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Remember this awesome statistic? …The gay & lesbian minority pumps app. $600 billion per year into the US economy. That number doesn’t even include those of us who consider ourselves bisexual, transgendered, or our straight allies! Our financial muscle would sway the marriage argument in a swift torrent of rainbow-colored dollar signs, if we would simply invest our money with companies that are gay-friendly and staunchly refuse to do business with those that are not. This takes commitment and a willingness to do some research, ask some questions, and remain somewhat vocal about your choices. But it will ensure our equal rights more quickly than many other strategies: money talks. It’s not all about the politics, however. Volunteering to coach the lesbian softball league is important work, too… and inviting the local television station out to cover the playoff games is not a bad idea. Invite a straight coworker to your next gay chamber breakfast meeting. –These interconnections really do

have an impact, and continuing to bring the normalcy of our minority into the public eye -in a variety of ways- adds legitimacy to our cause. Who knows? Your co-worker might book his next vacation with the gay travel agent he met over coffee… The woman who saw the lesbian softball players on tv might remember how non-threatening they seemed when she heads to the ballot box next time. It all adds up. Equality and the individual rights of our citizens is the promise of America. Chapters in our history have been bloody and tearsoaken and unjust, but that promise remains and our society continues striving toward that lofty goal. LGBT rights are no less valid and deserve no less attention; in fact the story of LGBT equality is a reflection of our nation’s overall commitment to its people, set in the context of this time and this place.

realistic step in the journey toward broader acknowledgement of same-sex relationships and ultimately, this path will lead to full marriage rights across our nation.

For more insights, order the new paperback by Marianne Puechl & her partner, Cindy Sproul: My Dangerous Commute - Witnessing Gay Marriage Rights Across America. Available online at www.MyDangerousCommute.com

The outlook for our minority in 2011 is very good. Are ‘civil unions’ the ideal? Probably not. Separate is never equal. But it’s a

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40 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE

The 2011 LGBT Wedding Planning Guide (Vol. 6, Is. 1)  

An expanded issue of the nation's first Gay and Lesbian Wedding Magazine. This issue features the latest tips and trends for 2011 along wit...

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