Wednesday, October 7, 2009

R-71 This Year... And SB 283 Next Year?

Remember when I warned you last week that serial anti-equality campaigner Richard Ziser is threatening Nevada LGBT families again, this time considering a ballot initiative to strip away our hard fought domestic partner rights won with SB 283? Well, the threat is real. We now know.

However, there's a way we can stop it before it really starts. We can help our friends and family in Washington state Approve Referendum 71 so that we send a message to the forces of bigotry out West that we won't allow any more of their H8!

Equal Rights Washington recently released this video explaining the importance of domestic partnerships.

A similar video can easily be made here in Nevada regarding our families and the unnecessary burdens they've had to carry until just last week. Yes, yes, I already know that they're not marriage and that we still have work to do to win full equality for our families and our community. But that's just it... We need to move FORWARD, NOT BACKWARD!

Just like us in Nevada, LGBT families in Washington also won comprehensive domestic partnerships this year. They were also supposed to start seeing all the new rights and responsibilities in place this fall, just like Nevada. However, R-71 qualified for the ballot and LGBT families there are now under attack.

This is why we need to help R-71 win approval. If "liberal Washington" voters reject domestic partnerships, think of how this would embolden Richard Ziser and his bigoted allies in starting yet another campaign to strip many thousands of Nevada families of their fundamental civil rights. Think of how it would pose a challenge to repeal the Prop H8 marriage ban in California next year. Think of how it would threaten the limited domestic partner benefits just passed in Colorado this year. Think of how it could hurt efforts to expand legal protections for LGBT families in Arizona and New Mexico.

Make no doubt about it. What happens in Washington will very much happen throughout The West. That's why we need to ensure that R-71 is approved!

If R-71 is approved, Washington LGBT families and seniors will finally have the legal protections they deserve. And Nevada LGBT families and unmarried couples need not worry about losing theirs. And California equality activists can get back to repealing Prop H8. And we can see more progress happen in more Western states.

Aren't you sick and tired of losing these elections and seeing our community constantly being bloodied up and kicked to the ground? I am, and I don't want this to ever happen again! I lived through Prop H8 in California last year, so I'd rather not see a repeat of that pain and suffering for my friends and family here in Nevada. We need to move the ball forward on LGBT equality in The West, so let's start doing that by stopping the radical right in Washington!

Sure, the opposition's ads are lame. However, we can't underestimate their power. This is an off-year election, so they're counting on this and a horrfyingly radical right anti-environment, anti-education, anti-social safety net initiative to turn out the homophobic teabagger base. We can't afford to sit idly by and do nothing. No, we need to make sure progressive voters turn out to Approve R-71!

Again, think of the families in Las Vegas, Reno, Elko, Pahrump, and all throughout Nevada who now depend on SB 283 for basic legal protection. Let's not put them in danger. Approve 71 in Washington now to stop any more attacks in The West.

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