Thank you for working toward "Justice For All"!
First, please let me express my gratitude to you, once more, for your support in the fight against fear, ignorance and hatred and for equality. From the response to the first email distributed on the weekend of July 4, 2004 to over 16000 hits to the site (initiated in September of 2004) in just over the first two months alone...your support has been so generous. (We now stand at almost 42,000 hits.)
Unfortunately, there are now more and larger challenges in the area of marriage equality than ever. Therefore, the site is being updated and reconstructed to maintain participation in these battles.
• As we have since the beginning, we will push to highlight the differences between civil and religious marriage. This is addressed at length on the FAQ page. These facts are often ignored by those who wish to frame the discussion of marriage in ignorance and fear. Specifics such as the truths that civil marriage provides access to over 1,000 Federal protections, responsibilities and benefits as well as many afforded by states individually and that churches would not be forced to perform ceremonies for same-sex couple are often kept out of the conversation.
• As addressed in the first email in July of 2004, we will work to feature the dangers of a majority deciding the fate of a minority and the use of the constitution to deny rights and to codify discrimination.
• We will continue attempt to provide tools to assist with contacting your elected officials as well as local media to HAVE YOUR VOICE HEARD.
• We will continue to feature new UNITED VOICES of faith, politics, civil rights, the media and "we the people".
• We will never ask for monetary donations, rather the more valuable gift of voices of support and education.
• We will work to follow current situations. Some of the most recent areas of concern include:
• The next round of battle regarding the reintroduced Federal Marriage Amendment that would ban same-sex marriage and put civil unions and domestic partnerships at risk with a vote scheduled in less than one month.
• In response to a letter sent by one of his constituents calling for Michigan State Senator Mike Goschka (R-Saginaw) to "abide by Joyce Draganchuck's recent ruling declaring that the Marriage Amendment does not prohibit public employers from offering domestic partnership health care benefits", Senator Goschka wrote:
"Homosexual and lesbian unions under any arrangements does not, and never will, constitute a family."
(He also was among the signers to a letter sent to the AFL-CIO admonishing the organization for taking a stand against constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage.)
• A new study finds that same sex marriage bans cause psychological trauma. The National Sexuality Resource Center at San Francisco State University explores the impact of discrimination and marriage on the mental health and well-being of gay men and lesbians and concludes that denying them the rights to marry causes psychological and social harm to them, their families and children. Utilizing over 150 studies complied from over a 20-year time span, the researchers found a strong correlation between marriage and a sense of well being. In the conclusion, the researchers state that "...marriage is not only a primary means for achievement of social, legal, moral, political and economic benefits and rights in the United States but also a critical way to enhance the authenticity of the self and intimate relations."
An article by Anthony Baldman can be found here
The report "I Do, But I Can't" (Adobe Reader required) can be found here
WE WANT YOU! If you have ideas or would like to help with Justice For All, let us know. (And we are really pushing to expand our contact list. Please help us spread the word. Alerts and contacts are generated as judiciously as possible.)
As always, my most sincere appreciation for your involvement and for helping to illustrate the similarities between people and to not accept the efforts by some to divide.
Finally, much gratitude for your patience as the site updating continues and pages evolve.