I received an email today from a good friend who was grieving over the passage of proposition 8, the amendment to the California constitution that stripped gay couples of their right to marry. The amendment reads: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California"- and it completely overrides the recent CA Supreme Court decision that marriage rights between same-sex couples were a "human right." In her email, my friend said that, upon hearing the decision she cried and called out to friends and family: "teach me to be an activist. What can I do to make that small difference?"
As I crafted my response, I realized that I wasn't only writing to her; I was doing the research for myself and for all of my friends who had been expressing the same reaction over the past few days. (Tears, then anger... we're working through the stages of grief...) So, with the thought of many of my closest friends in mind, here are a number of ways to be an activist about this.
(*A note of warning: sorry for all the links! But they're to some integral stuff, I promise! Also, my copy and paste function doesn't work in this browser for some reason, but the link tool does. Go figure.*)
1. Go to one of the many many protests being organized all over the country! Tell your friends! Print posters and hang them EVERYWHERE! Post blogs! Send text messages! Get out the... uhm.. anger? (Providence, Chicago, Boston, Prescott AZ, Baltimore, Manchester NH, DC, Ithaca NY ) I cannot believe the number of protests that are scheduled for Saturday! At least one in EVERY STATE! I don't think I've ever seen a better organized protest campaign. Anyway, for links to more cities, posters, video advertisements and anything else about the protests check out the Join the Impact website! (Also- anyone know how to ensure that your local protest gets news coverage? Is it possible to just email your local paper or news station with a heads up? I don't know, but I'm it would be great for the ultimate size of this event to be properly publicized for once.)
(get your poster-paints and big-gay-flags outta the closet- we're goin' protesting!)
2. Never stop being angry at the Mormons. Never. (They bankrolled most of the $ spent on the campaign to pass prop 8.) In fact, I've even heard rumors on a queer boycott of the state of Utah. Seriously! I don't know if that's really practical, but for what it's worth, I'm not going to Utah for the forseeable future! Take that!
(Seriously, guys.... no Romney, ok?)
3. If moving to California to join the fight there is not quite possible for you right now, check out the marriage equality status of the state you're living in. Unless you live in Massachussets (or sort-of Vermont and New Jersey with their "civil union" versions,) your state probably has some dubious laws that are being tirelessly fought by some very weary non-profit people. Look 'em up and go help 'em out. (Even if it just means sending them a coupla' bucks or showing up to events they organize... they need participants almost as much as they need volunteers.)
4. Stay informed in upcoming months about national and local political stuff about Marriage Equality. I've heard that 2010 is the year to overturn the California decision, but 44/50 states have laws on the books than negatively affect gay marriage. There have got to be things in the mean time that we can do. I suggest listening to pundits like Dan Savage (of the Savage Love column and podcast) and watching the ever-HOT Rachel Maddow, and of course Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert... and any other national or local news sources you rely on.
(why-oh-why won't they let her wear her glasses on the show?!? Soooo hot....)
Please please please let me know if there are any other things that anyone can think of to do to be of use on this (and any) issue! I would love the blog to be much more interactive... with comments, clearly, but also with guest writers on related topics and maybe even actual discussions of issues. So please, talk to me, people! And...
Get off the internet, I'll meet you in the streets!! (City Hall, Saturday, 1:30-4pm. I'll be the really gay one.)