Initiatives trample rights, California Justice Moreno says

Ballot initiatives have been used to mislead the public and trample on the rights of minorities, says Carlos Moreno, a Freedom to Marry Voice for Equality and the only California Supreme Court justice who voted to overturn the state's ban on the freedom to marry. "It's of great concern to me that certain basic rights, such as equal protection, the right to privacy and other fundamental rights, can be subject to change by simple majority vote," Moreno said in an interview last week while preparing to accept a gay-rights group's Equality Leadership Award.

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Remarks by California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno at EQCA Awards dinner Saturday night

For LGBT people nationwide, California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno (a Freedom to Marry Voice for Equality) is a profile in courage. Los Angeles native Moreno stuck to his principles and was the lone dissenting voice when the California high court voted to uphold Prop 8. Saturday night, Equality California honored Justice Moreno at a gala at City Hall in San Francisco - read his remarks.

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John Corvino: How to define the freedom to marry

Freedom to Marry Voice for Equality, John Corvino says, "There is no single, standard “definitional argument.” There are, rather, various definitional arguments, and part of the problem is pinning down which one our opponents intend."

"In the hope of advancing the debate—or at least of showing that the moving target is indeed moving—I’d like to distinguish, and briefly respond to, four versions."

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Voice for Equality: Rev. Albert Pennybacker

The Reverend Albert Pennybacker is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and serves as Religious Advisor to the Kentucky Fairness Alliance ( He served for over thirty-five years as a pastor in local congregations including Taftville Congregational Church in Norwich, Connecticut and Central Christian Church in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

On February 2, 2010, an Op-Ed piece by Rev. Pennybacker appeared in the Louisville, KY Courier-Journal challenging the positions held by the Catholic Archbishop of Louisville and other religious leaders that the freedom to marry is in opposition to "a received truth from God."

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Video Voice for Equality Update: Meghan McCain on The View

The View February 4, 2010
Meghan McCain talks about her participation - and her mother's recent photo shoot - supporting the NoH8 Campaign in California which opposes the ban on the freedom to marry. [Link]


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Voice for Equality: Amity Pierce Buxton

Amity Pierce Buxton, Ph.D. is the founder of Straight Spouse Network and author of The Other Side of the Closet: The Coming-Out Crisis for Straight Spouses and Families.

She served as Executive Director of SSN from 1991 until 2007. SSN is a nonprofit organization that offers support and information to empower straight spouses of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans partners and mixed-orientation couples to lessen their hurt, to cope with coming-out issues constructively, and to rebuild their lives. Its mission is reaching out, healing, and building bridges of understanding between spouses, within families, and with the larger community.

Amity is also a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Bisexuality and the Journal of GLBT Family Studies. Amity served on the board of Family Equality Council (FEC), and currently collaborates with them as well as with Parents Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), the Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Human Rights Campaign (HRC), The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) (GLAAD), and Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere (COLAGE ).

She continues to publish articles on various aspects of the mixed-orientation relationship phenomenon for journals and edited books. See her blog post for Freedom to Marry here.

Freedom to Marry salutes Amity Pierce Buxton as a Voice for Equality! Learn about other Voices for Equality here.

If Ms. Buxton's support inspires you - get involved.

**Make your NOMINATION for a Voice for Equality today!

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Voice for Equality: Hector Flores

The day after President Obama reiterated his pledge to repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in his 2010 State of the Union address, he traveled to the University of Tampa in Florida for a town hall meeting. He took six questions from the crowd, including one from Hector Flores, a senior performing arts and communication major, who went last and asked the president about equality for same-sex couples, including marriage. Explaining the background of this question, Flores says:
One of the things I feel my demographic is really missing out on is all the benefits we are not receiving. So I put the emphasis on marriage because of all the benefits we are missing because we cannot legally marry. I hope to live the American Dream, to get married and have a family one day... I was glad to hear that he feels that law-abiding citizens should share the same rights. So when he talked about changing things for federal jobs, and leading by example, I though that was a good step. It was small step, but it was a step in the right direction...But everyone needs to understand that he is one branch of three in our government. It’s up to everyone in our community to talk to our leaders, to get out there, and show that we’re not going anywhere. This is not just an Obama decision.[Link]

Freedom to Marry salutes Hector Flores as a Voice for Equality! Learn about other Voices for Equality here.

If Hector's support inspires you - get involved.

**Make your NOMINATION for a Voice for Equality today!

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Meghan McCain Says Her Father’s “Coming Along” on Freedom to Marry

Valley Fever (Phoenix New Times)
January 29, 2010

During a speech at the University of Florida, Meghan McCain said that her father, Sen. John McCain, is "coming along" on the freedom to marry: "He's 73 years old. It's difficult. I keep telling people 'You continue putting pressure on President Obama, and I'll continue putting pressure on my father.'" [Link]

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Voice for Equality: Melissa Harris-Lacewell

Melissa Harris-Lacewell is an American writer, political scientist and an Associate Professor of Politics and African American studies at Princeton University. She grew up in the Virginia cities of Charlottesville and Chester with a black father, the dean of Afro-American affairs at the University of Virginia; and a white mother, who taught at a community college and worked for nonprofits that helped poor communities. “I’ve never thought of myself as biracial,” Harris-Lacewell says. “I’m black.” She is the author of Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought on the methods African Americans use to develop political ideas through ordinary conversations in places like barbershops, churches, and popular culture. Harris-Lacewell's writings have been published in The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, Crain's Chicago Business and Newsday. She regularly provides commentary for NBC News and MSNBC, and has contributed to other television and print sources. Learn more here.

In a piece she wrote for The Nation in October 2009, Ms. Harris-Lacewell stated:
Today, many same-sex couples in the United States live in a fraught, contingent space of loving attachment, unprotected by state recognition. My fierce commitment to marriage equality derives, in part, from my personal biography as an interracial child, descended from American slaves, and raised in Virginia, beginning less than a decade after the Loving decision. Even though I am heterosexual, marriage equality is personal. I learn from the history of racial and interracial marriage exclusion that the denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples is wrong. [Link]
Freedom to Marry salutes Melissa Harris-Lacewell as a Voice for Equality! Learn about other Voices for Equality here.

If Ms. Harris-Lacewell's support inspires you, get involved!

**Make your NOMINATION for a Voice for Equality today!

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Meghan McCain is Redefining Republican

January 19, 2010

Meghan McCain is scheduled to speak at George Washington University's "Marriage Equality Week," scheduled for February 9. A student gay rights group is thrilled that she's coming, but a student Republican organization feels like they were duped. They wanted Ms. McCain to speak about the new face of the Republican Party, and now they're miffed that she'll be talking about the freedom to marry. [Link]

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