriage is a fundamental right under U.S. Supreme Court precedent;
(2) that Proposition 8 causes harm to gay and lesbian couples and their children; and
(3) that the law, as Boies put it, "serves no societal benefit."

Whatever Walker decides, the case is likely to head next to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and eventually the US Supreme Court.
(and once again, I CANNOT WAIT. I will be sitting in the front row of every day of that hearing, [as long as the the Good Lord's Willin' and the Creek Don't rise'] just as in every day of the introduction, testimonials, DC City Council votings and finally Mayor Fenty's signing of the DC Marriage Equality bill # 18-482 "The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009" http://www.EqualityJusticeForAll.org)

----------------------------
As testimony ends in Proposition 8 trial, both sides figure they won
MercuryNews.com, By Howard Mintz, hmintz@mercurynews.com, Posted: 01/27/2010

http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_14280790?source=rss

SAN FRANCISCO — The Proposition 8 trial ended on Wednesday, having provided an unprecedented glimpse into the social conflict over whether same-sex couples should have the right to marry and serving as the first stage of a prolonged legal battle that all sides insist is destined for the U.S. Supreme Court

David Blankenhorn, the leader of a national family values organization, was one of two Proposition 8 defense witnesses called to testify on the central role of procreation in marriage and his contention that same-sex marriage would lead to the "deinstitutionalization of marriage."

During hours of cross-examination Tuesday and Wednesday, Blankenhorn and Boies bickered, argued and shouted each other down, underscoring the heated differences that exist over whether procreation should be a reason to deny marriage rights to same-sex couples.

Plaintiffs lawyers argue that procreation is not a prerequisite for heterosexual marriage, and that a law such as Proposition 8 is fueled by anti-gay bias, not family values. Pugno, Proposition 8's counsel, maintains that producing children is the best argument for shooting down the legal challenge to the same-sex marriage ban.

Through expert witnesses and gays and lesbians who recounted their experiences, the plaintiffs contend they've proved that Proposition 8 violates the equal protection provisions of the U.S. Constitution. Whatever Walker decides, the case is likely to head next to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals before eventually heading to the US Supreme Court.
------------------------
Prop. 8 Trial: What's at stake
Mercury News, Posted: 01/11/2010

http://www.mercurynews.com/samesexmarriage/ci_14168935

Everyone from the judge to legal experts have predicted the Proposition 8 trial could lay the groundwork for the U.S. Supreme Court to tackle the gay marriage issue.

Regardless of how Judge Vaughn Walker rules, the losing party is certain to appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. That would serve as another prelude to Supreme Court review.

The legal process is almost certain to stretch well into 2011.
---------------------------
Prop 8 Trial Plaintiffs: Kristin Perry and Sandy Stier; Paul Katami and Jeff Zarillo
Mercury News, Posted: 01/11/2010

http://www.mercurynews.com/samesexmarriage/ci_14168911

Kristin Perry and Sandy Stier of Berkeley have been in a relationship for nine years, and are the parents of four boys.

Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, of Burbank, have been together eight years, and have been trying to marry the past two years.

---------------------------------

BREAKING NEWS: Obama pledges to work with the military this year to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

http://www.HRC.org

In his State of the Union address, President Obama pledged to work with the Congress and military this year to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT).

With the President's leadership, now it is up to Congress to act. We're rolling out a new strategic campaign to do exactly that - put an end to the discriminatory law that's forced thousands of lesbian and gay members of the military to lie about who they are or face losing their jobs.

Help us capitalize on the President's pledge tonight by asking your representative and senators to move quickly to repeal DADT.

https://secure3.convio.net/hrc/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=670

We've spent months designing a plan to pass legislation which repeals DADT. The plan will include organizing veterans across the country, generating media coverage in key markets and building focused campaigns in targeted states that will be critical to securing the final votes in the House and Senate.

First step: pushing legislation through the House by building a well-spring of support from representatives, while laying the groundwork for a critical fight in the Senate.


Help us capitalize on the President's pledge tonight by asking your representative and senators to move quickly to repeal DADT.

when Congress returns to work, we want to make sure their inboxes are flooded with emails echoing the President's call to repeal DADT.

It's just the first step in a bold campaign to finally wipe DADT from the books this year.

The "Voices of Honor Campaign" will build on the successes of our 2009 Voices of Honor tour, where veterans toured the country speaking out against the law, garnering attention from Congress and the media, and helping us get to this moment.

Over the coming days, weeks and months, we will:

Put an on-the-ground campaign manager in key states to build diverse local coalitions, drive earned media and organize voices from within these target communities;
Organize a broad-based grassroots campaign to support our lobbying efforts;
Expand on existing efforts to organize veterans in these target states and Congressional districts to generate media attention in the local area and put additional pressure on lawmakers;
Bring veterans and other key voices to Washington, D.C. for a full day of lobbying on Capitol Hill;
And more!

It's an ambitious effort – working with our allies, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and Servicemembers United – and we'll need you to play a key role if we expect to win. Today, I'm counting on you to take the first step and send an email to your representative and senators right away.

Tell Congress to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

https://secure3.convio.net/hrc/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=670

Once you send your letter, be sure to share this news with your friends and ask them to help, too.

We'll keep you updated as this campaign progresses over the coming weeks. Thank you for helping us put an end to this law, once and for all.

Let's end this now.

Joe Solmonese
President HRC
----------------------------------------



Sen. John McCain can't keep his story straight on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

In 2006, Sen John McCain said: "The day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, 'Senator, we ought to change the policy,' then I think we ought to consider seriously changing it." McCain has said time and again that it's not about what he thinks, it's about what military leaders think – but now he is just digging in his heels in opposition.

Top military leaders now oppose "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", including – the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and even Gen. Colin Powell – who have all came out with statements in favor of repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." They have now made it clear that lesbians and gays should no longer have to endure this rediculous insult to their integrity (my words...not theirs...they're more politically correct than I am when it comes to this discriminatory 'divide-and-conquer' nonsense) and lie about who they are in order to serve their country.

But Sen. McCain is now blatantly ignoring them – and giving in to the pressure by the far right wingers to receive their political support by leading the charge to keep lesbians and gays from openly serving in the military.

The sad part is that opposing equality is a cold political calculation for Sen. McCain. Faced with a tough upcoming election, McCain has become poster boy for anti-equality groups – first he did all he could to stand in the way of hate crimes legislation, which passed in spite of him, and now he's emerged as the Senate's biggest cheerleader for "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Watch a video of Sen. McCain's flip flop – then tell him to listen to our top military leaders and end this discriminatory law!

http://www.hrcactioncenter.org/site/Advocacy?id=689&pagename=homepage


Sticking by this law now means second-guessing the military's top leaders.
Yet that's exactly what Sen. McCain is doing. What does he know about military effectiveness that General Powell, Secretary Gates, Admiral Mullen and the Commander in Chief don't?

McCain is willing to go back on his word and ignore the 75% of Americans and even 58% of Republicans who now support a repeal of this law. That's a sign of how committed our opposition is and just how tough the fight in Congress will be.

Even McCain's wife, Cindy and daughter, Meghan are openly and aggressively opposing his view on this and other anti-gay legislation such as Proposition H8 in California.

PHOTO: Cindy McCain Joins Project Protesting Prop 8
First Posted: 01-20-10
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/20/cindy-mccain-noh8-photo-m_n_430004.html

McCain's daughter Meghan McCain -- a vocal proponent of marriage equality -- posed for NOH8 last summer. (Her Daily Beast piece explaining why she posed can be found here.)
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-06-19/why-i-posed-against-prop-8/?cid=hp:beastoriginalsR2

Will you join me in challenging Sen. McCain to live up to his own words? Just use this link and fill out a very brief request to give the respect and consideration to all military personnel.

http://www.hrcactioncenter.org/site/Advocacy?id=689&pagename=homepage

Ask John McCain to please live up to his own words and Tell him that he can't have it both ways – if he stands by his principles, he must respect the wishes of our military leaders.

As Admiral Mullen said on Tuesday, "For me, it comes down to integrity." Right now, I couldn't agree more.

Let's put this insulting anti-gay law behind us and in the history books, where it belongs.

Thanks for your help.
~ Terry Chasteen

www.EqualityJusticeForAll.org

--------------------------------Please forward this message to your compassionate friends and family members---------------

Hello, everyone,

Below is an issue that I cannot overlook regarding the continued discrimination against gay and lesbian professionals in our military. If you haven't seen this video yet of Sen. John McCain completely contradicting himself on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," please check it out by means of the link below.

http://www.hrcactioncenter.org/site/Advocacy?id=689&pagename=homepage

Our top military leaders -- the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense and even Gen. Colin Powell -- have now made it clear that lesbians and gays should no longer have to lie and keep silent about their personal lives and about who they are in order to serve their country.

But McCain -- who has said time and again that it's not about what he thinks, it's about what military leaders think -- is just digging in his heels in opposition.

The sad part is that opposing equality is a cold political calculation for Sen. McCain. Faced with a tough upcoming election, McCain has become poster boy for anti-equality groups – first he did all he could to stand in the way of hate crimes legislation, which passed in spite of him, and now he's emerged as the Senate's biggest cheerleader for "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

This is all just another discriminitory 'divide-and-conquer' tactic against a minority by certain politicians to stir up unnecessary fear and mistrust for the sake of their own agendas of advancing themselves. Look at how they used the fear of gay marriage to squeeze out the votes against Al Gore in the 2004 elections and then look at the economic mess that we're in because of it. A mess that we will all be paying for for decades to come. My hope is that America has finally awakened to these unscrupulous tactics for the sake of money and power and greed, but from the looks of things there are those in politics who think otherwise.


