Putting some money where are tears are. December 3, 2009 7:45 AM   Subscribe

Fundraising in the wake of the NY gay marriage vote

There was much outrage and hurt feelings in the wake of gay marriage being voted down in New York yesterday. Many of us were asking for a place to donate money to purchase advertising. It might not be much, but I think a lot of us just wanted to do something.

No one stepped up to act as treasurer, so I figured I would volunteer. The service ChipIn was mentioned in the thread, and that seems like decent service to use, as there are no fees, and the donation totals are visisble.

If people feel it is a good idea, and there is still interest, I will set an account up there.

In regards to accountability, I mostly just have my reputation to offer. I run a non-profit LGBTTQ movies series up in Canada (and other projects).

Given the scope of our resources, I imagine that Google advertisements might be a worthwhile investment, but I will leave that up to the hivemind here to decide. I am only offering to act as treasurer. As someone who is quite removed from the districts, nay state, nay country at hand, I feel the specific decisions should come from those more directly affected.
posted by Theta States to MetaFilter-Related at 7:45 AM (79 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

What a way to start off: are our
posted by Theta States at 7:46 AM on December 3, 2009


I was the person who mentioned ChipIn, so I thought I would explain it a little more. It is basically a storefront, that let's you do a "donation meter" and invite people to contribute. It uses PayPal, so you need a PayPal account for the actual nuts and bolts. Since PayPal charges fees for incoming credit card payments (it is very hard to qualify as a charity, which reduces the fees), we should be aware of that. I really like ChipIn, and I use it myself on my blog, but I wanted to explain it in more detail.
posted by bunnycup at 8:03 AM on December 3, 2009


I'd love to see an ad in a daily city paper, like the NY Post, Daily News, or even one of the freebies (Metro or AM New York). How much would something like that cost?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:06 AM on December 3, 2009


Thanks for the explanation. Paypal charges for Credit Cards, but really I think they are just passing along the charges.
Paypal cahrges 2.9% or something like that on a credit card transaction, and I think that is what the credit card companies charge as overhead. (there also might be a small fee too)

If I set this up I will also set a ChipIn limit, so we don't run in to past PayPal problems that were witnessed here. (I am assuming that the last thing happened because over $10k was sent?)
posted by Theta States at 8:07 AM on December 3, 2009


By the way, Theta States, I rudely forgot to add: thank you for stepping up to act as treasurer, and for making this post.
posted by bunnycup at 8:07 AM on December 3, 2009


I would suggest that -- since a number of people made the very good point that purchasing advertising would require a hell of a lot more money than we may have -- that we may want to consider two alternate options:

a) pooling our money and then turning it over en masse to an active LGBT activist group in the area, or

b) finding a list of LGBT groups in the area and everyone donating to them directly.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:07 AM on December 3, 2009


Didn't PayPal just fuck us the other day? As cool as ChipIn is, shouldn't we try to avoid giving them our fees until they decide to not be dicks with our $12,000+ in donations?
posted by Plutor at 8:09 AM on December 3, 2009


In re: PayPal limits and problems, I was expecting that a lot more of my family members would help us by donating to the fund on my blog, so I was worried about that. When I opened the PayPal account, I emailed them and told them exactly what I was using it for (to accept donations, with no sale of items) in much detail, and did not let up until they emailed me back formally stating that they understood, approved and accepted. So, if I ever do have problems I have that email on file. Whether it would actually help me if I DID have problems is a mystery I hope never to have to solve.
posted by bunnycup at 8:10 AM on December 3, 2009


If advertising is a no-go idea, option (b) would work well since we can all just send them money directly.

Mind you, a way to donate online is still a must.
posted by Theta States at 8:10 AM on December 3, 2009


PayPal fucking us citation. Still not resolved citation #1, #2.
posted by Plutor at 8:12 AM on December 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


I am ready to donate.

I will donate to any of the above ideas, but I think the more high-profile the better. It would definitely be worth contacting other groups to see if anyone else is doing the same thing.
posted by grumblebee at 8:13 AM on December 3, 2009


I mentioned Kickstarter in the other thread, which uses Amazon's payment system, and which refunds donations if a certain total isn't met. A friend of mine used it for a recent project and it seems to have worked quite well for her.

