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Event - STOP the Constitutional Amendment to Ban Same Sex
MarriageDefend LGBT Rights -- STOP the anti-gay FMA!
A message from

The Republican Party recently announced that next week it intends to call
the \"Federal Marriage Amendment\" (FMA) for a vote in the U.S. Senate. They
started to debate the issue on Friday.  The Federal Marriage Amendment, by
outlawing marriage for same sex couples, should really be called the
ANTI-marriage amendment.  By denying us equal legal rights, it is a
transparent attempt to relegate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered
people into second class citizenship.

While many observers see the current chance of FMA passage as remote, we
cannot be complacent.  If passed, the FMA would be the single biggest
legislative defeat our community has ever suffered.  Its effects would
rebound well beyond our community - other than Prohibition, it would be the
first time in the history of this country that the Constitution was amended
to TAKE AWAY rights.

Passage requires a two-thirds vote in each house of Congress, followed by
ratification by three-fourths of the state legislatures.  Stopping it in the
Senate is critical.  With statehouses across the country packed with yahoos
who would like nothing better than to scapegoat gays rather than dealing
with serious domestic issues like healthcare, jobs and ballooning budget
deficits, our best chance of stopping the FMA is at the federal level.

Even with Senators who say they are on our side, we can\'t be complacent.
Call your Senator, and let your voice be heard.

We have recently learned that the version of the FMA that its sponsors have
agreed upon would lack any deadline for passage.  Many previous attempts to
amend the Constitution, such as the women\'s rights Equal Rights Amendment,
required that three-fourth\'s of the state legislatures would be required to
pass the amendment within a handful of years or it would be \"off the table.\"
By lacking any such deadline, the FMA, if passed by Congress, could remain a
threat to our community for many years to come.  We are checking to see if
this fact is accurate, but wanted to alert you to the possibility.

Take a Stand -- Do What You Can to Stop the FMA!

1)  Call your Senators and insist that they vote against the FMA. Do not be
bashful, be insistent.  If your Senator\'s staffers say they are on our side
and will vote against the FMA, try to get it in writing.  Do not allow them
any \"wiggle room\" on the issue.   To find out how to call your Senators, go

2) If you live in Los Angeles or Chicago, DC, Palm Springs, Tampa, Orlando,
or Seattle, join with other local activists in protests or actions next

(a)  If you live in or near LA, join the Monday, July 12th protest and vigil
in West Hollywood, 7 PM gather at San Vicente & Santa Monica Blvd.
Sponsored by the Coalition for Equal Marriage Rights, mcc church, and

(b)  In Chicago, protesters will gather at 12 noon, Monday, July 12th at
Federal Plaza, Adams and Dearborn Streets, after which we will visit both
Illinois Senators\' offices.  At 7 PM on the night of the Senate vote, we
will gather at Halsted & Roscoe for a PROTEST or CELEBRATION, depending on
how the vote goes.  Sponsored by the Equal Marriage NOW! coalition.

(c) Palm Springs, Monday, July 12, Rally at Palm Springs City Hall 7 PM
sponsored by

(d) New York City July 12-Press Conference at City Hall at 11 AM, sponsored
by marriageequality, NY.

(e) Tampa, Florida -11 AM,\'s national co-chair, Robin Tyler,
joins attorney\'s Ellis and Guy Rubin at a press conference to announce the
filing of a lawsuit in Tampa on behalf of a lesbian couple, to overturn
Florida\'s Ban on Same-Gender Marriage, and to protest the FMA.  Place:
Hillsborough County Courthouse, Tampa, Florida.  Sponsors-National (The Equality Campaign) & dontamendtampabay.

(f) Orlando, Florida -3 PM at the Orange County Courthouse.\'s
National co-chair, Robin Tyler, joins attorney\'s Ellis and Guy Rubin at a
press conference  to announce the filing of a lawsuit in Orlando, on behalf
of two gay male couples, to overturn Florida\'s Ban on Same-Gender Marriage,
and to protest the FMA.    Sponsors-National (The Equality

(g) Seattle, WA at 10 AM July 12, DontAmendSeattle,  Legal marriage Alliance
of Washington, and Equal Rights Washington will be at the offices of Senator
Murray and Senator Cantwell.  They will hand in a petition with over 3,000
signatures to Oppose the Federal Marriage Amendment.  A press advisory has
been sent out about this action.

(h) In DC, (JULY 14) the Student Equal Rights Campaign (SERC) will be
holding an event outside the US Capitol to rally against the Federal
Marriage Amendment.  The rally will take place at 6 PM, July 14, 2004 in
Upper Senate Park on US Capital Grounds.

3)  Support the Marriage Equality Caravan, initiated by Marriage Equality
California, and supported by and other groups.  The October
4-12 caravan will feature a host of rallies as it makes its way from San
Francisco to Washington, DC.  Go to to find out how you can get
involved in organizing a rally in your town, or otherwise supporting the

4) If your city is having a demonstration or action against the FMA next
week, please let us know and we will list it on our website.  Email all
details to and cc

5)  We don\'t solicit donations very often, and we are non-paid volunteers
who are involved with the Equality  We are a 503c4,
which means your donation is not tax deductible.  However, even if it is
$10.00 or $20.00, your donations go a long way in helping us to organize
this grassroots effort. Please go to our website,, to not
only make a donation, but to checkout all we have been doing, thanks to your

Get angry, get involved, defend our rights!

With Pride,

Robin Tyler, National Co-Chair,
John Aravosis, National Co-Chair, Dear
Andy Thayer, National Action Coordinator,
For updates and info, contact scott at planttrees dot org.