While Representative Joe Donnelly is guest blogging here on bilerico.com today and Rep Brad Ellsworth will blog tomorrow, the vote is already over in the House of Representatives. They voted against our community and are explaining their actions.
You do have a chance at helping out with the Senate though - but you have to act fast. The Matthew Shepard Act hasn't been voted on there yet. With President Bush signaling that he will veto the legislation, I've been hearing that some Senators are thinking, "Why bother sticking my neck out? It's not going to matter." While we know it does matter, they're thinking of their political careers and not our human rights.
Here's what our Indiana readers can do to help:
- Call Senator Lugar and Senator Bayh's Washington DC offices and tell them you want the Senator(s) to support the bill.
You read in Rep Donnelly's post that he barely got any e-mails/calls in support of the bill. From talking to Rep Ellsworth, I know this to be the case with his office too. Do you want to give the Senators the same problem? While the right wing hatemongers might still outnumber us in sheer volume of e-mails/phone calls, we have to bring that ratio down dramatically!
Senator Evan Bayh's Congressional Office: (202) 224-5623
Senator Richard Lugar's Congressional Office: (202) 224-4814
If you are an out of state reader (and we've had thousands of you over the past couple weeks!), please look up your Senators' office numbers and give them a jingle. It doesn't take any time at all to do and it will help immensely.
And then tell all of your friends to call too!
- Stop in to your Senators' local office and support the Matthew Shepard Act in person.
Nothing makes a stronger statement than a personal visit to the office! That trumps everything - e-mails, phone calls or even hand-written letters. Since several of our readers come from the Indianapolis area, I'm only going to post the address for the Senators' Indy offices to save space. If you live elsewhere in the state and need help finding your closest office, send me an e-mail and I'll help you find out where it is.
If you live outside of Indiana, go visit your Senators' local offices. Remember to be polite but firm. Tell your stories to the staff and ask that the Senator call you back or write. We have to let them know how important this is!
Senator Evan Bayh
1650 Market Tower
10 West Market Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Senator Richard Lugar
1180 Market Tower
10 West Market Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204