What has four wheels and loves equality?

Human Rights Campaign
HRC is hitting the road, taking our message of equality cross-country.

Join our On the Road to Equality” tour at a stop near you »

Equality On Board

You can also download and proudly display these signs supporting LGBT rights everywhere.

Dear Carmen,

It’s been an exciting couple months. We’ve won marriage equality in New York, secured new protections for transgender people in Connecticut, and watched as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” crumbled into history.

Americans’ support for LGBT equality issues is at an all-time high, but there’s still a long way to go in fighting discrimination and educating the public at large.

Carmen, we are at a crossroads and we need to drive as far and as fast as we can toward fairness.

So, we’re hitting the road – and we wanted you to be one of the first to know. Ten days from now we’re launching “On the Road to Equality,” our 12-week, 15-city, nationwide bus tour to spread the message and promote equality. We’ll be working with local communities to educate the American public and empower LGBT people to become advocates for fairness all over the country.

Join us on this exciting journey. Come meet us at a stop near you or download one of our four fun “road signs for equality” to display your support everywhere you go:

Equality or Bust My other car loves equality too Honk if you love equality

This tour will bring us to the reddest of red states where legal protections for LGBT Americans are severely limited and living openly can be incredibly difficult. We’re starting it off in Salt Lake City – where less than a year ago one of the Mormon Church‘s top leaders called same-sex attraction “impure and unnatural” in the days following a rash of teenage suicides.

We’ll be traveling then to Omaha and Little Rock and Birmingham and beyond – carrying our message to states with few, if any, legal protections against discrimination. We’ll be holding workshops and forums to help local LGBT communities empower themselves even in some of the nation’s most conservative areas. Achieving equality isn’t just for LGBT people in cities or on the coasts. It’s got to be everywhere.

Even if you don’t live near a tour stop, you can still join this ride for equality by downloading and displaying these pro-equality signs in the window of your car or home.

Our bus tour launches in just 10 days and we want to see your support on display as we travel the country. You can also follow all of the action at www.hrc.org/roadtoequality. If you do join us along the way, you’ll get to visit our one-of-a-kind traveling exhibit and share your own story and experiences with our very nifty video sharing tool.

We’re excited to have you on board.

Bags packed,


Joe Solmonese

P.S. You can also text ONTHEROAD to 30644 to join HRC’s ever-growing Mobile Action Network. You’ll get our updates from the road and beyond.

whiney Wednesday & some News

The featured photo is from an article or event by the NMAAHC.

The Faces of My People
Margaret Burroughs (b. 1917)
Woodcut on paper

 it’s just another rant …

 About six days ago, an article popped up about slavery and while the topic is definitely, a sensitive one I do like to read what has happened because of the word itself has a history of pain misery and sadness. I have been hearing a lot about human trafficking, which is what I expected until I read the entire headline and went from interested to pretty pissed off in a matter of seconds. I don’t know about you but we don’t use the word slavery or slaves lightly where I come from.

According to wiki, yes wiki. I use them because i need the writer to read the formal use of the word in all its ugliness… Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property and are forced to work.[1] Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase, or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation. Conditions that can be considered slavery include debt bondage, indentured servitude, serfdom, domestic servants kept in captivity, adoption in which children are effectively forced to work as slaves, child soldiers, and forced marriage.[2]

Slavery predates written records, has existed in many cultures.[3] The number of slaves today is higher than at any point in history,[4] remaining as high as 12 million[5] to 27 million,[6][7][8] though this is probably the smallest proportion of the world’s population in history.[9] Most are debt slaves, largely in South Asia, who are under debt bondage incurred by lenders, sometimes even for generations.[10] Human trafficking is primarily for prostituting women and children into sex industries.[11]

