OK, some of you are already tired of the red roses & candy hearts popping up everywhere . . . but you gotta admit the US Appeals Court overturning California's Prop 8 is an early Valentine's Day gift to us all!
A victory for queer couples and allies everywhere, it's also a win for human rights, with the Court decision stating: Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.
Thanks to Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force's email blast yesterday for the text and analysis: “We applaud the federal court’s decision to overturn Prop 8. We’ve said all along that the rights of a minority group should never be put to the vote of the popular majority, and the court agreed by recognizing that Prop 8 both singled out and discriminated against same-sex couples and their families. Today is a good day for fairness and equality.”
And now we get word that Washington State's House of Representatives passed the marriage equality bill, introduced by Gov. Christine Gregoire. Washington's Senate had already passed it, so here we go!
Still, we know this struggle is not over. Read on for more on Iowa, MD & NC Marriage Equality updates and concerts, plus:
-Vote for Us! (No, seriously . . . and before Feb 10th!)
-Upcoming Concerts, including Legal Wedding Celebration in Des Moines, Lisa Shaffer for Encinitas City Council Fun(d)-raiser, and “Dancing the Revolution”: emma’s revolution in concert with DanceVisions
-Occupy Math: "1 in 5" versus 80%
-Make Peace Sexy
-20th Anniversary of "Same Rain"
And, yup, that really is Pat way back in her Girl Scout days; read on for the story behind the photo.
Click to see the video and help save Pat's childhood Girl Scout Camp!
Vote for us by Feb 10!
We're Up for a Wammie!
A Washington Area Music Award. We're nominated for Best Folk Contemporary-Duo/Group. (First time that we know of in our 10 years here.) WAMA members voted for that nomination but we (and everyone nominated) are also up for the Fan Favorite Award, and everyone can vote!
Yeah, we don't like the word "fan", either. (Comes from "fanatic", after all.) We prefer "audience" or "community." But since there still is no Billboard Hot 100 Activist Songs chart or a Grammy category for Music for Social Change to aspire to or really almost any structure to recognize what we do, we'd love to be recognized in this forum.
So we hope you will vote for us. . . by 6pm this Friday, Feb 10!
You don't have to be in the DC area and everyone can vote. Be sure to enter our name with lower case, just like this: emma's revolution. WAMA says wrong spelling or capitalization could cost votes. (Guess they don't want any "hanging chads.")
Thanks to a capella band, Cartoon Johnny, for letting us know we were nominated.
Join us on March 4th to friend and wonderful enviro activist prof, Lisa Shaffer in her campaign for Encintas City Council!
Spotlight on March 4th Fun(d)-raiser
On Sunday, March 4th, we'll be performing in Encinitas, CA to support our enviro-activist professor friend, Lisa Shaffer for Encinitas City Council. Lisa's been a great supporter of us and our music and has used our songs in her classes. You know, like playing T.E.A. (Taxed Enough Already?!) in her *Business Ethics and Corporate Responsibility class.
Get the sense that she's ready to challenge the problems? And, with her slogan, “Creating Community Together”, this is our kind of campaign!
Lisa says: "I want a Council that respects the diversity of our community and supports a vibrant economy in Encinitas. I will work for the good of the entire community. I will listen, I will act ethically, and I will work hard to build a sustainable future for our wonderful city."
If you wish we heard that from more politicians, help support Lisa's campaign by coming to the event or donating to her campaign. Tickets
RPM Release Concert with DanceVisions, choreography by Laura Zweig, on Mar 16
License Day 2/11/11. Click to see more photos, courtesy of our marriage fairy-godbrothers, Patrick & Denny, on our FaceBook page!
Love wins . . . and keeps on moving forward!
Yesterday's ruling comes with the understanding that it's not over yet:
-The Prop 8 case is expected to move up to the Supreme Court.
-In Iowa, where we got legally married last February (that's us on License Day) and where we'll be celebrating with a concert this Saturday night in Des Moines, far right and far-flung (read "out of state") forces are already working to reverse the law allowing same sex marriage. Take action here.
-Same-sex marriage is up for a vote again in the Maryland Legislature. Check out the aptly-for-us-named org, Moving Maryland Forward and a version of the video produced by "Standing on the Side of Love" Maryland Interfaith Leader's campaign, distributed to every MD senator and delegate, which features our song, "This Love".
-And, when it wasn't enough to have already made same-sex marriage illegal, North Carolina (and other states) want to take it a step further and enshrine that kind of bigotry into the state consitution. So, in May, we head to North Carolina to raise a rukus and the spirits of folks working to counter the "proposed, anti-gay constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage in the state constitution, and possibly even civil unions or domestic partner benefits" before the May 8th election date. Learn more here.
