Articles tagged with: Alaskans Together for Equality (ATE)
A majority of Republican voters support some form of legal recognition for same-sex relationships, according to a recent poll; and national trends show that a majority of Americans support marriage equality for same-sex couples.
State laws, senator support, UA policies and new campaigns: Alaskans Together has been busy! Their spring newsletter updates us on the recent successes they contributed to and their current efforts, including the Why Marriage Matters project. Here’s the message from Board President Elias Rojas:
Your statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization – Alaskans Together for Equality Inc. — has been hard at work the last several months promoting civil equality throughout the state. It has definitely been a whirlwind of LGBT initiatives in Alaska and across the country over the last several months.
The highlights of our successful involvement and support of ATE over the last several months include:
- The repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law with both Sen. Murkowski and Sen. Begich voting in favor of the repeal.
- The University of Alaska Regents passing a non-discrimination policy change that now includes sexual orientation as a protected class.
- The introduction of the Alaska Hate Crimes bill (SB 11 – Davis) and its successful passage through the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- The introduction of a statewide non-discrimination bill (HB 165 – Kerttula) that would add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes in our existing state non-discrimination laws.
The last few months have been great in terms of progress towards civil equality for LGBT Alaskans. In addition, ATE is at the tail end of a very successful membership drive and renewal campaign. Your membership keeps us going. If you have yet to become an ATE member for 2011 you can still do so by clicking here. For those of you who became members…thank you…thank you…thank you.
All these successes and continuing efforts could not have been done without your activism and financial support. Our board thanks you for all your support.
ATE is looking forward to continuing to provide you with the latest news and updates that can help you be informed and active in your community and state. As always, if you have any suggestions or would like to get involved please email us at email@example.com.
Recently, the ATE board voted to become a partner of the Freedom to Marry national campaign in support of marriage, called “Why Marriage Matters.” It’s a public education campaign that will talk about our rights and tell the story of why gays and lesbians want to get married – to share love and commitment with the person they love. Stay tuned and visit Alaskans Together as we begin rolling out this campaign in the coming months.
An action alert from Alaskans Together for Equality —
Dear Members and Supporters of Alaskans Together For Equality Inc.,
Senate Bill (SB) 11, the Alaska Hate Crimes Bill, has been scheduled for its first hearing, before the Alaska Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, February 16th. The full text of the bill can be found at:
The Judiciary Committee meets at 1:30 p.m. and has several bills scheduled to be heard so testimony could be taken on SB 11 anytime between 1:30 and 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday. We invite you to provide short testimony in support of SB 11 as written which includes sexual orientation and gender identity. Testimony can be given in person in Room 105 of the new Thomas Stewart Building adjacent to the Capitol, by teleconference from your local Legislative Information Office (see http://w3.legis.state.ak.us/misc/lios.php for the location of your LIO) or by calling toll free 877.763.5073.
If you are not able to testify on Wednesday, February 16th, please send a message to your own state senator and ask them to co-sponsor the bill and the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee plus the bill’s sponsor, Senator Davis.
The legislators are:
Senator Hollis French – Co-Sponsor
Senator Bill Wielechowski
Senator Joe Paskvan
Senator Lesil McGuire
Senator John Coghill
Senator Bettye Davis – Sponsor
If you are not able to send an email message, then your third option is a Public Opinion Message or POM, a short and easy-to-send 50 word message that should be addressed specifically to the Senators listed in the previous paragraph. Your POM could say something like: “I strongly support SB 11. Please pass this bill as written out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.” To send a POM go to: http://www.legis.state.ak.us/poms/
The following talking points are provided for your use in writing testimony or sending a message to legislators regarding SB 11.
We look forward to hearing your testimony on Wednesday in the Senate Judiciary Committee. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Board of Directors
Alaskans Together for Equality Inc.
The Anchorage LGBT Discrimination Survey, now in progress, is the first effort since the late 1980s to compile rigorous data about the incidence of sexual orientation bias and discrimination in Anchorage — and the first effort ever to document Anchorage or Alaska-specific data about discrimination and bias on the basis of gender identity. Originally published as an op-ed in the Anchorage Press on Thursday, January 27, 2011.
The main annual events held by the LGBT organizations and local communities in Alaska are listed here in calendar order, along with city-wide events that we participate in every year.
Fur Rondy Grand Parade (Feb 26) – The Imperial Court creates a float for the Rondy Parade in downtown Anchorage.
Femme Fatale (mid-April) – The Imperial Court’s Juneau show closes the state legislative session and is a benefit for Four A’s.
Day of Silence (April 15) and Pride Prom (April 23 in Anchorage) – Alaska’s students, teachers and Gay/Straight Alliances (GSA’s) join the National Day of Silence, and break their silence celebrating at Pride Prom.
Celebration of Change (April 23) – Radical Arts for Women’s ‘break-up’ performance celebrates women, music and art in Anchorage.
Juneau Pride Chorus spring concert (April 30) – The concert is a spirited evening of women, song and dance at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center, and the chorus performs at various events during the spring and summer.
LGBT Pride Picnic (May 30, Memorial Day) – The Anchorage Picnic and BBQ celebrate unity in the community and the beginning of summer.
Alaska Pride Week and Festival (3rd week in June) – The summer solstice parade and festival celebrates LGBT Pride in downtown Anchorage, following a week of Pride events.
Northern Exposure (during Pride Week this year) – Alaska’s new gay & straight BDSM/Leather conference returns for a second year.
Juneau Pride Picnic and Glacier Hike (summer) – Juneau celebrates Pride with a GLBT community picnic and glacier hike organized by SEAGLA.
Marching in July 4th Parades – LGBT contingents design floats and march in July 4th parades in Anchorage and Homer.