Even Senator McCain's own wife and daughter have become devoted advocates of eliminating the discrimination VS same-gender marriage and all other such practices in spite of the potential repercussions of John's position in the Republican party (visit http://www.EqualityJusticeForAll.org for information on this and many other discriminatory practices alive and well in America today).

Many other countries have been accepting gay and lesbian personnel in their military for years and it's time that America wake up to the damage that this has caused by unnecessarily dismissing valuable personnel, including thousands of highly trained individuals who are vitally important to our security after spending millions of tax payer dollars to train them.

Will you join me in challenging Sen. McCain to live up to his own words? Just use this link and fill out a very brief request to give the respect and consideration to all military personnel.

http://www.hrcactioncenter.org/site/Advocacy?id=689&pagename=homepage

Thanks for your help.
~ Your name

www.EqualityJusticeForAll.org

 

----------------------------------

Prop. 8 challengers highlight religion's role in campaign
Foes of the gay marriage ban produce documents showing close ties between Catholic and Mormon church leaders and the pro-Prop. 8 campaign. By Maura Dolan, L. A. Times, January 21, 2010
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-prop8-trial21-2010jan21,0,1121020.story

Reporting from San Francisco - Challengers of California's ban on same-sex marriage tried to show Wednesday that religion has promoted discrimination against gays. Documents unveiled later revealed the Catholic and Mormon churches played a major role in passing Proposition 8.

An e-mail from the executive director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to the bishops and a cardinal said Catholics were crucial in providing money and volunteers to qualify Proposition 8 for the ballot.

The e-mail also praised the Mormon Church, saying it had provided "financial, organizational and management contributions" for the measure.

A memo by a Mormon Church public affairs officer said the Proposition 8 campaign was "entirely under priesthood direction," and the minutes of a Mormon Church meeting said members should not take the lead in promoting Proposition 8 but should work through protectmarriage.com.

The church document said a teleconference had been held in Salt Lake City with 159 of 161 Mormon leaders in California. The leaders were told to encourage members to contribute $30 ($30) each for Proposition 8, toward a projected goal of $5 million, in addition to general fundraising.

Andy Pugno, a lawyer for the Proposition 8 campaign, said in an interview that it was "astonishing" that the court allowed into evidence internal communications of churches.

"Today has been a major expression of religious bigotry," Pugno said of Wednesday's testimony. "The gloves have clearly come off, and religious voters are in the cross-hairs."

maura.dolan@latimes.com

-----------------------------------------------------


PHOTO: Cindy McCain Joins Project Protesting Prop 8
First Posted: 01-20-10
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/20/cindy-mccain-noh8-photo-m_n_430004.html

On Wednesday, Jan 20, 2010 the NOH8 campaign protesting California's Proposition 8 announced a new high-profile Republican supporter: John McCain's wife, Cindy McCain. NOH8 is a photo project in which subjects are photographed wearing white, against a white background, with their mouths taped shut and "NOH8" painted on their faces. Cindy McCain -- wife of 2008 GOP presidential candidate John McCain --has taken a high profile position contrary to her husband's on the issue of same sex marriage, by starring in a new ad to support the fight against California's Prop. 8.

Meghan McCain said Wednesday in a Twitter message linked to her blog: "I couldn't be more proud of my mother for posing for the NOH8 campaign. I think more Republicans need to start taking a stand for equality."
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/nov05election/detail?entry_id=55696#ixzz2i2xnLB5R

------------------------------------------------


McCain's daughter Meghan McCain -- a vocal proponent of marriage equality -- posed for NOH8 last summer. (Her Daily Beast piece explaining why she posed can be found here.)
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-06-19/why-i-posed-against-prop-8/?cid=hp:beastoriginalsR2

The Daily Beast's Meghan McCain on being the newest poster girl for a celebrity photo campaign to overturn California's ban on gay marriage—and why more Republicans should follow her lead.

I was so honored to be asked to pose for the NOH8 campaign. I am a proud member of the Republican Party and a proud supporter of marriage equality. I especially love the incorporation of the little elephant with his tusks duct-taped in the photograph. Marriage equality is not just a Democrat or Republican issue, it is a human one.
-------------------------------------------


Prop. 8 trial: San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders says lesbian daughter should have the right to wed
By Howard Mintz, hmintz@mercurynews.com, Posted: 01/19/2010
http://www.mercurynews.com/top-stories/ci_14224490

"My daughter deserves the same opportunity to have a wedding in front of family, friends and co-workers," Sanders testified, choking up repeatedly on the stand.

The plaintiffs consider Sanders' testimony important to exposing the depths of discrimination against California's gays and lesbians.

------------------------------


Keith Olbermann's Prop 8 Special Comment: It's "About The Human Heart" (VIDEO)
Huffington Post, First Posted: 11-10-08
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/11/10/keith-olbermanns-prop-8-s_n_142862.html

Keith Olbermann delivered a 'ROUSING' and emotional, 6-minute special comment on Prop 8 on Nov 10, 2008 shortly after it's passing. Olbermann, who is not gay and has never married, vehemently disagrees with its passage and that the ban on gay marriage as an insult to the real preaching of the Bible, which is love. Watch the video.

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The Sacramento Bee, Composite of a great collection of Prop 8 articles
http://www.sacbee.com/prop8/
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Top 9th Circuit Judge, Judicial Conference Tangle Over Video at Proposition 8 Trial
Tony Mauro, The National Law Journal, January 13, 2010
http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202437893107
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Expert Battle Comes Early in Proposition 8 Case,
Dan Levine, The Recorder, Wednesday January 13, 2010
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Expert-Battle-Comes-Early-in-law-2594780532.html?x=0&.v=1
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Harvard History Prof. Testifies in Proposition 8 Case
JAMES K. MCAULEY, CRIMSON STAFF WRITER ,
Published: Thursday, January 14, 2010
http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2010/1/14/marriage-rights-restrictions-argument/

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Proposition 8 trial turns to historians on second day
By Howard Mintz,
hmintz@mercurynews.com, 01/12/2010
http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_14174369?source=most_emailed

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Prop. 8 backers ask U.S. Supreme Court to keep trial footage off YouTube
The federal trial beginning Monday on the constitutionality of the measure has 'the potential to become a media circus,' an attorney says in an emergency appeal to Justice Kennedy.
Foes of Proposition 8 criticized the appeal to the Supreme Court as a desperate attempt "to shut cameras out."
"Those who want to ban gay marriage spent millions of dollars to reach the public with misleading ads, rallies and news conferences during the campaign to pass Prop. 8. We are curious why they now fear the publicity they once craved," said Chad Griffin, president of the board of the American Foundation for Equal Rights.
"Apparently, transparency is their enemy, but the people deserve to know exactly what it is they have to hide."
david.savage@latimes.com
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Prop H8 Must Be Overturned!!
God stands for LOVE & EQUALITY! Prop 8 stands for HATRED & OPPRESSION.
http://www.rizigospel.com/
Hi there,
Let me start by saying that it is tragic that prop H8 passed in California. As a gay christian (learn more on how I was able to reconcile my faith with my sexuality by watching me on the "Video of Rizi's story" link above), I know that God loves us Just as He Created Us and wants EQUALITY FOR ALL!! I know that Our Opponents and those who supported and passed prop H8 did so based on biblical misinterpretation, ignorance to what the bible actually says about us and/or pure bigotry, and in so doing, they failed to reflect the love of Jesus for All.
When they voted our FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS away, our NEIGHBORS sadly failed to observe the 2nd greatest commandment from Jesus which is to love your neighbor as yourself ( Matthew 22:37-40 and Leviticus 19:18). We are their neighbors and true Christianity demands that they love us enough to treat us as equals. We as a nation do not believe in second-class citizenship and all those who voted yes on h8 should remember that "Separate, but Equal" is NOT EQUAL. Let us all recall that Virginia's "Racial Integrity Act of 1924" was upheld with the opinion, "Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and He placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with His arrangement, there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that He separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix." This is such a clear example of religion-based bigotry being used to justify discrimination under law, and it took the landmark Supreme Court decision in that case -- Loving vs. Virginia (1967) -- to strike down anti-miscegenation laws in this country. It wasn't right when we treated women as less than men. It wasn't right when we treated black people as less than whites and it is not right to treat gay and lesbian people as less than straight people. This is the message of my new cd "COME OUT" and I hope you will get a copy for yourself or someone you know who needs to be encouraged.
God bless you.
-------------------------------------------------------------
Proposition 8 on Trial
By Brian Doherty, January 13, 2010 7:46 AM
http://kcet.org/local/blogs/city_of_angles/2010/01/anti-gay-marriage-prop-8-on-trial.html
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Stacking the Deck Against Proposition 8
A claim by a conservative reporter and Chairman of The Heritage Foundation's Center for Legal and Judicial Studies that there is an unfair environment against Proposition 8 (the unfair environment is what same-gender–loving couples have had to endure throughout the history of this country. …But that is JUST MY OPINION…)
http://www.heritage.org/Press/Commentary/ed011110c.cfm
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The New Yorker
A Risky Proposal
Is it too soon to petition the Supreme Court on gay marriage?by Margaret Talbot
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/01/18/100118fa_fact_talbot (First page)
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/01/18/100118fa_fact_talbot?currentPage=all (11 pages)

