The vibe under the sunshine at the corner of Castro and Market was positive and determined — a few hundred people maybe (I’m horrible at estimating), just the right size for the location. The immediate purpose was to organize for signature-gathering for the Open Letter to President Obama, with people fanning out afterwards to BART stops, busy street-corners, the Gaza protest … in the broader context, it’s another building block in the “Stonewall 2.0” wave of activism catalyzed by groups like Join the Impact and Courage Campaign that I’ve blogged about in Petitions are soooooo 20th century and Taking social network activism (and LGBTQ rights) to the next level.
One way to take action now: gather signatures for the open letter. There’s a very short deadline of Monday but that’s still plenty of time to help — even “just” hitting the friends-and-family circuit the way we are can make a big difference. And of course help get the word out about the effort.
|Another way you can help: vote in change.org’s Idea for Change in America competition. Jen Nedeau’s idea Pass Marriage Equality Rights for LGBT Couples Nationwide is in fifth place so far. The top 10 ideas when voting ends on January 15 will be presented to the Obama Administration on Inauguration Day and will be supported by a national lobbying campaign run by Change.org, MySpace, and some great non-profit partners. There are a lot of other great ideas there being promoted very effectively* so any assistance here would be greatly appreciated.|
At the rally, Stuart Gaffney of Marriage Equality laid out the political landscape: the steadily-increasing strength of support for repealing DOMA (Bob Barr!) and the need to keep it a priority for President-elect Obama, Speaker Pelosi (who’s also the Castro’s representative) and the new Congress. Heather Gold talked about “we have the internet now — we don’t need to wait for big slow organizations with letters in their name decide to act”, and also the importance of reaching out directly to other people face-to-face. Caitlin of Courage Campaign gave a quick “know your rights” tutorial for signature gatherers, and then folks got organized and fanned out. Very impressive organizing.
Especially with the optimistic and resulote mood at the historic corner, a few short weeks after seeing Milk at the Castro theater … y’know, it was one of those moments where I just feel lucky to be part of it.
And now off to gather signatures, something I really hate doing. Sigh. Oh well, if changing the world were easy everybody would do it.
* including Work with Congress to Pass the Matthew Shepard Act, Pass the DREAM Act – Support Higher Education for All Students — and my own Get FISA Right, repeal the PATRIOT Act, and restore our civil liberties hanging tough at #7. Please consider voting for all of them too!
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