(Thus handily sidestepping the PayPal issue, and also providing up to the moment donation counts...)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:17 AM on December 3, 2009


According to kickstarter's site, it's by invite only. Has that changed?
posted by grumblebee at 8:19 AM on December 3, 2009


Does anyone know any specifics groups in New York that would be strategic to donate to?
Finding a target for the money should probably come before the mechanics of collecting and donating.
posted by Theta States at 8:24 AM on December 3, 2009


Here's an idea I'd like to throw into the ring: advertising on the NYC subway or bus system. It's a way to reach scores of "common people." I'm imagining a banner with the faces of the Democrats who voted no and some kind of slogan.

According to this article, the MTA is HURTING for ad revenue:

"In Manhattan, an ad that covers one side of a bus typically sells for about $1,500 a month."

I think a subway ad would be even better. When you're on the subway, you have no option but the stare at the ads and think about them.

Also, this has a chance of getting some news coverage. It makes good TV and copy to show that some group has plastered something about homosexuality to the side of a bus or inside a subway car.

Here's the link to the MTA's ad department: http://www.mta.info/mta/realestate/ad_tele.html
posted by grumblebee at 8:24 AM on December 3, 2009 [14 favorites]


I can ask my friend who used Kickstarter if she has an available invite to give.

In addition -- I love it when some threads come together /George Peppard A-Team voice: why not also...?
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:28 AM on December 3, 2009


According to kickstarter's site, it's by invite only. Has that changed?

In the MeFi Projects post for Kickstarter, waxpancake said people should contact him if they want an invite. I donated to the Kind Of Bloop project on Kickstarter, and from the donor side at least it's very easy to use.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:30 AM on December 3, 2009


Frankly, I don't know if the site is a good thing for this. Projects, maybe? Although I am 100% for gay marriage, it might be best if the blog and the LLC were left out of the mix on this. Projects would allow for facilitation, but having it on the Metatalk page smacks of the blog endorsing this. If Matt wanted to do it, that would be his perogative, but I don't feel like we should bring the site there until he says ok.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:41 AM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


The thing that caused the problem with the 100k was the fact that it was a raffle which is against paypal's terms of service. As long as you don't hold a raffle and you don't advertise it as a charity (i.e. "just chip in to buy an ad") then you should be fine.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:43 AM on December 3, 2009


having it on the Metatalk page smacks of the blog endorsing this

This is where the community comes to express its opinions on things related to the site. A Metatalk post by a user that expresses an opinion about a post and how it proceeded has never meant that the site (?) or Matt automatically endorses that user's opinion.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:47 AM on December 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


having it on the Metatalk page smacks of the blog endorsing this.

I don't get it. There are tons of posts of Metatalk that aren't endorsed by the blog. Requests, suggestions, etc.
posted by grumblebee at 8:47 AM on December 3, 2009


I'm really broke, and I'm not in NY, but please let me know if there's anything else I can do - research, editing, design. Except phone calls.
posted by desjardins at 9:02 AM on December 3, 2009


It's great to see rage turning to action. I have to agree with EmpressCallipygos - I think pooling our money and donating it to a nonprofit that already knows what they are doing, and has the working knowledge to help them decide how best to use the money is the best way to help.

Ads are ineffective at changing people's behavior. Want people to know a band's playing at your club? Take out an ad. Want to convince people that gay marriage is important? Donate to a group already doing just that.

I truly believe the only way we will win this debate is by having frank conversations with our friends and family and by helping the nonprofits have those same conversations with lawmakers. Taking an ad out in AM New York will do nothing.
posted by anthropoid at 9:05 AM on December 3, 2009


I'm down for donations and assistance, but not with paypal.
posted by boo_radley at 9:26 AM on December 3, 2009


I second Ironmouth's comment, in its entirety. His comment was the first thing that occurred to me when I saw this post. Mixing politics with site administration changes the tenor of this site (which is Matt's call, but I think that waiting for his endorsement would have been more appropriate).
posted by SeizeTheDay at 9:39 AM on December 3, 2009


I will donate too, but not with Paypal. Their horrible business practices go way beyond freezing the donation/raffle account. There has got to be another way.

Also, if we can raise enough money, it'd be great to see both options being implemented...the subway ad AND the nonprofit. The ad is important, too, even though its effects are seemingly immeasurable. For the one person who is riding the subway and needs to see that ad as they ride home that one day, even if it's just as source of confidence and reminder that they are not alone, it will be worth it.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:41 AM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, on re-read, I agree with Ironmouth and SeizeTheDay's comment entirely.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:43 AM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think Ironmouth is probably right about everything except "having it on the Metatalk page smacks of the blog endorsing this," about which Blazecock Pileon is right. Projects might work as an alternative, or something off-site, unless Matt wants to officially endorse it.

