Thursday, December 20, 2012

December Forward Motion

LGBT Leaders to House GOP: Stop Wasting Tax Dollars Defending DOMA

The leaders of the nation’s largest LGBT organizations are calling on the House Republican leadership to stop funding the legal defense of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). DOMA denies thousands of federal benefits and protections to same-sex couples who have legally married in states that allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain marriage licenses.
The letter calls on the GOP House leadership to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on a law aimed at fundamentally discriminating against Americans:
“Despite the enormous economic challenges our country is facing, the House of Representatives recently decided to increase government spending to defend this discriminatory law – a law that intentionally harms thousands of Americans who are legally married…At the same time, voters in three states approved marriage equality and, in Minnesota, rejected writing a marriage ban into their state’s constitution. A strong majority of Americans support marriage for loving, committed same-sex couples – including an increasing number of conservatives. With more states allowing committed same-sex couples to obtain civil marriage licenses, DOMA imposes burdens on hard working, tax paying citizens.”
HRC joined OutServe-SLDN, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the Center for American Progress, the Immigration Equality Action Fund, CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Center, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality, and Forge Inc., in signing the letter.
Last week the contract with Bancroft – the Washington-based law firm hired by Republicans to defend the law in court – was made public, revealing that House Republicans secretly agreed to raise the cost cap to $2 million. Republicans began defending the bill after the Obama Administration announced in February that it viewed the law as unconstitutional and could no longer defend it in court.
You can take action now and join HRC in calling on the GOP House leadership to drop its costly defense of DOMA.
According to a 2004 report from the Congressional Budget Office, federal individual income and estate tax revenues would actually increase $700 million per year if DOMA did not mandate the nonrecognition of marriages of same-sex couples. Recent polling from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner found that a majority of Americans oppose DOMA and the Republicans’ defense of it in court.
The Supreme Court announced earlier this month that it would be taking up United States v. Windsor, which questions the constitutionality of DOMA.(source:HRC)

Rainbow Freedom Walking & Planning

With 2012 about to be "o-v-a", there are now plans underway for locals to participate in the "MLK Day Ma' Rainbow Strut, January 21 in recognition of the legacy of Martin Luther King. Spearheaded by community based organization, Centers for Artistic Revolution, the effort will be apart of the official "marade" yearly produced by the Martin Luther King Commission including a free luncheon afterwards.

However and somewhat surprisingly, the MLK website doesn't mention the marade but instead touts its Presidential Inaugural bus excursion, January 19-22 to Washington, D.C. including a video sales pitch.
Also after checking through the still dated content on the site, I noticed that the "event calendar" still shows basically nothing until April 4th's Commemorative Vigil. Oversight or not, much of the information on the site recounts events in a 9/21/11 press release citing the groups numerous accomplishments and subsequent "2012" activities that have no follow up or appear to be "scheduled" for 2013. The once embattled commission is now under the executive leadership of Deshaun Scarbrough whom states that organization is seeking a "new direction, new approach" of operating. Scarbrough writes on the website,

" We are aggressively working to revitalize old partnerships, while developing new ones. We are also re-energizing our DREAM KEEPERS and expanding the Commission’s presence in the community. We hope you will visit or call our office soon, to learn how you may assist in the effort, to live the dream and make change happen."

The groups website also showcases a host of supporters and sponsors ranging from the Design Group to the local Denny's franchise, whom offer supportive donations toward the organizations program such as The Dream Keepers Program which helps empower youth to gain an appreciation for community service through teamwork. For more information on the strut or RSVP for the luncheon contact 501.244.9690. Information about the commission can be found at . Stay tuned to COP 24/7 for the latest updates!

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