On March 5th, the Supreme Court will hear the oral arguments against the passing on Prop 8. A group called 'Courage Campaign' is trying to get 250,000 signatures on a letter that goes like this:
"We, the undersigned, share President Barack Obama's view that "for too long, issues of LGBT rights have been exploited by those seeking to divide us. It's time to move beyond polarization and live up to our founding promise of equality by treating all our citizens with dignity and respect."
Yet, on December 19, 2008, Ken Starr and the Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund filed legal briefs efending the constitutionality of Prop 8 and seeking to nullify the marriages of 18,000 devoted same-sex couples solemnized before Prop 8 passed.
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in this case on March 5, with a decision expected within 90 days.
We, the undersigned, ask that the Court enforce the equality promised to each of us by our constitution and invalidate Prop 8. So doing will protect all loving, committed couples in California -– including the 18,000 who said "I do" last year –- and prevent the initiative process from being a tool for stripping vulnerable minorities of precious constitutional rights.
As Americans who believe in the rule of law and fundamental civil rights, we know that Ken Starr and the Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund's shameful attempt to nullify equal protection and all these bonded unions will be condemned in the eyes of history. We know that, ultimately, love will prevail, no matter how hard they try to fight it."
Last night, Black and Sean Penn won Academy Awards for their wonderful work in the creation of "Milk" -- the film chronicling the life and times of Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in American history. Cleve Jones, who worked with Milk in the 1970's and pushed for many years to get this beautiful film made, smiled proudly from the audience.
If you have not seen Dustin Lance Black's short, but moving acceptance speech -- broadcast to over 30 million Americans Sunday night -- please take a moment to watch it now. Then sign our note of congratulations to Dustin, Sean, and Cleve and thank them for their life-changing film. If you feel so inspired, please write a short note letting them know how "Milk" has touched your life:
As Dustin put it backstage in an interview after his acceptance speech, he felt that this appearance on the Oscar stage was an opportunity to "pay it forward" to millions of people -- especially teenagers living in fear of what might happen if they come out:
"For me, the whole thing was always to... pay it forward. You know, Harvey gave me his story... Oh, I'm going to cry [pauses to compose himself]... Harvey gave me his story and it saved my life. And I just thought it's time to pass it on... The only thing I really knew I wanted to say was to tell those kids out there that they're going to be alright."
They are going to be OK, but only if we all follow in the footsteps of Harvey Milk and continue fighting for equality for all Americans.
You can help Dustin Lance Black pay it forward now by sending this email to your friends and family -- especially the people who most need to watch his inspiring acceptance speech. Then sign our congratulatory note to Dustin, Sean Penn, and Cleve Jones and consider adding a few words of your own about what "Milk" means to you:
Thank you for sharing this momentous speech with the people you care about the most and giving them the opportunity to share it with their loved ones as well.
P.S. In addition to being the driving forces behind making "Milk" a reality, Dustin Lance Black and Cleve Jones were both active in working to defeat Prop 8 before the election. And they were both in the streets in the aftermath of Prop 8's passage, protesting the enshrinement of discrimination into California's state constitution. Cleve also gave the keynote speech at the first Camp Courage in Los Angeles and plans to attend the Fresno training on March 7-8.
I wish I could do more to help.
Up here in Canada, equal marriage has been reality for several years now, and guess what? Society hasn't collapsed, divorce rates haven't soared, Teh Gheyz aren't corrupting children or whatever other bullshit 'consequences' opponents of equal rights said would come from it.
Be strong, Nerdfighters. Equality will come in time if we all work hard for it.