If you only watch one video all day, make it this celebration of same-sex love entitled Until We Could


Take 5 minutes out of your day to watch and listen to this beautifully portrayed message of pride and love. If you only watch one thing today, this should be it.

Until We Could is a video poem by Richard Blanco and posted to the Freedom to Marry YouTube channel. The film is narrated by Golden Globe winning actress Robin Wright and actor Ben Foster.

For more info on the campaign to win marriage nationwide, visit www.freedomtomarry.org.

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Children’s Story About a Same-Sex Penguin Couple Tops Library Complaint


“And Tango Makes Three” is a children’s book based on the adorable true story of two chinstrap penguins named Roy and Silo who live in the Central Park Zoo. Roy and Silo are both male penguins, and they adopted and raised a chick named Tango. The story is touching and the book helps parents teach children about same-sex couples.

My personal favorite is the final line of the book:

And like all the other penguins in the penguin house, and all the other animals in the zoo, and all the families in the big city around them, they went to sleep.

Adorable, right? Well, not according to the American Library Association. The book once again topped the list of most frequently challenged books. (It was also number one in 2007, 2008, and 2009.) According to the American Library Association:

A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that a book or other material be restricted or removed because of its content or appropriateness.

How tragic is it that this book that helps children to understand a topic most parents do not know how to even approach is being attacked and taken off of shelves for being controversial? When are we going to start teaching our kids about inclusion? Why not tell kids about different people? We need to tell our children that is is okay to be gay. Because, if we don’t…we could lose them before they learn that it gets better…

Keep that in mind.

On the Phone For Freedom


An important message sent on behalf of No on 1 – Protect Maine Equality Campaign

The freedom to marry is under attack in Maine. We need your help!

In less than six weeks, Maine voters will decide on a statewide referendum that could deny same-sex couples the freedom to marry. As usual, anti-gay extremists are doing everything they can to strip LGBT people of this fundamental right. Despite their efforts, polls show the election is very close.

But with so much at stake, the No On 1 campaign in Maine needs every one of us to pitch in and make sure that voters in Maine hear from us. It’s time to hit the phones!

Sign up here to be part of the September 27th Maine Day of Action.

On Sunday, September 27, join thousands of volunteers from across the country who are calling Maine voters. All you need is a phone and a computer with an internet connection. No long distance fees, no dialing – the web-based software does it all. But it can’t sign you up!

So do it – sign up here and dial for freedom.

For the past five years, the Task Force has been working side-by-side with our partners in Maine to prepare for this moment. Learn more about our work in Maine.

NYT: Psychologists Reject Gay ‘Therapy’


The American Psychological Association has adopted a resolution as well as published a report that so-called ‘ex-gay’ therapy is ineffective and often harmful….

Duh!  That is because you cannot make someone stop being gay, because being gay is not a choice.  Although I am glad the APA released this report, it is just pathetic that such a report even needs to be published.

From the New York Times:

The American Psychological Association declared Wednesday that mental health professionals should not tell gay clients they can become straight through therapy or other treatments.

In a resolution adopted by the association’s governing council, and in an accompanying report, the association issued its most comprehensive repudiation of so-called reparative therapy, a concept espoused by a small but persistent group of therapists, often allied with religious conservatives, who maintain that gay men and lesbians can change.

No solid evidence exists that such change is likely, says the resolution, adopted by a 125-to-4 vote. The association said some research suggested that efforts to produce change could be harmful, inducing depression and suicidal tendencies.

Instead of seeking such change, the association urged therapists to consider multiple options, which could include celibacy and switching churches, for helping clients live spiritually rewarding lives in instances where their sexual orientation and religious faith conflict.

The association has criticized reparative therapy in the past, but a six-member panel added weight to that position by examining 83 studies on sexual orientation change conducted since 1960. Its report was endorsed by the association’s governing council in Toronto, where the association’s annual meeting is being held this weekend.

The report breaks ground in its detailed and nuanced assessment of how therapists should deal with gay clients struggling to remain loyal to a religious faith that disapproves of homosexuality.

Judith Glassgold, a psychologist in Highland Park, N.J., who led the panel, said she hoped the document could help calm the polarized debate between religious conservatives who believe in the possibility of changing sexual orientation and the many mental health professionals who reject that option.

