Category Archives: Activism

The Effects of Citizens United Need to End

It’s almost a year until the next election, and Super PACs and special interest groups are already airing ads all over the country. As we inch closer to election day, they’re going to get worse.

Citizens United is threatening to reduce our elections to a game of “who has the biggest wallet.”

Our campaign finance system can’t take another hit — and with the McCutcheon case looming, ready to strike another blow to our campaign finance safeguards, we all need to take action. Tell Congress to take action to reverse the effects of Citizens United.

The only way we can win this fight is if we continue to work together.

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Filed under Activism, Politics

Why the Vodka Boycott Won’t Actually Help Russia’s Gays

Stolichnaya vodka

Stolichnaya vodka (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

America’s “only advice columnist,” Dan Savage, has called for a boycott of Russian vodka to protest attacks on gays by anti-gay legislation backed by President Vladimir Putin. Over at The New York Times, Mark Lawrence Schrad has written about why the boycott might backfire.

First, boycotting vodka does nothing for Russia’s LGBT population. It’s totally symbolic . Symbolic boycotts are important, but so is knowing the effects of your actions.

Second, a boycott allows Pres. Putin to portray America as a specter intent on violating Russian sovereignty and morals. Polls show that two-thirds of Russians consider homosexuality unacceptable. This conservative context, Schrad argues, allows Pres. Putin to portray himself as the defender of traditional Orthodox Christian values fighting off a threat from the liberal West.

Third, the Kremlin’s reliance on vodka is largely over, making efforts to enforce the boycott ineffective. (For example, Stolichnaya, which is distilled in Latvia and owned by the SPI Group in Luxembourg, has been the primary target. In fact, the owners of SPI fled Russia years ago.)

Have you participated in the boycott of Russian vodka?

Via NYT.

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Filed under Activism, Civil Rights, Economy, Entertainment, If You Were Gay, Sick Sad World, World

Call on Congress to Take Action to Avoid School Shootings

English: Columbine High School in Columbine, C...

English: Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Daniel was a smart, quiet kid. He’d become a straight-A student, and he was a new member of the debate team.

On April 20th, 1999, the bright 15-year-old was killed by two teenagers with guns in the library of Columbine High School. He was one of twelve kids who lost their lives for no reason.

These tragedies keep happening, and Congress has failed to take any action to stop them, even though nine in ten Americans have agreed that expanding background checks would help close the loopholes that put guns in the hands of dangerous people and prevent future violence.

Tell Congress to act: http://my.barackobama.com/Do-One-Thing-for-Gun-Violence-Prevention

 

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Filed under Activism, Crime and Punishment, Sick Sad World

Washington Post Locks Down During Anti-Muslim Brotherhood Protest

Washington Post is sold

Washington Post is sold (Photo credit: vpickering)

 

On Thursday, The Washington Post made news of its own.

 

An anti-Muslim Brotherhood protest that started at the White House ended at the Post‘s building, which then went on lockdown.

 

Foreign policy blogger Max Fisher tweeted  a photo of the protesters right outside the lobby doors, writing “Wash Post lobby on lockdown with giant pro-Sissi/anti-Morsi protest out front,” and “this never happened at @TheAtlantic.”

 

Via Politico.

 

 

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Filed under Activism, International Justice, News, Politics, War and Peace, World

Cooch Reiterates: LGBT People are “Soulless” and “Self-Destructive”

English: Attorney General of Virginia Ken Cucc...

English: Attorney General of Virginia Ken Cuccinelli (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ken “Cooch” Cuccinelli, the candidate for Governor of Virginia, recently said that LGBT people are soulless and “self-destructive.”

If Cooch wins, he’d be leading one of our nation’s most critical swing states. Even worse, a Cooch victory would send a message to both parties for the 2014 elections that voters don’t care that much about equality. We can’t let that happen.

That’s why the Human Rights Campaign is putting organizers on the ground in crucial Virginia districts and mobilizing tens of thousands of HRC supporters in the state.  We need to make a statement at the ballot box. Join HRC to help expand equality across the country.

Here’s the thing about Cooch: he’s not alone. Elected officials across the country share his views, and they’re working every day to end or gut hard-fought protections for LGBT Americans.

Laws can be undone in a heartbeat. It took years to win thirteen states with marriage equality and a DOMA-free country. We can’t afford to turn back the clock.

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Filed under Activism, Civil Rights, If You Were Gay, Politics, Stupid Is As Stupid Does

McDonnell Urges Every Governor to Help Keep Mentally Unstable People from Having Guns

Governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell speaking at...

Governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell speaking at CPAC. Please attribute to Gage Skidmore if used elsewhere. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pay attention, because this might be the only good thing I have to say in favor of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell.

Gov. McDonnell just sent a letter to every Governor, urging them to close the gaps that allow mentally unstable people to buy guns.

Since the tragic Virginia Tech shooting, Virginia has made this issue a top priority. Their progress has set an example for the nation.

As head of the Republican Governors Association, NRA-endorsed Gov. McDonnell shows that keeping guns from dangerous people is more important than politics.

It’s a huge moment, and you can help make sure every Governor in America reads this letter and takes action.

Sign Gov. McDonnell’s letter and make sure your Governor takes action to prevent the next Virginia Tech tragedy.

Too many states haven’t closed the gaps that five years ago allowed a mentally unstable man to buy a gun and murder thirty-two people at Virginia Tech.

Governor McDonnell writes in his letter:

I believe that we can all work together to help prevent these acts from occurring again anywhere in our Nation. I write to ask for your support in providing critical information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Nearly half the states have submitted fewer than 100 mental health records into the system. Four have submitted none at all. That means millions of records are missing, and every missing record is another tragedy waiting to happen.

Please sign Gov. McDonnell’s letter and call on all states to get their records of prohibited gun purchasers into our national background check system: http://fixgunchecks.org/mcdonnell

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Filed under Activism, National

Urge Washington to Protect LGBT Employees

U.S. LGBT employment discrimination law. Sexua...

U.S. LGBT employment discrimination law (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In twenty-nine states, you can be fired for being gay. You can be fired in thirty-four states for being transgender.

One member of Congress, Steve King (R-IA), recently suggested a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” style policy, where lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people stay closeted at work, so their bosses “won’t know who to discriminate against.”

In the face of offensive right-wing rhetoric like this, there are two things we can push for: the White House must make sure federal contractors aren’t discriminating, and the Senate must hold hearings on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Tell our leaders in Washington there can be no excuses for inaction on vital workplace protections. Now is the time for a full-fledged federal response.

The President can expand the reach of non-discrimination policies by telling all companies that do business with the federal government that they can’t discriminate against LGBT employees. Such an order would bring these companies’ policies in line with the best practices of major American businesses.

We also need to break the logjam on Capitol Hill that has left the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) languishing. The bill, which has the support of a supermajority of Americans and the Administration, affirms the idea that employees should be judged on performance, not personal characteristics. Nothing should matter at work except how you do your job.

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Filed under Activism, If You Were Gay, National, Stupid Is As Stupid Does