There's a lot wrong with the thread I made, but one of the things I found interesting about it was just how little discussion there was about the merits of marriage equality as such. I don't think there was *any* dissent at all in 700+ comments. Maybe it was the flawed framing, maybe for the same reasons there were no speeches against at the NY Senate, or maybe we finally have become LeftistEchoChamberFilter after all.
posted by gerryblog at 9:51 AM on December 3, 2009


I don't think there was *any* dissent at all in 700+ comments.

The thing to remember is that the people reading that thread were a self-selected group. The majority of commenters would probably have been people who thought "Ooh, this finally has a chance of passing!" People who are ambivalent or slightly anti-gay marriage probably wouldn't have had their interest piqued so much, and the only other group who would care with the same intensity - the "GAYS ARE TEH EVILLL" crowd - aren't well-represented on MeFi. (Thank goodness.)

The other issue is that, by and large, the Mefites I've seen commenting tend to be thoughtful and generally nice, and when faced with hundreds of people for whom this is an issue associated with a vast amount of passion and emotion, people like that are likely to shelve their dissent for a while or at least keep quiet. That's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just modifying behaviour to suit the context.

Of course, that implies that it's possible to have a debate on the merits of gay marriage (for want of a better phrase) without it being an emotive issue, and I'm not sure that's the case, because hey - it IS an emotive issue.
posted by ZsigE at 10:26 AM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


ZsigE: "people like that are likely to shelve their dissent for a while or at least keep quiet"

Are... are you new here?
posted by boo_radley at 10:32 AM on December 3, 2009


Having it on the Metatalk page smacks of the blog endorsing this

Clearly, any appearance of MetaFilter advocating human rights would be political suicide.
posted by rokusan at 10:49 AM on December 3, 2009 [7 favorites]


I'm very interested in donating. OK with me if it is for an ad or for an organization. OK with me to do it via a project instead if Matt thinks that better. My view is, 5 states down, 45 to go.
posted by bearwife at 11:00 AM on December 3, 2009


I would definitely donate, but not with PayPal, and I think the subway/bus route is a great idea, especially as it would last for a whole month which seems to me to have more value even than a greater number of people seeing it for one day; it takes people a while actually to notice things and to allow them to sink in.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:04 AM on December 3, 2009


Y'all may want to move this project to a Google group or someone's blog, and maybe come back when it's all settled and there's something to announce. I'm as much of an activist as any of you, but MeTa is not the appropriate place to plan and promote a local political agenda of any kind, and using it as such risks making MeFi a political target.
posted by zennie at 11:08 AM on December 3, 2009


For those interested, NJ is going to take up a gay marriage bill next week (and check out the unintended pun in the headline . . .)
posted by bearwife at 11:22 AM on December 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Of course, that implies that it's possible to have a debate on the merits of gay marriage (for want of a better phrase) without it being an emotive issue,
and
Clearly, any appearance of MetaFilter advocating human rights would be political suicide.

So, yeah.
posted by smackfu at 11:39 AM on December 3, 2009


I'd like to talk about the realities of subway advertising before we get carried away with the idea.

So, it's not like when you send an ad to a newspaper - with that, there are zero hard costs. You are paying for placement only, and just like all of their readers see the ad. When doing subway ads, you have to pay to print the ads. And it's not like, say, a billboard in Times Square where you pay for one print that lives in a single place. You have to print tens to hundreds of the ads to have any impact. I went ahead and called my contact at CBS Outdoor, the agency that handles the subway ads. There is most likely a minimum amount of posting you can do, and I'm sure there's an approval process through the MTA, and they really may not approve an ad created by a group of folks on the internet.

I truly feel we should just give money to an organization who already knows how to do all of this. If that org think a subway ad is a good way to go, they can get a nonprofit rate, they may have a designer/copywriter, they will already have good media contacts.

It just doesn't make sense to me to spend time and effort to do things that other people are probably better at doing.
posted by anthropoid at 11:48 AM on December 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


Oh man! If NJ beats us... how humiliating!
posted by grumblebee at 11:48 AM on December 3, 2009


and, just like that, *
posted by anthropoid at 11:48 AM on December 3, 2009


I'll add one more thing, and then shut up. Remember the Atheist ads that were abuzz a couple months ago? They placed ads in 12 subway stations and it cost them $25,000. Advertising is expensive.
posted by anthropoid at 11:56 AM on December 3, 2009


Could go the stealth route - raise some money to print 10,000 playing cards with a no-voter and a short explanation on each one, then scatter them around NYC. Probably illegal littering or something, but, well, that's where the stealth comes in.

