Michael Crawford

HRC Launches New Grassroots Campaign Targeting Congress

Filed By Michael Crawford | July 31, 2009 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: DOMA repeal, Don't Ask Don't Tell, ENDA, HRC, no excuses

We have to push harder and smarter if we want to see change in Congress. And, there's no better time to do it than the upcoming August congressional recess. As David Badash wrote in an earlier post, if we don't Fill The Void of August, someone else will.

That's one of the reasons why the Human Rights Campaign has launched a new grassroots program called No Excuses.

The agenda is simple:

  • Repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denies legally married lesbian and gay couples more than 1,000 federal protections and benefits.
  • Outlaw workplace discrimination by passing an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).
  • Repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) to protect our national security.
  • End the painful separation of families by recognizing same-sex couples, just like opposite-sex couples, under American immigration laws.
  • Provide equivalent health benefits to the millions of federal employees - whether they are opposite-sex or same-sex couples - in legally recognized relationships.

By meeting with your members of Congress back in your congressional district - where they are less likely to be surrounded by fat cat lobbyists - you can help to turn up the heat and press for the passage of pro-LGBTQ legislation.

Now is the time when we can make real gains. Meeting with your members of Congress is easier than you may think.

HRC's No Excuses campaign provides you with the tools you need to request a meeting with your representatives, gives you talking points, and provides a way for you to give HRC feedback on how your meeting went.

Now is the time for action, not simply more excuses. You have the tools, now is the time to use them.

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Not that this isn't a good idea just in general, but one thing immediately struck me when I read the agenda: Where's hate crimes? Y'know, the bill that's actually before Congress RIGHT NOW?

I mean, doesn't it make sense that right now we should be focusing on making sure hate crimes actually makes it to Obama's desk as well as promoting these other important issues?

I'm not saying this isn't a good idea (and frankly, it's nice to see HRC showing some backbone here), but why getting hate crimes over its last few hurdles and passed into law isn't part of this agenda is something I'm having a hard time understanding.

Probably because, somewhere along the line, it has been communicated to the HRC by their insider sources in Congress that we have already lost the Hate Crimes Bill, Rebecca.

I wish that it were otherwise, but I suspect that it is already over.

Similiarly, I notice that DADT has been pushed back, as the administration has expressed its displeasure with it.