King o' The Cats
a cat in gloves catches no mice

Tell Your Illinois Senator: SUPPORT Marriage Equality!

The momentum towards marriage equality in Illinois continues! Today, the Illinois Senate returned to Springfield to tackle the issues of the new legislative session and the Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Act was one of the first things addressed. On the first day back in session, the Senate Executive Committee once again passed the bill out of committee on a vote of 9 to 5. Now, the bill moves on to the senate floor for a full vote.

Now that the bill has passed committee, Senate President John Cullerton, a leading supporter of the legislation, may call the floor vote within days. Make sure President Cullerton has your senator’s support when he calls the vote on marriage!

Marriage equality is not a fringe issue and all loving couples deserve full access to marriage rights in Illinois. A majority of people in Illinois supports marriage equality, as does Governor Quinn, Illinois Republican Party Chair Pat Brady, hundreds of faith, business and community leaders and President Obama. Nearly every newspaper in Illinois has voiced support for marriage equality in their editorial pages. Tell your Senator TODAY to join the movement and support marriage equality.

HRC is a proud member of the Illinois Unites for Marriage coalition, the broad and diverse coalition working to win marriage equality in Illinois, and with staff on the ground we are working every day with the coalition field team to achieve success when the vote is called in the Senate. Join us today and urge your Senator to support marriage. And after you have done so, urge your friends, family, coworkers and neighbors to do so as well.

Thank you,
Marty Rouse
National Field Director

P.S. If you would like to volunteer with the ongoing effort to pass this bill, please send a message to Lynne.Bowman@hrc.org.

Illinois is irrelevant

You can use the last link to go to other states’ pages to send emails to your congresspersons!

Only 9 swing states matter in this year’s presidential election, and Illinois isn’t one of them.

Let’s put all 50 stars back onto the flag. A voter in Illinois should matter as much as a voter in a swing state such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, or Iowa.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states. It makes everyone’s vote equally important. The National Popular Vote bill ensures that every voter, in every state, will matter in every presidential election.

Please take a moment to e-mail your Illinois legislators and officials to tell them that you to support the National Popular Vote bill in Illinois. For your convenience, we provide a suggested letter (which you can edit).

Presidential campaigns ignore Illinois because electoral votes are currently awarded to the candidate who gets the most popular votes within each separate state. Candidates ignore states (like Illinois) where they are comfortably ahead or hopelessly behind.

In 1960, presidential campaigns paid attention to 35 states. In 2008, Obama campaigned in only 14 states after being nominated. In 2012, the presidential campaigns have been concentrating on just 9 swing states for the past five months.

The states have the constitutional authority to change the method of awarding electoral votes and thereby establish a national popular vote for President.

The National Popular Vote bill has already been enacted into law by Vermont, Washington state, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, California, Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, and Hawaii.

However, there is a concerted national effort underway to repeal with National Popular Vote bill in the states where it has passed, such as Illinois.

If you believe that a vote cast in Illinois should count as much as a vote cast in a swing state, please take a moment to e-mail your Illinois legislators and officials to tell them that you to support the National Popular Vote bill in Illinois.

The National Popular Vote bill is endorsed by the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, FairVote, Sierra Club, Brennan Center for Justice, NAACP, National Black Caucus of State Legislators, ACLU, the National Latino Congreso, Asian American Action Fund, DEMOS, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Public Citizen, U.S. PIRG, and Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund.

The bill has been endorsed by newspapers such as the Hartford Courant, New York Times, Chicago Sun-Times, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, Sacramento Bee, Daily Astorian, Kent County Times, The Columbian, Connecticut Post, Westport News, Fairfield Citizen News, Baxter Bulletin, Fayetteville Observer, and many more.

As the Sarasota Florida Herald Tribune said: “The most compelling and practical alternative is promoted by a bipartisan group called National Popular Vote. The NPV proposal calls for legislatures to pass bills committing their state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes nationwide; the bill would take effect only when enacted by states that together have enough electoral votes to elect a president.”

So far, the National Popular Vote bill has been enacted by states possessing 132 electoral votes. This is about half of the 270 electoral votes needed to bring it into effect.

The current system has elected a second-place candidate in 4 of the nation’s 56 presidential elections. The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The National Popular Vote bill fixes the shortcomings of the current system of electing the President while preserving the Electoral College, preserving state control of elections, and leaving our Constitution unchanged.

Please take a moment to e-mail your Illinois legislators and officials to tell them that you to support the National Popular Vote bill in Illinois.

Learn more at www.NationalPopularVote.com

Thank you.