Occupy DC activists protest their eviction. (Photo: USA Today)
It's all in the numbers . . .
After this weekend's evictions of Occupy DC and the Freedom Plaza encampment, the article "Occupy Movement at Crossroads" stated:
"Some also question Occupy's impact. A national survey released last week by researchers at the University of Delaware found that almost one in five Americans still say they've heard nothing about the movement and that a third of those who have can't identify its main message — that too few control too much of the nation's wealth and political power."
Let's take on all the issues, here. First . . . you're right, we don't usually read USA Today, but every once in a while it's good to see what's out there. Second, sure folks can't identify the media's much-demanded request for a single message of the Occupy movement . . . because there's more than one issue! Even more than one main issue. But, lastly, (and the part that really made Sandy laugh out loud) was the "almost one in five Americans still say they've heard nothing about that movement." It sounds so dire, but what they're not saying is that 4 out of 5 or 80% of Americans have heard of the Occupy Movement!!
We're fairly sure that most of the campaigns/activism we've been engaged in over these past ten years have never been recognized by eighty percent of the huge population of this vast country. We'd call that achievement--plus, the significance of bringing the issue of economic injustice to the country, not to mention to election year politics--a success for the Occupy Movement. Whatever comes next.
Pat writes: "Think of it: A woman centered space to sing, play an instrument, pitch a tent, learn the constellations, race canoes, ride horses, make rope, build a fire, survive in emergencies, cook, cooperate and build trust; entertain yourself without the aid of electricity, technology or money; be strong and have an opinion that is valued. This was my experience of Girl Scout Camp. The images of women my suburban upbringing presented did not fit who I was. A 'tomboy' like me would have been lost had it not been for a group of strong women leaders willing to challenge the stereotype of what was possible for girls and young women like me.
Then consider, due to economic concerns and a shift in priorities the very camps that I enjoyed growing up being sold off to the highest bidder.
I hadn't reflected much on my Girl Scout experience recently, until I got a call last month from a friend I hadn't heard from since elementary school. She said the camp we both went to was in danger of being closed as part of The Girl Scout Council of NE Ohio's plan to close seven camps and replace them with two 'premier' camps. Supporters of the camps, like my friend, have organized against the sale, citing the Council's highly inflated figures for repairs and vastly underestimated numbers for usage of the camps by today's Scouts. The group working to keep the camps open, Trefoil Integrity, needs to raise $60,000 for legal fees--the same amount it cost the Scouts to buy the camp in the 1930s. Trefoil has already raised a third of that.
When my friend asked, would I help, we sent Swimming to the Other Side to use in her video and, now, we're putting the word out to you. Whether you're a Scout or a supporter of the music that grew, in part, out of my experience there, I hope you'll take a look and lend your support."
Make Peace Sexy -- By Feb 10!
Years ago, a college student bought one of our "Salaam, Shalom, Peace" tees. Not just any peace tee. She bought a toddler-sized one. And, when she pulled it on, it took on a kind of a Britney-Spears-influenced style we hadn't seen before. She declared it, "Perfect!" From then on, we've been down with the idea that making peace sexy could change the world.
Leave it to Marianne Perez, a great organizer and a total sweetie we've worked with at Peace Alliance/Department of Peace events, to take on the challenge with her new project, Peace is Sexy!:
"As many of you know, I have an obsession with shifting mainstream media from a media of violence, competition and conflict to one of community, collaboration and transformation. I am passionate about this because I truly believe that if people can see examples of peace, they can replicate those actions and ultimately we will live in a world that is better for everyone. What could be better than that?
Peace is Sexy! redefines peace as sexy, possible, profitable and fun by highlighting individuals, organizations, companies and entertainment in an engaging and dynamic way."
The project is already getting attention on OdeWire and we're thrilled to be one of the musicians Marianne highlights in her fundraising video (yup, us and Bono!).
So be a Valentine's activist, donate by Feb 10 at levels like Peace Powerhouse and Peace Pin-Up and help make peace sexy!
"Same Rain" Turns 20!
Yes, Pat released Same Rain t-w-e-n-t-y years ago. On Valentine's Day, in fact.
We love knowing that this cd and Pat's music have been with many of you--some of you for the whole 20 years! We've heard wonderful stories: from folks playing the cds for their kids and now their kids' kids, to people singing the songs at the most important turning points of their lives.
Same Rain created a number of turning point in our lives, too: from the sheer accomplishment for Pat of releasing her first recording, to that cute photo on the cassette cover catching Sandy's eye all those years ago.
Whether you haven't yet heard what Sandy calls "Classic Pat Humphries" (check out the cd) or you've been loving this cd for all these years, we thank you, as always, for your support of us and for your work for peace & justice!
We look forward to singing with you soon.
Pat Humphries & Sandy O