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A Blueprint For GLBT Equality In America
Community FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) 
9th-Nov-2008 04:38 pm
HARVEY MILK LIVES
Have a question you think should be part of the FAQ? Comment to this post and let us know!

Community FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. What is the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA)?
    ANSWER

  2. What states have legalized same sex marriage, domestic partnerships, and civil unions, and what is the difference between them?
    ANSWER

  3. Why don't you just marry someone of the opposite sex, securing the legal rights that way, and have your private relationships at the same time?
    ANSWER

  4. Why did Proposition 8 in California succeed, when it is clearly illegal?
    ANSWER

  5. When and why was this community started?
    ANSWER

  6. I want to post to this community, but when I tried I was not allowed - what can I do?
    ANSWER

  7. What can I do to help?
    ANSWER

  8. I want to do something, but everything I try seems to fail and I'm felt defeated - it is very discouraging. Do you really think all of this is worth the effort?
    ANSWER

  9. KITTY!!!!!!
    ANSWER

  10. I'm not gay, can I still be a part of this community?
    ANSWER

  11. What is an "Open Thread"?
    ANSWER





1. What is the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA)?
The Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, is the short title of a federal law of the United States passed on September 21, 1996 as Public Law No. 104-199, 110 Stat. 2419. Its provisions are codified at 1 U.S.C. § 7 and 28 U.S.C. § 1738C. The law has two effects:
1. No state (or other political subdivision within the United States) need treat a relationship between persons of the same sex as a marriage, even if the relationship is considered a marriage in another state.
2. The Federal Government may not treat same-sex relationships as marriages for any purpose, even if concluded or recognized by one of the states.
Related post: [link]
Related tags: defense of marriage act, doma

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2. What states have legalized same sex marriage, domestic partnerships, and civil unions, and what is the difference between them?
Same sex marriage is legal in Conecticut and Massachusetts.
Domestic partnerships: are afforded in California, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Oregon, Washington.
Civil unions: Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Vermont.

Same sex marriages are prohibited by statute in the following states: Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming.
Same sex marriages are prohibited by Constitutional Amendment in the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin.

Marriage is undefined in New Mexico & Rhode Island.

Related post: [link]
Related tags: civil unions, domestic partnerships, marriage, same sex marriage, same sex unions

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3. Why don't you just marry someone of the opposite sex, securing the legal rights that way, and have your private relationships at the same time?
While that is certainly one way to look at it, we would not choose to pursue this because it is insulting to our relationships, our families, and ourselves. Marriage is a civil right, not a religious decree or a holy union (as is often erroneously purported, what they mean is matrimony - not marriage). As such it is a legal contract and should not be up for debate or popular vote.

Related tags: what we are not

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4. Why did Proposition 8 in California succeed, when it is clearly illegal?
In a word, organized religion organizing people - which has been used for centuries as a club to beat the GLBT community and other religious bodies with. This case was no different. What ultimately enabled Prop 8 was the significant amount of money from the Mormons, organization on the Yes To 8 campaign, a LOT of lying and completely distorted misinformation, and the kind of divisive, hysterical fervor that only religion can provide.

For more explicit and succinct info, read the following:

Related tags: prop 8

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5. When and why was this community started?
This was the brainchild of jesus_h_biscuit, who, with the assistance of lolasenvy began discussing this project the day after Barack Obama was elected to the Presidency and the succession of California's Proposition 8, as well as similar decrees in other states. President Obama ran a near flawless campaign that was built on the grassroots activism of people everywhere, and it proved monumentally fruitful. The notion that there is injustice for some people in this country is a threat of injustice for ALL. We recognize this, and we do not accept it, for it is insidious and counter productive to concepts of freedom and democracy. It is unpatriotic and un-American. In no way do we find this acceptable. This must be done, and there is no reason why we cannot make it happen.

Related tags: mission statement, what we are, what we are not, why we are

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6. I want to post to this community, but when I tried I was not allowed - what can I do?
Membership is open to all as of 11.09.08, and will remain open. Posting privileges are only extended to community moderators until such a time that sufficient content can be added for present and future members to have access to needed materials. Comments are welcomed to any post, and you are free to discuss anything you wish in Open Thread posts.

Related tags: open thread

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7. What can I do to help?
SPEAK OUT. TO EVERYONE. Read as much as you can from the resources we provide, and begin having discussions with others who may not have the same information. Nothing dispels ignorance like information, (cue second cliche) but nothing is as useless as preaching to the choir. The people who most need to know these things are the people least likely to hear them. There is a wealth of resources online to choose from. Buy from or patronize companies that have a good record of fairness and support among GLBT Americans, but refuse hose that have discriminatory policies or give money to organizations that discriminate. There are documentary films that you can rent or purchase and invite people to your home one evening to watch and discuss. There are lawmakers and legal professionals to consult, and State Representatives (Members by State) and Senators that need to be held to account for unfair practices. Never just give these people your vote, make them work for it.

Related tags: activism, discrimination, equality

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8. I want to do something, but everything I try seems to fail and I'm felt defeated - it is very discouraging. Do you really think all of this is worth the effort?
Feeling defeated is not the same things as being defeated - not by a long shot. Change takes time and requires a lot of effort and energy. It also requires that you dig in your heels and NOT GIVE UP. No law ever changed because people obeyed it without fail, and you have to remind yourself that we are only human and sometimes we get overwhelmed, but that it's okay. These doors have been kicked in already in one respect or another, and they will be kicked in again as many times as necessary for fairness to take effect for us all. Just because X and Y didn't work out does not mean that Z won't!

Related tags: activism, boycott, companies that support prop 8,

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9. KITTY!!!!!!
PUPPY!!!!!

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10. I'm not gay, can I still be a part of this community?
YES! We need everyone to help, as these issues affect us all!

Related tags: introduction, what we are

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11. What is an "Open Thread"?
Open Thread posts are those posts without a specific topic in mind. We will make one or two of them a week initially to encourage community members to discuss things they feel are relevant, to engage in discussions with one another, and to ask questions and get answers.

Related tags: open thread

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Comments 
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
10th-Nov-2008 03:01 am (UTC)
I thank you!
10th-Nov-2008 03:01 am (UTC)
I don't disagree with you, but I'm researching several things at once here and am relying on others to help out - like yourself, for instance. I needed to get the meat of this done, knowing the potatoes would come a bit later. These answers will get more fleshed out in time, and more Q&A's added I'm sure as it becomes necessary.

Patience, lad - patience!
(Deleted comment)
11th-Nov-2008 12:41 pm (UTC)
Go look now... ;-)
10th-Nov-2008 04:16 am (UTC)
More on the legal challenges here. It's pretty simplistic, but I think there are links to the actual writs as well.
11th-Nov-2008 12:40 pm (UTC)
I added that link to the FAQ, thanks babe!
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