Archives – October, 2012
With only one week to go until voters head to the polls in Washington to decide the fate of Referendum 74 and equal rights for gay and lesbian couples in the state, we’re at the most important point for fundraising to help the campaign. It’s all about ground game and get out the vote right now, and every dollar we raise helps us make more phone calls, knock on more doors, and get voters out for equality. If you donate now, you’ll be entered in a drawing for post-election vacation to one of California’s four most beautiful cities. Check out Rick’s email about the drawing below:
There’s only a week until Referendum 74, and we’re still short of our fundraising goal to get out the vote. If you make a contribution to send ANOTHER dozen Courage Campaign members to get out the vote in Washington State and expand our call-out-the-vote program, we’ll enter you in a drawing for a post-election vacation weekend: free round-trip airfare to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Barbara or San Diego, and two nights with pro-equality Kimpton Hotels! It’s the perfect way to do your part before the election, and relax afterwards, too.
Here’s what we know:
- This Friday, over a dozen Courage Campaign volunteers will travel to Seattle for 5 straight days of getting out the vote for Referendum 74 and make Washington the 7th state (plus D.C.) to allow same-sex couples to marry. Hundreds of other Courage members are calling from home.
- Zach, the campaign manager at Washington United for Marriage, just called to ask if we could send another dozen and add another hundred on the phones. The reason? Last week’s poll showing our side below 50%, leading by just 4 points (49-45%) means we HAVE to have a better get-out-the-vote ground game or we’ll lose.
- We just gave away an iPad Mini in our drawing on Monday night. But we’re so committed to beating National Organization for Marriage and winning this fight thatwe’re pitching in with another prize to win in Washington so we don’t have a sick feeling in our stomach on November 7th.
Make a contribution to help us get out the vote for marriage. We’ll enter you in our drawing and put every dollar you contribute to work immediately.Thanks for all you’re doing,
Chair and Founder, Courage Campaign
This is the final stretch, and we’re on the brink of making history by achieving the first popular vote in favor of marriage equality in American history. Help us make that a reality!
Apologies for our absence–Scottie is dealing with computer issues, while my apartment (located in downtown Manhattan) lost power and water yesterday from Hurricane Sandy. It’s been a ride for both of us. I’m now in Brooklyn with power and Internet, and Scottie is on his way back to full operational status. But we’re less than a week away from the election, and of course the marriage equality news has continued apace, despite the storm. Here’s a look at some of the big headlines over the last few days:
- At an Obama campaign event in Sarasota, Florida, Vice President Biden called transgender discrimination the “civil rights issue of our time” after speaking to a woman whose daughter was Miss Trans New England and who asked the vice president if he could help transgender individuals.
- The New York Times editorial board endorsed the pro-marriage equality ballot measures up for a vote next Tuesday in Washington, Maine and Maryland, and spoke out against Minnesota’s anti-gay marriage amendment. The Times also wrote, “The freedom to marry is a fundamental right that should not have to be won or defended at the ballot box. In fact, ballot initiatives are a bad way to write or rewrite laws of any kind.”
- Washington United for Marriage, the pro-equality group campaigning for voters to approve Referendum 74 in Washington, investigated the sudden and inexplicable increase in ‘likes’ for marriage equality opponents on Protect Marriage Washington’s Facebook page, and found that most of those likes had come from Makati, a city in the Phillipines, Chemintz, Germany, Bankgog and Vilnius, in Lithuania.
- The Los Angeles times reported this morning that Brat Pitt is donating $100,000 to the Human Rights Campaign’s National Marriage Fund. In an email to HRC’s supporters, Pitt wrote, “It’s unbelievable to me that people’s lives and relationships are literally being voted on in a matter of days. In Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington, voters will go to the polls to decide if gay and lesbian couples — our friends and neighbors — are worthy of the same protections as everyone else.”
- All four anti-marriage campaigns in Maine, Washington, Maryland and Minnesota have been running variations on the same ad that feature David and Tania Parker, a couple from Massachusetts who were upset by the fact that their kids learned in schools that same-sex couples were allowed to marry. Jeremy Hooper rounded up 15 clips of David Parker’s anti-gay advocacy, in which he calls homosexuality a disease and claims that gay people use children to further their own agenda.
