Saturday, January 10, 2009

DOMA and Lesbian/Gay Families News Briefs

DOMA Protest flyer DOMA and Lesbian/Gay Families News Briefs

Today is the National DOMA Protest organized by Join The Impact, which is hoping to collect one million signatures to present to President-elect Barack Obama asking him to fulfill his promise to repeat DOMA which he made in his Open Letter to the LGBTQ Community in early 2008.

If you have not yet signed this letter and/or want to participate in a DOMA protest in your area, here's a quick link to states and cities with planned action.

Join The Impact has this summary of DOMA:

"On September 21st, 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was signed into federal law. DOMA, wrote discrimination into the Constitution with two strict regulations:

"No state (or other political subdivision within the United States) need treat a relationship between persons of the same sex as a marriage, even if the relationship is considered a marriage in another state.

"The Federal Government may not treat same-sex relationships as marriages for any purpose, even if concluded or recognized by one of the states.

"To drive the point even further, 37 states slowly but surely adopted DOMA as a state-wide regulation further amending state Constitutions. This appalling law tells the American people that it is OK to discriminate. That it is OK to recognize the LGBTQ community as less than equal. This same law, that the California Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional set the precedence for Proposition 8. This same law has nullified many rights that come with Domestic Partnerships. This law has nullified the heterosexual rights that come with Common Law Marriage. This law blurred the lines of separation of church and state even further."

Yesterday, President-elect Obama recommitted to repealing the ridiculous "Don't Ask Don't Tell", according to John Avarosis. Let's send DOMA to the outhouse at the same time.


When I called the Campbell's Soup Line to give them positive feedback for publishing a magazine ad showing a lesbian-parented family (see my earlier post on this here), I began by saying I was calling to thank them. But once I launched, explaining that I was a lesbian parent myself, I had a grown daughter with children as well as having had a mother who was at one time a lesbian, so I was speaking for four generations of family who knew lesbians were good parents, the woman taking my call interrupted me to say, in a tone of relief, "You're calling to praise us?"

"Indeed I am, ma'am. I grew up on Campbell's soups, and at age 53 it's good to know my consumer choices have gone to a company which understands family is what we choose it be."

"Well, we're really glad to hear it." Her tone was effusive. "I'll be sure to pass this on to everybody else, I can tell you, they'll want to hear it."

So, they're still under siege over there from the organized hate of the (sic) American Family Association.. The phone line (1-800-257-8443) may be on voice mail for the weekend, but an e-mail to Anthony Sanzio, the Group Director for Corporate and Brand Communications for Campbell Soup Company ( can be sitting there in his box waiting on him Monday morning.

Maggie with daughter, August 1977 (Maggie with her daughter, August 1977, Denton, Texas; photo by Mary Austin)

Another action you might find it fulfilling to take, from the Washington Blade:

"Have you experienced harm due to religion-based bigotry?

"Faith In America, an non-profit organization that aims to free members of the LGBT community from bigotry disguised as religious truth, is collecting personal stories from Americans from all walks of life who have in some way experienced the harm caused by religion-based bigotry.

"You can email your story to The organization will deliver the personal stories to Pastor Warren prior to the inauguration.

"Learn more at End the Harm."

And if you do send them a story that you'd also like to share in a post here on the topic, shoot me an e-mail with it at redredhands dot sbcglobal dot net. If I get a good selection, I'll be happy to give them a wider audience. Please note, this is NOT limited to LGBT people: Religious bigotry hurts all of us.

(Poster by Austin Cline.)

Speaking of PRick Warren -- Now, for a reality check about how Prop (h)8 came to be passed. An in-depth analysis commissioned by the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund in San Francisco, and released under the auspices of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute states "party affiliation, political ideology, frequency of attending worship services and age were the driving forces behind the measure’s passage on Nov. 4. The study finds that after taking into account the effect of religious service attendance, support for Proposition 8 among African Americans and Latinos was not significantly different than other groups. Through a precinct-by-precinct analysis and review of multiple other sources of data, the study also puts African-American support for Proposition 8 at no more than 59 percent, nowhere close to the 70 percent reported the night of the election. Finally, the study shows how support for marriage equality has grown substantially across almost all California demographic groups — except Republicans."

[You can download the report here -- it's a PDF file.]

"The study found that four factors — party identification, ideology, frequency of religious service attendance and age — drove the “yes” vote for Proposition 8. For example, more than 70 percent of voters who were Republican, identified themselves as conservative, or who attended religious services at least weekly supported Proposition 8. Conversely, 70 percent or more of voters who were Democrat, identified themselves as liberal, or who rarely attended religious services opposed the measure. More than two-thirds (67 percent) of voters 65 or older supported Proposition 8, while majorities under 65 opposed it.

"Since the passage of Proposition 8, much has been said about the supposed dramatic opposition to marriage equality among African Americans, fueled by National Election Pool (NEP) figures based on sampling in only a few precincts that erroneously indicated 70 percent of California ’s African Americans supported Proposition 8. The study found that when religious service attendance was factored out, however, there was no significant difference between African Americans and other groups.

"In other words, people of all races and ethnicities who worship at least once a week overwhelmingly supported Proposition 8, with support among white, Asian and Latino frequent churchgoers actually being greater than among African Americans."

When they're telling us we're being kept down by another group targeted for oppression, count on one thing: They lie, they lie, they lie.

"The study found that overall support for marriage equality has increased by 9 percent since 2000, with support increasing among every age group under age 65, across all racial and ethnic groups and among Protestants, Catholics and Jews. There are three “holdout” groups where voting patterns have not changed: Republicans, conservatives, and those 65 and older. The largest gain — up 16 percent — was among voters 45-64 years of age, followed by a 13 percent increase among voters 18-29."

“For many years, the forces of religious and political intolerance inside the GOP have used the supposed threat of ‘gay marriage’ to divide the country and energize their base. But these figures show virtually everyone else moving in the opposite direction,” said Jim Carroll, managing director of Let California Ring. “The Republican Party is clearly in crisis and the real question is whether it will realize that using the divide-and-conquer tactics of the past is harmful to the country and to the party’s long-term interests.”