5 LGBT things you need to know about today 2-24-14

1. There is some Texas-sized firepower behind the push to bring gay marriage to the state. Congressman Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, and Mark McKinnon, former chief media adviser to President George W. Bush, have si...
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$50K needed to launch ‘Why Marriage Matters Georgia’ campaign


Today Georgia Equality announced it was launching the Why Marriage Matters Georgia campaign through a partnership with the national Freedom to Marry organization and the need to raise $50,000 to conduct polling of Georgia residents. 

Funds raised will also be used to develop messaging to people across the state about why marriage equality matters in Georgia.

From a press release:

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Another GOP senator endorses same-sex marriage

Sen. Lisa Murkowski

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) today endorsed marriage equality in a letter posted to her official senate website. Murkowski became the third Republican senator to endorse same-sex marriages with her announcement.

Murkowski joined fellow GOP Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) with her endorsement for marriage equality.

“I am a life-long Republican because I believe in promoting freedom and limiting the reach of government. When government does act, I believe it should encourage family values,” Murkowski wrote. “I support the right of all Americans to marry the person they love and choose because I believe doing so promotes both values: it keeps politicians out of the most private and personal aspects of peoples’ lives – while also encouraging more families to form and more adults to make a lifetime commitment to one another.”

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Former First Lady Laura Bush wants out of pro-gay marriage TV ad

Laura Bush

Laura Bush, the wife of former President George W. Bush, recently spoke out against her inclusion in a Respect for Marriage video advertisement.

“When couples are committed, they ought to have, I think, the same rights that everyone has,” Mrs. Bush told CNN's Larry King in 2010 when asked if she personally supported marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples.

Other prominent political leaders, like former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former Vice President Dick Cheney and President Barack Obama are also included in the ad.

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Why marriage equality matters

“Supreme Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage.”

The subject line on this email sent out April 1 by the National Lesbian & Gay Task Force was intended to prompt readers to open it, and it likely worked. Casual supporters of the group would click to learn about an amazing victory for gay rights, while more savvy supporters would wonder how such a ruling could be possible, since there isn’t even a gay marriage case pending directly before the U.S. Supreme Court right now.

The first line of the email cleared things right up: “You know today is April Fools’ Day, right?”

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Former DNC Chairs call for gay marriage to be included in 2012 Democratic platform


The pressure is being put on President Barack Obama to evolve on his stance of supporting gay marriage as four former Democratic National Committee chairs made a public statement today calling for marriage equality to be included in the party's 2012 platform.

The former DNC chairs are Howard Dean, Donald Fowler, Steve Grossman and David Wilhelm. They are joining Freedom to Marry's campaign, "Democrats, Say I Do."

The Democratic National Convention takes place Sept. 3 in Charlotte, N.C., where the state is currently undergoing a war to fight off a ban on gay marriage.

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Marriage advocates unite (some) American mayors

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed at LGBT town hall meeting

Freedom to Marry, one of the country's largest marriage equality advocates, has gathered mayors from across the United States to unify their support for same-sex marriage.

Houston's Annise Parker, Chicago's Rahm Emanuel, New York's Michael Bloomberg, Los Angeles' Antonio Villaraigosa and Boston's Thomas Menino are among the mayors joining together with Freedom to Marry to "expand public and political support for ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage."

Noticeably absent from the list of mayors is Atlanta's Mayor Kasim Reed.

While campaigning in 2010, Reed was criticized by Atlanta's LGBT community for his personal opposition to same-sex unions. At a townhall-style meeting in November centered on the 2009 Atlanta Eagle raid, Reed refused to answer whether or not his views on marriage equality have changed since his campaign to become the city's mayor, leading many to believe that his position has remain unchanged.

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Lock lips in Atlanta to show support for gay marriage

Freedom to Marry and LUSH Kiss and Tell Campaign

The national Freedom to Marry organization and LUSH Cosmetics at Perimeter Mall in Atlanta are locking lips to show their support for same-sex marriage.

The “Kiss and Tell” event takes place Saturday at stores across North America.

In Atlanta, same-sex marriage supporters — gay and straight — are asked to gather at the store in Perimeter Mall at 11:38 a.m. and take part in a kiss-in.

The time was specifically chose to represent the number of federal benefits and protections gay couples don’t receive because their marriages are not recognized by the federal government.

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Natalie Portman backs same-sex marriage

Actress Natalie PortmanOscar-winning actress Natalie Portman and her fiancé, Benjamin Millepied, have signed their names to Freedom to Marry’s “I Do” campaign, according to the national marriage equality organization.

“Natalie Portman and her fiancé, Benjamin Millepied, are in love, and believe all loving couples should be able to share in the freedom to marry without discrimination,” said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, on the organization’s website.

“That is why they are joining the more than 100,000 people on Freedom to Marry’s Say ‘I Do’ Open Letter calling on President Obama to do the right thing and become part of America’s majority for marriage,” Wolfson said.

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DOMA may cause gay man to lose home after husband’s death

Freedom to Marry, a national organization dedicated to marriage equality, has released a video showing the impact of the Defense of Marriage Act on one gay couple.

Titled, "Why Ron is Losing His Home: the Defense of Marriage Act," the slightly more than 2-minute video shares the story of Ron Wallen, 77, after the death of his husband and partner of 58 years, Tom Carrollo.

Carrollo and Wallen were legally married in California in 2008 before Proposition 8 was passed, making it now illegal for same-sex couples to marry. When Carrollo died on March 8, 2011, Wallen lost a source of income that may cause him to have to sell their home.