At the PEAC meeting this past Tuesday evening we had two people show up who wanted to have a mock funeral for the vetoed dp funeral bill here in RI. So this evening, Thursday November 19, 2009 at 7:30PM we’ll hopefully all be in black, carrying a casket with the bill inside. When I think about this, it really evokes strong Christian themes of death and resurrection doesn’t it. We rally at the south end of the RI State House, otherwise known as the side that faces the Providence Place Mall.
Another thing brought up at the meeting was the growing discontent with our elected representatives, not only over the issue of marriage equality but on economic and other issues.
I stressed that MERI and their staff and volunteers have made great strides in getting us almost to the point where we have the necessary margins to override a veto in the House, next we have to work on the Senate.
Part of what was brought up at the PEAC meeting was that this is an election year. I then explained that the voting public for the most part has the memory of a gnat when it comes to their elected representatives and what they voted on what.
I also brought up the point that on average, we have at least 200 people per DISTRICT in RI. That’s a hell of a political motivator. My house district has 7,322 people in it and has 227 MERI supporters. My senate district has 13,580 people, and 329 MERI supporters. Say each supporter has access to 10 other people in the district and now you’ve amplified the effect to 2,270 and 3,290 respectively. This is especially true if you can drive voter turnout.
We also need to send the message to our elected representatives and senators that their vote to support marriage equality won’t cost them their seat in the legislature. In each state where a legislature has moved to secure our natural rights, there has been no electoral backlash.
I also need to get in touch with the Executive Director at MERI. For awhile now MERI volunteers have been collecting peoples information and signatures on post cards that we’re going to deliver to the representatives and senators. Wouldn’t it be spectacular if we could deliver them when the legislature goes back into session sometime around January 10, 2010. Make it ceremonious, make it grand, but most of all make it memorable to each and every legislator who gets those cards.
As to whether the state effort is worth it, I say yes. Look at every other civil rights battle. It’s never gone right to the federal level and when it has it has been through the offices of the judiciary, not the U.S. Congress. Congress only acts when the courts tell them to act when it comes to civil rights. Look at Title IX, the Civil Rights Act, Womens Suffrage, etc.