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Plaintiff says Prop. 8 'means I'm unequal',
Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer, Tuesday, January 12, 2010,
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2010/01/12/MN1E1BGLU9.DTL
Read more:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2010/01/12/MN1E1BGLU9.DTL#ixzz0cccpYkc5
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Marriage historian testifies in Prop. 8 trial in San Francisco
Los Angeles Times
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/01/marriage-historian-testifies-in-prop-8-trial-in-san-francisco.html
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Gay Couples Testify as Marriage Case Starts
Dan Levine, The Recorder, January 12, 2010, Law.com
http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202437864815

---------------------------------------------------------------s
The revolution must be televised
Why California's courtroom battle for gay marriage should be broadcast on YouTube , BY LINDA HIRSHMAN,
Salon.com, http://www.salon.com/news/gay_marriage/index.html?story=/mwt/feature/2010/01/12/televise_the_gay_trial
------------------------------------------------------

MercuryNews.com

Experts again headline Proposition 8 trial
By Howard Mintz, hmintz@mercurynews.com, Posted: 01/14/2010
http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_14194961?source=rss&nclick_check=1


Huffington Post – series of articles:

JUDICIARY 2.0 -- Prop. 8, YouTube and the Supreme Court
Jose Antonio VargasTechnology and Innovations editor, Huffington Post, Posted: January 12, 2010
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jose-antonio-vargas/judiciary-20----youtube-a_b_420578.html


Proposition 8: Historian Testifies Marriage About More Than Procreation
LISA LEFF, 01/12/10
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/12/proposition-8-historian-t_n_420367.html


Couples Testify In California Gay Marriage Trial
LISA LEFF, 01/12/10
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/11/proposition-8-court-block_n_418502.html


Proposition 8: Groundbreaking Gay Marriage Trial Starts In California
LISA LEFF, 01/11/10
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/11/proposition-8-groundbreak_n_418475.html

Proposition 8: Gay Marriage Trial Defendant Wants Out Of Case
PAUL ELIAS, 01/ 8/10
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/08/proposition-8-gay-marriag_n_416979.html

Gay Marriage And The US Supreme Court: Is It Too Soon To Petition?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/11/gay-marriage-and-the-us-s_n_418205.html


'Don't Ask Don't Tell' (DADT) Repeal: Dems Move Forward With Plans
01-12-10,
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/12/dems-move-forward-with-pl_n_420180.html

New York Times:

Same-Sex Marriage Case, Day 2: History Lessons

By GERRY SHIH, January 12, 2010
http://bayarea.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/12/same-sex-marriage-case-day-2-history-lessons/?hp


Christian Science Monitor:

Gay marriage trial begins with tough questions for both sides.
Opening arguments began Monday in what could be a landmark trial for gay marriage. The case, which challenges California's ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8, could go to the US Supreme Court. Michael B. Farrell Staff writer, January 11, 2010
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2010/0111/Gay-marriage-trial-begins-with-tough-questions-for-both-sides

The Daily Kos
An ongoing daily condensation of many national events, including Proposition 8, DADT and more.
http://dailykos.com/


Ruling on Proposition 8
The ruling written by Chief Justice Ronald M. George, drew deeply -- in spirit, at least -- on the philosopher Michael Walzer's insight that the American conception of moral progress consists not in the creation of novel rights but in the extension of those recognized as fundamental to those people to whom they've been denied. As such, the earlier decision stood in a distinguished line that includes Griswold vs. Connecticut and Brown vs. Board of Education -- in which courageous judges undertook to synchronize the law with the social conscience of their age.

Tuesday's ruling stands in the line of moral retreat and expedient retrenchment that includes Dred Scott vs. Sandford, Plessy vs. Ferguson and Korematsu vs. the United States.

Consider this passage from George's latest majority opinion, asserting -- against all reason -- that Proposition 8 did not entirely repeal or abrogate same-sex couples' right to privacy and due process or the "constitutional right of same-sex couples to 'choose one's life partner and enter with that person into a committed, officially recognized and protected family relationship.' " Instead, George wrote, "the measure carves out a narrow and limited exception to these state 'constitutional rights.' "

George went on to argue that Proposition 8 did not abrogate "all of the other extremely significant substantive aspects of a same-sex couple's state constitutional right to establish an officially recognized and protected family relationship and the guarantee of equal protection under the laws."

In other words, gay and lesbian Californians can board the marital bus but must take seats at the rear.

Moreover, denying an entire class of people the right to marry the partner of their choice is a "narrow exception" to the equal protection clause? And it's morally permissible to carve out exceptions to constitutional rights for specific groups, as long as it's done by majority vote?

So, if a majority of Californians voted to "carve out a narrow exception" to California's right to privacy and applied it only to Jews, would it be constitutionally acceptable? If Native Americans were accorded all the protections of the law by a ballot proposition, except the right to marry a non-Indian, would that be legal?

This is social and moral nonsense.

The court tried Tuesday to cover itself with a fig leaf of decency by allowing the 18,000 existing same-sex marriages to stand. It won't work. This is a logically and morally incoherent decision that simply will plunge the state into another round of bitterly divisive initiative politics, while adding fuel to the growing sense that all three branches of California's government have lost the ability to function in the public interest.

timothy.rutten@latimes.com
More on this topic at www.EqualityJusticeForAll.org

 

And let's not forget the needed complete ban on
driving while using cell phones!
www.StopAllCellPhoneDriving.org

 

Cell phone abuse while driving:

The National Safety Council's web site for DISTRACTED DRIVING.
A lot of information- – the section “Public Education” has several videos – including a You Tube at the bottom of page – Dr. Phil interviewing young woman texter. There’s also information from the Cell Phone industry, and state laws, etc.
http://www.nsc.org/safety_road/Distracted_Driving/Pages/distracted_driving.aspx


28 percent of accidents involve talking, texting on cellphones
Ashley Halsey III, Washington Post Staff Writer, Wednesday, January 13, 2010
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/12/AR2010011202218.html

New Organization Combats Distracted Driving
The Associated Press, WASHINGTON, January 12, 2010
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122479400


The next prohibitionists are cell phone prohibitionists
Point of Law.com (Information and opinion on the U.S. Litigation system),
Carter Wood, January 13, 2010
http://www.pointoflaw.com/archives/2010/01/the-next-prohib.php

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URGENT: Prison or death for LGBT Ugandans!

"Homosexuals can forget about human rights."

- James Nsaba Buturo, Uganda’s Minister of Ethics and Integrity

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Uganda urgently need your help.

In a country where homosexuality is already illegal, where violent attacks are common and rape is used to 'cure' people of their sexual orientation – a shocking new law has been proposed that would make homosexuality punishable by life imprisonment or even death.

You may have been following this story already. HRC and other groups have been working on the issue with US officials since October. But with Uganda's Parliament about to return to session, we need your help to launch a nationwide call to get Congress involved.

Write Congress immediately to demand that America leads a strong and immediate international response to stop this law. Save LGBT Ugandans from a mass death sentence!

https://secure3.convio.net/hrc/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=655

Here's what led to this urgent situation: last March, three American right-wing extremists, posing as "experts" on homosexuality, led a conference in Uganda where they claimed that gay men prey upon teenagers, that there is a gay agenda to destroy families, and that gay people can and should be changed to straight.

Then, in October, Uganda's legislature introduced a bill making homosexual acts punishable by death and failure to report them punishable by jail time.

Though the three extremists have tried to distance themselves from this homicidal bill, they can't. They spread lies, posing as "experts," then urged that LGBT people be treated differently based on those lies. That's fomenting hatred – pure and simple.

These Americans have put LGBT Ugandans – and those who care about them – in grave peril. We have a responsibility, as Americans, to protect them.

President Obama has already denounced the law in a written statement. But given the incredible danger that LGBT Ugandans are facing, we must urge him to do more.

We also must send a clear message to Uganda's President: if this bill becomes law, it will have a chilling effect on both human rights and the relationship between our countries.

The next step is a strong, unified effort by Congress to demand decisive action from both men.

Write Congress today and urge them to stop Uganda from passing a mass death sentence for its LGBT citizens.

Then be sure to spread the word. The more people we can get to write to Congress, the more powerful our message will be.

Thank you for standing up for our brothers and sisters in Uganda at this critical moment.

In solidarity,


Joe Solmonese
President HRC

 

ONE NATION UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE,
WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE...FOR ALL?!...

 


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Bill 18-482 "The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009"
The DC City Conncil has finalized a same-gender marriage bill, #18-482 "The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009" which will be voted upon by the DC City Council on Dec 1st, 2009. The objective of the Greenbelt, Md Bishop and his financial backer, the National Organization for Marriage is to derail Marriage Equality in DC by forcing a referendum allowing popular vote and promote division between city residents to determine the equal rights of the protected LGBT minority in the city. This would be in spite of the fact that such a referendum would be illegal due to the city's LGBT anti-discrimination law. 'National Organization for Marriage' is the same organization which spent millions to derail California and Maine initiatives through incredibly expensive and untrue advertising about forced same-gender sex education in schools if the marriage laws passed, in spite of the fact that they knew in no uncertain terms that this was unfounded. Plus parents and guardians in both situations have always had the right to restrict sex education to their children in the schools if desired. The National Organization for Marriage is allegly funded by the financially powerful Morman Church from Utah which promotes itself to encourage love, consideration and respect for all mankind....?...(so much for "Do unto others").... The agenda of this financially powerful conglomerate includes promoting black vs white, religious vs 'non-religious' even though many LGBT individuals are religious plus MANY black churches and clergy in DC support Marriage Equality for same-gender couples (Visit DC Clergy United for Marriage Equality www.ClergyForMarriage.com).

