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Success: Pepsi to fund Courage Campaign Institute LGBT project!


By Adam Bink

We did it! Thanks to the votes of many of you here, we finished in top ten last night, which means we will receive a $50,000 grant from Pepsi to fund our Testimony: Take a Stand project, focused on sharing stories to change hearts and minds and combat homophobia… especially in schools.

A personal thank you from ALL of us at Courage Campaign to those of you at P8TT who voted daily, semi-daily or even once. This saves us from fundraising from members and helps make sure good work gets funded.

I have some more exciting news, which is that we were accepted to submit a proposal for the month of July as well! This $50,000 grant would fund our Camp Courage program. You can vote here.

Camp Courage is a program we’ve had for a few years — started after Prop 8 passed — and has now trained close to 2,000 activists. It teaches “story of self” along the lines of Marshall Ganz’s principles, as well as community organizing skills, so that activists have the tools they need to organize not just in places like New York and California, but Tennessee, Oregon and everywhere in between. Basically, it makes us all more effective organizers. We ran a series of Camp Courage trainings in New Hampshire (which many of you helped fund) to give local organizers new skills to rise up and beat back attempts to repeal the state’s law that provides marriage equality for same-sex couples.

Anyway, we’re in, and today’s the first day of voting, so vote away! (and share, tweet, and everything else).

As a reminder, you can always find a new permanent link to vote daily at the top right of the blog, so you can click when you come visit.

Update: We now have new voting codes. Text “107728” to “73774” to cast a vote daily. No sign-ups for anything unless you want to opt in.

Also, signing up for daily reminders by e-mail can be done here (much easier for many).


  • 1. Ann S.  |  July 1, 2011 at 12:41 pm


  • 2. Alan_Eckert  |  July 1, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Congratulations! I voted nearly every day.

  • 3. Adam Bink  |  July 1, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Thanks! And that's why we won: determined people power!

  • 4. AnonyGrl  |  July 1, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Huzzah!!! And I am sure it will be put to excellent use!!!

  • 5. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 1, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Voted every day for CC!

  • 6. Sagesse  |  July 1, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I voted every day too, but the Pepsi process is a real nuisance.

  • 7. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 1, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    What I especially didn't like about Pepsi process was that all the graphics were loading every time from scratch and not from cache which made it insufferable to watch every day; and that I couldn't stay logged in after first logging in, I had to log in every day all over again. That is just not all that well though out.

    A big surprise for me was that top 10 contestants will get the money, I was under the impression that only the first place will walk away with the prize, so I was upset to see CC on #4 and even #5 on some days. I'm glad the project will get the funding!

  • 8. Kathleen  |  July 1, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Excellent news! Congratulations.

  • 9. Sagesse  |  July 1, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Gay Rights Advocate Arrested For Kissing Preacher
    North Carolina man presses charges after gay pride event.

  • 10. Carpool_Cookie  |  July 1, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    The return of The Kissing Bandit! (I think that's a Kathryn Grayson movie…or was it Ann Blythe?)

  • 11. Waxr  |  July 1, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    There are various legal defenses which Ms. Parker can use. However defenses vary from state to state and depends on the circumstances. For example, if you go up to a black man and start calling him the "N" word, you could be charged with instigating the situation. In this case the preacher was holding a Bible in his hand, jumping up and down and screaming "Sodomites" and "you're going to hell." That type of language appears designed to instigate an angry reaction. Mr. Parkerr's reaction could be interpreted as instigated, if not quite what the preacher was expecting

    Her best choice might be to use an "affirmative defense". In this case, Ms. Parker could argue that she kissed him to prevent the preacher from instigating a fight with some one else. Considering the heat of the moment, this could be viable.

    Ms. Parker could also claim that there was no credible threat, and the preacher had no real concerned about his safety. That the preacher had her arrested for other reasons.

    After talking to his lawyers, the preacher will probably drop the charge. If not, there is a good chance that the judge will dismiss it.

  • 12. Carpool_Cookie  |  July 4, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Ironically, this uptight guy makes himself appear rather GAY by pressing charges against a woman for kissing him. Don't imagine that's the effect he was going for…

  • 13. Fluffyskunk  |  July 1, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    With respect, that is assault; just picture the situation with the genders reversed if you can't see why. Just because the attacker was female and the victim was male makes it no more acceptable to kiss a stranger in the street.

  • 14. Chris in Lathrop  |  July 1, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Definitely not acceptable behavior on the part of Miss Parker. She opened herself up to this, and under the circumstances, I can see this as a belligerent act. That said, I think Belcher is going way overboard by pressing charges.