-Demand Progress and Illinois National Popular Vote

STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING.

neighborhoodwatchbec:

Are you an Illinoisstuck, Indianastuck, Michiganstuck, ACENstuck, or any combination of the four?

Are you a girl?  Do you like girls? Are there females in our local fandom community that are important to you?

If so, STOP EVERYTHING YOU ARE DOING. Just for a few minutes. Stop scrolling your dash, stop checking facebook, and stop reading the update because the safety of you or someone you care about could depend on the circulation of the information in this post.

We’d like to bring to attention a specific person that we consider to be a major threat to the members of our community, particularly those who are underage and/or female. You may know him as either Jesus Feliciano, Jesse Feliciano, or thattallsummonerguy on tumblr. He’s 22 years old, Latino, and 6’3 ft, if you need a memory jogger. He entered the fandom community when he attended Acen this year, 2012 as 50sstuck Equius on Friday, The Summoner on Saturday, and Male! Nepeta on Sunday. He has since been attempting to climb the local homestuck social ladder as a means of gaining power and influence among the community.


His intentions are extremely sexual in nature, and he is known to have tendencies toward violence and mental instability. This man is manipulative, persuasive, meticulous, exploiting, and extremely dangerous.  His reputation is that of a con-man and womanizer with no respect towards females. He is known to have past experiences with the law regarding violent behavior. He is extremely skilled at initially coming off as kind and charming, but later putting women in situations in which it is extremely difficult for them to say no (even if they would have, operating under their normal judgement). He manipulates women (often more than one at a time) by preying on their insecurities and putting them under the false pretenses that he finds value in them.

He has already been banned from the recent boating meetup, and the upcoming Funway meetup and Illinois Promstuck event. He’s pending a permanent ban from all future Homestuck meetups.

This Saturday, (May 26, 2012) he is hosting his own Homestuck Meetup. We are advising everyone NOT TO GO TO IT. We’ve been informed by a firsthand account who knows Jesse personally (linked at the bottom of this post) and that his intentions with this meetup are far from innocent. He was reported to have gone to Elgin Community College spreading around that he had an event planned with 30 confirmed female guests and needed other guys to gather up as many of them as possible back to his place to “fuck them.” This meetup was originally to be held in a public park, but has since been moved to a private residence (presumably his own).  It is unsafe and unadvised for anyone to attend a meetup of any kind that is hosted at a stranger’s house rather than a public place—especially one with circumstances such as these surrounding it.

As a means to discourage people from attending his meetup and keep as many people as safe as possible, an alternative meetup was planned at Funway in Batavia, IL on the same day. This meetup will include go-karts, mini-golf, bumper boats, batting cages, and water wars (please message for more information).

For those of you who are not aware, a large majority of the local Homestuck fandom is female, and a very large portion which is underage. Anyone that would prey on the insecurities and naivety of underage girls and exploit them for sex is absolute scum; it’s completely unforgivable.

He’s already begun to victimize himself and try to garner support and sympathy by trying to play the nice guy who’s been accused of being a rapist. Which brings me to another point. No one is accusing him of being a rapist. He’s dangerous, yes—but a rapist is a person who has committed rape. To the best of our knowledge, this has not occurred. As we have no intention of spreading false information, we would like to STRONGLY discourage the use of the R word.

The intent of this post is not to start drama or to drag anyone’s name through the mud for being a jerk. The purpose is to ensure the safety of the members of our community. If there were a more elegant approach, we’d take it—but unfortunately, there is not. The only way to keep as many people safe as possible is to circulate this information as widely as possible. Our community may have skirmishes. We may argue and fight. But when it comes to things like this, protecting our own, we are the fandom that is unwilling to accept such behavior. It’s 100% unacceptable. We are the fandom that said NO.

Ladies, this should serve as an important reminder that you are valuable no matter what. Never, ever let somebody convince you that they are the only one that thinks so. Never depend on another person for you to feel good about yourself, because they may take advantage of it. Don’t trust every person that you meet, and ALWAYS place your personal safety above everything else. You are more important, and you always will be.

Please circulate this. Reblog it. Post it on Facebook. Tweet it. Get it trending. Send it to Hussie. I don’t care. Do whatever it takes to keep yourselves, your friends, and your followers safe.

VIDEO LINK: A personal testimony from someone who personally knows Jesse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbZFLtx1eqw&feature=youtu.be


Hey yo OP have you tried contacting the authorities about this? Ask that they monitor the situation? I guess it’s not very useful that you don’t know exactly WHERE the event is happening but you do have a name and an area.

They Lied

From AMERICABlog:

"Hey, a quick request that we’re only sending to folks we know in Illinois.  We’d like Landmark Theatres to show a new gay-themed documentary at their cinema in Chicago, and we’re contacting folks in the area to ask for your help in showing Landmark that there’s strong support in the progressive community for seeing this new film in both Chicago and nationwide.

We’d like to ask that you send a short, quick email to Landmark letting them know you’re from the area and interested in seeing Question One at their theater in Chicago.

Email: Q1Landmark@gmail.com

The documentary is called “Question One,” and it’s by gay filmmaker Joe Fox and his business partner, James Nubile. It’s about the successful religious right/Catholic-led effort to repeal marriage equality in the state of Maine in 2009.  The documentary is particularly timely because we have marriage on the ballot in numerous states this year, and this documentary proves that our foes have been lying to the voters in order to take away rights. (More background on the film at the bottom of this email.)

Landmark Theatres is the largest art house theater chain in the US, it would be a big deal for the gay community, and the marriage cause, to get this documentary shown at their cinemas nationwide.

Send your email to: Q1Landmark@gmail.com

Joe and James have already pitched Landmark, and now we’re working with them to make the case that there’s strong community interest in the film, as part of the larger pitch for why it makes business sense to show it nationwide.

Just send a quick email to Landmark telling them where you’re from and that you’d be interested in seeing the documentary “Question One” in their theaters.  That’s it.  The emails will be collected and hand-delivered to the appropriate folks at Landmark.  And remember, this is not about pressuring Landmark, not at all. It’s simply about showing them that there is real interest out there in seeing this documentary, and that it makes business sense for them to show it.

Send your email to: Q1Landmark@gmail.com

That’s it.

Now here’s some more background:

Question One is the story of the campaign to repeal/save marriage equality in Maine back in 2009.

Produced and directed by gay film maker Joe Fox and his co-producer/director James Nubile, the movie takes the approach of following both campaigns, the good and bad (as it were), from behind the scenes, up until election night. I saw it last fall and thought it was really well done, in addition to quite damning of the religious right.

Now, we’ve teamed up with Joe F. and James to ask Landmark to show the movie. Given all the intensity around marriage equality across the country, the timing couldn’t be better. What’s most interesting about the documentary is that even though it’s “fair” - both sides get to tell their story - the anti-gay campaign does a bang-up job of indicting themselves by the end of the film. Their campaign manager, Mark Mutty (who works for the Catholic Diocese of Maine), makes it clear that they lied to the people of Maine in order to take away our civil rights. And the mastermind behind the lies was Frank Schubert, who did the same thing on Prop. 8 (won by telling voters the lie that we were coming after their children) - and, no doubt, will again. The admissions are damning. And that’s one good reason for anyone who is interested in the quest for marriage equality to see this film.

Here’s a six minute trailer of the film.

Here’s a report from Bill Nemitz of the Portland Press Herald:

[Mutty] insists that the central campaign theme for “Yes on 1” – that same-sex marriage, if not repealed, would be required teaching throughout Maine’s public schools – was “hyperbole” and “not a completely accurate statement and we all know it isn’t.”….

New York City-based filmmakers Joe Fox and James Nubile were allowed in with their cameras by both sides – giving the documentarians, and now us, a strikingly unvarnished view of what went on behind the scenes during those oh-so-divisive days two years ago.

Here’s my blog post explaining even more about the documentary.

Click here if you’d like to share my blog post/action alert on Twitter, to help us get more emails.

And click here to share the post/action alert on Facebook.

Thank you so much, as always.

JOHN ARAVOSIS
AMERICAblog
Washington, DC”

Make a call for sex education!

From NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Illinois Choice Action Team:

"Every year, thousands of students graduate without learning how to prevent unintended pregnancy or STDs.

We can change that with your help!

We need you to call your legislators during the Illinois General Assembly recess break over the next two weeks!

We have been working all year to pass our sex education bill. It would set a standard for sex-health education courses for grades 6 - 12 by requiring that they:

  • Teach medically accurate and age-appropriate information.
  • Include comprehensive and objective information on reducing unintended pregnancy and STDs.

We still need to show legislators that our teens need these programs. Please call your state representative, at 217-782-2000 [General Assembly directory assistance number], and say, “Please vote YES on the motion to concur with Senate Amendments 1 and 3 to H.B.3027!”

Here are a few tips as your make your phone call:

  • Make sure you introduce yourself as a constituent and make sure that the receptionist takes your name and address so that your message can be logged.
  • After you read our script, feel free to share a personal story on why this issue is important to you.
  • Say thank you!

Thank you for all you do!

For fact sheets or questions, please contact us at info@ilchoiceactionteam.org.

