Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Gay Marriage in New England

This summer, I will travel home to Vermont for another wedding on the shores of Lake Bomoseen, the largest lake entirely within the state's borders. Two of my cousins were married on this lake with beautiful outdoor summertime ceremonies. Both weddings inspired me as gatherings of friends and families celebrated love and commitment. This July, I will see my childhood friend get married on this lake... a lake where I spent so many summer days in the water, so many nights staring at the stars, and a long summer working as a park ranger at the state park.

When the Vermont State Legislature overrode Gov. Jim Douglas' veto of same-sex marriage law a few weeks ago, I thought of Lake Bomoseen. Always a proud Vermonter, I am elated to know that I could someday marry my love on the shores of Lake Bomoseen... regardless of that person's gender.

Today, New Hampshire became the fourth New England state to legalize same-sex marriage. I love my life in California, but the couples and families I know in New England -- families like mine -- now have rights that we in California lack. Sadly, New Hampshire killed a gender non-discrimination bill, meaning that gays can marry but gender non-conforming folks remain unprotected. I would rather have gender protections than marriage. Let's hope that once we win full marriage equality, those activists mobilized by gay marriage shift their energy and resources to address the many other inequalities impacting our communities.

UPDATE 5/11/09: Add Maine to the list! Out of the four states I've lived in (Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine, and California), all but one have marriage equality. Come on, California, let's overturn Prop 8!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Activism 2.0

As I've mentioned, one of my current projects is I've been working with filmmaker Melissa Regan, producer/director of the Sundance award-winning film No Dumb Questions, to develop an online community inspired by the film. With new technologies, it is easier than ever to harness the power of the internet share our stories to change hearts and minds. (My inner geek gets really jazzed every time I think about this!)

We are hosting our first major virtual event next week, the National LGBT Equality StorySummit. This free online training will feature major LGBT activists Kate Kendell (NCLR), Lisa Mottet (The Task Force), Andy Marra (GLAAD), Jasper Hendricks (National Black Justice Coalition) and others talking about the power of online storytelling.

YOU are invited! Just register on the site and log on from your home computer (or call in from your telephone).

Here is the invitation:


As LGBTQ people, family, or allies, one of the most powerful tools we have for achieving LGBTQ equality is our stories. But how?

Join LGBTQ equality, storytelling, and technology leaders on Wednesday, April 22 - from any computer or telephone - for the first ever National LGBTQ StorySummit. You'll be part of a groundbreaking conversation about the state of the movement, why it is so critical that we share our stories, and tips for how to tell, record, and use Web 2.0 technologies to share your own personal story.

Join us Wednesday April 22
6-7:30pm Pacific/9-10:30pm Eastern Time
from any computer or telephone.

***Space is limited! Register TODAY:***