G.M.N.O. — Gay Men’s Night Out — has been a fellowship at Old First that sometimes meets and sometimes does not. It’s mostly gay men, but others, particularly lesbians and straight women, have also joined in. In others words, this invitation is for anyone who wishes to join us!
This week, Old First is hosting two nights of phone canvassing to gain support for adding “Gays and Transgender Folks” to the Pennsylvania law against discrimination, Tuesday and Thursday, July 21 and 23. Without amending the law, queer Pennsylvanians can still be fired or evicted or denied entry to businesses just because of who they are. (The anti-discirimination law in Philadelphia protects queer folk right alongside of folks regardless of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, etc.)
What’s nice about this telephoning effort is that they are calling voters in surrounding counties and then patching them through to their legislators.
Essentially, the call is “Do you believe L,G,B,T Pennsylvanians need to be protected by PA’s anti-discrimination law? Ok, want to let you legislator know? Ok, let me connect you…” It’s the one effort that has been shown to put some real pressure on legislators — their constituents are calling to say they want to them to support this legislation…
The effort uses equipment (phones/computers) from the Human Rights Campaign, but you can also bring your own laptop / cellphone.
Come out on Thursday, July 21, between 5:30 and 8:30 pm to make calls (if you can’t be right here at 5:30, come as soon as you can). It’s not really very difficult — you are a disembodied stranger at the end of a phoneline. And people’s reactions — especially the negative ones — can be quite funny. So some stranger hangs up on you! You still might get a handful more people in support of this change to our laws.
Afterwards, we’ll figure out where to go to grab a bite or have a drink — a celebration of all the strides that have been made forward in such a short time! If you have any questions, feel free to speak with Michael.