WASHINGTON - September 23 - The National Black Justice Coalition, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, National Stonewall Democrats and Pride At Work are co-convening the “LGBTQ Table” for One Nation Working Together , a new progressive movement demanding secure jobs, justice and quality education. LGBTQ groups will be joining with thousands of progressive allies in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 2 for One Nation Working Together's national rally. “This is about getting people energized and re-engaged,” says Sharon Lettman-Hicks, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition. “We can show our collective leadership by mobilizing our constituents, and we will continue to stand tall and steadfast until our priority initiatives become a reality.”
More than 200 organizations have endorsed One Nation Working Together, including the NAACP, AFL-CIO, SEIU and many other labor, civil and human rights, faith, immigrant rights, environmental, women and peace organizations.
"Everyone deserves the right to find and keep a job in a safe work environment with a living wage," says Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "This is about fundamental fairness. This includes ensuring people are not discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. It's about passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. It's about ending 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' It's about ensuring people get a fair shake and are able to support and care for their families. It's about real lives and livelihoods."
The nation's economic climate has left people all across the country vulnerable, and the ongoing discrimination in employment, schools, housing, health care and the absence of relationship recognition present added economic barriers and stresses for many within the LGBTQ community. In addition, the 12 million undocumented immigrants, including at least half a million LGBTQ people living in this country and 36,000 binational couples, deserve access to a system that allows workers to earn legal status and permits people from all backgrounds to stay with their families.
“One Nation Working Together has already been an unprecedented opportunity for the LGBT community to work in coalition with many progressive organizations with a common purpose,” says Michael Mitchell, executive director of National Stonewall Democrats. “The focus of One Nation Working Together — jobs, justice, education — is also what we are fighting for as LGBT Americans.”
"One Nation Working Together is about Oct. 2, 2010, in Washington, D.C., but it is much more than that,” says Peggy Shorey, executive director of Pride at Work. “This is about building stronger coalitions at the intersection of race and sexuality, and becoming more effective allies across our communities. This is about lifting the voice and struggle of low-income LGBT people, of LGBT people living in poverty, of LGBT working families struggling with unemployment and discrimination, of LGBT people also fighting racism. Just as important as Oct. 2 is how we carry the work forward — encouraging all of our members to register and vote in November, and continuing to organize in solidarity to win justice and equality for all people.”
Also on Oct. 2, the Whitman-Walker Clinic in Washington, D.C., is hosting its 24th annual AIDS Walk Washington, which takes place Saturday morning prior to the One Nation Working Together rally. Event information, including registration, is available at www.aidswalkwashington.org . Whitman-Walker Clinic is proud to be a partner organization of One Nation Working Together. Rally attendees can sign-up online for the AIDS Walk and receive a 25 percent discount off the standard registration rate (code:ONWT).
The LGBTQ Table is encouraging people to support the AIDS Walk, as well as rally with One Nation Working Together. LGBTQ organizations and activists are invited to gather at Freedom Plaza at 10 a.m. to share in the closing ceremonies of the AIDS Walk and then march as a delegation to the One Nation Working Together rally.
For more details of how to get involved in One Nation Working Together, visit www.onenationworkingtogether.org Facebook at “One Nation Working Together,” or Twitter using the hashtags #OneNation, #DC10210 and #OneNationLGBTQ.
Several important news items in the past week underscore the dire situation of the poor and the working class in the United States, but got little attention from the corporate media or the political elite. The number of people in poverty has climbed to 44 million, the highest number in 50 years. In 2009 alone, 4 million people fell into poverty, and it would have been higher without the extensions in unemployment and other benefits Republicans opposed.
The number of people without health insurance climbed to 50 million. The healthcare crisis continues to worsen while the right-wing calls for repealing the healthcare program that will cover 30 million more people. Health insurance companies are already gouging people and dumping children and sick people before the law is fully implemented, while Republicans want to cut all public healthcare programs and throw us all to the mercy of insurance companies.
While corporate profits and CEO pay continue to skyrocket, even after the Great Recession they created out of greed, the wages and income of working class continues to decline. There is a class war, but it is a war of the corporate rich being waged on the working class.
What I don’t understand is why the Tea Party, which claims to represent “we the people,” is taking the side of the corporate rich. They defend private insurance companies which are rationing healthcare based on ability to pay while increasing their profits and CEO pay. They are siding with corporations against unions and the right of workers to organize and improve their working conditions.
Instead, the Tea Party is following millionaire corporate lobbyists like Dick Armey, and corporate front groups like “Freedom Works” and “Americans For Prosperity,” which are nothing but cover groups for insurance companies and energy companies who oppose “regulations” which would protect the environment and increase access to healthcare.
They claim to want to reduce the deficit and cut government debt, but they want to continue to cut taxes on the corporate rich, without any cuts to pay for them. It is this combination of careless tax cuts favoring the rich, along with unpaid wars and increases in military spending, which has caused the explosion in the deficit, all the result of the policies of George W. Bush, which they want to continue.
The Tea Party is taking over the Republican Party, pushing a radical agenda to impose corporate and theocratic rule over the United States. They want to cut or eliminate Social Security, the most successful social program in history, which has nothing to do with the deficit. They claim to be opposed to “big government,” but they want to impose their religious beliefs on everyone, and they seem to love big business.
The Boston Tea Party was a revolt against unfair tax cuts for a multinational corporation, the East India Tea Company, which undermined the small businesses in the colonies. The British were imposing taxes on the colonies, while cutting the taxes of the East India Tea Company. We need a real Tea Party revolt against tax cuts and corporate welfare programs that favor the corporate rich and put the interests of Wall Street banksters over the interests of the American working class. We need to pay more attention to the “common good” and and less attention to the whining of rich people who don’t care about the “general welfare” of we the people.
A repeal of the military's anti-gay "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is coming up for a vote Tuesday, as part of the defense authorization bill. It's not clear if the Democrats have enough votes, though, to break a Republican filibuster led by crazy Sen. John McCain.
A new national poll from the Associated Press found that 52% of Americans support marriage equality, following a CNN poll last month that showed a similar finding.
The AP poll asked 1,007 Americans, "Should the Federal Government give legal recognition to marriages between couples of the same-sex, or not?’ 52% of those polled responded ‘Yes.’ 46% responded ‘No.’ And 2% responded ‘Don't know.’”
Carol Ann and Laura Stutte, long-time life partners who have been together for 15 years and are raising a daughter in the small town of Vonore, Tennessee, just south of Knoxville, reported that they received numerous threats from a neighbor–including a threat to “kill them and burn down their house”–over the span of the five years they lived in the town. On September 4th, their house was burned down to the ground and their garage was spray painted with the word “queers.
Gratefully Carol and Laura Stutte were away when the house burned. But they lost everything.
Police have confirmed that this was a case of arson. Investigators are currently conducting interviews about the crime. Tennessee has a hate crime penalty enhancement law that includes property hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation – the federal hate crime statute does not include property crimes.
While Log Cabin Republicans and more prominent conservative Republicans are pushing to end DADT, and support marriage equality, the Obama administration is defending DADT in court and Obama continues to oppose gay marriage (publicly) and now is to the right of many conservatives!
The recent court decision declaring DADT unconstitutional gives the Democrats and Obama a perfect opening to end DADT, and a vote is scheduled. It may be the last chance for the Obama administration to accomplish anything for LGBT civil rights.