When: Tuesday, Jan 31, 2012 – Turn the Tide on Anti-LGBT Constitutional Amendments. Staff member: Office Administrator Deborah Neisel-Sanders Description: Both Minnesota and North Carolina face ballot measures this year that attempt to enshrine anti-LGBT bigotry into state constitutions. We must put an end to the era of constitutional queer-bashing! To Do: Wherever you are in the country, sign up today to phone bank in the coming days or weeks to help beat back anti-LGBT initiatives in North Carolina and Minnesota. Click here to sign up. I will never forget the day that marriage equality came to Massachusetts. There was a light-hearted jubilance on the streets of Boston and Cambridge. I was proud, relieved, exhausted, weepy – but mostly joyful. I thought: We’re done! We made it! My decades of activism were worth it – we had arrived at victory. Shortly thereafter I had the good fortune to celebrate my own wedding. After congratulating me, my gay male cousin who grew up and lives in Texas said to me, “you are so lucky to live in a state where you can get married.” We lived in the same country but he was still a second-class citizen while I was not. That’s when I knew that securing LGBT protections in other states was my business, too. Cory Booker, the tirelessly crusading mayor of Newark, New Jersey, recently had this to say about putting a minority population’s rights up for a popular vote: Behind his eloquence and passion is the basic understanding that it is a civic value to ensure that all American citizens share the same rights, responsibilities, and freedoms – period. Years ago our UU ancestors fighting for civil rights put their very bodies and sometimes even lives on the line to help bring that dream into reality. The least we can do is to make a few phone calls. (http://youtu.be/Y4Z7tl7Vy8U) This map by Freedom to Marry provides a handy visual for which states still need our work: (http://www.freedomtomarry.org/states/) It’s not just about marriage! Educate yourself about legislation facing LGBT people state-by-state with this list from Human Rights Campaign: (http://www.hrc.org/laws-and-legislation/state) Marriage Equality USA has this state-by-state directory of local “on-the-ground” organizations fighting for equal rights for LGBT people: (http://www.marriageequality.org/state-by-state) – Deborah.