View Full Version : Have you contacted your senator?
06-02-2006, 12:02 AM
Hey all - reminder, not that you're all that likely to forget, but just the same, reminder - to contact your US Senators today through next week when the federal marriage amendment comes up for a vote.
If you've never lobbied before, it really can be easy. I found my Senators' contact info on their webpages, which I bookmarked, and you can send short notes via email or webforms. Additionally, you can make a quick phone call to your senators' office and leave a brief message with a staffer to the effect that you are a constituent and you oppose the FMA. Can be done in just minutes!
Now back to your usual programming.
06-02-2006, 12:21 AM
Thanks for the reminder Zerbie. I will do that tomorrow. :)
06-02-2006, 02:02 AM
Yes, thank you Zerbie. That's exactly why I just posted that new thread.
In fact you can visit it at: www.won'tsombodypleasethinkofthechildren.dot. (http://www.soulforce.org/forums/showthread.php?t=745)
06-02-2006, 10:03 AM
I would if I still lived in the states. :)
I think I'll send Emproph's link to my mom, though. She might be interested.
May 31, 2006
The Honorable Barack Obama
United States Senate
713 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator Obama:
I understand that next week the United States Senate will be debating a proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States that would ban the marriage of same sex couples. I respectfully encourage you to stand against this proposal.
As a gay American, I am saddened by a political movement that seeks to codify an attitude of repugnance toward lesbian and gay people into our most fundamental governing document. A constitutional amendment designed to specifically interfere in the personal lives of an increasingly accepted American minority is very misguided, playing as it does on lingering fears and misunderstandings. While it may be politically expedient for senators with very conservative constituencies, I believe it will ultimately be reviled like the ugly politics of those who opposed the civil rights movement in America’s recent history. I am ashamed of those who have proposed this amendment, and frankly, somewhat frightened by the dogmatic forces at work in our nation to support it.
Thank you for your good work on behalf of the citizens of the State of Illinois and all Americans. I am very proud to have you as our Senator.
06-02-2006, 06:23 PM
Dash, love the new pic!
Question all - lets say the Senate passes this act - does it become law or up for a vote from US citizens? I really need to read all the links in this thread before Monday!!!
I have a phone number from an email I received today, I think it's a generic number for the Senate and then you have to say who your Senator is, and so on. Does anyone have their email address??
06-02-2006, 06:46 PM
Hey Dash, I like the new avatar too. Very cool. :cool:
And of course, thank you for that letter to Obama!
So Tdogg, you can try this place:
That will give you webforms, anyway.
I wasn't able to find my senator's email on the site. But I DID find McCain's email address posted on my local ANTI-GAY group's website. So if you can't find email any other way, I suggest you look up the website for your nearest anti-gay, "defense of marriage" type organization and see if they have posted an action alert asking folks to email their senators in support of the FMA. That's how I found Senator McCain's email, b/c the very anti-gay azpolicy.org had it posted so their supporters could contact him easily. I often get the most information from the anti-gay websites, they are so thorough. So, if all else fails, try that!
Thanks for contacting your senators everyone! Keep it up! Only a few days til this thing gets debated and voted on.
Oh and to answer a question: as far as I understand, if this amendment were to actually pass, then it WOULD become the law of the land. It is not a citizen referendum, it is a Constitutional Amendment, which as I understand things, means it would go into effect and obliterate things like Mass' marriage equality, civil unions, domestic partnerships and so on. Can anyone else confirm or deny this? I'm not as up-to-speed about the federal amendment as I am on my Arizona state one.
It'd hafta be ratified by 3/4 of the states before it became a part of the constitution...long process.
I don't even think they have the votes to pass the proposal in the Senate, but there's every reason to be active now.
06-02-2006, 07:06 PM
Oh! Right! I remember that now! I had forgotten.
Yes, word is there aren't the votes to pass the thing. But since our opponents are making lots of noise to their senators, we sorta have to now, too. They keep bringing this amendment back and back and back again. :rolleyes:
06-02-2006, 10:15 PM
Letters sent. Thank you for the reminder!