I responded to “the article” because many of us have ancestors who have experienced the institution of slavery in its formal definition and while the headline probably grabbed the attention of many I say shame on you for using the word so loosely so disrespectfully or remorse. There is absolutely no acceptable way of using the word “slave” when defining inmates of a prison. I will repeat wiki but it will be in my words because words matter and not only do they matter they have impact especially when the word is very specific to a person or group of people. The use of the word “slave” has a long awful history behind it and if i have tell you what it meant back in 1800’s then you need to do more research or stop writing about or using the word to gain more readers. I ask the writer, were these prisoners” “slaves” as you call them taken from their countries, homes, raped, branded just because, compromised or that families were split because the owner ordered a human being “slave” to be sold. I just do not believe or accept your article calling or using prisoners to do stoop work free can be considered slaves. I cannot begin to tell the writer just how disappointing it is to read such a nonchalant use of the word let alone the definition of the word which was taken way out context or a gimmick to gain readers not to mention a lack of true journalism forget about professionalism.  I have to ask the writer, maybe ask the people who are nice enough to read this blog how anyone could in with good conscious acquaint slave labour to that of labour from prisoners.  So, by all accounts prisoners are called prisoners because they commit a crime of some sort then tried and convicted for said crime and taken to jail or “prison” because they were bad to someone or something. I guess  you might dispute this but the fact is people of colour were victims of slavery  in the 1800’s and what ensued after being imprisoned was through no fault of people considered chattel or 3/5 of a person. That is undeniable fact not fiction and the way in which the writer used the term “slavery” is disrespectful to the people who lived it. Today, we have a more modern equivalent r of “slavery” … human trafficking. 

 The info below is from wiki is about the new modern lives of slavery …

There are more slaves today than at any point in history,[4] remaining as high as 12 million[5] to 27 million,[6][7][8] even though slavery is now outlawed in all countries.[7][133] Several estimates of the number of slaves in the world have been provided. According to a broad definition of slavery used by Kevin Bales of Free the Slaves (FTS), an advocacy group linked with Anti-Slavery International, there were 27 million people in slavery in 1999, spread all over the world.[134] In 2005, the International Labour Organization provided an estimate of 12.3 million forced labourers in the world,.[135] Thanks to the ILO Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour (SAP-FL), the work of the ILO has been spearheaded in this field since early 2002. The Programme has successfully raised global awareness and understanding of modern forced labour; assisted governments to develop and implement new laws, policies and action plans; developed and disseminated guidance and training materials on key aspects of forced labour and human trafficking; implemented innovative programmes which combine policy development, capacity building of law enforcement and labour market institutions, and targeted, field-based projects of direct support for both prevention of forced labour and identification and rehabilitation of its victims. Siddharth Kara has also provided an estimate of 28.4 million slaves at the end of 2006 divided into the following three categories: bonded labour/debt bondage (18.1 million), forced labour (7.6 million), and trafficked slaves (2.7 million).[136] Kara provides a dynamic model to calculate the number of slaves in the world each year, with an estimated 29.2 million at the end of 2009.

Words Matter …  I cannot stress how important it is to do research before using red button topics, words, phrases, or photos and suffice it to say the use of slavery for this story is just wrong.

Slavery is a crime but it is one against humanity …shame on you

Other News …

Tropical Storm Emily on path toward Haiti

Business Insider

A famine in Somalia, and a chronic political failure on humanitarian aid

FAA Shutdown to Continue as Congress Leaves

Syria Storms Center of Rebellious City

Secret Service captures second White House intruder in 48 hours

$150 million in promised upgrades at former Stevens Hospital begin


Debt Ceiling Agreement Goes Into Effect

President & Congress avoid default with last-minute deal


Relief Efforts in the Horn of Africa Face Obstacles


Hearings on Housing Finance System & Debt Financing

Drought and Famine in the Horn of Africa

Anti-Government Protests in Syria

Congress: the Republican led House pro-forma the Senate

The Senate will meet on the following dates and times for pro-forma sessions only with no business conducted:

– Friday, August 5th at 10:00am,

– Tuesday, August 9th at 11:00am,

– Friday, August 12th at 12:00pm,

– Tuesday, August 16th at 11:00am,

– Friday, August 19th at 10:00am,

– Tuesday, August 23rd at 2:30pm,

– Friday, August 26th at 11:15am,

– Tuesday, August 30th at 10:00am,

– Friday, September 2nd at 10:00am;

When the Senate convenes at 10:00am on Friday, September 2nd, it will adjourn until 2:00pm on September 6, 2011. Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will be in morning business until 5:00pm with Senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each.

Following morning business, the Senate will be in Executive Session to consider Calendar #109, Bernice Bouie Donald, of Tennessee, to be United States Circuit Judge for the 6th Circuit with 30 minutes of debate equally divided and controlled between Senators Leahy and Grassley.

The next roll call votes will be at 5:30pm on Tuesday, September 6th. The first roll call vote will be on confirmation of the Donald nomination. The 2nd will be a cloture vote on the motion to proceed to H.R.1249, the Patent Reform bill.



10:01 A.M. – The Speaker designated the Honorable Andy Harris to act as Speaker pro tempore for today.

10:00 A.M. – The House convened, starting a new legislative day.