- Mike Signorile found footage of Mitt Romney speaking at a meeting of conservative voters in South Carolina in 2005 about gay parents, a year after Massachusetts legalized marriage equality during his time there as governor. ”Today, same-sex couples are marrying, under the law, in Massachusetts,” Romney said ”Some gays are actually having children born to them. We’ve been asked to remove the phrase ‘mother’ and ‘father’ and replace it with ‘parent A’ and ‘parent B.’ It’s not right on paper. It’s not right in fact. Every child has the right to have a mother and father.
- A new Baltimore Sun poll showed a substantial weakening in support for Question 6, the pro-marriage equality ballot measure in Maryland, with a statistically insignificant lead of one point for opponents of the measure. A September poll found the measure leading by a 10-point margin, with 49 percent of voters supporting it and 39 percent opposing it. Most of that shift came from African-American voters, who supported equal marriage rights in the September poll but opposed it by a 50-42 margin in the October poll. Some critics of the poll have pointed out that it only asked voters if “same-sex marriage” should be legal or illegal, which does not match the language on the ballot measure. Question 6 instead refers to “gay and lesbian couples” and includes explicit protections for religious exemptions.
- In Maine, Brian Arsenault, a straight man being raised by a lesbian couple, recorded one of Mainers United for Marriage’s two final ads in support of Question 1. The other features Rob Stanton and Amy Bongard, a married couple who express their belief that the term “family values” can include gay and lesbian couples, who should have the right to marry.
With the election so close, and the stakes so high, we’re going to need all the help we can get with the four marriage equality campaigns. We’re less than $500 away from our goal of $30,000 in Washington state, where Courage will be helping Washington United for Marriage help Referendum 74 to success in the state. Check out the links below to find out how you can help in Washington. You can find more information about how to get involved in the other state campaigns for marriage equality here: Mainers United for Marriage, Marylanders for Marriage Equality and Minnesotans United for All Families.
Update (4:50 p.m.): We hit the $30,000 mark! Let’s keep raising for Washington–the new goal is $32,000.
What you can do to pass marriage equality in Washington:
1. Contribute to the campaign to approve marriage equality in Washington, via ActBlue.
2. Volunteer to make calls to voters in Washington.
3. Sign up to travel to Washington and help get out the vote! Courage Campaign is arranging out-of-state caravans and travel assistance is available.
By Matt Baume
There’s just one week to go until the election. And President Obama has endorsed the freedom to marry in all four of the states that will vote on the issue. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney has endorsed a constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality.
In just days, four states will vote on the freedom to marry. Polling is still very close. Visit AFER.org/election2012 for ways that you can help all of those campaigns. Meanwhile, President Obama has lent his support to all four races.
In Washington, Obama spokesman Paul Bell said “the President supports a yes vote to approve Referendum 74.”
In Maine, his press secretary says “The president believes same-sex couples should be treated equally and supports Question 1.”
In Maryland, Obama said, “you have a chance to reaffirm that principle [of fairness and equality] in the voting booth in November. It’s the right thing to do.”
And in Minnesota, which will vote on a marriage ban, Obama officials released a statement reading, “the Minnesota ballot initiative … would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples — and that’s why the President does not support it.”
Meanwhile, an advisor to Mitt Romney confirmed this week that the candidate supports a federal constitutional amendment to prohibit the freedom to marry.
Polling in those crucial state races is still close. In Washington, an Elway Poll shows support for Ref 74 dropping under 50 percent. It’s now leading, but just barely, at 49 to 45 percent.
In Minnesota, the proposed marriage ban has 44 percent support to 51 opposed.
And there’s one more state with a vote next week involving the freedom to marry. In Iowa, voters will decide whether to retain one of the Supreme Court justices who struck down the state’s marriage ban.
It was a unanimous decision by a conservative court. But anti-gay activists are pushing to unseat all of the justices. Now Justice David Wiggins is being targeted by groups like NOM.
He needs 50% support to keep his seat, and just as in the other states, it’s going to be close. A Des Moins Register poll shows he has 49% support, with 41% voting to unseat.
There’s still time get involved in Iowa, as well as in Maine, Minnesota, Maryland, and Washington. Visit AFER.org/election2012 for resources that you can use to spread the word about these races and contribute to the campaigns.