In the meantime the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington said that it will not continue the social service programs it runs for the District of Columbia if the city doesn't change it's proposed same-sex marriage law to allow the Catholic Archdiocese to discriminate against same-gender married couples as in offering the same benefits to same-gender couples that are available to mixed-gender couple employees, adoptions, etc (by the way, this law affects 'civil marriage', not 'religious marriage'. It has literally nothing to do with 'religious marriage' [remember there is supposedly a constitutional 'Separation of Church and State' that many some still choose to ignore] which the Catholic Archdiocese is perfectly aware of regardless of what is falsely claimed by it and it's fellow marriage equality opponents...no church can ever be required to marry anyone that they wish to exclude in spite of what is inaccurately claimed by the opponents of Marriage Equality). Again, so much for "Love Thy Neighber As Thyself" and "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". All of these threats were made by the Archdiocese of Washington in spite of the fact that the services provided by Catholic Charities is performed through several hundred thousand dollars given to them this year alone by the city to perform these services, in addition to their tax-exempt status which results in many thousands more at the expense of the city.

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine criticized the Archdiocese of Washington for threatening to end contracts to feed Washington, DC's homeless if the city allows gay couples the freedom to marry.

"I'm Catholic and I think it's wrong,'' Kaine said. "If you look at the church through history, the church will stand in tough situations and continue to do good. I think the strategy of threatening to hold back, it just doesn't seem like the church I've come up in."

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley

Kaine was seconded by Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who also is Catholic.

"I don't understand how they can possibly do this," O'Malley said."I have a hard time believing that the nuns and priests who taught me about the Corporal Works of Mercy would agree that this is an appropriate response for the church."

More information at:
www.EqualityJusticeForAll.org

The Daily Campus
Threats by DC Archdiocese are immature, hypocritical
http://www.dailycampus.com/home/index.cfm?event=displayArticle&uStory_id=2c6e4b33-136d-4201-a444-b67f76282abb
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The Baltimore Sun
D.C. Archdiocese oversteps its bounds
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/editorial/bal-ed.gaymarriage1115nov15,0,335767,comment-display-all.story
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The Huffington Post
Catholic Church Threatens To Stop Social Service Programs For D.C.'s Neediest If Gay Marriage Passes
http://74.125.93.132/search?q=cache:fbp4Je1pH0UJ:www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/12/catholic-church-threatens_n_354968.html+catholic+services+dc&cd=11&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us
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The Washington Post
Catholic Church gives D.C. ultimatum
Same-sex marriage bill, as written, called a threat to social service contracts
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/11/AR2009111116943.html?hpid=topnews
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The Associated Press
Lawmakers defy church pressure on DC gay marriage
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jNevWFd2BZmIvPtul1FPLDxckGRgD9BUVPL81
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So how do we deal with this dilema? Do we have a non-discrimination law against sexual orienation on the books of the Nation's Capital and then allow certain organizations (who again are already exempted from offering same-gender marriage in their churches) to violate that law on basic civil rights, even though that organization is receiving tax-exempt status plus financial support from the tax payers, many of whom are tax payers that are either LGBT or LGBT-friendly? I don't think so.

The amendment to the bill proposed by council member Yvette Alexander (Ward 7) would have put in place a much broader exemption than the language introduced by Council members Mendelson and Catania. Rick Rosendall, vice president of the Gay & Lesbian Activist Alliance said that Alexander's amendment would literally "gut" the human Rights Act in DC as it applies to same-gender couples. "As long as demonizing entire groups can lead to power and profit, unscrupulous people will keep doing it", says Rosendall. There are many religious organizations in DC who not only suport same-gender marriage and equal rights for everyone (DC Clergy United for Marriage Equality www.ClergyForMarriage.com) but they encourage it. Those who don't can just take their services elsewhere and I'm sure there are others who will take over. Again, so much for "Love Thy Neighbor" in the name of the Bible and in the name of our Loving God.

In the meantime, although it is necessary to continue these state-by-state cases, it is becoming more and more evident that all of this needs to be dealt with once and for all on a national level, which without question will ultimately require a decision from the Supreme Court. Marriage and all of it's benefits and responsibilities is a civil right and should not be left to the whims of one 'Holier-than-thou' state or another (http://equalityacrossamerica.org/blog/). There are thousands of us across this country who will not rest until this last bit of civil inequality goes down the same path as slavery, discrimination vs women, Jews, Hispanics and more and I guarantee that this will end in my lifetime; something that I once believed might be an impossibility.
...and as is usually the case, this is not 'JUST MY OPINION'...this is in fact 'A PROMISE'.....

Terry Chasteen
TerryChasteen@InternationalDanceSport.com
www.EqualityJusticeForAll.org
www.DCForMarriage.org

-------------------------------------------------------

On Friday morning, Dec 18th, 2010 Washington DC finally legalized Marriage Equality for same-gender couples so it was quite a climactic week after all of the effort that so many of us put into that (me not NEARLY as much time as some of those who have been struggling with this last bit of discrimination in DC for decades. I cannot imagine the emotions that this must bring to them). From the introduction of the bill to the DC Council chambers back in October to the 2 separate council votings in November along with over 200 testimonials in November (all of which I sat through for two solid days. What an education that was. In spite of sitting in that council chambers non-stop for almost 10 hours at a time, I wouldn't have missed it for anything. I am always amazed at how people can be toward other human beings supposedly in the name of the Bible and our loving God) and finally signing by the Mayor on Friday morning, Dec 18th at All Souls Unitarian church. All Souls is one of the oldest churches in DC and one of over 200 local churches that were very active in supporting equal rights for everyone, including marriage equality for same-gender families in DC (Visit DC Clergy United for Marriage Equality www.ClergyForMarriage.com). All of this is truly comforting after the Morman church has allegedly spent literally millions of dollars through the National Organization for Marriage to sabatage marriage equality in California and Maine by spreading known falsehoods that all churches would be required to perform same-gender weddings if it passed plus all parents would be required to have their children taught about gay sex in school. Couldn't those millions of dollars spent on lies have better been spent to feed the poor and house the homeless as God-loving people are supposed to do, instead of wasting it fighting equal civil rights for other Americans? Once again, all in the name of the Bible and our loving God.

All of that time was great for photo ops, however. Many of us actually made it into videos in the local and national news and the Huffington Post when a male couple that was sitting right next to me proposed during their testimonial to the surprise of all of us. Plus in a colored photo in The Washington Post and in several other local news papers and news clips to include the DC Agenda, DC's new LGBT paper to replace the Washington Blade. I guess when you're hanging around long enough, and some of us didn't miss a minute of it, one is bound to get attention by the poparazzi sooner or later.

The D.C. City Council votes the first go-round to legalize same-gender marriage on Tuesday, Dec 1st, 2010

Shortly after noon today, on Tuesday, December 1st, 2009, the City Council passed the first vote on same-gender marriage in the District of Columbia with 11 out of 13 approving. Mayor Fenty has pledged to eliminate this, one of the last fragments of discrimination in DC and sign it as soon as it hits his desk after the final Council approval later this month. Mind you that this is civil, not religious marriage. There is still a 'Separation of Church and State' and in spite of what the opposition claims, each church can always determine who they will or not marry when it comes to a religious ceremany; that this is about civil marriage and about equal civil rights under the law. And that's Ok because there are many denominations out there who not only believe in same-gender marriage but in Equality and Justice for all.

Now how does this effect me? After sitting through a whole day in the Council Chambers to introduce this bill in October, plus 2 full days of almost 200 or more testimonials either for or against it in November, I don't even have a 'Potential New Boyfriend' (as Dolly Parton would say) let alone a 'Potential Husband!' Oh well, at least I'll have a lot of weddings to attend in 2010.

Nonetheless the fun is yet to come. The Md Bishop and his Morman financiers will be waiting in the wings to demand a devisive popular vote, which won't happen because one cannot introduce a referendum that could undermine the already established non-discrimination laws of the District. But this is not yet over. Visit www.DanceDirt.com or www.EqualityJusticeForAll.org for details as the plot thickens.
Ciao,
~ Terry

D.C. Council votes to legalize same-sex marriage - The Washington Post
http://mobile.washingtonpost.com/rss.jsp?rssid=578819&item=http%3a%2f%2fwww.washingtonpost.com%2fwp-syndication%2farticle%2f2009%2f12%2f01%2fAR2009120101265_mobile.xml&cid=1

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11/17/'09 - From Nick McCoy, Field Organizer/Human Rights Campaign
DC Bd of Elections keeps anti-marriage initiative off the ballot; Rules Against California Prop.-8 and Maine Question 1 Style Ballot Initiative.

Today, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics ruled for a second time that a proposed ballot measure that would undermine marriage equality in the District is not a proper subject for a referendum or initiative. The Board’s decision to prevent a measure like California’s Prop 8 or Maine’s Question 1 from possibly reaching the ballot is strongly supported by D.C. law, which wisely prohibits any initiative that authorizes discrimination or has the effect of authorizing discrimination under D.C.’s Human Rights Act.

