The California Supreme Court Upheld Prop. 8, So Now What Do We Do?

Yesterday, the California Supreme Court announced its decision to uphold Proposition 8, thereby banning same-sex marriage in the state. The decision was expected, but still incredibly disappointing to the many citizens across the country in favor of equality and human rights.

The ruling did come with a thin silver lining though: The court voted unanimously to continue to recognize the marriages of roughly 18,000 couples who wed before the voter-passed constitutional amendment went into effect.

There is hope in those 18,000 same-sex marriages -- hope that they will serve as the cornerstone for a more equal California in years soon to come. With the number of states who recognize same-sex marriages doubling since November 2008, the writing is on the wall: basic human rights will overcome hate.

That is why it is more important today than ever before to join the fight to repeal Prop. 8. In a press release yesterday, San Francisco Mayor and gubernatorial-hopeful Gavin Newsom wrote:

It is up to every single one of us who supports marriage equality to reach out to those who still disagree with our position and have a personal conversation about why it is so important to treat every Californian equally.

We must change the hearts and minds of those who stand against marriage equality. That is why we are asking you to join the Courage Campaign’s latest action and be fearless in response to the upholding of Prop. 8.

The Courage Campaign states, "We don’t have time to mourn the failure of the state court to restore marriage equality to California. It’s time to go on offense. To be fearless in our fight for equality. Starting right now." Join the Courage Campaign and support its efforts to reach out to those who stand in the way of equality (if you would like to make a donation to the Courage Campaign, click here).

Also, if you live in California, or plan on being here this weekend, you can sign up to "Meet in the Middle for Equality." This Saturday, May 30, at 1p.m., the Courage Campaign and more than 70 other organizations are joining forces in Fresno, Calif. The day will center around outreach, as "California's Central Valley population is far more reflective of national attitudes towards LGBT equality -- and until we engage the communities of Middle America, we will not achieve full equality in California." Click here to learn more.

II -- Don't Drink Hate: Learn the Truth About Michael Savage and ROCKSTAR!

Everyone knows Michael Savage, the belligerent, conservative shock jock who (despite losing his television job at MSNBC after only four months for telling a caller "You should only get AIDS and die, you pig") is the third-most-popular radio talk show host in America, surpassed only by such luminaries as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. But did you know Michael Savage's family is heavily invested in the popular energy drink ROCKSTAR? Savage's wife, Janet Weiner, is ROACKSTAR's CFO, son Russell G. Weiner is CEO and daughter Rebecca Lin (Weiner) Yops is the director of communications? Given the family behind it, does ROCKSTAR sound like the kind of product you want to support? We didn't think so. Click here to learn more.

Lawyers from ROCKSTAR have written AlterNet threatening to sue us because they claim that Michael Savage (aka Weiner) is not a "co-founder” of the ROCKSTAR drink co., as was described in our item, but rather his son, Russell Weiner, is the CEO and principle shareholder, and that Savage has never been an officer, director, employee or shareholder, of the company. AlterNet does not have any specific knowledge of family discussions, meetings, etc. that led to the formation of the company to be able to prove that he was a "co-founder."

 Nevertheless, a dictionary definition of   "co-founder" offers:  "to establish or found in concert with another or others.” Thus it would require, perhaps, for Savage and his son to deny they ever spoke about the founding of the company, in order for Savage to be unqualified as a founder. The definition of cofounder doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with ownership, shareholding, etc.

That being said, in the absence of proof of the inner workings of the Weiner family, we retract the comment that Michael Savage was a "co-founder" of the beverage company and offer apologies, if somehow that characterization casts aspersions on any members of the Weiner family, or Savage himself.

III -- Take On Blue Cross Blue Shield to Save Health Care Reform

The Washington Post is reporting that insurance giant Blue Cross Blue Shield "is putting the finishing touches on a public message campaign aimed at killing a key plank in [President Barack] Obama’s reform platform." We knew the insurance companies would eventually turn on the president, but this is much sooner than expected. And they’re targeting the public health insurance option -- the crucial piece that will help cover everyone. So is immediately launching a rapid-response campaign to go toe to toe with Blue Cross Blue Shield and win quality health care for all Americans.

