Here's the bad news:
As of this writing, some members of your state legislature are still planning to introduce an anti-gay “marriage” amendment to the state Constitution on Jan. 24. In fact, this amendment would be a “bait and switch” proposal that would ban public domestic-partner benefits, the possibility of civil unions, and even put at risk partners' medical decision-making rights, wills and contracts. A similar amendment in Ohio has even caused several domestic-violence cases to be thrown out (the two people involved weren't married and God forbid we give their relationships any “legal recognition”).
Here's the good news:
Our best chance of stopping this amendment is now, before it can go to the House floor. (Trust me: I work at the Capitol.) So several pro-LGBT groups are joining together to ask people across the state to do the most effective thing in these critical two weeks — contact your state representative's local office and ask to meet with him or her. Meeting face-to-face with someone who's affected personally is often the most persuasive thing for an elected official. And it's much harder for a state legislator to say homophobic things when someone who votes in their district asks — in person, “Why would you risk my right to visit my partner in the hospital, or to make medical or financial decisions if she (or he) is incapacitated? Why would you take away my health insurance?”
To help you, we've been constantly updating our new, non-partisan resource page on this issue: www.capitalstonewall.org/amendnew.html
Or click here for a short letter you can print and mail in. We can look up your state representative's name and deliver your letter for you. If you're sending the letter through us, please mail it to us by Jan. 17 so we can deliver it before the amendment is introduced.
If you want to contact your state representative directly but you're not 100 percent sure who that is:
If you're not sure which district you live in, you can look it up at http://www.legis.state.pa.us (top right corner). You may need your full zip+4 zip code — to get that, visit http://wip4.usps.com./zip4/welcome.jsp
If your state representative is a Democrat, you can e-mail him or her through http://www.pahouse.com/contact/contact_all.asp
If your state representative is a Republican, you should be able to e-mail your state rep through their website — you can find it through www.pahousegop.com.
If you have a question, please e-mail us at [email protected].
Need a little motivation? Here's something from our resource page:
Since July 1, 2000, when civil unions became legal in Vermont, more than 7,500 couples have united. Only 78 have been dissolved in court. (source: 365gay.com, Dec. 15, 2005) That's the equivalent of a 1 percent divorce rate after 5 years. How are things going for opposite-sex couples? “Given the divorce rates of recent years, the risk of a marriage ending in divorce in the United States is close to 50 percent.” (source: State of Our Unions 2005, National Marriage Project)
Again, if you have a question, please e-mail us at [email protected].
Thanks for all you do.
Co-chair, Capital Region Stonewall Democrats
P.S. Please let us know what you hear from your state representative.
P.P.S. Please forward this update to friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and others who might be willing to help — including straight friends!
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