“Both sides have to educate themselves better,” Ms. Glassgold said. “The religious psychotherapists have to open up their eyes to the potential positive aspects of being gay or lesbian. Secular therapists have to recognize that some people will choose their faith over their sexuality.”

One of the largest organizations promoting the possibility of changing sexual orientation is Exodus International, a network of ministries whose core message is “freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ.”

Its president, Alan Chambers, describes himself as someone who “overcame unwanted same-sex attraction.” Mr. Chambers and other evangelicals met with association representatives after the panel was formed in 2007, and he expressed satisfaction with parts of the report that emerged.

A Concerted Effort to Sue the US Government Over DOMA


Repeal DOMA NowFrom Change.org:

A few weeks ago, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced that her state would be filing a lawsuit in federal courts, challenging the U.S. government over the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 Act signed into law by President Bill Clinton that prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage.  Coakley said the reason for the lawsuit was simple:

DOMA affects residents of Massachusetts in very real and very negative ways by depriving access to important economic safety nets and other protections that couples count on when they marry and that help them to take care of one another and their families.  DOMA also directly and fundamentally interferes with Massachusetts’s right as a state sovereign to determine the marital status of its residents.

Now, activists are hoping to jump on the momentum started by Coakley and urge other state Attorney Generals to follow a similar path.  That’s the motivation at least behind the Web site Defend the Law (defendthelaw.org), which announced a concentrated action alert this week to urge Connecticut’s Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, to challenge the U.S. government over DOMA.  Last year, Connecticut became the second state to recognize same-sex marriage.

The site plans on hitting other states, too (which would now include Vermont, Iowa, Maine and New Hampshire) but is starting out with a focus on Blumenthal in Connecticut.  Here’s their action plea:

Marriage Equality has also been the law of the land in Connecticut since November 12, 2008.  The Attorney General of Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, states prominently on his website, “As the public’s lawyer, I am here to defend state laws.”   Since marriage equality is indeed the law in Connecticut, we strongly urge Attorney General Blumenthal to follow Massachusetts’ lead and stand up for the citizens and laws of his state by filing a lawsuit against the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

The week of action will happen between August 10-14.  More information can be found on Defend the Law’s web site.

This campaign again spotlights the important role that state Attorneys General (Attorney Generals?  Bah, pluralizing this one always troubles me…) can play in the fight for equal rights.  Here at change.org, we’ve had a petition going for more than a month now, urging Maryland’s Attorney General to allow his state to recognize same-sex marraiges that are performed in states where marriage equality is the law. MD’s Attorney General is slated to rule on this in the coming days, which could move equal rights one step closer to reality in Maryland.

And here’s hoping Defend the Law’s campaign with Connecticut’s Attorney General moves marriage equality one step closer on the federal level.

(Photo courtesy of Michael_Lehet’s photostream on Flickr.)

Post-1980s Children of Gay Parents Thrive in School, More Open Society


How amazing is this?

From ABC News:

In 1994, Daddy Dave and Daddy Bob prepared 5-year-old Elizabeth Wall for the first day of kindergarten in New Jersey, meeting with the principal in advance to ease her transition as the daughter of two gay men.

Elizabeth Wall, 20, and her two fathers, Bob Houck (left) and David Wall of Lawrenceville, N.J., who adopted her when she was only five days old. (Courtesy of the David Wall family)

Elizabeth Wall, 20, and her two fathers, Bob Houck (left) and David Wall of Lawrenceville, N.J., who adopted her when she was only five days old. (Courtesy of the David Wall family)

They never learned until years later how insensitively the school reacted to their unconventional family, according to Wall, now 20 and a sociology major at the College of Wooster in Ohio.

“They had never had gay parents before,” Wall told ABCNews.com. “It’s funny, after the principal met with them, he went to the faculty and said, ‘Who wants to take her?’”

Fortunately one teacher, who later became a close friend, volunteered and took the little girl under her wing in the Lawrenceville classroom, but for years Wall was careful about only telling close friends that she had two fathers.

“Obviously I was different and didn’t have a mom,” she said. “We are living in a world that treats our families differently. It can be isolating and challenging.”

Wall is one of a growing number of children, who affectionately call themselves “gaybies” or ” queer spawn”. Born after the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, they are now reshaping the American family.

Of the 270,000 children living with same-sex parents, about 65,000 are adopted. Most, like other Americans, are in two-child families.