Opponents – led by Bishop Harry Jackson Jr., a Maryland resident who cannot even vote in DC has been allegedly contacted by the National Organization for Marriage to derail Marriage Equality in DC (the same organization which derailed California and Maine initiatives through untrue advertisements about forced sex education in schools if the marriage laws passed and who are allegly funded by the Morman Church) has launched a public relations battle to try to convince the Board, the Council and even Congress that the public is being denied the right to vote on this issue and analogizing to D.C.’s own painful history of being denied voting representation in Congress. “Let us vote!” chanted a few community members – some of whom didn’t even live in the District – at the Board hearing.

Rev. Cedric Harmon, a D.C. resident and a representative of D.C. Clergy United for Marriage Equality (DC Clergy United for Marriage Equality http://www.ClergyForMarriage.com), a group of nearly 200 Washington, D.C. faith leaders representing all 8 wards of the District and a variety of religious faiths added the following statement in support of the Board of Elections and Ethic’s decision:

“It is shameful when religious leaders fail to uphold the Christian teachings of our faith by trying to institutionalize a second-class citizenship on our neighbors. People of faith have worked for generations to achieve social justice for all people -- regardless of race, creed, class, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. We serve our entire flock, and there is no justification under God that we should discriminate against any of God’s children,” Rev. Harmon continued.

“The District of Columbia has not voted on the civil rights of a minority since the Civil War, when a majority prevented freed male slaves from gaining the right to vote. Today, the Board of Elections and Ethics reminded us that human rights should not be put to a vote. As members of the clergy who support equal rights for all citizens, and who struggle to achieve social justice in the District of Columbia, we applaud the BOEE for standing up for human rights in the face of discrimination.”

This argument that somehow the right to vote is implicated here fundamentally misconstrues how a representative democracy works. The 13 members of the D.C. Council function as representatives on decisions large and small that matter to District residents. This is what they were elected to do. The Council held two days of public hearings on same-sex marriage and will eventually vote on the public record. Residents have the opportunity to express their views to their council members, and if they do not like their decisions on this or other issues, to try to vote them out at election time. This representative form of government has served the United States well for more than 200 years. It is precisely why District residents have long demanded a voice in Congress.

While some jurisdictions provide for direct democracy via initiative, such a process – generally adopted during the Progressive Era – was never intended as a means to take away the fundamental rights of an entire community. Increasingly, many are expressing concerns about initiatives, such as Prop. 8 and Maine’s Question 1, that have increasingly done just that. Last month, California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron George spoke out about his frustration with last year’s California initiative vote, in which, he noted, “chickens gained valuable rights … on the same day that gay men and lesbians lost them.”

Fortunately, in D.C., the drafters of the election laws had the foresight many years ago to ensure that the initiative process could not be used to discriminate against groups protected by the D.C. Human Rights Act. D.C. law is, in fact, clear that the right that is implicated by the proposed anti-marriage initiative is the right of the LGBT community and other minority groups to not have their fundamental civil rights decided by a majority vote. This is a right that all District residents – black, white, gay or straight – should want to protect.

Nick McCoy
Field Organizer | Human Rights Campaign
www.HRC.org


----------------------------------------------

 

Here some of us made it into the Metro section of The Washington Post on October 27th, 2009 during the Same-gender Marriage testimonials.


YouTube:

 

And here we are once again right in the middle of things on Monday, November 2nd, 2009 – this
time on national TV – ABC – and the Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/03/andy-hertzbergs-marriage_n_343752.html


Andy Hertzberg's Marriage Proposal Interrupts D.C.'s Same-Sex Marriage Hearing (VIDEO)

 

Below: Andy & Andy, a gay couple gets engaged on live TV, in front of the DC City Council.
This video clip includes the full testimonials of the couple and the big surprise takes place near the end of the clip. I was intent on taking notes on each testimonial during this two days and sat directly to the right of Andy Hertzberg in this clip. Along with everyone else in the room, I had no idea what was about to take place...what a fun surprise in spite of the supposed "No respect!" that was claimed by the often-unruly opposition throughout both days of testimonials (I was there. I saw and heard their unruly and disrespectful antics with my own eyes and ears, making their devisive claims of "No respect" ludicrous).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Eq9jUPacTk



The crowd loved it, in spite of what the opposing side indicated on national news.
Nothing like the "No respect" that was prominent throughout their testimonies earlier.

 

 


Proposal Interrupts Washington D.C. Gay Marriage Hearing
(abc channel 7 news YouTube version, including over 550 reader comments!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hps8svVLe3U

It's regrettable that the only opponent interviewed was black, but that's exactly how they like to stage it. The typical centuries-old 'Divide-and-Conquer' and fear tactics of gaining power, influence and wealth, which is what someone is gaining from our supposedly God-fearing 'National Organization for Marriage'. The opposition is working diligently to create the image of a Black vs White issue, which this is not. There are numerous black parishioners and black clergy who can see through these self-serving tactics. Plus MANY of the 'Holier-Than-Thou' present were white, including the cult of allegedly Morman-funded 'Nat'l Organization for Marriage' which allegedly dumped millions into Proposition 8 and into derailing Marriage Equality in Maine, just as they're allegedly pumping millions into paying these people to protest here in DC and Maryland.

And talk about "No respect", the opponents of Marriage Equality had to be silenced on numerous occasions over both days of testimony for unruly and derogatory outbursts when the times of their following came up to testify. I sat in the first row for both days of each testmony and left of Andy Hersberg in this video all day long from 9:30am on and I saw it and heard it with my own eyes and ears. The fact then that someone proposing marriage as part of their testimony within the time allotted for that testimony shows "no respect" is ludicrous after all of the disrespect that was shown by these people to everyone in the room over both days of hearings. Council member Mendelson on several occasions threatened to have them removed if the didn't stop their obviously-orchestrated outbursts. I wouldn't have missed these two full days of hearings for anything. What an eye-opener on the love and respect afforded by certain supposed Christians (not ALL mind you, but definitely those in strong opposition to this bill).

And for the the opposition to then get on public television and act so righteous as though they obeyed all of the guidelines and Andy Hershberg and Andy Rollman should be restricted as to how they made their testimony was an insult to the intelligence of all of us who attended. Andy and Andy testified within 10 seconds of the time limit, unlike many of the opposition who had to be told repeatedly by Council Member Mendelson that their times had expired while they continued to ramble on and create a commotion from their seats. Again, Council member Mendelson threatened on several occasions for people to restrain themselves or they would be removed by security. I find it hard to believe that people have a need to spend so much time and energy and MONEY! protesting the equal and civil rights of others, all in the name of our loving God and who then act so 'unChristian-like' about it.

As Whoopie Goldberg stated in 'The View' video, "This is all about money and power" which is allegedly being pumped in by the millions and allegedly once again from the Morman church through the 'National Organization for Marriage'. Money which should instead being used for feeding the poor, educating the needy, clothing the poor children and the loving, giving and caring about humanity that the Mormans claim to be noted for. A perfect example of why so many of us as we get older become more and more spiritual while at the same time become completely impatient with the bigoted and discriminatory practices of too many (not all, mind you: DC Clergy United for Marriage Equality http://www.ClergyForMarriage.com) religious instituitions. All of which once again is done in the name of power and money and greed. Let's audit the books of the opposition after all of this is over, including those of Bishop Jackson from Maryland who is spearheading this form of discrimination and let's see how much money our religious right have made for attempting to deprive others of their equal rights in the name of our loving God after they've created this fear factor and encouraged their congregations to come in droves and fill their hungry coffers (Photos will be posted at www.EqualityAndJusticeForAll.us and www.DanceDirt.com, www.NobodyAskedForMyOpinionBut.com).

 



Ellen Degeneres Vs. John McCain: Gay Marriage
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7addd1-SY8

 



"The View"--Argues over Gay Marriage
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5T8DbQmGHg


This 4-part video gives some heated insight into this ongoing controversy

Dr. Phil - Same-Sex Marriage: Right Or Wrong? - Proposition 8 - Parts 1/4 to 4/4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WGb4eQRg3Y

 

Ellen Degeneres on The Oprah Winfrey Show on Monday, November 9th, 2009. This included her
wedding, her first interview with wife Portia Di Rossi as well as her difficulties endured after publicly
coming out plus the major feelings of importance that they now feel regarding being legally married.

The actual show was much more revealing about the importance of having equal marriage rights by
Ellen and Portia though the difficulties of Ellen's coming out are coverd in the following links. Visit them at
http://www.oprah.com/article/oprahshow/reservations/20091106-tows-ellen-degeneres/4
http://www.oprah.com/article/oprahshow/reservations/20091106-tows-ellen-degeneres/5
http://www.oprah.com/article/oprahshow/reservations/20091106-tows-ellen-degeneres/6

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Organizing Meeting, Full Equality Now! DC


***PLEASE FORWARD FAR AND WIDE***


WHAT: Weekly Organizing Meeting, Full Equality Now! DC
WHEN: Wednesday, November 18, 7 pm
WHERE: Metropolitan Community Church

Ridge St Between M and N NW, D.C. Green Line – Convention Center Metro

Last week, 150 people rallied in Dupont Circle in an emergency action called in response to the vote in Maine. This week, we meet to continue organizing for full equality. Join us to find out how to get involved in the fight for equality right in DC. We have just begun to fight.

