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Branding the Word “Marriage” And as ever, it is best if we take our actions respectfully and with integrity: this too will go far to promote our cause, in that the public will witness us making our ideals known in a way that is honest and educated and dignified. Remember, any action you take reflects back on the LGBT minority. You represent us all. The overall point is that we must take personal responsibility for our own desire for Equal Rights. And to be effective, in this political landscape, we must play by the rules that have been set before us. Again, this is not easy. The conservative movement has spent decades organizing ways in which to disseminate information and prod voters. It has mega-churches and call networks and fundraising arms and an underlying patriarchal system that lends itself to success when striving to spread an idea -whether ‘true’ or not- in promoting a particular issue. So we must organize as well and this is a basic step, vital to our effectiveness. To this end, I’d like to explain briefly the resources available through our sister initiative, Same Love, Same Rights.® I add comments here, not to self-promote, but because I honestly believe our initiative offers a strong framework of resources, that are urgently needed at this time. The goal of Same Love, Same Rights® has always been to bring the community together for successful dialogue. We do so in a variety of ways: producing LGBT Wedding Expos throughout the country, to bring legitimacy and a real ‘face’ to the issues... by offering a website with interactive forums and downloads for visitors to share ideas and connect... by providing a directory of Equality Advocates – organizations and businesses that stand up for a policy of nondiscrimination... and of course by providing additional resources through our parent company The Same Love, Same Rights® initiative began three years ago, to help bring necessary tools to our community so that we could indeed become more politically cohesive and rally around a central message. In fact, at that time we proposed a Gay

Marriage Summit, inviting all the political and marriage rights organizations within the nation to join for one weekend to shape an effective and targeted campaign for equal rights in marriage, to find one cohesive voice to use not only to fight anti-gay amendments but to shape and brand our ideal (and nonthreatening) meaning of “Marriage” to the public. This was three years ago, and I’m sad to report that not one LGBT equality organization replied to any of our invitations. Not one. Their reasoning? I’m not sure. …They are too busy and under-staffed and therefore unable to commit to a nationwide campaign. Or perhaps they do not take us seriously: our parent company has been in existence now nearly a decade but is a for-profit company and that fact, unfortunately, has been scoffed at by many such equality organizations. Or, perhaps, there is another reason. I invite you to ask why. In your own town, with your own voice, week after week… Pose your questions! And at the same time, make use of all the resources that are available to you, including those through post in our Forum, visit one of our Wedding Expos, utilize our ArtShare Gallery to communicate with likeminded LGBT citizens and advocates so that, at a grassroots level, we as individuals can decide the course of our journey to Equality. It is, after all, our own individual responsibility. This is our chapter of history. We must take the initiative and commit to promoting our own worth and our own human rights. I look forward to hearing from you, and viewing your posts in the online Forum. Let me know your thoughts on the subject, as well as the actions you are planning to undertake in 2009 to forward our cause.

Vol. 4 Issue 1 Spring 2009 25

Volume 4, Issue 1  

This season's tips for your LGBT Wedding!

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