|Davina Kotulski and her wife Molly McKay (at least they used to be married in SF) at a pro-marriage demonstration last year. Marriage rights will be a distant dream if the far right succeeds in getting an anti-marriage measure on the ballot in November. T
Urgent Appeal From Equality Activists
Equality activists say people have a chance to make history. The decades-long fight for the dignity and humanity of the lives of LGBT people has come to this moment, and we can only win with the help of other activists.
Well-funded anti-LGBT organizations are paying people to gather signatures and are using automated phone calls to put a constitutional amendment on the November 2008 ballot that would permanently exclude same-sex couples from marriage.
We need your help more than ever to defeat this initiative, say equality organizations. One way is to volunteer - just a few hours - to help encourage other people to not sign the initiative. Sign up for Equality For Allâ€™s Rapid Response team. Then, ask your friends to join as well.
â€śWhat is most troubling about this initiative is the great lengths our opponents will go to for signatures,â€ť says Geoff Kors, Executive Director of Equality California. â€śMany of you - coalition partners, volunteers and concerned voters - report that the proponents of this destructive measure are harassing and deceiving people for their signatures - so please sign up to volunteer today.â€ť
Kors says a community college employee in Southern California shared her experience: â€śA group of petition gatherers on campus aggressively tried to trick me into signing an anti-LGBT initiative. At first, they told me they had some petitions that I was interested in signing, but after I initialed them - the woman was insistent that I also sign the other petitions that she had with her - one of which was the Protect Marriage Initiative.â€ť She said, â€śI think it is an outcry they would harass voters into signing petitions they do not believe in. Iâ€™m not signing anything I see on the streets because of them.â€ť
In another instance, a petition gatherer in Northern California tried to sell completed petitions to someone who was opposed to the initiative: â€śI asked him not to turn in the signatures that he had already gathered. He said that if I donated to his church, he would give me the petitions to rip up. Underneath his card table he had a little bucket for money donations to his church. He said for $7 I could have the petition, which already had about six or so signatures, and I could destroy it. I told him that I would not do this, because it could be against the law to pay to destroy the signatures.â€ť
These tactics are blatant harassment. â€śWe cannot give the proponents of this initiative any accidental signatures - so please help us encourage everyone to WALK AWAY and DO NOT SIGN when they see these people on the streets,â€ť warns Kors. â€śIf you canâ€™t join us as a volunteer, please forward this email to others who may be able to help.â€ť Kors concludes, â€śWe need everyone who cares about LGBT equality to join us now.â€ť
EQCA urges activists to join Equality For Allâ€™s Rapid Response Team to encourage others to not sign this initiative. â€śWorking with other volunteers near you, our professional team leaders will call you and train you on how you can help. We only need a few hours of your time to make an impact!â€ť Kors says. â€śWe especially need help in San Diego, Orange County, San Gabriel Valley, Riverside and San Bernardino, Fresno and Sacramento.â€ť
â€śThereâ€™s never been another moment quite like this one. So much hangs in the balance. So much is at stake,â€ť Kors says. â€śThe direction of this ballot measure will foretell the direction of our fight for justice. Will it be only a few more years, or will it be another 25? It is up to us.â€ť
Interested activists should go to the eqca.org website, sign up, and volunteer. â€śWe canâ€™t win without you. We are the underdogs in this fight, and it will take all of us to win,â€ť he concludes. â€śWe can defeat the forces of hatred and bigotry that could hold us back, but we need your help.â€ť