|Courage Campaign Founder and Chair Rick Jacobs leads by example.
The Courage Campaign is extending the deadline for "Testimony: Take a Stand," featuring Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black to 11:59 p.m. PST, July 11. The video project is part of their larger effort to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) by using real stories from lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and straight allies.
Positive videos from 47 states that have been uploaded to the Courage Campaign's Testimony website. Due to their servers being so overwhelmed last week, the deadline for the video challenge has been extended everyone has a chance to upload their testimonies.
One of the many notable videos comes from Nelda and Karen, a Scottsdale, Arizona couple who recently celebrated 53 years together. The two women are raising two nieces who would have ended up in the foster system had it not been for them. "Being married and raising our girls would've made our lives much easier," said Nelda. "We don't receive the tax advantages that married folks get."
Rick Jacobs, the chair and founder of the Courage Campaign, said after viewing many of the videos, he came to the conclusion that he should lead by example and create his own video. "I'm from Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and there are some horrible things happening in my home state, including Governor Haslam signing a bill outlawing protections for LGBT people," said Jacobs. "He may even sign legislation banning the word 'gay.' I had to speak out." He added, "We have to start telling stories - straight or LGBT - of why we support equality to being this long-term process of changing hearts and minds in places like Tennessee."
Later this summer, Black will pack up his own production crew and fly to the hometowns of three equality supporters to film their stories for a TV public service announcement.
Courage Campaign is a multi-issue online organizing network that empowers more than 700,000 grassroots and net-roots supporters to work for progressive change and full equality in California and across the country. Through a one-of-a-kind online tool called "Testimony: Take a Stand," the Courage Campaign is chronicling the sights, sounds, and stories of LGBT families and all who wage a daily struggle against discrimination across America. For more information about Testimony, visit couragecampaign.org/Testimony.