  • 15. Waxr  |  July 1, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Although touching another person against their will is illegal, the court takes circumstances into consideration. If a man in his 30's or 40's approach a young woman and attempts to kiss her against her will, that would be considered serious because of the sexual implications. But if a 74 year old man attempts to kiss a young woman, that will often be interpreted as merely a friendly attempt to give her a pect, with no harm intended. In this case, we have a 74 year old woman. Was she really a threat to him? A judge might merely dismiss this with a warning.

  • 16. Carpool_Cookie  |  July 1, 2011 at 1:08 pm


  • 17. Kate  |  July 1, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Hurray! I voted every day and was looking forward to it being over. Ha! I've started my daily July votes already…….

  • 18. jerimee  |  July 1, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    This is incredible. I'm so going to have a Pepsi today.

  • 19. Adam Bink  |  July 2, 2011 at 10:39 am

    And look under the cap for power codes!

  • 20. loaferguy  |  July 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Voted every day myself, but their login process was sure a pain!

  • 21. Chris in Lathrop  |  July 1, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Congratulations, Courage Campaign, on a well-deserved windfall!

  • 22. Ann S.  |  July 1, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    DOJ urges court not to dismiss Golinski claim but to rule DOMA is unconstitutional:

  • 23. Michguy  |  July 1, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    UPDATE- in Windsor DOMA court case.

    Windsor v. United States – Plaintiff's Statement Pursuant to Local Rule 56.1

    Windsor v. United States – Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment

  • 24. Sagesse  |  July 2, 2011 at 10:34 am

    DOMA is a very weird law. When it was passed in 1996, and for several years until 2004, it didn't affect anybody. There were no same sex married couples anywhere in the US (except for a few who were married outside the country). So the constitutional damage that is being challenged in the DOMA cases all dates from 2004. It was vile when it was passed, and has sat there being vile for 15 years, but no one challenged it for a long time because there was no 'harm' to claim. Weird.

  • 25. Joe  |  July 3, 2011 at 8:54 am

    Its not weird at all. Rather it is designed to prevent chaos in determining federal benefits. From the Golinski brief:

    "Congress also rationally could decide to base eligibility for federal benefits on the
    traditional definition of marriage to avoid arbitrariness and inconsistency in such eligibility.
    Opposite-sex couples can marry in every American jurisdiction. If same-sex couples were
    eligible for federal marriage benefits, some would be eligible and some would not depending on
    the vagaries of state law. A same-sex couple living in a same-sex marriage state could marry and
    become eligible whereas a couple residing in a non-same-sex marriage state would not
    necessarily have that ability. Congress could, and did, rationally decide to avoid creating such a

  • 26. AnonyGrl  |  July 3, 2011 at 9:42 am

    By discriminating equally against all same sex couples. Not really the right answer, Joe. A much better answer is don't discriminate against any of them.

    I know of no instances where opposite sex couples suffer the same discrimination, even where state law about marriage varies (for instance, age restrictions or degrees of consanguinity). In fact, an opposite sex couple married in a foreign country with entirely different marriage laws who immigrate to a US state and become citizens still get federal benefits and has their marriage recognized without jumping through any hoops at all. Yet a legally married same sex couple who have been citizens their entire lives have no such protection, in fact, they are specifically discriminated against by law. And they WERE discriminated against even before they could legally marry. THAT is weird.

  • 27. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  July 1, 2011 at 8:38 pm


  • 28. jpmassar  |  July 1, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Seems like a BFD.

  • 29. Sagesse  |  July 1, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Just read the DOJ's Golinski brief. Still absorbing the DOJ making the arguments that were made in Perry, and that Judge Walker accepted. Think about it. Attorneys for the DOJ arguing that High Tech Gays and Baker v Nelson are no longer precedent. And that gays meet all the qualifications to be treated as a suspect or quasi-suspect class. Powerful stuff.

  • 30. Cat  |  July 2, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Has Obama decided there's not much to gain in the political arena, so he instructs the DOJ to take it to the court? He does have a law degree… I sure hope that's the case, that would mean he is a powerful ally after all. If the Holder letter already impacted the bankruptcy court case, this should have an even greater impact!

    It's a chilling account of government-backed discrimination of gays over many year, to this day.

  • 31. Leo  |  July 2, 2011 at 9:37 am

    In related news, in Gill/Massachusetts DOMA appeal:

    Appellees request an initial en banc hearing of this appeal because the case
    involves “a question of exceptional importance.” Fed. R. App. P. 35(a)(2). This
    Court must adjudicate a fundamental constitutional issue of first impression in
    connection with a statute unparalleled in scope and effect that, as the district court
    properly held, violates the Constitution by denying Plaintiffs equal protection
    under the law.

