CommunityPam's House Blend

Netroots Action for Marriage Equality in Delaware

This is Bill Humphrey, and he’s the statewide director for Delaware Right to Marry Political Action Committee. He’s got a little problem, really, just a little one. And I know we at the Blend and in the Netroots can help him out.

This has been Cross-Posted to the Daily Kos. Please Rec if you can.First, here’s a special note to Pam’s House Blend from Bill:

We at Delaware Right to Marry are grateful for the chance to address readers of Pam’s House Blend directly today. If you read the “About” page by Pam, she cites “the right to marry” as one of the issues that led her to start the site in the first place. It’s an interesting choice of words: the right to marry. A lot of people don’t think marriage is a right. Having grown up in Massachusetts during the transition to marriage equality, I firmly believe that it is a right (as you can tell by our organization’s name), and it’s one of the reasons I started the organization last year here in Delaware, where I now live.

In April 2009, Nate Silver estimated that Delaware voters would be ready to accept marriage equality by 2011 if it were put to a vote. However, unlike in many states, there is no ballot initiative process (which is a good thing since people should not be able to vote on other people’s rights), nor is there an equal rights clause in the state’s constitution to allow for a court ruling in favor of marriage equality, as in Massachusetts or Iowa. So in Delaware we have to go the legislative route. That means appealing to legislators, by showing them that marriage equality is right and (we hope) popular. That’s where you come in.

A note to the transgender community: We are very supportive of promoting transgender rights in the state of Delaware, and members of our staff are heavily involved in other projects for transgender individuals outside our organization. For example, our assistant director is currently leading a project for gender-neutral housing options for students living on campus at the University of Delaware.

While, our organization right now is solely single-issue (marriage equality for same-sex couples), there are other organizations in the state with a broader policy agenda for LGBT people, and my assumption is that they are working to add transgender protections at some point in the near future. However, I can’t speak for those organizations, and we did not exist when the previous nondiscrimination legislation, which some of you may know about, came up for debate. I am personally supportive of transgender rights and in the future, it may be something we add to our mission.

See, Bill’s working to get marriage equality onto Delaware’s legislative agenda this session. And if it gets off the ground, its got a good chance of passing. The problem is, it’s been a long time since anyone checked in with good people of Delaware about how they feel about LGBT issues. And it seems, these issues are on an upswing, so there’s good reason to believe when the news comes back it’ll be good. And as he said, king of polling, Nate Silver agrees.

But, polls don’t conduct themselves. So, Bill needs just $2,250 dollars to pay Public Policy Polling to conduct a poll on Delaware residents’ attitudes about marriage equality.

Big Money

I know, it’s gauche to ask for money. I personally believe I was made for better things. But the reality is the anti-gay hate industry is rich. Very rich. And they are powerful, and have the ears of some powerful folks. Just one group, National Organization for Marriage (NOM), is estimated in 2009 to have collected $3,000,000, including a single donation of $1,400,000 from Catholic Church affiliated Knights of Columbus. And they sunk millions into a variety of races around the country. In this last cycle they spent half a million dollars to go after those judges in Iowa.

NOM also sunk half a million dollars going after Governor Lynch in New Hampshire for signing a marriage equality bill. They didn’t get their prize. (Yay!) But they’re not backing down. They’re gearing up to spend at least $100k in Rhode Island.

They have lots of money. Fortunately, we have the arc of a just universe on our side. And, we also have facts. But Bill and his group just need the money to mine for those facts.

Little Money

When Bill’s request came to me I was struck by its quaintness. $2,250 is not much, it’s pretty obtainable. I mean, I’m used to reading these budgets of six digits. So, I figure, if everyone donated just $10 (the cost of a movie ticket!), we’d only need 225 nationwide to chip in. (Of course, if you give more, that’s great!) And we can help Bill and Right to Marry lay the a solid groundwork for a nice victory in Delaware. Let’s go to it.

Now, think carefully. And remember, the extremists in Delaware must be pretty dispirited that their teabagger Queen Christine O’Donnell got Royally trounced in the last election. They lost their chance to make masturbation illegal. I imagine the left scoring a marriage equality victory in 2011 would be a real kick in the pants, wouldn’t it? And wouldn’t that just be a shame?

Transcript for the video impaired.

Hi. My name is Bill Humphrey, and I’m the statewide director for Delaware Right to Marry Political Action Committee.

We are leading the effort to pass legislation this year for civil marriage equality in the state of Delaware. Our bill is modeled upon the 2009 New Hampshire marriage equality law and contains clear protections for unhindered freedom of religion. We believe we have a very strong draft law, which we hope to have introduced soon. [Read the proposal outline here.]

Today, I’m here with a pretty simple request. There hasn’t been a poll done in the state of Delaware on any LGBT issues for several years. We think that opinions have shifted significantly just in the last few years, and we’re ready to put that to the test. However, in order to do that, we still need about two thousand dollars for our poll by Public Policy Polling. We’re an all-volunteer organization, and we are absolutely counting on small-dollar donations from the netroots to help pay for the poll.

We also should note that we have to get this poll done in the next several weeks in order to be able to move our effort legislative ahead this year because the legislative session in Delaware is fairly short. Right now we also have a pro-LGBT Democratic governor, a Democratic supermajority in the House, and a Democratic Senate majority. We don’t know how long that situation might last, and we don’t want to fight this out in an election year either. That makes this period extremely critical.

Donations of any amount – big or small – are deeply appreciated.

If you would prefer to just write a check, there’s a link below with information on how to do that. Otherwise, you can just use the ActBlue link below to donate securely and instantly.

Thanks again for your support. It really makes a difference.

Donate on our ActBlue page to help pay for the poll:

Or How to donate by check.

Thanks for watching, and reading. Two prior diaries by Bill:
Why Does Marriage Equality Matter to You Help Us Bring Marriage Equality to Delaware

You can follow the news of this story at Delaware Right To Marry’s Facebook page.

Special Note: Please welcome Bill to the Blend, he’s posting under the handle, Delaware Right To Marry and will be taking questions at 11:00 am EST on Wednesday.

Previous post

Fairy Tales of the Coming State of the Union: If We Keep Issuing Debt Our Main Creditors Won't Buy It

Next post

Survivalism Can Be Sprouts & Potatoes, Guns Won't Help You Survive