Join the Fight!
-Make It Personal Campaign-

Journalist Deb Price writes:

Ultimately, change on a grand scale, changing people's minds, is always the result of ordinary women and men working on and with their neighbors. Every movement needs inspired leaders. But real change won't come from thrilling speeches any more than it will from court decisions or civil rights laws if the people who live under those decisions and laws don't change as well. Personal contact is the key to change of this sort. And personal contact with the people you need to move is exactly what a grassroots policy campaign gets you.


Money helps. But our biggest asset is ourselves — telling our friends, family and colleagues why being locked out of marriage harms us. Someone can be iffy on same-sex marriage, but still be persuaded that a lot more discussion needs to happen before discrimination is written into a state constitution.

Not only people living in the targeted states can make a difference with conversations. Many of us have friends or family, or school ties to those states.

The ACLU writes:
Polling results indicate that Michigan voters are much less inclined to support this initiative when they understand how far it goes.
This amendment could:

  • impact both opposite-sex and same-sex unmarried couples,
  • deny civil unions,
  • deny domestic partnerships and domestic partnership benefits for public employees.
This amendment WILL write discrimination into Michigan’s Constitution by singling out a group of people for second class status.

Take the time to talk about the proposed amendment with your friends, family and co-workers. The fight is far from over!

One of the strongest tools in the fight against discrimination and Proposal 2 is personal contact.
To that end, WE WANT YOU to be a part of our “MAKE IT PERSONAL CAMPAIGN”!

Number of Active People
Number of People Affected

Think about how many people you can touch every day…and the ripple effect your actions and words can make! Really think about it…take a moment to recognize what you have accomplished. Pretty amazing. We’d like to keep track of some of the personal impact “we the people” have and can make. Here’s how:

Just let us know how many people you have connected with personally about voting no on Proposal 2. You’ll probably be surprised. Friends, neighbors, family members, school or church groups, meetings, phone banking, working events, email contact…you have probably made a much larger impact then you would have guessed!

Just send us an email with the number of people you’ve touched. We’ll keep and post a tally!

Check out the FAQ page for some talking points or try some of these links:

Marriage Equality facts/talking points: http://www.marriageequality.org/facts.php?page=responses

HRC PRINTABLE MARRIAGE PAMPHLET AND FAQ list: http://www.hrc.org/Template.cfm?Section=Center&Template=/TaggedPage/TaggedPageDisplay.cfm&TPLID=63&ContentID=15110

FOR GAY MARRIAGE TALKING POINTS (To anyone, traditional conservatives, fiscal conservatives, religious conservatives and liberals still against gay marriage): http://www.forgaymarriage.org/talkingpts.aspx

Chart/box or whatever to keep a tally. One side number of people “making it personal” and the other with “number of people informed”

And another piece by Deb Price:
By Deb Price / The Detroit News
“Friend of the bride? Or friend of the groom?”
Massachusetts’ date with history is fast approaching. On May 17, it will become the first to grant state-authorized marriage licenses to gay couples. Already, the Bay State is having its final bout of pre-wedding jitters.

So this is none to soon to pose a slight variation on the question traditionally asked of wedding guests by ushers who want to know where to seat them: Friends of the brides and grooms? Millions of Americans will soon be witnessing the historic nuptials in Massachusetts and will have to decide whether to side with the latest batch of gay newlyweds — and share their joy.

Although pollsters phrase their surveys a bit differently from my “friends of” question, they’ve long documented heterosexuals’ increasing comfort with those of us who’re gay. Now, an encouraging Los Angeles Times poll shows exactly how gay people are changing the nation by coming out — and why it’s essential that we keep introducing ourselves.

The proportion of Americans “sympathetic to the gay community” has doubled to 60 percent since 1983. That’s not surprising because 69 percent of people say they have a gay friend, relative or co-worker — up from 46 percent in 1985.

The poll’s most eye-popping findings? Americans knowing at least one gay person are almost four times more likely to support gay marriage than those who don’t know anyone — 31 percent compared with 8 percent, according to data provided to me by Times analysts. Of the “know someone” group, 43 percent prefer civil unions. Only 23 percent oppose both marriage and civil unions for gay couples.

A majority of the “don’t know anyone” crowd — 58 percent — opposes both gay marriage and civil unions; 29 percent endorse civil unions.

Likewise, opposition to amending the U.S. Constitution to ban gay marriage is twice as strong among the “know someone” group as among their “don’t know” counterparts — 50 percent versus 24 percent.

Clearly, getting acquainted with openly gay people changes minds — and hearts. That’s true even among Christian fundamentalists: Forty-two percent of fundamentalists who know gay people are “sympathetic” compared with 16 percent of those who don’t.

When gay people go beyond basic introductions and enable others to really understand us, the payoff is even more tremendous:
Asked if it’s “possible for two people of the same sex to be in love ... the way that a man and woman can be in love,” 58 percent said, “Yes.” Of that 58 percent, a whopping 82 percent support government recognition of gay couples — either through marriage (40 percent) or civil unions (42 percent). In stark contrast, one-third of those who say it’s impossible to equate gay love and straight love support such recognition (less than 5 percent favor gay marriage; 29 percent favor civil unions).

Now for the bad news: Most gay people are still way too secretive. We’ve got to do more to push beyond our fear and shyness. A survey of gay men, lesbians and bisexuals conducted by Harris Interactive for the Human Rights Campaign found that although 77 percent say they are “out,” a tiny 4 percent are out to everyone.

A Times finding ought to ease some worries: 68 percent of folks who don’t know anyone gay say they’d still be friendly with a friend or co-worker who came out.

Gay people are most likely to be out to close friends (93 percent), siblings (72 percent), parents (68 percent), casual friends (65 percent), and co-workers (60 percent). Next in line are other relatives, including grandparents (55 percent) and bosses (47 percent).

From there, visibility vanishes. Only 16 percent of gays who regularly attend a place of worship are out there. And only 3 percent are out to neighbors and doctors.

To win more friends, gay people have to risk being more open. It’s just that easy and just that hard.
You can reach Deb Price at dprice@detnews.com or (202) 906-8205.
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