SPONSORED BY: Full Equality Now! DC (formerly the National Equality March DC Host Committee) is an affiliate of Equality Across America (www.equalityacrossamerica.org). All identities and allies welcome. For more information, please email: DC.Equality@gmail.com

Join our Facebook group at: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=109654518315&v=wall&ref=ts

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Other 'MUST SEE' videos!

Proposition 8: The musical
www.hotair.com/archives/2008/12/03/video-prop-8-the-musical/
(you may need to copy and paste this link as I cannot get it to cooperate otherwise)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rf608SSvO14

Prop 8 The Musical
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ug3YkVhkemg
(You may have to copy and paste thus URL as I'm having trouble getting the link to work)

A star-studded cast turns out for Marc Shaiman's "Prop 8 - The Musical."
Cast (in order of appearance)
California Gays and The People That Love Them
Jordan Ballard, Margaret Cho, Barrett Foa, J.B. Ghuman, John Hill, Andy Richter, Maya Rudolph, Rashad Naylor, Nicole Parker, John C. Reilly, Allison Janney, Kathy Najimy, -Jenifer Lewis, Craig Robinson, Rashida Jones, Lake Bell, Sarah Chalke, Katharine "Kooks" Leonard, Seth Morris, Denise "Esi!" Piane, Lucian Piane, Richard Read, Seth Redford, Quinton Strack, Tate Taylor, Brunson Green, as Jesus Christ - Jack Black, A Very Smart Fellow - Neil Patrick Harris, Piano Player - Marc "Marc" Shaiman

 

This has nothing to do with equal rights but it's my favorite Flash Mob to date from 'The Sound Of Music' at Central Station Antwerp, Belgium (what a fun idea to put together a Flash Mob to a medley of Michael Jackso music and end with 'I Am What I Am' right here in DC at Union Station, on the Mall, at the park in Dupont Circle, etc!...). You must watch this incredible video.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EYAUazLI9k

 

Here's another much shorter Flash Mob of Michael Jackson's 'Beat It'. Again, it could be great to come up with a Michael Jackson medley of some of his greatest hits (of course including 'Beat It' and 'Michael Jackson's Thriller' which I can teach down to the very last detail) and have 'I Am What I Am' as the grand finale' as a trubute to the 'Equality and Justice For All' movement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVJVRywgmYM


 

Don't just lie around the house and yard all day & night...

... DANCE!! The nicholas Brothers in "Chattanooga Choo Choo" (The Nickolas Brothers dancing to 'Chatanooga Choo Choo'...this is not Foto Shop...these guys were THE most talented ever and danced throughout the 1950's. Had they not been black during this time of incredible discrimination, they would have been listed on the bill boards and as the principles in numerous major motion pictures. Another example of discrimination which in this case was thwarted NOT by the vote of the majority to deprive the equal rights of a minority, but rather by constitutional law which was never voted upon by the public but instilled through legislation)

 

 

**************************************
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent
about things that matter - Dr Martin Luther King, Jr

**************************************


"For all my years in public life, I have believed that America must sail toward the shores of liberty and justice for all. There is no end to that journey, only the next great voyage. We know the future will outlast all of us, but I believe that all of us will live on in the future we make."

Hate Crimes Speech
September 25, 2007 | Standing Against Hate
Senator Kennedy on the Matthew Shepard Act
Facing a veto threat from the President of the United States and an uncertain vote in the U.S. Senate, Senator Kennedy fought to pass the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Eventually signed into law in a later Congress, this legislation broadens existing law to prohibit hate crimes against women, gays, lesbians, and transgender persons; and gives prosecutors enhanced ability to charge and penalize those who commit hate crimes.


There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction. - John F. Kennedy

 

 

Legalized discrimination?

Hello, Equal rights advocates,

It's still true, and it's still appalling: in 29 states, it's legal to fire someone because they're lesbian, gay, or bisexual; in 38 states, it's legal to fire someone for being transgender.

But most people in Washington – even many LGBT people – aren't aware of this outrageous injustice.

Building strong, vocal support for workplace equality in places like Washington will be crucial as we fight for a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in Congress. And with the Senate holding hearings on the bill just yesterday, and the first important House vote coming in the weeks ahead – now is the time to make sure citizens in Washington are informed and activated.

Writing a Letter to the Editor in support of ENDA could make a huge difference in our fight. Please write one now using our easy letter-writing tool!

https://secure3.convio.net/hrc/site/LteUser?lte.user=lte_write_letter&lte_id=1

Writing your letter is easy – we'll help, with facts and talking points! And it's one of the best ways to build momentum against workplace discrimination so that ENDA passes once and for all.

This is one of the next big battles facing our movement. And it's going to be even tougher than passing the hate crimes bill was. Right-wing groups loudly claim that measures like ENDA grant "special rights" to LGBT people and take away the freedoms of people of faith. It's absurd; it's wrong; we need lawmakers like Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton standing up for what's right.

If there's one thing the hate crimes victory showed us, it's that Congress can move at a glacial pace. There's only one thing that speeds up the process: direct, sustained pressure from ordinary people like you. And speaking out in the media is critical.

Thousands of people like you have already sent letters to Congress, demanding that our leaders put an end to the second-class treatment of LGBT workers.

Now, you can help us make sure everyone in your community knows the facts, too. With your help, we can get the story told in every corner of the country.

Take just a few minutes to write your letter – a few minutes now could make a difference for LGBT employees for years to come.

With your help, we can push our nation's leaders to support ENDA's common-sense protections, and make the workplace safe for all. Thank you.

Warmly,

Joe Solmonese
President, HRC
www.HRC.org

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The deadline is drawing near to submit written testimony in support of the Washington DC “Bill 18-482, Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009.”

Hello friends,

We are drawing close to the November 9 deadline to submit written testimony in support of “Bill 18-482, Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009.”

The past week, an overwhelming number of voices testified at the DC Council hearing in favor of marriage equality. Yet our work is still cut out for us and we must be vigilant in our efforts to make sure that marriage equality becomes a matter of law here in our Nation’s capital.

One quick and easy way to help pass marriage equality here in DC is to make sure that your voice is heard by the DC Council by writing about why marriage equality matters to do. Doing so is not only quick and easy, but will send a strong message to the council that hundreds of DC residents support ending discrimination against same-sex couples.

All you need to do is tell your story; your story about why marriage equality is important to you. It does not have to be long. It just needs to come from the heart. To make it easier, all you have to do is write it, email it to me, and I will take care of the rest.

Attached are some examples of written testimony and talking points.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me.
And please make sure to send this to as many people as possible.

Thank you,

Nick McCoy
Field Organizer | Human Rights Campaign
1640 Rhode Island Ave., NW | Washington, DC 20036
202- 216-1564 (o) |nick.mccoy@hrc.org| www.HRC.org

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Nobody Asked for My Opinion....BUT...


I am always amazed at how so many well-educated and intelligent people in this country; the country known as "The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave" choose to believe in the bigotry and discrimination against ANYONE, whether LGBT or whoever as opposed to equality for all. As well I am just as amazed at how so many easily fall for the devisive tactics that certain organizations use when it comes to the use of discrimination and prejudice for their own profit, power and personal gain at the expense of others. I'm referring to the ongoing disputes over same-gender marriage and other practices that are still levied against the LGBT community here in the US. Where did "All men are created equal" disappear to? I don't remember when those words were changed to "All men, except those who are LGBT (or any other minority for that matter), are created equal". And why should we ever have the right to vote to accept the equal rights and freedoms for anyone in this country when the outcome can be anything less than true equality toward any group of citizens, in spite of how large or small? The constitution protects trhose rights and freedoms and should never be up for vote by the majority. Such an action is not equality, but rather absolute tyranny by the majority against a minority of people. This is not a third world nation as I understand. Equality is equality. That is what I thought America was supposed to be about and why we escaped the religious intolerance of England in the first place. But lo and behold, the ugly head of bigotry and discrimination is alive and well and hard at work right here in the US all over again.

And please, let's not put up with the excuse of "That's just how it has been accepted and done for the past number of centuries and that's just how it is". In the past slavery, discrimination against women, Jews, African-Americans and even Catholics at one time were "accepted and just how it has been done in the past" not to mention the unbelievable and complete disregard for all rights of women up until very recently, including their voting rights, and who were considered a valuable commodity to the fathers who had virgin daughters way back in the days of the Bible. Just because "That's just how things have been done in the past" doesn't make it right; then or now.

The support of government-sponsored opposition to same-gender marriage, along with all of the other devisive and discriminatory legislation vs the LGBT community (DOMA [The Defense Of Marriage Act], Don't Ask; Don't Tell, the freedom to fire or not hire LGBT employees in certain states, refusal to pass hate crime laws) is nothing but one more centuries-old 'Divide-and-Conquer' tactic to bring money and power and wealth into the coffers of those organizations who propagate such self-serving and unfair practices for their own benefit (not to mention their political gains as in the 2004 elections....and look at the mess that caused which we will not be out of for decades).

This is not about what the Bible actually says, though some like to claim that. The Bible condemns the raping and wickedness of the Sodomites toward strangers as it should have for such hateful and inhospitable actions that they carried out toward all newcomers into their city. Those people deserved to burn in hell for their actions. The Bible has never once referred to the same-gender-loving families who have children and who love and respect and care for each other as bill 18-482, "The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009" for DC will protect. We're comparing apples and oranges here. And those experts and clergy who study and know the Bible are perfectly aware of the differences in what they claim is in the Bible and what is actually there.