PFLAG in Golden Days Parade (late July) and Tanana Valley State Fair (August) – PFLAG and the Fairbanks LGBTQA community march in the annual Gold Rush parade, host a Pride Picnic after the parade, and create a booth for the Interior state fair.
Coronation (Labor Day Weekend, Sept.) – An extravaganza of performances in Anchorage invests the new Emperor and Empress of the Imperial Court of All Alaska, and announces community awards and scholarships.
Pride Conference (Saturday near October 11) – Identity’s back-to-school youth conference is inspired by National Coming Out Day, celebrated nationally on October 11.
Alaskans Together annual meeting (Sunday after Pride Conference) – The state-wide LGBT advocacy group holds a strategy meeting each year in Anchorage.
Thanksgiving Community Meal (Thanksgiving Day) – Several gay-owned businesses in Anchorage host a Thanksgiving Day meal for the LGBT community.
World AIDS Day (Dec. 1) – Alaska commemorates World AIDS Day with red ribbons and candlelight vigils sponsored by Four A’s and IAA in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau.
Arctic Heat (Jan. 2012) – The Men’s Club chooses the new Bear and Leather titleholders every other year.
Alaska’s LGBT groups hold many other events and performances, as well as weekly and monthly meetings and events, that the community is invited to attend. Visit the links in the side column of the blog for more lists of Where to find LGBT Alaska.
Alaskans Together for Equality sent a message to their members and supporters following the senate’s historic vote to repeal the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy on Saturday. Alaskans Together is the statewide LGBT advocacy group for Alaska.
Just over an hour ago the Senate by a vote of 65 to 31 repealed the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Today’s vote allows lesbian, gay and bisexual people the ability to serve openly and honestly in our military. It’s a wonderful step forward in our fight for full civil equality. We are extremely pleased to report that both Sen. Murkowski and Sen. Begich voted in favor of the repeal!
Your efforts made a big difference! This repeal couldn’t have happened without you and your calls and emails.
Please take a moment in the next few days to call and email both Sen. Murkowski and Sen. Begich and thank them for their vote to repeal DADT. It is great to have two Senators that believe in fairness and equality in our military.
Email or Phone: 202.224.6665
Email or Phone: 202.224.3004
Please thank Sen. Murkowski and Sen. Begich for representing all Alaskans with their vote to repeal DADT today. Our military has become even stronger with today’s vote.
Also, be aware there is still work to be done for the implementation of a full repeal of DADT. There is a 60-day waiting period, during which soldiers can still be discharged under the policy. We will post on our blog in the coming days when we have more details.
With all of our continuing efforts we are confident that we will have more victories to celebrate in 2011 on our road to achieving full civil equality in Alaska.
Let’s enjoy today’s victory.
Also, three Anchorage-based gay service members were interviewed by KTVA about the effects of the DADT policy and why repeal is necessary. The local troops are members of OutServe, a national network of gay and lesbian active-duty service members. (The clip was posted earlier this week, before Congress passed the stand-alone DADT repeal measure.)
Today is Veteran’s Day. Throughout the country, Americans are joining together to express their appreciation for the service and sacrifice of American veterans.
Let us include in the number the innumerable gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender veterans who have served us and our nation, all too often only to be “thanked” by being forcibly discharged under the draconian policies of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the discriminatory policies which preceded it.
Thank you, LGBT veterans, for your service. We do not forget you.
This Veterans Day, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network is launching a special video to recognize the contributions of our patriots — past and present, LGBT and straight. Watch it now and visit www.sldn.org to find out how you can honor all our service members by helping us repeal the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law.
And now, a message from Alaskans Together:
With the elections behind us and everyone talking about what’s going to happen next year in Congress, it’s easy to forget that the work of the current Congress is not yet finished. The U.S. House voted earlier this year to repeal the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). But we still need the Senate to take action before the year ends.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski has the opportunity to prove again that she represents ALL Alaskans. In 2009, she voted for the NDAA, which included the Matthew Shepard/James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Now, in 2010, she can again vote for that same bill which funds our military and will also repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
In anticipation that the US Senate will revisit this issue during the “lame duck” session of Congress before the end of the year, Alaskans Together For Equality, Inc., the ACLU of Alaska, the Human Rights Campaign and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network are joining forces to mobilize support for the bill, and HRC is sending Regional Field Director Tony Wagner to the state to help coordinate the effort.
Tony arrived on November 9th in Anchorage and will remain in the state until November 16th. While on the ground, he will need the support of all those who believe in equality to apply the needed pressure to convince Sen. Murkowski that passing this legislation this year is the right thing to do. To help us with our efforts, you can email Tony directly at Tony.Wagner@hrc.org or contact Alaskans Together at email@example.com.
Tony, board members from Alaskans Together for Equality, Inc. and representatives from the ACLU of Alaska will also be available to meet and speak with equality supporters about our efforts during two meet and greets.
Thursday, November 11th | 5:30 – 7 p.m.
Residence of Pete Pinney | 814 6th Ave. | Fairbanks
Friday, November 12th | 7 – 8 p.m.
Mad Myrna’s | 530 E. 5th Ave. | Anchorage
Please come and welcome Tony to Alaska!
After you call and write your e-mail, please forward this message or tell your friends and family what is at stake and ask them to contact Sen. Lisa Murkowski too.
Tuesday is Election Day! Please remember to vote.There are a number of high stake races from Supreme Court Justices to the U.S. Senate race which could be determined by a few hundred votes. It’s important that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community come out and vote during this very important election and help support pro-equality candidates.We need strong supportive voices for equality at all levels of government.We encourage you to get informed and learn about each and every candidate and ballot measure before heading to the polls.Election Day – Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.Not sure where to vote? Just text “where” to 30644, then enter your complete address and you will get a text with your polling location information. You can also visit the state division of election website.