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."
A few minutes ago, the California Supreme Court heard the final oral arguments in the case to overturn Proposition 8. Within 90 days, we will know whether the court will restore equal rights or uphold injustice.
No matter what the state Supreme Court decides, the fight for equality will continue in California and across the country.
If we win, the same people who backed Prop 8 will find another way to undermine equal rights. If we lose, we will need to take our case to the people of California again. No matter what, we'll eventually need to win full equality under federal law.
At nearly 700,000 members and growing, the Courage Campaign is building an army to prepare for this fight -- the kind of people-powered movement that Harvey Milk would lead. A movement that proudly portrays -- and tells the stories of -- the people victimized by the discrimination of Prop 8, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the Defense of Marriage Act.
Harvey Milk understood the need to organize communities from the bottom-up, the need for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender people to be out and proud as leaders in this movement, and the need for straight allies to join them in solidarity.
That's why we worked so hard to get the film "Milk" to movie screens across America. We wanted to show a new generation of Americans how Harvey organized to win landmark victories in the fight for equal rights.
Just like Harvey did in 1978 when he led the movement to defeat the "Briggs Initiative," the Courage Campaign is organizing across California to repeal Prop 8 -- training marriage equality activists at "Camp Courage" events, launching Equality Teams county-by-county, and producing online videos like the heartbreaking "Fidelity," viewed by more than 1 million people.
I'm wondering if it will damage the cause if they claim that XXXthousand Americans signed and it turns out a lot of them aren't actually American - I would imagine those that supported prop 8 might also be the type of people who might be opposed to foreigners commenting or even campaigning on US legislation...
Update. The anti-gay bigots are at it again. Just received an alert from Courage Campaign.
Marriage equality is gaining momentum across America.
On Friday, the Iowa Supreme Court -- by a unanimous ruling -- made marriage equality the law of the land. Then the Vermont legislature overturned their Governor's veto of a marriage equality bill by a two-thirds margin on Tuesday.
And now the religious right is responding with a national TV ad filled with fear about a same-sex marriage "storm" gathering across the country.
This morning, the "National Organization for Marriage" launched a disturbing ad using actors to push lies claiming that marriage equalty threatens personal freedoms. The ad is going up on the airwaves across America -- eight times a day in California -- as NOM seeks to build what they are calling a "rainbow coalition" against equality.
We need your help to fight back right now against this deplorable ad. With many legal experts expecting the California Supreme Court to uphold Prop 8, our only option will be to place an initiative on the ballot to restore marriage equality. To repeal Prop 8, we will need to build a grassroots army for change in every county of California.
In response, the Dolby Family is challenging our community to raise $25,000 as a matching grant to fund Camp Courage trainings for marriage equality activists.
Can you help us respond to these lies and distortions by turning fear into hope? Watch this despicable TV ad now and then contribute to support more Camp Courage trainings by helping us meet this generous $25,000 matching grant from the Dolby Family -- thus doubling their amazing donation:
While NOM's TV ad uses actors to portray false victims, Camp Courage is mobilizing real people to speak from their heart, door-to-door across California.
Modeled on the "Camp Obama" training events that helped propel President Obama into the White House, Camp Courage uses the "Story of Self" to transform personal experiences -- each participant's unique inspiration for supporting marriage equality -- into compelling and authentic narratives that can persuade undecided voters.
Here's what Sara P., a participant, said about Camp Courage Los Angeles:
"At any time throughout the day I could look around the room and see a smile on someone's face, a tear running down their cheek, and the wheels turning in their head. Every moment, you could look to your left and look to your right and know that you were sitting next to a fellow soldier, someone that will be, or is, in the trenches with you fighting in the name of justice. How powerful is that?"
To build a movement to push back on the right-wing's lies and fear-mongering, we need to train and empower more people like Sara. These transformative trainings have been held in L.A. and Fresno and now San Diego and the Bay Area are next. Meanwhile, we've also mobilized grassroots organizers to launch 23 Equality Teams and 13 canvass events across California, with teams going door-to-door to talk directly to voters.
Please turn fear into hope. Watch this TV ad right now and then do what you can to help us continue to build an army for marriage equality. Your contribution will help us double the Dolby Family's amazing donation and expand Camp Courage into more locations: