The New Jersey State Senate has passed marriage equality legislation by a vote of 24-16.
Op-Ed by Marcinho Savant:
Really!? After the histrionic, poorly cloaked in insincere concern, and portrayed by ACTORS, television Ad Campaign, one of the pivotal figures in the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has righteously flown the proverbial coop!
Asserting a growing bond of humanity against those he sought to oppress as a member of NOM, he has had a change of heart that allowed him to think of the GLBTI couples as ‘human’ and not deserving of the rhetorical, dogmatic assault on civil liberties.
To Mr. Louis Marinelli I say, “Thank you for realizing that we’re not that different, Sir. I suspect we BOTH just want to live and love without outside intervention into our personal liberties. There is NO GRAY AREA in Equality! I thank you for recognizing that. I’d like to buy you a cocktail sometime (“No Homo”— WAIT… BIG Homo! WHAT!? Well I AM! But Mr. Marinelli has NOTHING to fear!).
It is a rare and extraordinary man who recognizes and seeks to correct a wrongdoing. I salute your candor, bravery and logical empathy. May you be eternally blessed!
HERE’S THE SCOOP! GRATEFUL H/T AT @hrc
via Human Rights Campaign ( @hrc ) By Dan Rafter
Louis Marinelli, a key strategist for the National Organization for Marriage, has undergone what he calls a “transition” from being an ardent opponent of the LGBT community and marriage equalityspecifically to supporting civil marriage between LGBT couples. Jeremy Hooper of Good As You broke the story earlier today.
Marinelli oversaw NOM’s online social media properties and actually drove the bus during NOM’s Summer 2010 bus tour. It was that tour, he tells Hooper, that began making him into an equality supporter. “The lesbian and gay people whom I made a profession out of opposing became real people for me almost instantly. For the first time I had empathy for them and remember asking myself what I was doing.”
“April 29, 2009
Today the United States House of Representatives voted 249 to 175 in favor of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H. R. 1913), moving one step closer to the passage of the first federal law to include gender identity and transgender people in a positive way. This bill would add sexual orientation, gender identity, gender and disability to the categories included in existing federal hate crimes law and would allow local governments who are unable or unwilling to address hate crimes to receive assistance from the federal government.
“This is a great day for America,” commented Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, “as we make a clear statement that all lives are valuable and that no one deserves to be targeted for violence just because they are transgender. It is vital that we make it absolutely clear that violence motivated by bias is not tolerated in our country, because while this is a victory, the true victory will come when everyone is genuinely free from violence and discrimination. That’s what we are working for.”
Transgender people continue to be disproportionately targeted for bias motivated violence and thirteen states and Washington, DC have laws which include transgender people in state hate crimes laws.
JOIN US IN THANKING LOBBY DAY PARTICIPANTS
Over 200 people participated in activities over the past three days as a part of NCTE’s Lobby Days and Religious Leaders Summit. Please join us in thanking them for braving the heat here in DC to talk with literally hundreds of members of Congress about the need to pass the hate crimes bill and protections against employment discrimination. Their presence at the Capitol on the eve of this vote was so important. Thank you to each and every one of them.
WHAT YOU CAN DO NEXT
Important next steps you can take
- Contact your Senators’ offices and ask for their support for the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, S.909, which was introduced yesterday by Senator Edward Kennedy.
- If your Representative voted for H.R. 1913, please call or e-mail them today and thank them for their vote. You can find your member of Congress at www.house.gov. Find out how your member of Congress voted by checking our website later today.
WHAT THE BILL SAYS
The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act would:
Extend existing federal protections to include “gender identity, sexual orientation, gender and disability”
Allow the Justice Department to assist in hate crime investigations at the local level when local law enforcement is unable or unwilling to fully address these crimes
Mandate that the FBI begin tracking hate crimes based on actual or perceived gender identity
Remove limitations that narrowly define hate crimes to violence committed while a person is accessing a federally protected activity, such as voting.
The Hate Crimes Prevention Act is supported by nearly 300 civil rights, education, religious, and civic organizations. The bill is also endorsed by virtually every major law enforcement organization in the country-including the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National District Attorneys Association, the National Sheriffs Association, the Police Executive Research Forum, and thirty-one state Attorneys General.
For more information:
Read the specifics about this legislation from the Library of Congress, go to their website and search by bill H.R. 1913
View our fact sheet about the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act and read additional information about hate crimes on our website
Thank you for taking action on this vital issue as we work together to make our world safer for transgender people.
National Center for Transgender Equality”
Note: Mara is the founding Executive Director of NCTE. A Pennsylvania native, Mara came to Washington after co-chairing the Pennsylvania Gender Rights Coalition. Mara is a transgender-identified woman who also identifies as a parent and a Pennsylvanian. She is a graduate of Penn State University and did her graduate work at Harvard University in American Government. She has served on the board of Directors of Common Roads, an LGBTQ Youth Group, and on the steering committee of the Statewide Pennsylvania Rights Coalition. Mara has almost twenty-five years of professional experience in social marketing and opinion research.
RELATED: And this from Joe Solmonese of HRC
“We just got the news: the U.S. House has passed the fully inclusive Matthew Shepard Act.
This was not an easy victory. But we WON in the House – thanks in part to the tireless, fearless Judy Shepard, who joined me in critical last-minute meetings on Capitol Hill today.
Now the battle moves to the Senate.
We need every Senator to know we want quick action on the inclusive hate crimes bill. You’ve emailed, you’ve called, you’ve donated – and I thank you deeply – but I hope you understand that this fight is far from over.
President Obama has pledged to sign the bill, but to get it to his desk we’ll need to pass it through the Senate first. And with the lies from right-wing groups ALREADY intensifying – one group went so far as to say the bill makes “pedophiles a protected class” and is “pro-child molester” – it’s not going to be easy.
The scare tactics continue. Anti-LGBT groups sent lawmakers a note linking to a poster of Jesus that says “WANTED For Violation of the Proposed Hate Crimes Law In His Teachings.”
Our only defense is the truth: in the ten years since Matthew Shepard’s death, tens of thousands more people have been violently attacked for being who they are. It took ten years of lobbying and educating to get to this point – our long wait for hate crimes protections must end now.
Ten friends of yours can help. Send the video to ten friends now!”