Sincerely,
 
Illinois Choice Action Team”

To all my fellow Illinoisans - PLEASE CALL! I know I will ASAP. It is imperative that we have comprehensive sex education in America - I think anyone who follows me knows how important it is.

Don’t Frack with Illinois!

From ThePetitionSite:

"Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," is a dangerous method of extracting natural gas and oil from the ground. It involves blasting toxic chemicals into underground formations, and causes environmental devastation and contamination in addition to health problems from exposure to chemicals.

Troubling news: hydraulic fracturing is set to begin in southern Illinois this June. Hydraulic fracturing poses a danger to our families and the community. We can’t let this happen.»

It is imperative that we ban hydraulic fracturing in Illinois in light of its poor track record of pollution and devastation in other states.

Don’t let fracking happen to Illinois! Sign the petition to ban hydraulic fracturing in our state to protect our water, land, air, health, and future. »

NEW: Faith & LGBT Equality

From Equality Illinois:

"Today, Equality Illinois unveiled two new initiatives that emphasize the growing embrace of full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals by leaders of religious institutions.

The first, Marriage Equality Faith Petition, will demonstrate that there are many in the faith community who support full LGBT equality, including the right to marry.  We are asking clergy and lay leaders from across the state to sign the petition to openly support the newly proposed “Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act” that will grant equal marriage rights. The petition can be found at http://tinyurl.com/SupportILMarriageFaithPetition



Equality Illinois is also publishingEquality in Your Faith Community: A Guide to LGBT-Inclusive Religious Practices” and a related brochure. In the guide, which can be found at http://www.eqil.org/faithandfreedom.html , faith institutions and organizations across the state share how they include and celebrate the LGBT community in their everyday practices and worship.  

These two new initiatives build on Equality Illinois’ ongoing, nationally-recognized Faith & Freedom Initiative, which aims to identify welcoming congregations, to build stronger relationships with communities of faith who share our interest in issues of justice and fairness, and to emphasize the positive relationship between religion and equality for all versus the persistent misconception that the majority of faith communities oppose equality for LGBT people.

Those efforts include a Faith Resource Guide, with references to numerous articles, books, movies and websites that help reconcile faith and sexuality, and a listing of leaders who perform civil union ceremonies. Both can also be found at http://www.eqil.org/faithandfreedom.html.

We are particularly grateful to Equality Illinois’ multi-denominational Religious Outreach Committee for their work and dedication.

Thank you for your continued support and look for updates from us in the future!

Sincerely,

Bernard Cherkasov
Chief Executive Officer”

Women Being Treated Like Cattle in Illinois

From CREDO Action:

"Just weeks after a similar bill in Virginia was altered in the face of a national outcry, the Illinois House of Representatives is now considering a bill that would coerce women into undergoing an invasive and medically unnecessary procedure known as a transvaginal ultrasound as a part of "informed consent" before having an abortion.1 At their own expense.

Tell your Representative to vote NO on HB 4085. Click here to send a free fax.

We’re asking all of our members in Illinois — whether their representative is pro-choice or anti-choice — to send this message to their legislator.

Anti-choice legislators who support this bill need to know that their constituents will hold them accountable for their vote. And pro-choice legislators are under tremendous pressure from the right wing — they need to be able to say constituents are overwhelmingly supportive of their decision to vote against this bill.

Your Representative needs to needs to hear from as many constituents as possible that any legislation that attempts to coerce women into having an invasive and medically unnecessary ultrasound before having an abortion should be defeated.

If this legislation — offensively named the “Ultrasound Opportunity Act” — passes, any woman who refuses to take the state up on this invasive ultrasound “opportunity” has to do so in writing, on a state-provided form that would then be collected and stored by the state. And the state would require clinics and physicians to track and report the number of women who refuse to be violated by the state before having an abortion.2

Fierce opposition is what helped change a similar bill in Virginia, and fierce opposition is what is needed here. Tell your Representative to vote NO on HB 4085. Click here to send a free fax.

This anti-woman bill has already passed the Illinois House Agriculture Committee. Yes, you read that right — the Agriculture committee, because apparently the supporters of this legislation are so regressive in their thinking that they believe they should treat women like cattle. A vote could happen in the full House as early as next week, so we only have a short window of time to flood the House with the message that HB 4085 must be defeated.

This bill is nothing more than another attempt by anti-woman extremists in the states to make it harder for women to access abortion services. If this bill successfully passes the Illinois legislature, other states will be encouraged to begin to introduce equally reactionary bills. We can’t let this legislation pass and set off a chain reaction around the U.S.

Tell your Representative: vote NO on HB 4085.

Click below to send a free fax to your Representative:
http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/il_ultrasound_fax/

Thank you for standing up for women’s health.

