Tag Archives: Gay Marriage

Advance Equal Rights With the Click of Your Camera

sambronsonpage1 Advance Equal Rights With the Click of Your Cameraconny van dyke 154x200 Advance Equal Rights With the Click of Your Camera

After the disastrous No on 8 campaign (which Robin Tyler and I talked about), I’m really glad to see cool new grassroots sites like this one launched by my buddy Rick Garman.

Here’s a little background about this important site and how you can help:

How did you come up with the idea for Citizens for Equality and the “We Are” Campaign?

RICK: I actually came up with the idea of an elected body of representatives for the gay community a long time ago when I got frustrated with what I saw as a lack of true leadership and leaders. But it was what I believe was a disorganized and poorly run campaign against Proposition 8 (along with my questions about whether gay marriage is the actual battle we should be putting all of our resources and energy behind) that made me finally do something about it.

The “We Are” campaign became the launching pad for Citizens For Equality as a way to get people involved and engaged.  I got that idea from the sorryeverybody.com website where people sent in pictures of themselves with sign apologizing to the works for the 2004 election of George bush.

I love that all the images use the words, “We Are” — why did you choose that language?

I wanted “We Are” for it’s positivity.  To show the world that we are just like everyone else.  We are doctors and lawyers, mothers and fathers, husbands, wives, strong, weak, young, old, worried about the economy, worried about the environment, bowlers, card players, Christian, Jewish… We are human and if people can see that, they may be a little less inclined to do things like vote yes on Prop 8.  Imagine hundreds, thousands…. More… of those photos saying We Are… What a statement that will make!

What are you asking folks to do?

People can get involved in a variety of ways.  They can send in a picture through the website and encourage others to do the same.  All of the instructions and guidelines plus a bunch of suggestions are on the site.  And remember, our straight friends can participate too. People can also join the organization by filling out a simple form.

We are also actively seeking people to be on the steering committee that will set up the elections for (hopefully) late 2009 and people will be able to register and vote for their representatives and on other issues.  We’ll be seeking candidates and advisors also of course.  But the best way to stay informed is to join on the website.

Snap a Photo and Show Your Support for Marriage Rights

please dont divorce us bronson sam page Snap a Photo and Show Your Support for Marriage Rights The Courage Campaign wants to send a message to Ken Starr and the people who want the California Supreme Court to forcibly divorce more than 18,000 couples who married in the state. Do you know anyone who may have their marriage nullified? Or would you just like to express your support for those couples who may be forcibly divorced?

Please take a picture with a plain 8.5″ by 11″ piece of paper that sends a special message, like: “Please don’t divorce us,” “Please don’t divorce my mothers,” “Please don’t divorce my friends, Name and Name,” or “Please don’t divorce Californians.” Print it out, or write it clearly in big, block letters. Then email your pictures to: PleaseDontDivorce@CourageCampaign.org

Exclusive: Robin Tyler Speaks Out About Prop. 8

no more mrs nice gay Exclusive: Robin Tyler Speaks Out About Prop. 8

gayisnewblackx390 Exclusive: Robin Tyler Speaks Out About Prop. 8There are interviews you skim, and then there are interviews you read—all the way to the end. This week’s issue of the Advocate declaring “gay is the new black” nailed it, and Robin Tyler has an important message that will hit home at this moment in history—a moment that could be the tipping point of our movement.

Robin (left) and her wife, Diane Olson, were the first challengers to California’s ban on same-sex marriage in February of 2004.  A blogger, world traveler, stand up comic and activist, Tyler has been an integral part of the grassroots movement in the gay and lesbian community for more than 30 years, including roles as the executive director of the Equality Campaign, and the co-founder of Stop Dr Laura.  As pioneers in this civil rights struggle for marriage equality, Robin and Diane were the only couple in Los Angeles county to receive a marriage license on June 16, and on that day in front of the Beverly Hills courthouse, they were married.

On Nov. 5 of this year, just after the passage of California’s Proposition 8, Robin & Diane filed a brief with the California State Supreme Court asking that Proposition 8 be overturned on the basis of it being unconstitutional in California. The Court agreed to hear the petition, and Robin generously agreed to answer some questions here on PLL about this important moment in history. Continue reading

El Coyote Owner Apologizes For Prop. 8 Contribution; Boycott Looms

img 0406 El Coyote Owner Apologizes For Prop. 8 Contribution; Boycott Looms

In a dramatic, closed door lunch meeting, the owner of a renowned Mexican eatery in Hollywood expressed regret in her decision to donate $100 to the “Yes on Prop 8″ campaign, but her remarks before a group of about 60 members of Los Angeles’ LGBT community fell short of an outright personal apology.