Will you help MoveOn reach its goal so it can take on Blue Cross Blue Shield? MoveOn promises to "run ads, hold events and work like crazy to get the real truth out to voters." And it'll "keep the pressure on Congress to make sure it doesn't get bullied into gutting the president's plan to guarantee health care coverage for everyone." Chip in now to help MoveOn make fight for Health Care reform!

We must keep on Obama to carry out his campaign promises about fixing our broken health care system. Click here to learn more about what you can do to help ensure that insurers don't defeat health care reform.

IV -- Police Have Too Much Power: Join Americans for SWAT Reform

Originally created to deal with emergency or other very-high-intensity situations (e.g. snipers, hostages, barricaded suspects), special weapons and tactics teams were deployed on fewer than 3,000 occasions in all of 1980. Today, SWAT teams conduct raids more than 50,000 times per year, mostly while doing low-level drug enforcement. This is dangerous, hurtful and wrong. Join Americans for SWAT Reform as it demands that SWAT teams only be used in the true emergency or high-intensity situations for which they were created. Click here to show your support for responsible SWAT reform.

V -- Make Sure Corporate Polluters Don't Gut the Clean Energy Act

A House committee has passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, clearing a major hurdle on the road to passing legislation that transitions us to a clean-energy economy and cuts our global-warming pollution. But the fight isn't over yet. 

Corporate polluters are already working overtime to gut the bill, and 1Sky needs your help to keep the pressure on elected officials to ensure that they support a strong bill that protects the public and the planet, not Big Oil and dirty coal. Volunteer to hit the streets, call your representative or take action in other ways to protect the Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.

VI -- Stop Starbucks' Problematic Labor Practices

Starbucks has a history of being anti-barista, anti-union, and thus anti-Employee Free Choice Act. Brave New Films, which took on the giant chain store Wal-Mart, is spilling the beans on Starbucks’ atrocious labor practices, and it needs your help. Let Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz know that you demand he stop opposing the Employee Free Choice Act and allow his workers to unionize. Also, if you work at Starbucks, know someone who does, or even just got a coffee there today, share your Starbucks story.

VII -- Hold Shell Oil Accountable for Its Environmental and Human Rights Crimes

Shell Oil Co.'s trial was postponed yesterday, but the company still faces charges that it was complicit in the slayings of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Nigerian activists. is a collective of environmental and human rights groups that have formed a global campaign to hold Shell accountable and demand that it stop gas flaring in Nigeria.

Call for Shell to come clean about its corporate irresponsibility, human rights abuses and record of environmental devastation. Take action by clicking here. Click here to learn more about how you can help.

VIII -- Hope vs. Gangs: Support the Youth PROMISE Act

Gangs have plagued black communities across the country for decades. Finally, we have a chance to change our country's approach to this problem by offering young people real alternatives to gangs -- instead of just locking them up and throwing them into a system that often turns them into hardened criminals.

The Youth PROMISE Act, introduced by Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., is a bold attempt at change -- and it needs all the support it can get to become a reality. Please take a moment to add your voice, and ask your friends and family to do the same.

IX -- Tell Obama It Is Time to Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

Lt. Dan Choi went on the Rachel Maddow Show in March and spoke three truthful words: "I am gay." As a result, Choi received a letter from the Army discharging him for violating the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy. Choi is fighting to stay in the military and ensure that no other soldier is discharged as a result of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell." Join the Courage Campaign and Credo Mobile in supporting his effort to secure equality in our armed forces.

X -- Protect American Workers, Help Get the Employee Free Choice Act Passed

The Employee Free Choice Act is the most important labor legislation in almost 40 years, but it is facing huge, well-financed opposition from greedy corporations. Help cut through the corporate propaganda and show that this bill is about helping workers, who are the backbone of our economy. Take action now: Click here.

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