Friends and followers,
Today, President Barack Obama sat for an interview and publicly declared for the first time that he believes lesbian and gay people should have the right to marry.
This is an incredible, historic moment with huge implications for the US and the world. As many US states continue to ban marriage and 76 nations criminalize people because of who they love, President Obama has just stood up to boldly say that all love is equal.
This story is going to be told around the world and President Obama - and journalists on every continent – must know that millions are on his side. Will you help us make an example of Obama’s willingness to affirm equal love and show other world leaders that they can change their minds too? Please sign and share this card to President Obama. We want to deliver the world’s biggest Thank You card to the White House on Friday - we can’t do it without you:
With every bit of momentum gained, the backlash has been fierce. In North Carolina, just this week, Amendment 1 was passed with resounding support. If you haven’t heard about it, Amendment 1 not only defines marriage as between a man and a woman in the state constitution; it also bans civil unions.
Those who oppose marriage equality are throwing everything they’ve got to try and halt the momentum. While public support for marriage equality continues to grow across the country, these anti-love ballot measures continue to pass.
This is a brave statement, a moment to be celebrated in the long fight for equal recognition of all relationship in the US and around the world.
On Friday, we’ll deliver this card to the White House and send the message that standing up for love is the right thing to do – even when it’s hard.
Thanks for going All Out.
Andre, Guillaume, Hayley, Jasmin, Jeremy, Michael, Tile and Wesley
ABC News: President Obama Affirms His Support for Same Sex Marriage
New York Times: Obama Backs Same-Sex Marriage
30 in Iraq are “marked for death” because of who they are and who they love.
Will you consider making a small contribution to help dozens of gay Iraqis get to safe houses and start a new life where they can live openly?
Yousif* is one of 30 Iraqis currently marked for death because he’s perceived to be gay. He just had his skull smashed with a pipe, but he’s one of the lucky ones; he survived. Yousif and the others must now leave their homes and families in order to escape certain death.
Our partners at the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) want to put an experienced team on the ground to quickly smuggle Yousif to safety. They need $65,000 USD this week to do it, but governments and foundations are moving too slow. That’s where we come in. If you and other All Out members chip in, we can charter transport vans and open up safe houses to protect Yousif and the others THIS WEEK.
IRAP is ready to move. If we pull together right now, we will make sure Yousif and the 30 others get to a safe place and have a chance at a new life. Will you chip in a small amount - whatever you can - to support this life saving mission? We will get your contribution directly to those at risk, then report back in a few days to keep you updated:
All Out does not usually ask for money. But this situation was so serious, we knew we had to find a way to help. Here are the testimonials that convinced us to share this unique and heartbreaking story with you. It was just impossible to look away:
Naseer* is being blackmailed for his sexual orientation in the wake of having been assaulted and raped by the Iraqi police in Baghdad. Naseer’s blackmailer has threatened to send a picture of Naseer with another man to Naseer’s family and friends - causing Naseer to fear that he wil be killed either by his family or milita groups. Naseer needs to leave Baghdad immediately. Will you help IRAP support Naseer’s relocation to a safe house on the road to permanent resettlement?
Rasul* lives in Dora, a Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad that is only slightly safer than other neighborhoods in the city. Rasul lives at his boyfriend’s house, which he is too scared to leave because of the violent threats against gay men in Iraq - and his brothers’ threats to kill him for being gay. Rasul says he can’t live in Iraq because it isn’t safe for him. He is gay, his brothers know it, and they are threatening to kill him if they find him. Will you help IRAP support Rasul’s relocation to a safe house on the road to permanent resettlement?
We started All Out last year to ensure that everyone can live openly without sacrificing their safety or dignity. We know we can’t save every person at risk in Iraq, but right now we know how we can help and your support is critical. If we deliver Yousif, Naseer, Rasul and others to a safe place, we can save their lives and move the international community to take broader action. They will finally have a chance to tell the story of what’s happening to gays, lesbians and others who are labeled as “different” inside Iraq.
Right now Yousif*, the man who narrowly escaped death in an anti-gay attack, tells us that staying in Iraq is a death sentence. If the All Out community can raise $65,000 USD in the next few hours, our partners at IRAP can swiftly relocate him and dozens of other gay and lesbian Iraqis. But only if we act now:
Alberto, Andre, Erika, Flavia, Guillaume, Jasmin, Jeremy, Joseph, Oli, Tile, Wesley
P.S. The names we’ve used in this email are fake, to protect people’s lives, but the stories are real.
Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP)
Threats and Killings Striking Fear Among Young Iraqis, Including Gays
Iraq: Investigate ‘Emo’ Attacks
Ahmed, Gay Iraqi Man, Describes Escaping Death Sentence, Prison Rape In Emotional Video
"Kill lists" for "looking gay" in Iraq?