We could make Diaz the Ace of Diamonds.

Actually, we could put the yes-voters on cards too.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 12:01 PM on December 3, 2009


For that kind of money you could just buy yourself a couple state senators and cut out the middleman.
posted by enn at 12:04 PM on December 3, 2009


I don't get it. There are tons of posts of Metatalk that aren't endorsed by the blog. Requests, suggestions, etc.

None of these are political positions. They are statements about what we would like in the blog. Some users are against gay marriage. I am 100% for it, but Matt might not want the blog to become the next Daily Kos where a specific political viewpoint is endorsed by the blog owner. Using the MetaTalk page is not good.

Frankly, it could run afowl of political contribution laws. We need to be careful with Matt's toy. If he says OK and his legal counsel signs off on it, I will contribute here. But I think what might be better is finding a site where donations can already be funneled, linking to it in the thread and letting people do their own thing.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:05 PM on December 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Clearly, any appearance of MetaFilter advocating human rights would be political suicide.

We are not MetaFilter. Matt Haughey owns MetaFilter Network LLC. That is MetaFilter. We are MetaFilter's users. Let Matt make this call. He owns the blog.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:06 PM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Throwing out a suggestion for money use:

NYC, is, overall, pro-equality. But there are districts (especially on the assembly level) where the religious demographics and other factors mean that public opinion is actually overwhelmingly anti-equality, and I'm not sure that's going to change any time soon.

To that end, I think this money might be well-spent by partnering with an LGBT organization to fund a mailing or some other form of outreach targeting voters who actually do support gay marriage but whose representative voted against it.

Albany politics can be kind of confusing and obscure for people who don't have the time or inclination to follow it closely. I'd bet there are lots of gay marriage supporters who had no idea that a vote was imminent, and now have no idea that their state senator/representative voted against it.
posted by lalex at 12:36 PM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]




Since a big part of discussions in the thread on the blue is about what it says about individuals when they are a part of a group that takes political action for or against certain legal changes, I think that even setting aside site administration policies it may be respectful of all of the individuals here to follow Ironmouth's advice.
posted by bunnycup at 12:45 PM on December 3, 2009


Sucks that there is no initiative / referendum process in NY. I would love it if we could work our asses off directly, petition, get signatures, get something on the ballot. It is fun and immensely satisfying to directly accomplish something positive for your state. As much as people in that thread were super-excited about there being no way for marriage to be overturned, the lack of initiative/referendum keeps us from getting gay marriage all by ourselves (which I think we might just be able to do). Not to mention any number of excellent things that were stalled or killed during that disgusting display of idiocy in the legislature earlier this year. Bills like the Women's Reproductive Health Act have been in the works for years with no discernible progress because oops, something happened, we can't vote. Oops, now is not the time. Disgusting.

The legislature passing good laws and then the voters overturning them is not great, but this is really not great. Anyway, off of my soapbox.

I have approximately no cash to contribute, but maybe we can work out a MeFite phone bank/meetup.
posted by kathrineg at 12:47 PM on December 3, 2009


And come primary season (isn't that soon?) we should all be working our asses off to keep these people off of the ballot. The Democrats who voted against this bill shouldn't be allowed to stay in office.
posted by kathrineg at 12:50 PM on December 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Whatever method you choose for donating, it would be grand if it's available to those outside the US (no idea if the methods suggested so far exclude non-US payments, but I thought I'd mention it.)
posted by Dali Atomicus at 12:53 PM on December 3, 2009


Frankly, it could run afowl of political contribution laws.

Um, how, exactly?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:12 PM on December 3, 2009


you can't ever talk about politics ever without it being illegal unless you are a tax-exempt church and then it's cool, apparently /cynicism

Anyone who wants to take this off-site please feel free to host an off-site meeting place, I'm out of ideas for that.
posted by kathrineg at 1:22 PM on December 3, 2009


Frankly, it could run afowl of political contribution laws.
Um, how, exactly?


Presumably, it may grow feathers.
posted by rokusan at 1:31 PM on December 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


If it involves "bundling" money for a candidate for federal office, or a candidate for state office in a state where bundling is illegal. I've worked for a few labor union clients regarding these types of matters and you bet it can be a problem.

