NEW YORK - May 13 - The American Civil Liberties Union launched a new version of its Get Busy, Get Equal online activist toolkit, www.aclu.org/getequal . Get Busy, Get Equal now incorporates new technology to make it easier for LGBT people to work for change in their communities. The website offers tools for ending gay and transgender discrimination, making schools safe, and winning recognition for LGBT relationships.
“Partly because of all the awful anti-marriage initiatives of the past few years, Americans are aware of and talking about LGBT issues more than they ever have before. We need to take advantage of that and make the case that the only fair treatment for LGBT people is equal treatment,” said Matt Coles, Director of the ACLU LGBT Project. “There is no better way to move people than to have conversations between LGBT people and other Americans. And there may be no better way to make those conversations happen than to work together on proposing nondiscrimination laws or domestic partnership policies in towns, cities and counties, or even in workplaces.”
The new toolkit includes a blog to give users insight into how to make local change a reality. It also includes a five-day-a-week roundup of LGBT news from across the nation. Short videos of ACLU clients that users can share with friends and family members put a human face on the issues and help spark meaningful conversations about what it means to face discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBT Project staff will record podcasts to give users an insider perspective on what is happening in the movement.
At the core of the site are the tools that LGBT people need to work for change at the national, state and local level. These tools range from things users can do in their spare time on their computers like sending letters to elected officials to straightforward directions on how to organize and pass safe schools policies, domestic partnership registries and nondiscrimination ordinances.
The site also takes advantage of social networking websites to make it easier for activists to connect with others and organize. “The web makes it incredibly easy for likeminded people to find each other and work for change,” added Coles. “And there is one thing I can guarantee after having done this more than a few times myself: you will be hard pressed to find anything quite so absorbing, quite so exhilarating, or quite so much fun as working with a few other possessed companions to pass a local law.”
In his inaugural blog post for www.aclu.org/getequal , Coles writes about his early efforts organizing and fighting for LGBT equality in San Francisco. In a podcast for the site, he talks about the fun and excitement that comes with working to pass local ordinances.
Get Busy, Get Equal can be found on Myspace at www.myspace.com/gbge and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/GET-BUSY-GET-EQUAL/11357239515.