Ready, Fire, Aim! - Mihail's Public Blog: Against or for equality? Then make a call!

Thursday, June 2, 2005

Against or for equality? Then make a call!

As some of you know, AB19 is up for vote today in the California Assembly which provides all families with equal legal protections.  Called the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act and sponsored by Assemblymember Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez (D-Los Angeles), and 30 co-authors. For the first time in our nation's history, a state legislative body will be voting on whether to grant same-sex couples the right to obtain a civil marriage license. 

This has nothing to do with religious marriage. No one will force any religious leader to marry same-sex couples but it will require that the state allow same-sex couples to have a civil marriage.

Today legislators will take a stand either for or against equality as we and the more than 200 diverse organizations on record in support of AB 19 — from ministries to community centers — witness history being made.  Today’s vote is about more than just marriage.  It is about allowing lesbians and gay men to take responsibility for their families.  It is about safety.  And, it is about equal treatment under the law.  Equality is a value that is deeply rooted in our history and traditions, and this legislation, if passed, will honor and celebrate this fundamental value. 

If you agree, then please pick up the phone and call the assemblymembers listed below. You need to simply say the following:

"I'm urging the Assemblymember to please vote yes on AB 19. This is very important to me. Thank you."

That's it...less than a minute and your voice will be heard. Thank you.

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Sacramento Capitol Building
June 2, 2005
9:30 A.M. PST

First, I have to thank those of you who made calls yesterday to Assemblymembers that are on the fence about AB 19. Many of them reported how your kind encouragement has helped them, especially as anti-gay people call with threats and anger. Because of your calls yesterday, many of these undecided legislators are now leaning towards us. We NEED you to continue this positive support. 

This battle has proven the commitment and leadership of Assemblymember Leno and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez to stand with us, and Equality California's staff and friends worked late into the night leaving no stones unturned. This is the team you are part of; we couldn't do this without you.

We can win today, but only if you remain engaged in this fight. This vote will come down to whether our friends in the legislature believe we care about being treated with the same dignity and respect 

This debate comes down to what legislators believe:

Assemblymember Dennis Mountjoy said yesterday, "They [LGBT people] want to be told, they want our children to be told, that homosexuality is OK, that it's natural...I'm here to tell you it's not OK, it's not natural, and I don't want our children taught that."


Assemblymember Jackie Goldberg said, "Unless you are willing to look me in the face and say I am not a human being, just as you are, you have no right to deny me access to marriage in this state or anywhere else."

Today is another day and another opportunity for our elected officials to do what is right. Help us open their hearts to vote for equality!

Please contact the following legislators and encourage them to stand with Jackie Goldberg, Mark Leno, and John Laird...three openly gay Assemblymembers who work beside them everyday. We need these friends to stand up for us more than ever before! This list is prioritized with the most important at the top.

Assemblymember Rudy Bermudez (D-Norwalk)
Told EQCA on a Candidate Questionnaire He Would Support Legislation to Allow Same-Sex Couples to Marry in California
Call: 916-319-2056 capitol office/ 562-866-3391 district office

Assemblymember Tom Umberg (D-Santa Ana) 
Won his 2004 Primary by 400 votes with the strong backing of the LGBT Community
Call: 916-319-2069 capitol office/ 714-939-8469 district office

Assemblymember Gloria Negrete-McLeod (D-Ontario)
Has always voted for equality until now
Call: 916-319-2061 capitol office / 909-621-2783 district office

Assemblymember Jerome Horton (D-Inglewood) 
Was the key vote in passing AB 25 which gave domestic partners key rights
Call: 916-319-2051 capitol office / 310-412-6400 district office

Assemblymember Ed Chavez (D-La Puente) 
Understands the importance of equality, but is afraid we will not stand by him if he supports us
Call: 916-319-2057 capitol office /626-961-8492 district office

Assemblymember Simon Salinas (D-Salinas) 
Has been a strong friend of the LGBT community despite representing a tough district
Call: 916-319-2028 capitol office/ 831-759-8676 district office

As always, we will keep you updated throughout the day today.


Steve Hansen
Associate Director of Legislative Affairs
Equality California


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