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Past Justice Action Alerts #25
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Sent: Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Subject: JFAM ACTION ALERT- MARRIAGE AMENDMENT (YES, AGAIN!) AND CLOAKED BIGOTRY

“But our rights as Americans do not depend on the approval of others. Our rights depend on us being Americans.” -Civil Rights Leader John Lewis

Hello,
Sending along an ACTION ALERT on the Marriage Amendment front and some election information.

Please, if you are able, pass this along and ask others to join our mailing list, too. If you are organizing an event or creating a group to fight LGBT discrimination, please let us know.

Thank you, as always, for fighting!

Chris


“Marriage Protection Amendment” reintroduced. For a story and HRC take action links: here

PLEASE contact Senator Wayne Allard regarding his introduction of this anti-family amendment: here

(Thanks, Keri and www.loveisloveislove.com )


Tired of those who feel the need to cloak their bigotry in the scapegoating of Americans and their families? Some information…

HRC reports:
The idea that states with anti-GLBT measures on the ballot helped turn out Bush supporters is also misleading. Bush’s percentage points improved in all the states that he won, but they improved more in states without such ballot measures than they did in states that had anti-GLBT ballot measures. Kerry even won in Oregon and Michigan, but both states passed anti-GLBT amendments.
In exit polls across the country, 60% of voters said they support legal relationship recognition for same-sex couples. The initial allegation that same-sex marriage was the “moral value” that helped elect Bush is being widely discredited. And so called “moral values” – in addition to being a vague category not a specific issue -- was the top issue for mainly evangelical voters who were going to vote for Bush anyway.

More good news from Massachusetts: All state legislators who voted against a discriminatory constitutional amendment last spring were re-elected on November 2nd. This is despite concerted efforts by anti-equality groups to unseat them because of their vote. Additionally, two representatives who voted for the anti-GLBT amendment were defeated.

AND

REPORT SHOWS VOTERS SUPPORT LEGISLATORS WHO OPPOSE DISCRIMINATION
WASHINGTON - State legislators who voted against marriage discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in 2004 state legislatures were not hurt by their votes when they sought re-election, according to a new study released today by the Equality Federation and the Human Rights Campaign.

News reports leading up to and following the 2004 elections often suggested that same-sex marriage rights cost many legislators their seats, as many voters went to the polls on "moral values." However, the study released today challenges that characterization.

"This study is a reminder that people who support equality for all families and couples are also moral values voters," said Toni Broaddus, Executive Director of the Equality Federation. "As the debate about how to protect all families continues in the states, legislators should be confident that they can vote for equality without fear for their jobs."

"Voting against discrimination is good policy and good politics," said Seth Kilbourn, HRC's national field director. "Anyone trying to score political points by discriminating against same-sex couples should be put on notice. Prejudice does not win at the polls."

The topline results of the study concluded:

In 2004, legislators in 28 states cast votes on proposed bills, constitutional amendments and resolutions that dealt specifically with the right of same-sex couples to marry. Legislators in 22 of these 28 states faced the voters in November.

Eight hundred and eighty-one legislators in these 22 states cast votes opposing discrimination. Of those 881 legislators, 640 faced re-election in 2004.[1]
Of the 640 legislators for whom the issue of marriage could have factored into their election, 604 won.

In the races of the 36 legislators who lost, the legislator's vote against discrimination was cited as a factor in only 11 races.

Only 1.7 percent of state legislators running for re-election lost their race because of their vote against banning marriage for same-sex couples.

Ninety-four percent of legislators who voted against discrimination were re-elected. This re-election rate is consistent with or higher than the average rate of re-election for all state legislators which is 90 percent for state House incumbents and 92 percent of state Senate incumbents.

Triangle Foundation will use the data in this report to help convince Michigan legislators to vote for fairness for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens.

"More and more data shows opposing anti-gay discrimination is rewarded by voters on election day," said Sean Kosofsky, of Triangle Foundation in Michigan. "Fair-minded legislators can vote against discrimination without jeopardizing their re-election races."

Triangle Foundation advocates for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Michiganians.
The Equality Federation is a national coalition of statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organizations, working to secure full civil rights in every U.S. state and territory.
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.The remainder did not seek re-election, were not up for re-election, ran for other offices or were subject to term limits.

(Thanks, Amy!)

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