Friday, August 10, 2012

JUICEBLENDER: Marriage Equality Opponents Outed, Dream Activists Protest Tea Party Film, Frederick Mayor's Race & More!

Here's a random blend of political tidbits from recent news, starting with a few fascinating stories related to the upcoming marriage equality and Dream Act referenda:

JUICE #1: LGBT RESIDENTS FIND FAMILY MEMBERS' NAMES ON PETITION TO OVERTURN MARRIAGE EQUALITY - The local LGBT publication The Washington Blade recently publicly posted a list that outed all the Maryland residents who signed the petition to overturn marriage equality. The news site created a searchable database of the civil rights opponents, which we also provide at the bottom of this post. Already, local LGBT residents and activists are discovering that some of their neighbors and even family members signed the petition against civil rights. See one reaction that appeared in the Washington Blade (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON BLADE: Bernard Bundy Jr. had a bad feeling in his stomach the morning of July 25. Bundy, who lives in Alexandria but was raised in Maryland, was looking at a just-posted list of names of people who had signed a petition to force the recently passed Civil Marriage Protection Act, granting marriage equality to same-sex couples in Maryland, onto the state ballot for a November referendum....

To Bundy's disappointment, he found his mother's name on the petition....

In addition to his mother, Bundy also found an aunt and uncle, his godparents. Even more galling to Bundy, those godparents have an out gay son – Bundy's cousin – who has had a partner for more than 10 years....

''It was a rough day,'' he says. ''I didn't work much that day. I was there physically, but not mentally, just thinking how much it hurt to see that. I even told my boss, 'I'm losing faith in humanity.'...''

Kevin Nix, spokesman for the Marylanders for Marriage Equality coalition, distanced the campaign from the Blade's decision to publish the names, saying the campaign has been focused on winning in November....

JUICE #2: MOCO "DREAM ACT" SUPPORTERS PROTEST MARYLAND SCREENINGS OF ANTI-IMMIGRANT FILM - Tea Party and nativist activists around the nation are hosting screenings of an anti-immigrant film called They Come to America. So far, they have held two viewings, one in Westminster and one in Rockville, and both screenings have attracted protests from Dream Act supporters. See video footage and news coverage of the controversy below. The Potomac Tea Party Report announced the screenings last month and described the film as follows:
POTOMAC TEA PARTY REPORT: A documentary film on illegal immigration will be shown in Maryland next month!   Tell everyone you know!  Meet the filmmaker!

Dennis Lynch, director of They Come to America is traveling across the country showing his film that has been banned by Hollywood. Why?

This film shows the devastating effect illegal immigration has on the United States of America. And since our illustrious president and governor are doing their level best to get as many illegal immigrants into this country and state as possible AND we have a big vote in November on in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, it’s our duty to get the word out on this.

The Dream Act students involved with the #JSA Movement organized a protest against the screenings, including a Rockville showing of They Come to America earlier this week:

The Gazette's Alex Ruoff and Jeremy Arias covered the protest at the Rockville film screening:
GAZETTE: The kick-off rally by two groups opposing the Maryland Dream Act was met with protest from a group of Hispanic students in Rockville on Wednesday....

More than a dozen people showed up at the rally with orange tape covering their mouths to protest the airing of the film “They Come to America,” a documentary on illegal immigration by Dennis M. Lynch. About 70 people packed the room to see the film and attend the rally.

“A lot of films like this don’t give a voice to those who are featured in them,” said Paola Ramirez, 22, of Germantown. “We’re here to provide that voice.”

The groups Help Save Maryland and the Maryland Society of Patriots, organizations that worked to take the Dream act to referendum, are hoping to drum up support for the November vote to bring it down....

See video footage shot by protesters at the Westminster, Maryland screening of the film:

JUICE #3: DREAM ACT & MARRIAGE EQUALITY ACTIVISTS JOIN FORCES - While the mainstream media has been fixated on supposed racial divisions on the marriage equality issue, civil rights proponents are quietly joining forces to promote both the Dream Act & marriage equality campaigns this November. Last month, CASA de Maryland and Equality Maryland announced the united effort:
CASA/EQUALITY MARYLAND: Equality Maryland, the state’s LGBT civil rights organization, and CASA de Maryland, the state’s largest Latino and immigrant organization, have launched an exciting partnership to educate our communities about the importance of immigrant education and marriage equality in an exciting year when these issues will be front and center in our state.  We are seeking your help in recruiting volunteers!

CASA is recruiting Latino and Spanish-speaking LGBT families to speak out in the Latino community about their lives and the importance of family unity in the press, at festivals, and more.

Equality Maryland is recruiting LGBT DREAMers to help educate Maryland’s LGBT communities about the importance of immigrant education.

We need your help to recommend committed, excited volunteers to join the cause!

 The Washington Blade published the following coverage of the effort (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON BLADE: Three Latino and LGBT advocacy groups have teamed up to garner additional support for Maryland’s same-sex marriage law and in-state college tuition for undocumented immigrants....

“We have a lot of gays and lesbians in our community,” Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA de Maryland, told the Blade as he spoke in support of nuptials for gays and lesbians. “We believe and it’s very clear that this is an essential civil rights issue and that’s why CASA is 100 percent behind [same-sex marriage.]”

An Arcus Foundation-funded survey that the National Council of La Raza and Social Science Research Solutions released in April shows that 54 percent of Latinos support marriage rights for same-sex couples.
This new alliance has caught the attention of Maryland Tea Partiers, who published the following alert (excerpt below):
POTOMAC TEA PARTY REPORT: Gay political groups are joining forces with illegal alien students who want their college tuition partially paid by taxpayers in hopes of defeating two of the initiatives conservatives and Tea Partiers successfully petitioned for inclusion on the Maryland ballot in November.

JUICE #4: 2013 FREDERICK MAYORAL CANDIDATES EMERGING - Gazette columnist Joe Volz has a roundup of potential candidates for Mayor of Frederick. The office is available for a new four-year term in 2013 (Primary Election - 9/10/13 & General Election - 11/5/13). See Volz's hypothetical line-up of candidates below (compilation courtesy of Juice), but note that some of these are dark horses. You'll have to read his full thoughts to see which of these candidates are more likely than others to run for Mayor:
  • Karen Young (Board of Aldermen)
  • Jennifer Dougherty (former Mayor)

  • Randy McClement (incumbent Mayor)
  • Shelley Aloi (Board of Aldermen)
  • Jeff Holtzinger (former Mayor)

JUICE #5: WHO SIGNED THE PETITION AGAINST MARRIAGE EQUALITY? - Below, you can see The Washington Blade's published list of Maryland residents who signed the anti-LGBT petition. You can also search the document online.
Civil Marriage Petition Signers July 12 2012

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