Yesterday the Supreme Court’s rulings struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, and restored marriage in California. These victories have resonated from coast to coast.  It is a victory for all citizens – because now we can say that we live in a country were there is equality for all people.

Tolerance isn’t enough – We all deserve Acceptance

VOTE for STATES OF UNION because tolerance isn’t enoughwe all deserve Acceptance.

Supporters may VOTE for STATES OF UNION: a project that supports LGBT rights online at: www.refresheverything.com/statesofunion

I Do Not Deserve Your Tolerance

By: David Badash (The New Civil Rights Movement)

I am an American citizen. I pay taxes. I vote. I have a passport. I volunteer my time and voice and donate money to charities or causes I believe in. I have a college degree from a pretty good school. For most of the time since I was fifteen I have worked, often 60 – 80 hours a week. I am in a committed relationship. I try to call my mother a few times a week. I hold the door open for anyone in front of or behind me. I’m generally the last one out of the elevator. I’ve contacted my local government when I believed something needed improvement. I have good, long-term friendships. I’ve given money to friends who needed help. I’ve lent countless items to friends, assuming they will not be returned. I’ve worked to help people I know who were in crisis get through the next day. I’ve sat on the phone for hours with people who were depressed. I have a dog, the second one I’ve rescued from a shelter. I feed and walk him, a lot. I pick up after him, every time. I am called upon to help or give an opinion several times a week. I’ve done jury duty. I have never been arrested. I am financially self-sufficient. I have a few credit cards. I have an apartment. I have homeowners’ insurance. When I needed a car for work I got one, kept it in good shape, kept it insured. I have a home air purifier. I take vitamins. I try to eat well and take care of myself physically and mentally. I have a primary care physician. I always bring a gift to a host or hostess when I am invited into their home. I say “please,” “thank you,” and, too often I’m told, “I’m sorry.” I sometimes send out Christmas cards. I call friends to say “Happy Thanksgiving.” I, not infrequently, get calls from people who used to work for me asking if I would given them a reference. I rarely say “no.” I rarely say “no” when asked to do anything for someone. No one knows this, but I am the only person in my building of over 300 apartments who calls the laundry company when the machines break. I sometimes go into the recycling bins and re-sort them when my neighbors mix paper and plastic. I always leave a good tip, usually more than 20%. I don’t yell at waiters or waitresses, though I have yelled at drivers who run red lights. I keep my TV and music at a reasonable level, especially late at night so I don’t disturb my neighbors. I’ve installed dimmers in my home to conserve electricity. I have a checking and a savings account. I almost always pay my bills on time. I have an excellent credit rating. I tip all the doormen and maintenance people in my building at Christmas. I’ve lived in the same apartment for nine years. I backup my computer. I buy extended warranties on expensive electronics. I try to share information as often as I can. I generally pay more than my share when going out to dinner with friends. I generally return calls within twenty-four hours. I keep my home reasonably clean. I subscribe to a daily newspaper, and try to read it almost every day. I keep abreast of current events. I receive my news from a wide variety of sources. When disagreeing with someone, I try to remain civil and respectful. I take my dog to the dog park several times a week. I know he would like to go more often. I compliment strangers sometimes. I call restaurants to cancel if I can’t keep my reservation. I try to validate my friend’s feelings and listen to their thoughts openly. I rarely boast or brag. I try to patronize local businesses. Although it’s hard for me to say this, I’m pretty certain I will have left somewhat of a positive impact on the world by the time I’m gone. I scattered my father’s ashes where he wanted me to. I flew with my family to attend my grandmother’s funeral. I was captain of the safety patrol in sixth grade. I was president of the theatre society in high school. I wrote to my congressmen to help save the dolphins from tuna fishermen when I was a boy. I want to get married. I can’t, because I’m gay.

I grew up feeling sad and different and sometimes ashamed.

I no longer am sad, I’m glad I’m different, and I’ll be damned if I’ll ever be ashamed of who I am or what I believe. Because what I believe is that we are all the same. We are all equal. We all deserve to love and have our love recognized.

I think I’m a pretty good person. I know I’m as good as anyone else. I have done little enough wrong to deserve your forgiveness. I’ve done nothing that deserves your pity. And I know that I am good enough to not deserve your tolerance.

