Monday, March 15, 2010

Virginia: Standup and GetEQUAL

Here in Virginia we currently have a governor who refuses to continue the tradition set by former governors of issuing an executive that bans discrimination in the state workforce based upon sexual orientation and an attorney general who wrote a letter to Virginia's colleges saying they shouldn't have rules that prevent discrimination based upon sexual orientation. This unfortunately means that Virginia has turned into an example of how the extreme right has been successful in allowing the basic civil rights of a group of people to be blatantly violated. Fortunately, there are people from all over the country who believe that discrimination is wrong and that we should stand up for equality.

It is in the spirit of standing up for love and equality that Robin McGehee and Kip Williams, who were Co-Directors of the National March for Equality, have launched a national organization called GetEQUAL with the mission "to create a movement of everyday people—lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and straight—who are dedicated to bringing about full legal and social equality." Their first action was to send out an email asking for people to join them "in pledging to take bold action to demand equality for LGBTQ people, and to hold accountable any person or organization who stands in our way."

They also included a video of Will Phillips, who is a young man who refused to say the pledge of allegiance because he believes discrimination against members of the LGBT community means there isn't "liberty and justice for all." The video helps to remind us of how a relatively small action can have a large impact. Plus, if a elementary school student has the courage to stand up for equality, then why can't others?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for posting our information. If people in VA are looking for a way to fight back - here is a great opportunity. Take over the event that Ken Cuccinelli is speaking at on Tuesday of next week!!!

    Hello Friends,
    You may have heard that the Virginia Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, has advised VA public universities that any policy the university might have voluntarily adopted prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation is contrary to VA law. That is, it's illegal for public universities - such as my law school, George Mason (GMUSL) - to not discriminate based on sexual orientation.
    If that's not bad enough, George Mason has rolled over and isn't standing up for LGBT rights.
    Yet there's an exciting twist here. Cuccinelli is a GMUSL alum. And he's coming to GMUSL's campus on Tuesday, March 23 at 4pm. Can you lend your voice to help us send a message to George Mason and AG Cuccinelli that we will not be second-class citizens?

    GALLA (Mason Law's LGBTQ student group) will be protesting the event, and we're looking for friends to help magnify our impact. As some of you may know, our LGBT community here at Mason Law is very small. We're asking for help from all quarters, trying to draw in as many vocal supporters as we can. I've been in touch with schools throughout Virginia and DC trying to rustle up a crowd. And I'm also asking you.
    Could you and some of your friends - LGBTQ or allies, law students or otherwise - come to our protest? We need all the support we can find. Please forward this email widely to anyone you think would be interested - we'd love alums, law students, undergrad students, non-law grad students, LGBTQ or allies. We'd also love ordinary non-student people who think discrimination is wrong, that public universities should be able to voluntarily adopt policies of non-discrimination based on sexual orientation, and Cuccinelli's policy is dramatically out of step with what Virginia wants and needs.
    Our facebook page is here - please friend us on facebook, post the event to your profile, put it in your status message, and invite your friends. Forward this email widely. Help us get this thing viral! We want to make a statement, and since Cuccinelli and Mason don't want to hear us we have to make them!

    Thanks, everyone - hope to see you there!