As well they're aware of the Bibical references against same-gender sex for purposes of paganistic rituals. Again, these were NOT same-gender-loving people but rather non-gay or lesbian pagans who defied the word of God at the time and used same-gender sex as a means of increasing their crop yields and prosperity, not much different than those who worshipped the 'Golden Calf' that caused Moses to smash the ten commandments against the rocks. So applies the reference to the term "abomination". In Leviticus, "abominable" is not considered a sin, but rather another word for "unclean". An obomination is a violation of the purity rules that governed Israelite Society and kept the Israelites different from other peoples. Similar "abominations" in those days were eating shell fish, wearing garments of more than one type of fabric such as cotton and silk, women cutting their hair and women wearing garments above the knee. All of which are practiced on a regular basis today with absolutely no concern from the general public and particularly without concern from those who make such a big deal out of same-gender relationships. So maybe by condemning affection between same-gender couples we "Pick-and-Choose" what is and is not acceptable? (visit a fun depiction of this by a star-studded cast in "Proposition 8, The Musical" at www.hotair.com/archives/2008/12/03/video-prop-8-the-musical/).

Admitting such differences by some might actually be costly, however. Particularly for those who enjoy taking advantage of such issues because there would be no FEAR FACTOR remaining for them to scare all of their followers into bringing their money in droves to fill those coffers in order to fight this horrible situation of the gays and lesbians taking over the earth. Something that less than 5% of any population would be hardly even imaginable (I know they say it's 10% but I don't believe it). But sadly too many 'believers' fall for all of this because they know that our clergy wouldn't knowingly lie to them.....Would they?

And we're not speaking about ALL clergy, mind you. There are many clergy in DC as will soon be evident who admit that there are differences in what the Bible actually says as opposed to what is portrayed by some. Those clergy support same-gender marriage and all other forms of equality in government as well as in religion all across America as the above article indicates and many of them of every religion gave testimony in favor of bill 18-482 in the DC City Council (DC Clergy United for Marriage Equality http://www.ClergyForMarriage.com). Such clergy who are preaching the true word and love of God and not bending it for their own egos and personal gain are the ones we should gravitate toward and believe in. They do so for the benefit of society, not for the benefit of filling their own pockets. I would 'LOVE' for there to be an audit of those religious and political organizations which promote such bigotry 'before' and 'after' their subversive tactics. I am ABSOLUTELY CONFIDENT that the differences in the amonut of money taken in before and after such scare tactics would be MONUMENTAL!

Although the Morman church wasted millions to promote Proposition 8 that deprived same-gender couples the continued right of marriage in California instead of using that money for the so-called loving, caring and "for-the-good-of-all-mankind" practices that they claim to focus on (someday I really need to write about my experience at the Morman Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. Yes, my 'calling-a-spade-a-spade' personality just couldn't control itself in this group of 50 to 60 or more men, women and children right there in the presence of God and everyone. This was years ago when the state of Utah, which was actually the Morman Church. If you ever saw the Utah State Capital; a shrine to the famous Mormans, you'd understand what I'm referring to. Every corner and wall and ceiling was cluttered with Morman statues and images of Morman saints and parables like the sea gulls gorging themselves with locusts and regurgitating them to save the Mormon wheat crop, etc.....[so goes the separation of church and state]...The Morman church had banned all extra curricular activities of children throughout Utah that year in all of the schools state-wide, simply to discontinue gay/straight alliances in the state which were formed to save the lives of many gay and lesbian kids who were having difficulty coping with all of the bigotry and hate and attempting and sometimes committing suicide. Much of which the church not only started but continued. These gay/straight alliances were formed because it is a known fact that over 1/3 of the teen suicides are carried out by gay and lesbian kids who make up at the most only 5 to 6% of the population, indicating that there is an incredible need for assistance in this area. The church wanted to avoid being charged with discrimination so every child in the state suffered by having all of their activities banned (so much for the compassion of our loving God). Meaning that absolutely no child in all of Utah at that time could attend any extra curricular activities, whatsoever. Something that I felt to be a horrific way to treat people just to promote themselves through bigotry and hate. As a result, my questions and concerns about all of this to the tour guide about the fairness (or unfairness) of that after all of the wonderful things that this organization seemed to portray were made perfectly clear. (Sorry....never was or will claim to be a very tactful politician who beats around the bush). The guide tried to say that that was a decision of the state and not the church. My response was "Have you seen the state capital which I actually toured this very afternoon? If that is not a shrine to the Morman religion, than I don't know what is. And to think that anyone is going to believe that the state works separately from the Morman church in Utah is going to be hard to confince." After it was over, they shuffled me off to someone else to deal with me (I believe I horrified that poor tour guide right into retirement. Either way I am confident that there were major discussions at the next tour guide meeting to look out for this insane guy who was in here from Washington DC).

We are all onfidant that the amount of money that the Mormans took in after their scare tactics began to fund the incredibly expensive multi-million dollar Probosition 8 fight was many times more than what they actually spent. Money spent to deprive families and children of their insurance from their spouses, hospital visitations and other crucial necessities. I hope that someday the watch dog organizations will expose this and prove that THIS is one of the TRUE ABOMINATIONS going on in too many of our religious organizations today. Regrettably once again all of this was carried out in the name of our loving God.

I would also love to see an audit of what Bishop Jackson from Greenbelt, Maryland is being paid by the right wing organization, the High Impact Leadership Coalition to come into DC from Maryland to lead the fight to deprive those who live here of their equal rights to marriage. Bishop Jackson, I understand allegedly has three homes in his possession, one of which supposedly surpasses the $1,000,000 price range. Much more, I'm sure than the value of the homes of those whose rights and freedoms Bishop Jackson is attempting to strip from them. Bishop Jackson and his wife live in their $1.1 million house on a four-acre tract of land at 15713 Holly Grove Road, in Silver Spring, in spite of the fact that he attempted to claim voting rights in DC (which he couldn't because he simply couldn't vote here legally) to overturn the city’s same-sex marriage recognition law that permits same-gender married couples from other jurisdictions to be recognized in DC. His attempt failed via the board of elections and ethics as it countered DC's 'non-discrimination law'. Congress simply allowed the bill to pass by not acting upon it. Bishop Jackson's wife, Michelle Jackson is executive pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Md., and Harry Jackson is senior pastor. Evidently religion has done Bishop Jackson and his family very well, if these allegations are all true. It's regrettable that someone with such wealth earned through religion would work so hard in the name of God to find it necessary to gain even more wealth and power by allegedly being paid very well by the right wing High Impact Leadership Coalition to help to deprive the rights and privelages of others outside of his own Maryland jurisdiction.

I applaud Phil Mendelson and David Catania, our Washington DC city council members who have made tireless efforts over the last decade to sponsor and bring to light bill 18-482, "The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009" along with all but two of our DC Council members (Council members Barry and Michael Brown...not Kwame Brown) who co-sponsored this bill and Mayor Fenty for pledging to sign it. This bill would enable same-gender couples to marry and gain all of the rights, privelages and responsibilities for them and their children and families and exempts any church or religious organization from honoring such marriages in their parishes; an inclusion that was mistakedly left inspecific in California and why Proposition 8 passed.

Personally I wouldn't miss the chance to actively assist in eliminating this last fragment of bigotry and hatefulness and discrimination from the laws of our Nation's Capital for anything. My own testimony on October 26th, 2009 was not about me, but about the harm that all of these discriminatory laws do to the safety and well-being of our youth, including those who are LGBT teens or sons and daughters of same-gender parents and who suffer severely from the stigma that such discriminatory laws create. They do nothing more than encourage and even justify for some the hazing, injury and much too often, death through both suicide and assault of these second class kids as indicated by too many of our churches and right along with our government through this discriminatory legislation (my personal testimony).

Wanda Sykes said it perfectly on Oprah when she said that "We are nothing but second-class citizens in this country and it needs to stop", which is one of her reasons to set up her soap box on the new 'Wanda Sykes Show on Fox 5 (11PM on Saturday nights). I encourage everyone to consider joining us in this battle, if not in person than by writing a testimonial supporting bill 18-482 "The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009" to the DC City Council. Your testimony will become a permanent record of the bill and I'm hoping you'll join us. You can submit that in writing at https://secure3.convio.net/hrc/site/LteUser?lte.user=lte_write_letter&lte_id=1 but it must be done soon to fall within the deadline.

...But THAT is JUST MY OPINION...
. ~ TLChasteen
Additional information available at:
(www.NobodyAskedForMyOpinionBut.com)

(www.DCforMarriage.org)
(www.ClergyForMarriage.com)

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Following are excerpts copied from various publications and blog comments that were hurredly copied and pasted for future editing. Some may or may not remain once reviewed.

The fact that marriage is even debated politically is absolutely absurd.....

1) our founding fathers realized you have to have a separation of Church and State in a free society (government should have absolutely nothing to do with marriage)

2) The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. (9th Amendment)

 

The difference is civil marriage and religious marriage and a separation of church and state. The federal gov't offers 1,049 marital privelages and states over 1,300 so anyone denied marriage is deprived of their equal rights. The problem of pure majority rule is that it can always alienate a minority, which is why we have justices who hopefully will preserve the constitution's "equality and justice for all" whereas the voting public may not. "Any law that degrades a personality is an unjust law"~ Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

. at is already in the law and those clergy who are educated in the Bible are also aware of this. There is a separation of church and state for good reason. What has caused more injury, suffering and death than fighting over religion and mixing religion with government? This goes back in history for centuries.


