What Do We Do Now Sacramento? Six Things To Do While We Wait

By Ken Pierce

When you go to the ProtectMarriage.com web site you will immediately see a huge linkable picture of 2 wedding rings, of course you can easily tell the rings are of a man and woman. Below in large print it says, “DONATE NOW”.

I can assure you that today there are hundreds of frightened Prop 8 supporters who are clicking away and sending their food and medicine money to help stop “the gays” from “destroying the very fabric of our society.”
Just like how the many LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex) individuals and allies that suddenly became super energized in 2008 when we lost to Prop 8, dozens of grassroots organizations like Equality Action Now were formed, EQCA opened canvassing offices all over the state and Sacramento Stonewall Democrats focused their work on identifying and promoting electoral candidates that are strong supporters of LGBT issues, the Yes on Prop 8 and other H8 organizations are energizing today to help defeat what the court has declared to go against our constitution.

Today I am reading Facebook wall postings and Tweets of people who are still on a high from Wednesday’s ruling but personally I am uneasy. While it is really cool to see my mug on the front page of the Sacramento Bee, the elation of Wednesday is wearing off. What I am most afraid of is the danger of all of us becoming complacent. Couples who wanted to file for a marriage licenses were turned away and comments like “we just have to wait it out” were common. I’m thinking - what are we waiting for?

While we are waiting I have come up with six ways we can better spend our time and resources:

1.    Spend $ and Use Your Time Wisely: In the next few days we here in Sacramento will be bombarded with messages from national LGBT organizations saying how they helped to bring about the end to Prop 8 but more work is need - so send money. While there is nothing wrong with helping them out, why don’t we look to our own backyards and help support local grassroots organizations like www.EqualityActionNow.org. For volunteer information contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

2.    Speak Up: Jennie Reiken is the local EQCA Regional Field Director and heads a group of volunteers (most are straight allies) who work the phones and knock on doors to change the hearts and minds of citizens in our community. Their program is strategically important to our future. Volunteers who have never done anything like that before are well coached. Most everything is scripted to make it easy and stress-free. Contact Jennie at 916-538-6998 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

3.    Center Yourself: The Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center (1927 L Street, Sac. 916-442-0185), under the direction of Wendy Rae Hill is the focal point of everything LGBTQI in our community. There are many programs that enrich and inform individuals and it is an important meeting place we must protect and support. The best way is to visit the Center or go to their web site and obtain a membership so that you can have your own vested interest in their role to support you.

4.    VOTE: The Stonewall Democratic Club of Sacramento under the leadership of Chris Moore has two very important duties in our community. First, they help to identify elected officials and candidates who support LGBT issues as well as those who do not and they inform the public about those people and issues that directly effect us. Second, the organization has a robust program of registering new voters. I never vote without going over in detail the recommendations they publish. Get involved politically by joining the organization and stay informed.

5.    Support Youth Power: The key to taking the same-sex marriage issue to the voting booth in 2012 is getting the youth in our community involved. We need them to be well-informed, registered to vote as long as they are of-age, and encouraged to exercise their power by stepping inside a voting booth. One organization that could use our help in this endeavor are the many Gay-Straight Alliances throughout the State and in our own community. Every year students from all over the State converge on the State Capitol to educate and inform lawmakers about their issues. Supporting the hosting of that event will not only help the youth but it will lead to stronger youth involvement in their own communities. The youth you help today may be our next LGBT leader or legislator. Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to see how you can help.

6.    Express Yourself: Find a way to personally talk about yourself, your hopes, dreams and aspirations, your everyday life, and how being gay or lesbian or transgendered effects your life. It’s not about making people feel sorry for you, it’s about getting people to know you. Write a letter to the editor and to your legislator. Volunteer as a canvasser. At an event where Media is present, offer to be interviewed. Even more importantly, talk to your family, close friends, and even a neighbor you may not have spoken to before. If you are reading this and your are not out to anyone get help to be able to go through that process. Call or drop by the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center and they will help.

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