06-03-2006, 10:28 AM
Well, I hate to be completely futilistic, but it will do absolutely no good in my state (Georgia) to contact my senators. I've done it before -- many times. With Johnny Isaakson and Saxby Chambliss, it's rather like pissing in the wind (if you'll forgive the crude analogy). I've sent letters to my senators and congresspeople many times in the past, and to Dubya. I get these lovely form letters back explaining the party line about how gay folks are gonna ruin marriage and how important it is to protect our children from the gay threat.
And now, in Georgia, the most hopeful Democratic contender for governor has come out against gay marriage (Cathy Cox). Hmmm. She pandered to the right wing -- what a surprise coming from a Democrat (please note sarcasm). Same lady who gladhanded me and my partner at my firm Christmas party no less, trying to get our votes.
There are very few people we can vote for here in Georgia who are supportive of us. John Lewis is a saving grace, but he's getting older now, and I'm not sure how much longer he'll be able to hang in there politically. There are some local politicians who are supportive, too, but mostly just a few in the Atlanta area. The GA constitutional amendment banning gay marriage was recently overturned, but our lovely "guvnuh" Perdue made some threats, and the Georgia Supreme Court will review the decision in July (I think), in time for the conservatives to add it to the ballot in November again -- changing the language a bit, so it'll pass with constitutional muster this time. It's like a game, round and round we go, with the end result being that GLBT rights in Georgia are basically f*&ked and there's nothing we can do about it. It's sort of like the Civil Rights Era -- if we had let Georgians vote on civil rights for blacks in the 1960's, what do you think would have happened? Hmmmm.
How in the world did Jimmy Carter come out of this state? Of course, he says he's against gay marriage, too.
My partner and I met Max Cleland (our former Democratic senator) in a cafe one day, and we shook his hand and thanked him for his integrity. We said we were appalled at how Saxby Chambliss slung mud during the campaign (slinging mud is mild for what he did to Cleland) and Cleland lost his senate seat. I don't know Cleland's views on this subject, either, but Cleland was pretty clear he's not willing to run again -- he can't and won't put up with being smeared by such folks as Chambliss.
So, I haven't decided yet whether to participate in any activism this time (letter writing campaign or anything else). The politicians are going to do what they want to do, in the name of their "Gawd", and I feel I really have no political voice in the matter. My vote here in Georgia is barely worth my time in casting it, though I've been hopeful enough to continue to vote. Frustrating, though, as I rarely have a choice to support a politician who supports MY rights.
Sorry to be such a downer, and I'm sure people will disagree with me about the futility of taking action in this circumstance. I guess I've lost the hope that I can make any difference by appealing to my elected "representatives." I used to think that every letter, every voice, could make a difference -- now I'm not so sure. I wish I lived in a state where I had a senator who wasn't totally and completely bought out by right wing conservatives. :mad:
I've gotta move back to Massachusetts. Wish I could (believe me, my partner and I have talked about it). :(
06-03-2006, 10:57 AM
That's actually inspiring that you're so on top of things there as far as what's going on.
I can definitely identify with the sense of frustration, and I don't think your tale of 'futility' will surprize many, if any. At least not around here.
It's just Good to know there are other humans out there and about, keeping such close watch. :weee:
06-03-2006, 01:47 PM
Totally with ya, Suze.
As for futility, hey - I'm lobbying McCain and KYL!!!!!! Kyl - a co-sponsor - boy did I feel like an idiot composing a letter opposing the FMA to HIM!! :rolleyes:
But I figured this is one of those circumstances where windmill-tilting is de rigeur.
And also, that if a LOT of us - thousands and thousands of us - contact our senators, even those casting AYE votes do so knowing there is significant dissent amongst their constituency.
I've written letters to these folks many times. I too feel like it's useless, but if it's all I CAN do, then I must do it. At least this isn't Nigeria where a letter like that could get me a 5 year prison sentence (according to the new law they are about to pass). Yeah. At least I CAN write a letter.
There are some battles I don't bother to try for, but this is one of those that I won't let slip by without doing *something*, however futile.
