Give OUT Day is an annual opportunity for each of us to make a tax-deductible contribution (no matter how big or small) to support the work we do for all LGBTIQ families. It’s a chance for members of the LGBTIQ community and our many allies to stand up and show support. MEUSA is asking for your support this year on Thursday, May 15, the second annual Give OUT Day! Learn more about how your donation helps MEUSA in its efforts to bring civil marriage equality to all Americans. Mark your calendar to remember to make your donation between midnight and 11:59 p.m. ET on the 15th, or visit our Give OUT Day page now to schedule your donation in advance.
Pages tagged "'meusainthenews'"
If you are in a same-sex relationship and you, your partner or your children are unfairly taxed on employer-sponsored health insurance by the federal government, AND you are provided a reimbursement for this tax by your employer, we would like to include you in our press efforts. As you may know, the reimbursement provided by your employer is taxed by the state of California because it is seen as income. Assemblymember Phil Ting strongly feels that California should not profit from the Federal government’s discrimination against gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals. The Assemblymember is carrying a piece of legislation called the “Same-Sex Tax Fairness Act”, which is sponsored by Equality California (EQCA). This legislation will prohibit California from taxing the reimbursements provided by the employer to the employee. Even with the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling to strike down DOMA and Proposition 8, same-sex couples will still be taxed for the 2013 fiscal year. Additionally, this is a time of large transition where California’s businesses are waiting for guidance from the Franchise Tax Board to change their human resource policies and the Franchise Tax Board is waiting for guidance from the Internal Revenue Service – while we wait for fairness from the Federal Government, we should not delay justice at the state level. As AB 362 heads to the Governor, we need your help. We need to demonstrate clearly that same-sex couples and same-sex headed households are being discriminated against by California’s tax laws. Because justice delayed is justice denied! To share your story, please contact Evan Minton at [email protected] or call 916-319-2659.
All summer long, it has been amazing to see the marriage map changing day by day as weddings performed by county clerks in New Mexico and Pennsylvania have proven once again that the marriage equality landscape has completely changed since the landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings this June. Watching joyful couples lining up in county after county has been a wonderful reminder of the power we have on the local level to create national change – a lesson we learned almost a decade ago on the steps of San Francisco City Hall. In February 2004 when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom opened the doors of City Hall to marry all loving couples regardless of gender, it jump-started a movement and began the journey that led up to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling this June that restored marriage equality in California. Mayor Newsom stated, "Laws are made to be broken at times to find out if they are really legit or not." San Francisco also maintained in court that it was enforcing the California constitution's guarantees of equal protection, and thus answering a higher call when it defied the state statute restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples. Opponents of equality worried that the freedom to marry was spreading "like wildfire," as 2004 saw marriage licenses granted in places as diverse as New Paltz, New York; Multnomah County, Oregon; Sandoval County, New Mexico; and of course in Massachusetts. The New Mexico marriages of 2013 began with an echo of the words of Gavin Newsom, as Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins declared, “I took an oath to uphold the Constitution.” Yet unlike in 2004, the marriages being performed in New Mexico today are not in defiance of state law; indeed, many of these marriages are taking place as a result of court orders finding it unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In fact, New Mexico marriage law does not specify gender – so rather than acts of defiance these weddings are acts of compliance with the state constitution, which prohibits this discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the words of one court: "Gay and lesbian citizens of New Mexico have endured a long history of discrimination. Denial of the right to marry continues this unfortunate, intolerable pattern and establishes irreparable injury on plaintiffs' part." Nationally, the marriages of 2013 are taking place in a transformed legal landscape thanks to the Windsor decision overturning Section 3 of DOMA – the U.S. Supreme Court holding that laws discriminating against married same-sex couples “have no legitimate purpose” and serve only to express “animus and disapproval,” which is not a constitutionally appropriate reason to make law. Justice Kennedy described couples with equal marriage rights as living “with pride in themselves and their union and in a status of equality with all other married persons.” All across the country, echoes of Windsor are reverberating at the local level. In Pennsylvania, Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples with the U.S. Supreme Court decision in mind, saying "I decided to come down on the right side of history and the law...." In Ohio, a federal judge ordered that state to honor the legal marriage of James Obergefell and John Arthur, who is dying of ALS, when the couple returned from their wedding in Maryland: "The purpose served by treating same-sex married couples differently than opposite-sex married couples is the same improper purpose that failed in Windsor and in Romer: 'to impose inequality' and to make gay citizens unequal under the law. It is beyond cavil that it is unconstitutionally prohibited to single out and disadvantage an unpopular group." County by county, and wedding by wedding, we are seeing couples and clerks and judges bringing to life in their actions the words of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Windsor decision “to protect in personhood and dignity,” not just in marriage but in all aspects of our lives. Justice Kennedy wrote: “Responsibilities, as well as rights, enhance the dignity and integrity of the person.” How fitting that almost exactly two months later, a New Mexico judge wrote: "There is no benefit to the parties or the public interest in having this matter progress through a lengthy path of litigation while basic constitutional rights are being compromised or denied on a daily basis." What a wonderful reminder that as we celebrate love and marriage in more states than ever before, in the end the marriage cases are about so much more than marriage – they are about our full humanity.
