The most important thing in this election is THE FOUR. TheFour2012.com is a website that brings you messages of love and support from people of all kinds, from committed gay couples, to grandparents, to religious leaders, to public figures like Jay-Z, Bruce Springsteen, and sports figures like Brendan Ayanbadejo of the Baltimore Ravens and Chris Cluwe of the Minnesota Vikings.
Four states this election have ballot measures that hold the marriages of gay couples in the balance. Those “FOUR” are Washington State, Maryland, Maine and Minnesota.
In Maine, they had gay marriage until 2009, when it was voted away. Now, they finally may have the votes to overturn that and get it back. Vote YES ON 1 to APPROVE marriage equality laws that have already passed and were taken away.
In Maryland and Washington, lawmakers passed marriage equality bills in February and their governors signed them. The ballot measures will determine whether those laws will live or die. Vote YES ON 6 in Maryland, and vote YES ON 74 in Washington. These votes will APPROVE marriage equality laws that have already passed.
In Minnesota, even the best result won’t result in marriage equality. What is being attempted there is a constitutional banning of all forms of marriage, including domestic partnerships. This is identical to what happened in May in North Carolina. If this passes, they won’t even have a chance. This has an added heaviness because the predominance of suicides amongst gay teens is in Minnesota. Vote NO to REJECT the amendment that would forbid any legal recognition whatsoever for gay Minnesotans.
Starting next week, the National Organization for Marriage will pour millions of dollars from private donations and Catholic and Mormon tithings into a blitz of TV and radio ads where you will be told lies and distortions. They will intentionally try to frighten you. Like this gem from California’s successful Prop 8 scare…
Yep, it happened just that simply. Those who supported us didn’t vote as much, and those who were scared to death by ads like this got bussed in, voted to eliminate gay marriage, then went for pancakes.
Some ads might even console you that a vote against gay marriage is not a vote for bigotry. It may not be bigotry, but a vote against gay marriage is a vote against someone else’s happiness. It’s a vote against a family that might not look like your family. However, it IS a family, and a vote against gay marriage is a vote that will hurt them. At a time when politicians want to divide us and force us to mistrust each other, these votes for gay marriage bring people together.
In all of these cases, the marriages that are sought are civil licenses. Pieces of paper that would allow them to file joint tax returns and not have their health insurance taxed additionally. No religious organizations would be forced to do a thing. The language of all these laws allows for exemptions.
It is about dignity and fairness.
WHAT TO DO!
1) If you want to help, forward this email and web address to anyone you know who is voting in these four states. Each state is split 50/50, so your vote could make history and improve the lives of thousands of families.
2) Donate to TheFour2012.com, which provides money for positive advertisements and door-to-door campaigning. It doesn’t have to be much, we’re all hurting right now. 90% of President Obama’s fundraising came from donations under $250. We can do the same!
3) If you don’t live in these states or don’t know anyone who does, YOU CAN STILL HELP! There are still plenty of states left in the union, and this election will be far from the end of the road for us. Your state could be next! This election, vote Democratic for state senator and state congressman. They are the ones who will be deciding our fates next! In 2013, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Illinois could see similar bills. The Democratic party platform now, for the first time in history, supports marriage equality. Keep them working for us!
4) President Barack Obama supports marriage equality, as does the NAACP and over 71% of Catholics. Don’t let a group of loudmouths convince you that this isn’t what people want. Keep President Obama in office! Even if every state in this country passed gay marriage, federal health benefits, federal joint tax returns, federal recognition altogether is prohibited under the law DOMA. President Obama is in the process of dismantling this law as we speak. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would undo all of this work! Don’t let your tax dollars go towards helping this dying law survive another 4 years.
5) Write to your state representative and your governor and ask them to join the voices of millions of people who support equality for all Americans.
Help us because we can’t do it alone. Your vote could change everything for a group of people who only want the same advantages as you. It’s not every day your single vote can bring a world of difference to people, so take advantage of it while you have that power. Thank you!
ADAM SASS begins all his writing in Sharpie on dozens of Starbucks pastry bags. This may cause him to be late making your cappuccino, and he sincerely apologizes. His Writer’s Digest-honored story “98% Graves” appeared in the anthology STARTLING SCI-FI: NEW TALES OF THE BEYOND. He lives in New York City with his husband and two dachshunds.
Find Adam at AdamSassBooks.com, his pop culture writing at GeeksOut.org, or keep up with him on his (over)active Twitter @TheAdamSass.