Hey - I wrote "dubya" a hand-written letter on my personal stationary once, when he was my governor - asking him to re-consider his stance on gay issues. Hahahahahahaha! I'm no stranger to futile. :disagree:
And it's precisely people like us who need to speak out, because if we don't, then there is silence on our side. I strongly encourage you to write anyway, Susan. If ya need ideas how to write to senators who strongly support the amendment, feel free to borrow from me if you like what I wrote, here it is:
My letter to Senator Kyl was something along the lines of:
Dear Senator Kyl,
My husband and I have followed with interest the developments surrounding the Federal Marriage Protection amendment. We are of the opinion that amending the US Constitution is a drastic step not to be taken simply to resolve a difficult political problem. (borrowed that phrase from McCain, thanks Senator!) The US Constitution exists to uphold civil liberties and freedoms, especially for politically marginalized groups.
I understand that you are a co-sponsor of the amendment. I understand it is unlikely that you would revise your position at this time. But I felt I must contact you to express an opposing view, and in the hope that you might reconsider your own views at some future time,
My Signature, contact info, etc.
Kind of blandly worded, but I thought under the circumstances, that was best. :confused:
06-05-2006, 01:21 PM
'Cuz the "debate" and vote are supposed to happen starting today/tomorrow.
Now's the time to PHONE your senators' offices, if ya haven't yet.
Or at least, email and webform. Make some noise, y'all!
06-05-2006, 03:26 PM
Letters sent. A few times. I don't think it will pass this time either. It's just so frustrating that it's even being attempted.
06-05-2006, 03:29 PM
I just googled my senators and sent both a personal statement today... which I also sent to our local papers.
06-05-2006, 04:04 PM
Whoohooo!!!!!!!!! Thanks to ya both!
Keep it up! Hey you lurkers, you too! Send those emails!!! ;) :D Thanks everyone.
06-05-2006, 05:23 PM
I know that this is just a political trick to divert attention from the real issues. it still bugs me, because the politicians use it to garner votes.
here's what Bush said today in a speech: On an issue of this great significance, opinions are strong and emotions run deep. And all of us have a duty to conduct this discussion with civility and decency toward one another. All people deserve to have their voices heard and a constitutional amendment will ensure that they are heard.
On the surface, it sounds like he's compassionate, understanding etc. but look deeper. How does creating a constitutional amendment that discriminates against lgbt people allow my voice, or any other lgbt voice to be heard?
06-05-2006, 06:01 PM
On an issue of this great significance, opinions are strong and emotions run deep. And all of us have a duty to conduct this discussion with civility and decency toward one another. All people deserve to have their voices heard and a constitutional amendment will ensure that they are heard.
[/I]On the surface, it sounds like he's compassionate, understanding etc. but look deeper. How does creating a constitutional amendment that discriminates against lgbt people allow my voice, or any other lgbt voice to be heard?
That's another one of these rationales: most people don't like gays so let them vote on gay marriage so that they feel "heard" so that we can carry on without facing several far more pressing issues.
The popularity vote AS fairness and respect for the voice of the people. McCain is justifying a state constitutional amendment in Arizona the exact same way.
Our job: keep clarifying for everyone else on the sidelines that these politicians are pressing for a POPULARITY VOTE against (primarily) the gay community. Popularity contests are being played with peoples' lives, is that what America stands for?
06-05-2006, 06:05 PM
In preparing a letter to my elected officials, I wanted it noted that one of my senators is Rick Santorum. :'( I'll write the letter......but when we talk about futility, I think PA forum members win hands down with this one!
06-07-2006, 08:43 AM
Well, I decided to do it after all. I wrote. I called.
As Johnny and Saxby sit laughing their a$$es off....
06-07-2006, 11:17 AM
Yesterday I spent an hour on www.senate.gov, emailing as many senators as I could. I think I got to Florida....
06-07-2006, 11:58 AM
Thank you all so much for what you have been doing - if these senators give one whit about their constituencies, they have at LEAST taken note that there is significant dissent and that we are not going to let them get away with scapegoating and smokescreens without calling them on it.
Santorum. Blech! But hey Steve, I've got Jon KYL. :'(
Who is Santorum's opponent in November? I know that's a senate race people are focusing on, to hopefully oust Santorum. Likewise, here we are hoping to oust Kyl.
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