WASHINGTON, August 19, 2013 — A coalition of national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights organizations, led by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, today issued the following open letter: An Open Letter in Support of 50th Anniversary of March on Washington
Over the past year, our community has celebrated tremendous wins in the fight for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality and justice. We have collectively cheered the first ever Senate committee markup of an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), the Social Security Administration’s modernization of its gender marker policy, and U.S. Supreme Court wins on marriage equality in theWindsor and Perry rulings. But we remain frustrated that ENDA is still not the law of the land and we’re angered and deeply disappointed with the Court’s decision to turn back critical parts of the historic Voting Rights Act in Shelby. We must channel this frustration and disappointment into action to tackle employment discrimination, voter suppression tactics, immigration reform and racial profiling, to name only a few. This month we have an opportunity to bring the combined energy from our victories to a major gathering that will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom. History was made that day 50 years ago when thousands came to Washington, D.C. to lift up their voices in support of civil rights, employment protection and an end to racial segregation in our nation’s schools. On August 24, 2013, we will rededicate ourselves to that dream of equality and justice. It has been over 40 years since Stonewall and the birth of the modern LGBTQ rights movement. As national, state and local LGBTQ organizations, we know that while there have been many advancements over the last four decades since Stonewall and the five decades since the 1963 March, there is still much more work to be done. We are proud to commemorate the 1963 March and, once again, come together and collectively take action to “Realize the Dream.” At a time when the nation still does not have clear federal laws barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, we still need to step up and be visible. We believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to find and keep a job in a safe work environment with a living wage regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. We also believe that all members of our community, whether they are seniors, middle-aged or youth, deserve to be safe from violence, harassment, exploitation and racial profiling when they are at home, school, work, or in any other public places. As LGBTQ people, we believe that quality health care should be accessible, affordable and culturally competent. We believe that the 11 million undocumented immigrants, including at least 267,000 undocumented LGBT people living in this country, should have a real pathway to citizenship and people from all backgrounds should be able to stay with their families. We believe these are issues that cut across all lines of gender, race and ethnicity, gender identity and sexual orientation, ability and immigration status. It’s time to join forces and demonstrate our collective power. Take Action Working together, this rally and mobilization is an opportunity to lift up the voices of LGBT people as part of a broad progressive agenda for social and economic justice. Please join us on Saturday, August 24, 2013, at 8 AM – 3 PM in Washington, D.C. at the DC War Memorial at 900 Independence Ave, SW, Washington, DC 20245. (The Memorial is located across Independence Ave. from the Martin Luther King Memorial), as we come together in support of freedom and justice! In Solidarity, Get Equal Human Rights Campaign National Black Justice Coalition National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Pride at Work, AFL-CIO Endorsers: Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice Believe Out Loud Bethel Christian Church, DC BiNet USA Bisexual Resource Center Center for Black Equity CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers The Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals Equality Federation Family Equality Council The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries FORGE, Inc. Freedom to Marry Freedom to Work Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network) GLAAD GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders) GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) Harvey Milk Foundation Immigration Equality Lambda Legal Leadership Team of NASPA GLBT Knowledge Community Marriage Equality USA National Center for Lesbian Rights National Center for Transgender Equality National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce NQAPIA Out & Equal Workplace Advocates PFLAG National Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) The Trevor Project Trans Advocacy Network Trans People of Color Coalition Transgender Law Center Unid@s, The National Latin@ LGBT Human rights Organization
[caption id="attachment_234" align="alignleft" width="300"] MEUSA hosted a large contingent in the 2013 San Francisco Pride Parade[/caption] Adopting a theme of Embrace, Encourage, Empower, San Francisco Pride 2013 will be remembered as one of the most celebratory Pride parades ever. Record-setting crowds cheered and celebrated the historic marriage rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court. The Marriage Equality USA contingent, which included couples together for many decades as well as couples who had just gotten married in SF City Hall, marched near the head of the parade to enthusiastic cheers from a crowd estimated at 1.5 million lining Market Street. "The crowd was especially joyous this year," noted MEUSA marcher Joe Capley-Alfano. Celebrating his 13th anniversary with Frank Capley-Alfano, Capley-Alfano added, "the weight of Prop 8 was finally lifted from our shoulders. We could see people's faces light up with joy!" [caption id="attachment_233" align="alignright" width="300"] Thom Watson and Jeff Tabaco march with the MEUSA contingent as part of the San Francisco Pride Parade[/caption] MEUSA marchers included families with kids in strollers, college students, GSA members, as well as many straight allies and relatives. Also in the parade were plaintiff couples Kris Perry & Sandy Stier and Jeff Zarillo & Paul Katami, who had “Just Married” signs on the back of their car – a reminder that marriage equality had just been restored in California and that legal weddings were taking place all weekend long in San Francisco City Hall. MEUSA contingent monitors Thom Watson and Jeff Tabaco, one of the first couples to get their wedding license at City Hall on June 28 and who plan to marry in September, carried signs reading "Just Engaged" and "He Said Yes." "All along the route, people cheered and showered us with congratulations," remarked Watson. "One woman even gave us flowers," Tabaco continued. "Our faces were beaming the entire route." In a first, MEUSA offered legal weddings at the MEUSA booth at the Pride Celebration on both Saturday and Sunday. Supportive clergy, with the dome of San Francisco City Hall in the background, brought newlyweds together, marking the first San Francisco Pride where couples were finally able to say “I Do.” By MEUSA News Manager John Mattras