The difference is civil marriage and religious marriage; there's a separation of church and state. The federal gov't offers 1,049 marital privelages & states over 1,300. Anyone denied marriage is denied their equal rights. The problem of pure majority rule is that it can always alienate a minority, which is why we have justices and governmental figures who hopefully will preserve "Liberty and Justice for all". Conversely the voting public may not. Should we go back and let some of the very discriminitory southern states vote on slavery? Or if 95% of America was same-gender-loving or LGBT, should they be permitted to vote that those who are not LGBT not be permitted to marry? I don't think so. "Any law that degrades a personality is an unjust law"~ Dr Martin Luther
King, Jr.

The difference is civil marriage and religious marriage and a separation of church and state. The problem of pure majority rule that is it can always alienate a minority, which is why justices and governmental figures hopefully will preserve "Liberty and Justice for all" which many of the voting public for whatever religious reasons or personal gain, will not. Should we allow some of the still discriminitory southern states to vote once again on slavery? That was supposed considered justified in the Bible and thus an accepted practice throughout America for far too long. Or should we deny the black or hispanic (or Jewish or Asian) minorities of any of their equal rights? If 95% of America was LGBT, should they be permitted to vote that those who are not same-gender-loving be denied marriage and the 1,049 federal rights and over 1,300 state privelages offered to married couples? I think not. "Any law that degrades a personality is an unjust law"~ Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. And there have been MANY accepted unjust laws and practices in our nation's history.
Whether now or later, this is just one more of those unjust laws that will finally take the same path as slavery, inequality toward women and discrimination against so many minorities over the life of this nation. Congratulations to Andy and Andy and to all of those who will benefit from this historic and ground-breaking new law that will be one more big step against the bigotry and discrimination that still exists in this "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave" and one more big step for "Liberty and Justice for All". I sat in the front row through almost all of the nearly 250 testimonials over the two days that these took place (I'm sitting directly to the left of Andy Hertzberg taking notes in this video) and was as surprized at this unexpected experience as everyone else in the room. Though very tedious at times and over a full two days of non-stop testimony, I wouldn't have missed this historic event for anything. It was so revealing how so many supposedly fight for the teachings of the Bible (which are so often distorted as to what the Bible actually condemns) but at the same time express themselves as being as far from the loving and caring concern for others that the Bible preaches throughout. One would never guess that from the ranting and condemnation that these people are respectable and God-loving Christians.

----------------------------

The difference is civil marriage vs religious marriage and a separation of church and state. The problem of pure majority rule is that it can always alienate a minority, which is why justices and governmental figures hopefully will preserve "Liberty and Justice for all" which many of the voting public for whatever religious reasons or personal gain (such as the very contraversial and allegedly Morman-based 'National Organization for Marriage' that is spending literally millions of dollars to pay locals to derail this law as they did against same-gender marriage in California and Maine. What a way to use their wealth, by depriving minorities of their equal rights as opposed to fighting the hunger and poverty that they claim to put their energies into), will not. Should we allow some of the still discriminitory southern states to vote once again on slavery? Remember slavery was supposedly considered justified in the Bible and thus an accepted practice throughout America. Or should we be able to deny the black or hispanic (or Jewish or Asian) minorities of any of their equal rights by majority ballot? If 95% of America was LGBT, should they be permitted to vote that those who are not same-gender-loving be denied marriage and the 1,049 federal rights and over 1,300 state privelages offered to married couples? I think not. Even convicted rapists and murderers are allowed to marry but not same-gender=lovong people. "Any law that degrades a personality is an unjust law"~ Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.
And there have been MANY accepted but unjust laws and practices in our nation's history. Whether now or later, this is just one more of them that will finally take the same path as slavery, inequality toward women and discrimination against so many minorities over the life of this nation. Congratulations to Andy and Andy and to all of those in DC who will benefit from this historic and ground-breaking new law that will be one more step against the bigotry and discrimination that still exists today in this "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave" plus one more big step for "Liberty and Justice for All". I sat in the front row through almost all of the nearly 250 testimonials over the two days that took place in the DC Council Chambers (sitting directly to the left of Andy Hertzberg taking notes in this video) and was as surprized at this unexpected revelation as everyone else in the room.
Though very tedious at times and over a full two days of non-stop testimony, I wouldn't have missed this historic event for anything. I am just grateful thay my work and ability to set my own schedule allowed me that privelage. It was so revealing as to how so many supposedly fight for the teachings of the Bible (which are so often distorted as to what the Bible actually condemns) but at the same time express themselves as being as far from the loving and caring concern for others that the Bible preaches throughout, as one could ever imagine. One would never guess from the ranting and condemnation that these people exude that they know that there even is a Bible, let alone are supposedly defending it. Even when this law passes, which it will since 11 of the 13 DC City Council members have signed onto supporting it, the fight is not over because of the huge financial contributions from the allegedly Morman-based National Organization for Marriage which are being paid to local churches and religious organizations will continue. But that's OK. Whether now or later, bigotry and discrimination in this country has continued to take the same path as the dinosours that onced roamed this earth. People are increasingly tired of those who claim to be Christian but continue to show the same characteristics of the wicked and inhospitable sodomites who burned in hell, as they should have, for their wickedness and selfishness and inhospitability and rape of all who were strangers. Not because of their expression as same-gender-loving people as many like to claim. Their condemnation was because of rape and wickedness toward others. Isn't it ironic that those were the same wicked, selfish and inhospitable traits being shown by our bill 18-482 opponents today? They burned in hell because of their raping to express their power and to harm others, not love them.... But then That is JUST MY OPINION...TLChasteen.

When we deprive the equal rights of one, we threaten the equal rights of everyone. An injustice anywhere should be an injustice everywhere - Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

------------------------------

 

...Nobody asked for my opinion...BUT...

...WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE...FOR ALL?...


WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL...THAT MEANS FOR "EVERYONE"...NOT JUST FOR A SELECT FEW DESIGNATED BY A SELECT FEW. THE TIME IS LONG OVER DUE TO SEND 'DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL', MARRIAGE INEQUALITY, DISCRIMINATION IN HIRING AND FIRING LGBT PEOPLE AND EVERY SIMILAR FORM OF BIGOTRY AND DISCRIMINATION BEING PROMOTED IN THE NAME OF THE BIBLE AND OUR LOVING GOD DOWN THE SAME PATH AS SLAVERY, SEPARATE DRINKING FOUNTAINS & REST ROOMS AND OTHER BIGOTED PRACTICES THAT HAVE BLEMISHED THIS COUNTRY'S HISTORY FROM THE ONSET. ALL OF WHICH, BY THE WAY, WERE ALSO AT ONE TIME SUPPOSEDLY JUSTIFIED BY THE BIBLE AND IN THE NAME OF OUR LOVING GOD...
....BUT THEN THAT IS JUST MY OPINION...

 

This site maintained complements of:
www.PleaseDanceWithMe.com
(www.InternationalDanceSPORT.com, www.DancingWithTheDCStars.com
www.GayDanceSPORT.com, www.DancingWithTheACDCStars.com)

the home of
Terry Chasteen's
International DanceSPORT & Entertainment

We offer the most professional and authentic dance entertainment and training available throughout
Metropolitan Washington DC including
easy, flexible and fun instruction for the entire family in
every style of social dance from around the globe.

TerryChasteen@PleaseDanceWithMe.com
TerryChasteen@InternationalDanceSPORT.com
TerryChasteen@yahoo.com
202-462-0870

Visit all of my highly-opinionated awareness projects at:
www.NobodyAskedForMyOpinionBut.com
www.EqualityJusticeForAll.org
www.StopDisabledAbuse.org and
www.StopAllCellPhoneDriving.org

.... and don't EVEN get me started on the environmental abuse that almost
each and every one of us continues to bombard this life-giving
planet with every single day....and too amny are too lazy to stop it.

 

It's time to STOP WATCHING all the fun...

 









 

...and start HAVING IT!!

 



 

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We're not here for a long time, we're here for a GOOD TIME!
So let's get started...and DANCE!!! -- TLChasteen
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Contact:

TerryChasteen@PleaseDanceWithMe.com,
TerryChasteen@InternationalDanceSPORT.com,
TerryChasteen@yahoo.com,
202-462-0870
with any questions about Salsa, Tango, Swing and


Start preparing yourself for the "Battle of the Ballroom"...
STOP WATCHING all the fun....

and START HAVING IT?!!

(Parts of this web site might still be...

 

We want YOU!! ......


to DANCE!!


Terry & Helaine dancng the 'Harlem Shrugs' to Nelly's 'Hot In Here' in Chris Rock's 2003 comedy, Head Of State.


Terry & Sharon dancing the 'Crypt Walks' in the movie and trailer of chris Rock's 2003 comedy Head Of State.


"It's Getting Hot in Here...
so take off all your clothes"...



I am gettinnng so Hot;
I'm gonna' take my clothes off...

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"When the music's playing, I hope you're dancing; I hope you crank up the
volume, kick off your shoes, and have the time of your life!" -- Oprah Winfrey
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(This page is really no longer under construction. I just like the animated 'Undr Kunstrukson' graphic
and the animated clip art family farm that I made and decided to keep them. After all, they don't eat that much...)

 

Use the drop-down menu links at the top of each
page or click here for a complete list of topics included in this web site

AND HURRY! BEFORE ALL THE CLASSES ARE COMPLETELY FILLED UP!!

Join us Out On The Dance Floor!!

 

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