“I’m sick of heart that I’ve offended anyone in the gay community,” said Marjorie Christofferson, co-owner of El Coyote Mexican Cafe for 17 years. “I have had, and do have family, friends, and people I work with of course who are gay…and you are treasured people to me.”

The tall, frail Christofferson stood in the center of the group. She appeared to be shaking during her prepared remarks which lasted about 3 minutes. Her daughters flanked her to prevent her from fainting, according to a restaurant employee. At several points during her speech, Christofferson simply became too emotional to continue.

El Coyote has become the latest casualty in the local outburst against the passage of Proposition 8, an anti-marriage amendment to the California State Constitution. Dozens of e-mails and websites, including the popular online local guide, Yelp.com, have urged boycotting the legendary cafe in recent days.

Christofferson, who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, insisted that her donation was personal, and reflected her religious faith.

“I’ve been a member of the Mormon Church all my life,” she said. “This was a personal donation. In like fashion, any employee here would be free to donate, worship or support anything of their personal choosing. Over the years, El Coyote has financially supported many charities and thousands of dollars most particularly have been given to the gay interests and charities. The restaurant does not support any political group.”

img 0402 199x125 El Coyote Owner Apologizes For Prop. 8 Contribution; Boycott Looms

In the only question taken by Ms. Christofferson after her remarks, and before those gathered, I asked her directly if she would personally make an equal donation to the campaigns to repeal Proposition 8.

“I cannot change a lifetime of faith,” she said.

Moments later, the same group which had been invited for lunch and margaritas grew increasingly verbal, apparently reacting to the lack of a direct apology from Ms. Christofferson, and she left the building in tears.  The group continued to meet for another 30 minutes, before dispersing for what appeared to be a looming boycott. One demonstrator was already shouting outside.

Still, there were some dissenting voices in the room. One woman compared the angry gathering to Nazi Germany, when Hitler’s military singled out individual Jews in a witch hunt for their religious beliefs. “Why are we singling out one restaurant?” the woman asked. “Are you ready to go up against every single restaurant in the city?”

Should the gay community boycott El Coyote?

Openly-gay restaurant manager Billy Schoeppner, announced that El Coyote would make two $5,000 contributions, each to the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center and the Lambda Legal Defense Fund.  He also asked those gathered to suggest any possible or practical ways the legendary establishment could avert a full-on boycott and PR war by the Los Angeles LGBT community.

Another manager, Arnaldo Archila, outrightly denounced Ms. Christofferson in a forceful statement.

img 04031 200x124 El Coyote Owner Apologizes For Prop. 8 Contribution; Boycott Looms“We don’t share her views as the management,” said Mr. Archila, a native of El Salvador. “They don’t press us to do anything that we don’t want to do, and we never talk about politics or religion. I don’t understand why we got connected to something going on at the top.”

Other restaurant employees also spoke, including a waitress who tearfully worried what would happen to the 89 families that receive some financial support from El Coyote if a boycott were to occur.

Mr. Schoeppner told me privately that in addition to making contributions to the aforementioned charities, that the restaurant was planning to take out full page advertisements in the LA Weekly and Frontiers Newsmagzine to avert a boycott.

“I understand boycotts and protests have been planned. Let me personally take the responsibility for your pain and anger,” said Christoffsen. “El Coyote is no part of what I have done. The only people you will truly hurt are the hundreds of families of mixed origins and sexual diversity who rely on El Coyote to feed their families.”

No cameras were permitted in the rear dining room where the meeting was being held, to the chagrin of some bloggers.  A demonstration was set for Thursday night.  Watch the video of Ms. Christofferson’s speech, and my follow up question.

Women Voice Discontent Over Passage of Prop 8

ww2 rosie Women Voice Discontent Over Passage of Prop 8The past few days since Proposition 8 was passed have been remarkable. What’s surprised me most are the number of women I know who are pretty united in their anger and sadness over the passage of the anti-marriage amendment to the California state constitution.

Ying, in Utah, writes:

“Even from this wacko state that I live in, there are many that are opposed to “8” and just this last weekend, LDS Mothers Against 8 rallied in SLC.”

Last night, a text from my friend Alexis:

“RU coming 2 the rally? We have 2 show them that they can’t take away our rights.”

My mom writes:

“I can’t even imagine the hurt you and Bronson must be feeling today after California citizens voted to pass Prop 8. You and Bronson are in [our] thoughts and prayers.  We pray that together we will seek to find a peace that brings us to open a dialogue respectful of one another’s values.”

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