Wednesday, June 01, 2005

I'm just a little girl-boy trying to make my way in a man's world. I realize that I tend to quote Dan Savage a lot in my posts, but I find that he always has something useful or important to say. So, here's another pearl of wisdom for all of you on how to get politically active and protect your reproductive and sexual rights:

To protect straight rights, NCAH, the first thing you need to do is vote—and make sure your friends and family vote too (unless they vote Republican, in which case you need to tear up their voter registration cards). But voting isn't enough.

"We live in a time when privacy is under attack, and sexual privacy is a prime target," Nadine Strossen, president of the American Civil Liberties Union, told me to tell you. "The list of offenses is long and growing: Politicians use billions of taxpayer dollars to withhold vital sexual-health information from teens, the FDA keeps emergency contraception under lock and key, and lawmakers sanction pharmacies' refusal to fill birth-control prescriptions. It is time to pull out all the stops and push back."

So how do you push back? Well, you could become a card-carrying member of the Americans Civil Liberties Union (, along with People For The American Way ( and Americans United For Separation Of Church And State ( To specifically protect your reproductive freedoms, you could join Planned Parenthood ( and NARAL Pro-Choice America (

But it's not enough to be a card-carrying member of these organizations, NCAH; you need to be an active member. When I called NARAL to ask 'em what you could do, Nancy Keenan, NARAL's president, suggested you get on the phone. "All Americans who value the constitutionally protected zone of privacy should call their senators and ask them to oppose Janice Rogers Brown and William Pryor—judicial nominees under consideration in the Senate who illustrate the threat to individual freedom and personal privacy," said Keenan. "Federal judges are on the bench for life, and President Bush is determined to flood the courts with far-right judicial activists who are hostile to privacy."

Making phone calls and writing letters? Dull stuff, yes, but infinitely more effective than marching in circles around Washington, D.C.

If you sincerely want to get involved in the fight for gay rights, Jennifer Gerarda Brown, co-author of Straightforward: How To Mobilize Heterosexual Support For Gay Rights, had a few suggestions: "There are dozens of specific things that straight allies can do to promote gay rights," said Brown. "You can tell your kids that it's fine for women to love women and for men to love men. You can ask your employer to promise not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. You can work with your child's school to make sure that classes and course materials validate LGBT people. Engage people in your local churches, office, and government in this dialogue."

Now get busy.

No comments: