Issue:  Vol. 44 / No. 51 / 18 December 2014
 
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Prop 8 briefs: New group seeks help for outreach to African American community

NEWS


s.hemmelgarn@ebar.com

Andrea Shorter is helping lead an effort to promote marriage equality in the African American community. Photo: Jane Philomen Cleland
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And Marriage for All, a newly formed same-sex marriage education campaign created to provide outreach primarily to African American communities throughout Northern California, is looking for dozens of newly married, engaged, or committed same-sex African American, or African American bicultural couples to act as media and community spokespeople.

"Sharing your stories and what the freedom to marry means to you and your family can make a huge impact on people's understanding why marriage for all is important and worth fighting for," said a statement issued by the group, which is a partnership of And Castro for All and the Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition.

And Marriage for All will provide couples with interactive three-hour trainings and support so that they can be most effective – and comfortable – in presenting their stories. Parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and other supportive family members are also welcome.

The group is also training dozens of community organizers as spokespeople and to help recruit and sign up more around the Bay Area and throughout Northern California through September 30. And Marriage for All will pay $500 to people who train as organizers.

"There's a real need to make sure that people are educated and well informed on the importance of the right to marry," said campaign director Andrea Shorter. She noted that many African Americans are involved in the faith community, "and while we certainly have a number of clergy and congregations that are supportive and inclusive and will stand with us on issues of the right to marry, we clearly have some challenges."

"We're definitely up against a pretty mighty force of conservative organizations" who are gathering people by the thousands, she said.

And Marriage for All's "boot camp" training will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 16 and Sunday August 17, at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market Street.

For more information and to RSVP, call Shorter at (415) 786-7779.

Phone bank slots available

The No on 8 – Equality for All campaign is holding regular phone banks every Tuesday and Wednesday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sundays from 5 to 9 p.m. Opportunities are also available Thursdays, but times vary. Locations also vary. To get more information or to sign up, call Jeff Girard at (530) 329-3501.

Two to be honored for marriage equality work

Shannon Price Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Therese Stewart, San Francisco's chief deputy city attorney, have been chosen to receive the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association's 2008 Dan Bradley Award.

According to NCLR, Minter and Stewart will be recognized for their remarkable achievements in the fight for marriage equality as well as for years of prior advocacy on behalf of LGBT people.

They will be honored at the Lavender Law conference in San Francisco on Thursday, September 4.

"I am deeply honored to receive the Dan Bradley Award with Terry Stewart, who was a true partner in this case," Minter said in a statement. "It was a privilege to work with the city of San Francisco and our co-counsel Lambda Legal, the ACLU, Heller Ehrman, and the Law Office of David Codell on such a landmark victory for our community."

Stewart wrote in an e-mail, "I am honored to receive the award, particularly alongside my colleague and good friend Shannon Minter. Working on the marriage cases was an honor in itself, and to receive an award for it is like icing on the cake."

For more information about NLGLA's programs and awards, visit www.nlgla.org.

Group urges calls to same-sex marriage opponent

The grassroots direct action group Californians Against Hate is encouraging people to call Terry Caster and ask him why he's supporting Prop 8. Data filed with the secretary of state's office indicate he's contributed almost $173,000 to back the measure.

Caster is listed in the data as CEO of Caster Family Enterprises in San Diego. He's also named as chairman of the board on the Caster Companies Web site.

Caster Companies properties include A-1 Self Storage, which has facilities in several cities, including Oakland and San Jose.

"It is a free country, and Terry Caster and his family have every right to contribute as much money as they want to this effort," a statement from Californians Against Hate said. "Lots of people just want to know why."

Caster did not respond to a message left with his executive assistant by press time.

Earlier this summer, Californians Against Hate launched a boycott of San Diego's Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel because Doug Manchester, the chairman of the company that owns the hotel, contributed $125,000 to support Prop 8.

For more information, visit www.CallTerryCaster.com or http://www.californiansagainsthate.com.






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