The following post comes from Field Intern Sydney Morauer. Sydney is just one of 30 HRC staff that will be on the ground in 16 states by Election Day, working with HRC-endorsed candidates and engaging our membership about the upcoming elections:
On Wednesday night, Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY hosted an incredibly moving vigil for the teens who have recently committed suicide as a result of relentless bullying and hatred. The Skidmore College Pride Alliance and the Christian Fellowship co-hosted the event to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students on campus. After hearing from several student and guest speakers, the group of almost 300 students and community members lit candles and held a moment of silence for the teens who are no longer with us. The tribute was extremely powerful and encouraging to students who face bullying and to the LGBT community at large. It is so comforting to know that there is such strong support for standing up against such cruelty.
Joanne Yepsen, an HRC endorsed pro-marriage equality candidate running for state Senate in New York’s 43rd District, spoke at the vigil to express her support for the LGBT community and to pledge her dedication to represent all New Yorkers.
HRC is working to collaborate with the Skidmore College Pride Alliance and other students in the 43rd District to help elect Joanne Yepsen for New York state Senate. It is extremely encouraging to see a strong community of students invested in social change, and we look forward to working with them to make marriage equality a reality in New York.
The video was apparently recorded Thursday night and posted early Friday morning on Lady Gaga’s official YouTube channel. Looks like she may have sent out this Tweet while recording the video:
Gaga addresses her 7 ½-minute video message to her fellow Americans, to the Senate and specifically to Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Jeff Sessions of Alabama. She notes that 14,000 servicemembers have been discharged under DADT since it was passed in 1993.
“In short, not only is the law unconstitutional, but it’s not even being properly or fairly enforced by the government,” Gaga says. “Our fight is a continuum of the ever-present equal rights movement. Every day we fight to abolish laws that harbor hatred and discriminate against all people, laws that infringe on our civil liberties.
“I am here to be a voice for my generation, not the generation of the senators who are voting, but for the youth of this country, the generation that is affected by this law and whose children will be affected,” Gaga says. “We are not asking you to agree with or approve the moral implications of homosexuality. We’re asking you to do your job, to protect the Constitution. As Majority Leader Harry Reid said, anyone who is willing to fight for this country should have the same civil opportunity to do so as anyone else. It’s my belief that no one person is more valuable than another.”
“The most shocking discovery for me was to hear them all say how much they miss serving and protecting our nation, how they joined the Armed Forces because they believe in America,” Gaga says. “Senators, when you’re sending your men and women into war, when you’re sending our wives, husbands, sons and daughters into combat, will you honor their service? Will you support repealing this law on Tuesday and pledge to them that no American’s life is more valuable than another?”
At the end of the video Gaga calls the Capitol Switchboard and asks for the office of Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York. After a dozen or so rings, she gets a busy signal. Then she tries Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, whose voice mailbox is full.
“I will not stop calling until I reach them and I can leave them this message,” Gaga says. “I am a constituent of the senator. My name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, also known as Lady Gaga. I’m calling to ask the senator to vote with Sens. Harry Reid and Carl Levin to repeal ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ and oppose John McCain’s shameless filibuster. We need to do this for our gay and lesbian soldiers and finally repeal ‘don’t ask don’t tell.’
“Try calling after 9 a.m. tomorrow morning,” Gaga says. “I’ll be on the phone, too. Thank you. God bless.”
The number for the Capitol switchb0ard is 202-224-3121.