Election 2012: Fighting for equality from coast to coast

November 6 is Election Day, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is on the ground working hard from coast to coast to improve the lives of LGBT people and create positive, lasting change and opportunity for all! From Washington to Minnesota to Maryland to Maine, we’re working on multiple campaigns that directly impact our lives, and those of our friends, allies, families and neighbors.

This election season, you’ll find us in…

Canvass training with Mainers United for Marriage

Maine: The Task Force is in Maine working with Mainers United for Marriage and the Maine Freedom to Marry Coalition on winning the campaign to restore marriage equality in that state. Pro-LGBT activists were successful in placing the “Act to Allow Marriage Licenses for Same-Sex Couples and Protect Religious Freedom” on the general election ballot in November. It is the first time a proactive marriage equality initiative has been voted on at the ballot box.

The Task Force has deep roots in Maine that stretch back more than a decade with side-by-side work to train leaders and provide staff and financial support for the ultimately successful effort to pass and defend the state’s nondiscrimination law and the work to build public opinion to a majority of support for marriage equality for same-sex couples.

What you can do: Volunteers are needed now through Election Day to help get out the vote. To find out more about what you can do visit http://action.mainersunited.org/page/s/volunteer.

Minnesota: The Task Force is also on the ground in Minnesota, partnering with Minnesotans United For All Families, helping with the campaign to defeat an anti-marriage equality amendment. Our faith team which is based out of our Minneapolis office has been an integral part of this effort.

Our faith director, the Rev. Rebecca Voelkel, has been working since May 2011 by co-creating a working group of ministers, lay leaders and congregants who work statewide to inspire, motivate and activate people of faith. Protestant Christians are sitting with Catholics, Buddhists, Pagans, Quakers, Unitarian Universalists, Mormons and others to offer trainings and coaching on how to have effective conversations with people you know. Our field organizer Kathleen Campisano, who has been traveling to Minnesota for over a year, has been working in Rochester directing the organizing efforts for all of Southern Minnesota.

What you can do: To volunteer to help with the Minnesota campaign, visit the Minnesotans United for All Families website: http://mnunited.org/

Maryland: The Task Force has been involved in a variety of ways to help secure marriage equality in Maryland, including through our faith work during the legislative session and as a member of the Marylanders for Marriage Equality coalition.

What you can do: If you are able, Marylanders for Marriage Equality needs volunteers to help Get Out the Vote. Visit http://marylandersformarriageequality.org/

The Task Force’s Trina Olson training field staff on volunteer recruitment in Washington.

Washington: The Task Force has been working with Washington United for Marriage to approve Referendum 74 to secure the freedom to marry once and for all. We’ve been working alongside field organizers calling voters and recruiting volunteers, and providing training for the Washington United field staff on volunteer recruitment and team development.

What you can do: You can sign up to volunteer with Washington United for Marriage.

California: The Task Force has been dedicating critical resources to the fight to pass Proposition 34 to eliminate California’s death penalty. The Task Force passed a formal resolution against the death penalty in 1999 and continues to work to end the discriminatory and inhumane practice.

What you can do: Sign up to volunteer today to work with the SAFE campaign to end the death penalty: http://www.safecalifornia.org/act