Tolerance is for someone who doesn’t know better, like my dog who likes to jump on people. Tolerance is for someone whose views negatively impact your life, like people who want to stop me from loving the man I love, with all my heart. I do not want your tolerance. I do not deserve your tolerance. I will not accept your tolerance, any longer. What I will do is my best to ensure that we are all given equality and the legal right to love and marry the person who loves us back. From now on I will tolerate nothing less.


VOTE for STATES OF UNION because even Laura Bush supports Gay Marriage and Equal Rights!

Supporters may VOTE for STATES OF UNION: a project that supports LGBT rights online at: http://www.refresheverything.com/statesofunion

VOTE for STATES OF UNION because even Laura Bush supports Gay Marriage and Equal Rights!

Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover and Teen Suicide

It has been 10 days since, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, hung himself in Massachusetts after enduring daily anti-gay bullying. Lesbian and Gay teens are nine times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. These kind of tragedies cannot be allowed to persist. The goal of States of Union is to show LGBT youth – and indeed all Americans – that LGBT families, couples, and loves are no different from heterosexual ones and deserve the same love, support, and admiration.

Supporters may vote for this project online at: www.refresheverything.com/statesofunion

If you or a friend are feeling lost or alone, call The Trevor Helpline. There is hope, there is help.  The Trevor Project operates the only accredited, nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for LGBTQ youth. The Trevor Helpline: 1-866-4-U-TREVOR

VOTE FOR STATES OF UNION ON THE PEPSI REFRESH SITE TO HELP RAISE MONEY!

Pepsi Refresh

http://www.refresheverything.com/statesofunion

States of Union 8

States of Union

Overview
Lesbian/Gay youth who have been abandoned by their family are nine times more likely to attempt suicide because of feelings of isolation. A Pepsi Grant would fund the educational youth component of States of Union. States of Union is a multi-dimensional project that focuses on gay & lesbian couples/families. In depicting healthy and stable family life within the gay community, State of Union will help combat the high rate of suicides among gay youth. Through traveling exhibitions, educational workshops and an interactive community blog, the youth component of States of Union will encourage positive identity formation.  Your grant will fund the technical development of a website where gay youth can find information about national/community resources, pose questions, and share stories about their coming-out experiences.  It will also fund the execution of the traveling educational & exhibition program.

Alix Smith talks about States of Union on IN THE LIFE

This month on IN THE LIFE we talk to hate crime victims and perpetrators about The Nature of Hate. Followed by a visit with artist Alix Smith, who is traveling the country photographing hundreds of same-sex couples, challenging stereotypes and taking conventional portraiture to a new level.

Alix Smith: States of Union
Throughout its history, portraiture has been used to memorialize lineage and honor patriarchs and matriarchs. However, these depictions have focused almost exclusively on the heterosexual family unit. Photographer Alix Smith seeks to expand public perception by framing LGBT families into conventional portraits.

The Nature of Hate
As has been the case for many social and political minorities in our country, the LGBT community confronts a media landscape effective in spreading misinformation about it. The most radical voices claim that gay and lesbian people are a threat to children, our country, even our way of life. But what many don’t realize is that these messages, crafted by a well-resourced media machine, not only inspire bias, but intense hate against LGBT people—hate often leading to violence. In our lead segment, we look at hate-speech and whether, in a nation lacking legal protections for LGBT people, it incites violence against the LGBT community.

Dismantling Hate will begin airing April 1st. To find out when it airs in your local area, to stream or download it, go to the IN THE LIFE website: www.inthelifetv.org.

MANIFEST EQUALITY

ManifestEquality

MANIFEST EQUALITY IN LOS ANGELES

We believe in FULL & EQUAL RIGHTS for ALL Americans with no exceptions.

Throughout history artists have lent their creative expression to the ideas and issues that shape life in our communities, our country and our world. The MANIFEST EQUALITY Gallery gathers together a diverse array of hundreds of the nation’s most talented visual artists under one roof to celebrate that role and join with our gay (LGBT) friends, family members and co-workers to demand full and equal rights for all Americans.

The  MANIFEST EQUALITY Gallery, issues an inspiring, visual call-to-action, with hundreds of artists motivating public energy toward true reform on a local, state and national level.

States of Union in New Orleans

States of Union 11 was chosen to be part of a group show entitled “The American Dream” at the New Orleans Photo Alliance Gallery.   “The American Dream” was juried by 2005 Guggenheim and 2000 MacArthur Fellow, Dr. Deborah Willis.  Dr. Willis is the chair of the Department of Photography and Imaging at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

States of Union 11

States of Union 11

States of Union 11