    Massachusetts has filed a response saying it doesn't oppose. No response from DOJ or BLAG yet.
    BLAG's opening brief is due on 07/18.

  • 32. Leo  |  July 2, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Oh, and 07/18 is also when DOJ is supposed to file a "superseding" brief (DOJ asked to withdraw its opening brief, but was denied). I think we can expect it to be similar to the one in Golinski.

  • 33. jpmassar  |  July 1, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    There is more discussion here

  • 34. jpmassar  |  July 1, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Of the Golinski brief, that is

  • 35. Sagesse  |  July 2, 2011 at 5:25 am

    And linked on the same page, an incredible summary of Bowers v Hardwick (the precedent behind High Tech Gays, overturned in Lawrence v Texas). Everyone should read this.

    Bowers v. Hardwick was decided 25 years ago today

  • 36. Sagesse  |  July 2, 2011 at 5:44 am

    Didn't notice before, but Lambda Legal has posted testimony videos of the seven couples in the New Jersey civil union challenge

  • 37. Sagesse  |  July 2, 2011 at 6:24 am

    Happy Canada Day/Independence Day weekend folks. It is also Pride Week in Toronto. Thought you might be interested in a sampling of the Globe and Mail's coverage today. (And yes, our newly elected arrogant jerk of a mayor declined to attend any Pride events, including the parade, and he may be a homophobe, but it's mostly because he's an arrogant jerk.)

    Why extremist base politics are the real obstacle to U.S gay rights

    Toronto may have invented same sex marriage tourism, but we're happy to let New York have its share.

    New York State’s gain is our loss, but nobody seems to mind

    "The week’s celebrations have unique meaning for people who came to Canada from countries where anti-gay sentiment ranges from hurtful comments to outright brutality. For some, it’s a time to party, a commercial and corporate endeavour. For others, it’s a political event that gives voice to a marginalized community."

    The Many Faces of Pride

  • 38. Ronnie  |  July 2, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Subscribing & sharing…..

    Service Members that were discharged under DADT & staff of Service-Members Legal Defense Network (SLDN) say "It Gets Better"….. <3…Ronnie:

    [youtube RuBE524RMHo&feature=view_all&list=PLE5718B7AFD6342EE&index=147 youtube]

  • 39. takemusu  |  July 2, 2011 at 9:05 am

    1) Remember you can vote for up to 5 "causes" daily and there are other LGBT ideas there (or any other charity that grabs your interest)
    2) cough cough ahem you can use more than one email address.
    3) you can get yet another vote by texting. And for those who are frustrated with the log in process and yes the prove you're not a robot thingy is very hard to see voting by text is easy to do. And yes you can text up to 5 causes daily.
    4) I don't do sodas at all but got codes from coworkers soda habit. You can get codes that allow you to "power" vote up to 100 votes on select Pepsi products. So recycle and vote!

  • 40. Adam Bink  |  July 2, 2011 at 10:39 am

    These are all great reminders, thanks.

  • 41. Adam Bink  |  July 2, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Two updates at top, folks.

  • 42. takeumsu  |  July 2, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    2a) addendum to that. While the potential winners have been announced, Pepsi reserves the right to check that votes (aka email addresses) are legit. Make sure you are using YOUR email address as they might be verified.

  • 43. takemusu  |  July 2, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Since you can vote for up to 5 a day it'd be cool if we as a group adopted these too.

    I recommend that when you vote you can also leave a message on their "board" along the lines of "From Camp Courage in Education, 50 K. We're voting for you daily" so they will vote for you too.


    and this one:

  • 44. Prop 8 Trial Tracker &raq&hellip  |  July 15, 2011 at 8:17 am

    […] month, thanks to so many of you who took a minute to vote daily or every other day, we won $50,000 from Pepsi in the June round of the Pepsi: Refresh Everything contest to fund our LGBT project, […]

  • 45. Prop 8 Trial Tracker &raq&hellip  |  July 23, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    […] month, thanks to so many of you who took a minute to vote daily or every other day, we won $50,000 from Pepsi in the June round of the Pepsi: Refresh Everything contest to fund our LGBT project, Testimony. […]

  • 46. Prop 8 Trial Tracker &raq&hellip  |  December 2, 2011 at 6:01 am

    […] how Courage Campaign Institute entered the Pepsi: Refresh Everything contest back in June, and we won $50,000 to support our LGBT work because so many of you voted, day-in and […]

  • 47. Prop 8 Trial Tracker &raq&hellip  |  December 21, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    […] how Courage Campaign Institute entered the Pepsi: Refresh Everything contest back in June, and we won $50,000 to support our LGBT work because so many of you voted, day-in and […]

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