Ali Rozell, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

1. “Illinois Anti-Abortion Bills Approved By State Agriculture Committee Over Pro-Choice Groups’ Protests," Joseph Erbentraut, HuffingtonPost.com, 2/24/12.
2. Full text of Illinois HB 4085

Illinoisans, again!

From Planned Parenthood’s Illinois Action Team:

"Tomorrow is the 2012 Primary Election in Illinois and we need you to get to the polls and vote for the pro-choice candidates!  Women’s reproductive health and rights are at stake in this election, so get out there and make your voice heard!

Planned Parenthood Illinois Action has endorsed a number of candidates for tomorrow’s Primary Election. To view the full list of endorsed candidates, click here.  You can also download and print a copy of the list to take with you to the polls.

Not sure which district you’re in?  Enter your information here to find your polling place, then enter your address to find your districts.

Voting on election day is quick and easy.  Here are some voting tips and assistance from the Illinois State Board of Elections:

1.) Obtain a ballot.  For tomorrow’s Primary Election you will be required to call for the ballot of the party for which you wish to vote. You may call for the ballot of any party conducting a primary and may change party from one primary to the next.

2.) Mark your ballot.  To select the candidate of your choice, complete the arrow next to the candidate’s name with a single bold stroke, using
only the felt-tipped pen provided in the booth, or, if your
ballot has ovals, fill in the oval staying within the lines as nearly as
possible.

3.) Check your ballot.  Double-check that you have made the choices you intended and that your marks are within the guidelines as nearly as possible.

4.) Cast your ballot.  Put your ballot in the security sleeve provided and take your ballot to the judge of election in charge of the ballot box who will cast the ballot for you.

Tomorrow is the big day, so don’t forget to cast your ballot between 6 a.m. - 7 p.m. Each voter must vote at his/her precinct polling place. Check your registration and polling place location here.

Visit www.ppiaction.org to learn more about the endorsed candidates and check back with us later this week to see the election results!

Thanks for your support!

-The Planned Parenthood Illinois Action Team”

JOIN US for April 25 Marriage Equality Lobby Day in Springfield!

From Equality Illinois:

Join us at Equality Illinois’ annual lobby day at the Illinois State House on Wednesday, April 25 as we lobby our legislators for passage of the Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. 

We are asking that ALL ATTENDEES RSVP- including those arriving in Springfield via alternative means of transportation.Please RSVP today.  While there is no cost for you to participate in Lobby Day, we ask all attendees to consider making a donation (of at least $5.00 per person) to help defray the costs of buses, meals, and the lobbying packages each person will receive. If you do not plan to attend Lobby Day, but wish to support this event, please go to: Donate For Lobby Day

Buses will depart from 1) Chicago, 2) Oak Park with a stop in Bolingbrook, and 3) Carbdonale with a stop in Belleville. See below for details:

Chicago
The Equality Illinois office - 3318 N. Halsted Street , leaving at 7am SHARP 
Please note that street parking is either metered or by permit. There are also parking garages located on Addison, just west of Halsted and on Broadway, just north of Roscoe.

Oak Park
Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church - 405 S. Euclid Avenue, leaving at 7am SHARP
Please note that parking is limited but available at the church and that street parking is limited.
This bus will make a brief stop in Bolingbrook around 7:45-8am at
Denny’s Restaurant - 126 East North Frontage Road
- Exit 267 off of I-55 South (Stevenson)
Attendees may park in the Denny’s lot.

Carbondale
Church of the Good Shepherd - 515 S. Orchard Drive, leaving at 7am SHARP 
Please note that parking is available in the gravel lot by the church.
This bus will make a brief stop in Belleville from 8:45-9:00am at 
St. Paul’s United Church of Christ - 115 West B St.
Please note that we can gather at the covered entrance to the sanctuary on the east end of the building (C Street). Parking is limited but available at the church and street parking is also available.

All buses will drop off attendees at
The Hoogland Center for the Arts
420 South 6th Street, Springfield, Illinois
at approximately 11am
Anyone taking alternate transportation should meet us there.

Lunch will be held from 11am-12:30pm, during which we will discuss effective talking points and lobbying your legislators. A reception with Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka will be held from 12:30-1:30pm at the State Capitol building, Room 201.

Attendees will have a chance to  meet with their legislators from 1:30-4pm at the Illinois State Capitol building.

A debrief and reception sponsored by Springfield Alderman Cory Jobe will be held in Springfield
from 4:15-5:45pm
All buses depart Springfield at 5:45pm

Equality supporters from the entire state are welcome and encouraged to join us in Springfield!

We will email you again in April before we leave for lobby day with all the details. See you then!”