Sorry about the spelling...
posted by Ironmouth at 1:48 PM on December 3, 2009


you can't ever talk about politics ever without it being illegal unless you are a tax-exempt church and then it's cool, apparently /cynicism

That is not the point I'm getting at. What I'm saying is that this part of the site is for us to tell the mods what we want, or to bitch about site-related things. If we use it as a political thing, then we are hijacking Matt's blog to give money to political candidates and stuff. We can talk about it all we want. But we can't committ the site to any political direction. Matt owns this place. Let's not do anything using MetaTalk unless he gives us the green light.

Otherwise, we can bitch on the other thread.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:50 PM on December 3, 2009


Whatever method you choose for donating, it would be grand if it's available to those outside the US (no idea if the methods suggested so far exclude non-US payments, but I thought I'd

Again, possibly illegal in some states.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:51 PM on December 3, 2009


That is not the point I'm getting at. What I'm saying is that this part of the site is for us to tell the mods what we want, or to bitch about site-related things. If we use it as a political thing, then we are hijacking Matt's blog to give money to political candidates and stuff. We can talk about it all we want. But we can't committ the site to any political direction. Matt owns this place. Let's not do anything using MetaTalk unless he gives us the green light.

I know, and I know you know about law-esque stuff, I'm not annoyed at you.

I just get annoyed that so many churches are so hatefully and aggressively political and yet we have to worry about getting together in a non-sketchy way to address something that affects us all.

Yes, I know other people besides churches suck, but at least those sucky people have to pay taxes.
posted by kathrineg at 1:54 PM on December 3, 2009


If it involves "bundling" money for a candidate for federal office, or a candidate for state office in a state where bundling is illegal.

Neither of these cases apply to what has been proposed in this thread, nothing even remotely close to it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:54 PM on December 3, 2009


In the meanwhile, in the free Google postcard thread bitter-girl.com suggested using the service to send postcards to the Democrats who voted no. I think it's a great idea: it's free, the postcards are colorful and hard to ignore, people from outside the US can use it since the destination is in the US, and who knows it may even get some positive attention from Google, which, like most large companies, is gay friendly.
posted by jedicus at 2:00 PM on December 3, 2009 [6 favorites]


Ironmouth: "If we use it as a political thing, then we are hijacking Matt's blog to give money to political candidates and stuff. "

From the OP: "Many of us were asking for a place to donate money to purchase advertising."
Where did you get political donations from, exactly?
posted by boo_radley at 2:00 PM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Matt might not want the blog to become the next Daily Kos where a specific political viewpoint is endorsed by the blog owner

That ship has sailed, given the money donated to Creative Commons, EFF, and other groups that have political or policy agendas, directly and indirectly.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:03 PM on December 3, 2009


Ironmouth's qualifications: a lawyer who has worked for clients. Like real clients, in real life.
My qualifications (and probably yours): I can read, and theoretically could read some laws or some such shit. Zzzzzz.

I think it's worth considering his opinion about the possible legal risks about fundraising.

Don't think I agree with his worries about politicizing the site, though.
posted by kathrineg at 2:08 PM on December 3, 2009


I assume we haven't had a mod drop in and respond to this because they are thinking about it/discussing it, but just in case I sent a contact form request to get their opinion. I think there are some very good points raised and it would be helpful to have a mod say yea or nay.
posted by bunnycup at 2:16 PM on December 3, 2009


None of these are political positions. They are statements about what we would like in the blog.
...
That is not the point I'm getting at. What I'm saying is that this part of the site is for us to tell the mods what we want, or to bitch about site-related things.


I look forward to your complaints in the next Update On The Progress of Hoder's Torture And Imprisonment thread.
posted by CKmtl at 2:24 PM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm not personally worried if there's a MeTa thread where people with like minds get together to raise money for something that seems loosely in line with the values of the site.

To be very specific: this would not be a MetaFilter campaign, this would be MetaFilter users getting together to support something using MeTa as a loose place to start organizing from. I don't see that as a problem. Seems like the Kiva thing. If it's not your bag, you can skip by it. I don't think I'm overstepping any bounds here by saying that Team Mod supports legalized gay marriage but that is different from MeFi supporting legalized gay marriage.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:24 PM on December 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


Great idea, jedicus.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:25 PM on December 3, 2009


Thank you for the input, Jessamyn. Appreciated!
posted by bunnycup at 2:27 PM on December 3, 2009


This was a great idea. I sent four out (why do I still have a million email addresses?)

