[Note: The following is an MCC Action Alert & Resource Kit for U.S.-Based Activists, prepared by our friends at Metropolitan Community Churches. For more information, contact info@MCCchurch.org or www.MCCchurch.org]
A Message From Rev. Troy Perry
MCC Founder & Moderator
During the month of June, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide a case which could impact the rights of every gay man and lesbian in the United States.
The case, Lawrence and Garner v. Texas, will decide whether or not to uphold Texas' "Homosexual Conduct Law," outlawing sex between couples of the same gender. Metropolitan Community Churches, along with many GLBT organizations, have joined an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court in this case.
A positive ruling in this case (i.e., overturning the Texas sodomy law) has the potential to strike down the anti-sodomy laws in the 13 states in which they still exist. Such a ruling would forever remove laws that have been used for many years to harass, intimidate, and oppress the GLBT communities.
According to Lambda Legal:
"Ever since the infamous 1986 Bowers v. Hardwick case, when the Supreme Court ruled against a gay couple in Georgia, bigoted courts and legislators have used the excuse of the court's decision to take children away from same-sex couples, to deny equal access to jobs, housing, public accommodations and more. The Court's message of inequality helped justify continuing anti-gay discrimination in the military and the infamous "Defense of Marriage Act." Its ruling against us ravaged the right to privacy as enshrined in the Constitution, and in so doing, endangered other privacy rights, such as the right to abortion."
This historic ruling will come down during June -- most likely on a Monday in June.
Across the U.S., GLBT people are already planning public rallies and demonstrations. I encourage you to consider organizing such a rally in your community.
As my friend and longtime lesbian activist Robin Tyler said this week:
"The idea of holding a protest or a celebration in response to the Court's decision is important," said Tyler, "because whatever the decision, our community needs to be mobilized. If the Court goes against us, the need for protest is obvious. But even if we get a favorable decision, we need to be in the streets -- because good court decisions can remain dead letters if there isn't community mobilization to force their implementation. Case in point: the historic 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas case. Brown said schools were supposed to desegregate, yet nothing happened until the Civil Rights movement began heating up almost a full decade later."
Our MCC headquarters staff members have prepared several ideas and recommendations to help you plan a public rally in your community.
I encourage you to lead the way in your community by organizing one of these public actions.
Rev. Troy D. Perry
MCC Founder and Moderator
11 Action Ideas
1. Familiarize yourself with the background of this court case with the helpful information prepared by Lambda Legal. You will find this information on-line athttp://www.lambdalegal.org/cgi-bin/iowa/splash.html
2. Decide now how you will organize your rally. For example, in many cities where there are great communications systems in place, people are passing the word that they will gather on the evening of the Monday the decision is announced. In other cities, rallies will be held on the Tuesday evening after the Monday announcement -- to give time to get the word out.
3. Select a location and a time now -- and begin to promote this info.
4. Contact other GLBT groups and social justice groups in your area. Ask them to join you and to take part in the rally.
5. Contact speakers for your rally now. These might be leaders of local GLBT groups, representatives of the ACLU or People for the America Way, other enlightened religious leaders, GLBT activists, or political leaders in your area.
6. Send an announcement by e-mail or fax to all the press in your area -- TV stations, talk radio stations, newspapers, etc. Briefly explain the purpose of the rally, the location, the time, etc.
7. Send information on your rally (city, location and time) to Theresa Jefferson at Lambda Legal at TJefferson@lambdalegal.org and to Andy Thayer atCABNstopthehate@aol.com. They will post your event on the Internet and help to distribute your information.
8. If you need message points to use at your rally, or in speaking with the press, visit: Lawrence Decision Message Points <http://www.lambdalegal.org/cgi-bin/iowa/documents/record?record=1264>
9. Download a free flyer that you can customize and use to promote your event from Lawrence Decision: Celebrate or Speak Out! <http://www.lambdalegal.org/cgi-bin/iowa/documents/record?record=1266>
10. Visit the following website for more information on the Supreme Court Case and ideas for organizing a rally in your area: Chicago Anti-Bashing Network - Defend Our Rights! Campaign Pledge to Protest or Celebrate the Supreme Court's Decision <http://www.cabn.org/DefendOurRights/>
11. Post the information on your website, in your newsletter and distribute to your e-mail lists and LISTSERVS.
For Additional Information, Contact:
Jim Birkitt, MCC Communications Director
(310) 360-8640, Ext. 226
Roman Cardenas, Associate Communications Director
(310) 360-8640, Ext. 228
8704 Santa Monica Boulevard, Second Floor
West Hollywood, CA 90069