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Houston Voice, April 8, 2005
File 009
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Houston Voice, April 8, 2005 - File 009. 2005-04-08. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 17, 2017. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/4133/show/4116.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2005-04-08). Houston Voice, April 8, 2005 - File 009. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/4133/show/4116

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, April 8, 2005 - File 009, 2005-04-08, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 17, 2017, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/4133/show/4116.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, April 8, 2005
Contributor
  • Crain, Chris
  • Fisher, Binnie
Publisher Window Media
Date April 8, 2005
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Rights In Copyright: This item is protected by copyright. Copyright to this resource is held by the creator or current rights holder, and the resource is provided here for educational purposes. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without permission of the copyright owner. Users assume full responsibility for any infringement of copyright or related rights.
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 009
Transcript ^^^ I ^M P ^^^ HOUSTON VOICE LOCctl LIT© When Equality Knocks, gays find supporters In just over a year, Equality Knocks has found more than 9,000 Houston voters who say they will vote in support of gay rights By DAWN RORIE Anyone who questions whether one person can really make a difference may find the answer by looking at the leadership of Equality Knocks. Tammi Wallace had no idea what lay in store for her a little over a year ago when she sent an e-mail to the Lesbian Gay Rights Lobby of Texas, asking how she could get involved. When LGRL expressed interest in starting a project in Houston that would identity voters who would be likely to support gay issues in the voting booth, Wallace agreed to lead the effort. With that, Equality Knocks was born. At first, the project consisted only of Wallace, her partner, Beth Tudor, and a small group of dedicated volunteers. The group worked out of the couple's home. "My dining room was basically consumed with Equality Knocks stuff," Wallace remembers. Within a month, fifty people had signed on to help with exit polling in the 2004 primary election. Seeking to identify people who would vote in favor of gay civil rights issues such as marriage equality, volunteers organized block walks, staffeded phone banks, and set up tables at various gay events. By the end of last year, Equality Knocks had identified 9,000 voters who said they would support equal rights for gays and lesbians. At the beginning of this year, Christina Gomez stepped into the role of project director for Equality Knocks. Citing a proposed federal constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage as the catalyst for her initial volunteer work for the project, Gomez decided to take on a leadership role within the group after seeing the devastating losses in the 2004 election. "That was the push I needed," says ft MORE INFO Community Work Day 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday Houston GLBT Community Center 3400 Montrose Blvd., Suite 227 When Tammi Wallace asked, "What can I do to help," she found herself leading Equality Knocks. (Photo by Dalton DeHart) Gomez. Refusing to accept defeat, she realized that "this is our chance to do something about it. We are going to take hold of this and we are not going to let go." While identifying fair-minded voters is an important part of the project. Equality Knocks also works to fight for gay civil rights and educate c'tizens about the importance of those rights. Over the past year, the hot-button issue on the Equality Knocks agenda has been gay marriage. Many citizens, Wallace says, are not aware of the more than one thousand rights provided by a civil marriage, including the right to visit a sick partner in the hospital. "Whether you agree or disagree with gay marriage, "she says, "denying people basic rights and responsibilities to protect their families is wrong." Pushing for job equality Equality Knocks has also been pushing for employment non-discrimination protections for gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered persons, as well as safe school environments for gay students. This year is shaping up to be an especially busy one for Equality Knocks. The group has recently been working to educate voters about House Joint Resolution 6, the proposed marriage amendment to the Texas Constitution. State Representatives Martha Wong (R- Houston) and Jessica Farrar (D-Houston) are on the committee that has been considering the amendment. Since Wong has not demonstrated support for gay and lesbian equality issues, volunteers worked tirelessly to encourage her constituents to contact her and encourage her to vote against the discriminatory amendment. It meant walking from door to door, talking to voters one-on-one. "It's important that we put a face on the issue," explains Gomez. Volunteers are encouraged to share personal stories to inform voters of the dangers that such legislation poses to families and children. In addition to fighting discrimination, the members of Equality Knocks have been working on restructuring the organ- Equality f KNOCKS 35 ft Equality Knocks Founded: 2004 Founded by: Lesbian Gay Rights Lobby of Texas and the Houston Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus (PAC) Address: 1302 Waugh Drive, PMB 536, Houston TX 77019-3908 Web site: www.lgrl.org/egoalityknocks Phone: 713-521-1000, ext. 2 ization itself. Originating as a result of a coalition between LGRL and the Houston Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus (PAC), Equality Knocks has been growing at such a pace that the leadership has decided to create Equality Houston, a standalone organization that will house the project and continue its work. Wallace, who is currently serving on the board of HGLPC, will serve as president of Equality Houston. The challenge, she says, lies within the need for resources: dollars, supplies, and most importantly, volunteers. "Volunteers are needed in all areas," Gomez explains. Every person can add something to the group, no matter what their skills or level of involvement. It was because of the need to reach out to the community, other organizations, and potential volunteers that the Community Work Day was born. Group leaders and volunteers gather to work on projects and to meet people and talk one- on-one with them to find out how they can get involved. Gomez stresses that equality will only be won by people making a personal decision to help bring about change. "Every voice counts," she insists. Besides being a positive way to get involved, volunteering for Equality Knocks is a good way to make friends. "You meet so many people doing this." she adds. On Saturday, Equality Knocks and the Houston Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus will conduct a Community Work Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Houston GLBT Community Center at 3400 Montrose. Anyone interested in learning more about the work of Equality Knocks is encouraged to attend.
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