And now I'm off to the rally.
posted by anthropoid at 2:29 PM on December 3, 2009


Or, is this based on IP addresses? How was I able to do that?
posted by anthropoid at 2:31 PM on December 3, 2009


Or, clearly, I'm a total idiot and thought the fields were still active. Jesus I need to get off the computer.
posted by anthropoid at 2:33 PM on December 3, 2009


In the meanwhile, in the free Google postcard thread bitter-girl.com suggested using the service to send postcards to the Democrats who voted no.

I did! Thanks for the idea, bitter-girl.com.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:47 PM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


And come primary season (isn't that soon?) we should all be working our asses off to keep these people off of the ballot.

Primary season was two months ago. Next time isn't for another year or so.

For the record, voter turnout at the last primary was the WORSt in New York city's history.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:14 PM on December 3, 2009


For your freelance contributions/volunteering/support, here are some organizations that are doing good work, should you feel called to do something:

National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
Lambda Legal


And specifically for New York:
Empire State Pride Agenda
posted by gingerbeer at 5:15 PM on December 3, 2009


Human Rights Campaign is sending a petition to New York leaders. You can sign it here.
posted by ecrivain at 5:27 PM on December 3, 2009


Went to the rally. It was a bit depressing. The production was a joke; no one could hear anything, and the P.A. system pooped out almost completely at the end. Half the crowd left 3/4 of the way through.

And Tom Duane, the lone out Senator, is not my idea of a leader. I'm not surprised this legislation didn't pass if he was the one orchestrating the votes. He was completely uninspired and a bit hateful in his speech (what politician curses?) and I saw him interact with a journalist in an unbelievably rude way.

The rally reminded me why I have trouble with this movement, even as someone who's gay. The leadership is often arrogant and very adversarial and just seems out of touch with how to market this change. I was also reminded that I take issue with putting so much time and energy into gay marriage itself. I think we should be fighting for the rights of everyone to decide who they want to life-partner with. Patty and Selma/Kate and Allie/single people/straight folks who don't want to marry - they should all have family rights just as anyone else. I kind of wish this marriage stuff would settle down. I would rather stand as a united front and make it less a gay issue and more of a general rights issue for every non-traditional family.

D.C. got it right when they legalized gay marriage:


"Domestic partnerships have been and remain available to opposite-sex couples. In addition, two people not romantically involved, such as relatives, can register as domestic partners for such purposes as sharing benefits. While the vast majority of registered domestic partners in the District are same-sex couples, and while it is possible, given the opportunity, that these couples will choose marriage over domestic partnerships, there is value in continuing the availability of domestic partnerships in the law as an alternative to marriage."

This whole debate is very painful. It's hard to know how to fight it effectively. And it affects many of us so personally. But I think I need to stick to my guns on family rights for everyone vs gay marriage, and bow out of the gay marriage fight. I don't even want to get married - I just want the benefits.

All that aside, I will say that Christine Quinn was great. She said it best that for once, politicians had a chance to vote for something that was sure to help people and strengthen families - how could anyone vote no??
posted by anthropoid at 8:01 PM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is the thing. We just keep fighting. Again and again. That's how this thing gets done. When there is a lot of emotional effort put into opposing rights for a group, it takes time and effort beyond the usual. Expedient means.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:24 PM on December 3, 2009




Ironmouth, I appreciate your words. But for me, it's not the need for perseverance that troubles me. I just can't help but feel, as I have many times over the last few years, that we are fighting the wrong fight. Marriage is not the institution I want to my rights based on. It's a wonderful thing for many people spiritually, but it is so entrenched in misogyny, based on property, etc. And I can't feel ok with fighting so hard for something that will leave out so many non-traditional families.

Sorry if I've derailed the original discussion here. I don't want others to stop supporting this cause if it's what they believe in. There are other things I feel I need to support right now.
posted by anthropoid at 6:46 AM on December 4, 2009


For anthropoid (and others with the same opinion)--there are organizations doing great work beyond marriage (including most of the ones I listed above). One I love (with the caveat that I have some association with them, but don't work for them) is Queers for Economic Justice. I wish they had a tenth of the money that HRC does. Their Beyond Marriage project in particular may be something you want to support.
posted by gingerbeer at 12:35 PM on December 5, 2009


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