1. This month is Pride month for LGBTQIA+ people. Today marks one year since the Pulse shooting, which as one of the worst instances of domestic terror in our country’s history, and it specifically targeted the LGBTQIA+ community. This last weekend was the D.C. Pride Festival, and there’s really no way that our members of Congress could have failed to notice. Kaine has introduced legislation to extend housing protection to LGBTQIA+ folx, and tweeted celebrating pride, but both Goodlatte and Warner have been conspicuously silent. Contact them and ask that they reach out to celebrate Pride and their LGBTQIA+ constituents. Virginia is for lovers, regardless of gender or orientation, and to be silent for a celebration of these marginalized people speaks volumes.
- Goodlatte: Staunton (540) 885-3861, Harrisonburg (540) 432-2391, Lynchburg (434) 845-8306, Roanoke (540) 857-2672, Washington DC 202-225-5431 and email form here.
- Warner: Washington DC 202-224-2023, Roanoke 540-857-2676, Abingdon 276-628-8158, Norfolk 757-441-3079, Richmond 804-775-2314, Vienna 703-442-0670. His “Submit Comment” form is here.
- Suggested script: “Hello, my name is _______, and my zip code is ________. I’m contacting Senator/Representative _______________ to ask him to reach out to celebrate Pride and their LGBTQIA+ constituents. Virginia is for lovers, regardless of gender or orientation, and especially one year after the Pulse shooting, to be silent for a celebration of these marginalized people speaks volumes. Many members of congress have supported Pride and their LGBTQIA+ constituents on social media, and we ask that you do at least that much. Thank you.”
2. Delta Airlines has been a sponsor of New York’s Public Theatre for four years. Yesterday, they announced that they were pulling their sponsorship because the Public’s production of Julius Caesar “does not reflect Delta Air Lines’ values” (Deadline article here). The production involves Caesar as a Trump look-alike, and the assassination scene has angered some people. (This despite the fact that in the end of the play, the coup leaders are ultimately brought to justice.) Theatre is often political, especially when older scripts in the public domain are staged to evoke current times. For better or for worse, Shakespeare is often put on a pedestal and access to productions restricted by ticket expense and the perception of elitism. Pulling their sponsorship means that many lower-income people who are most affected by Trump’s policies will have less of a chance to see plays which comment directly on their lives. Tell Delta that you are disappointed in its display of hand-wringing when it comes to the arts.
- Delta: 1-404-773-0305 for customer care; comment/complaint form here.
- Suggested tweet: “.@Delta’s dropping @PublicTheaterNY = attempt to punish the them for producing political art;I won’t fly with a company tries to silence art”
- Suggested script: “Hello, my name is ______. I was disappointed to learn that Delta has pulled its sponsorship from New York’s Public Theatre because of a performance of Julius Caesar. The sponsorship of Delta and other companies funds theatre so that people who would otherwise not be able to see those plays can do so. Additionally, Julius Caesar is a political play and this production was a political production. The arts are a vital vehicle of expression in our society, and need sponsors to thrive and remain accessible. Delta’s withdrawal of sponsorship is an attempt to punish this theatre for producing political art. I [have/have not] flown with Delta before, but in the future I will not be flying with a company that seeks to silence the arts.”
3. Today marks 50 years since the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in Loving vs. Virginia, the landmark case that wiped laws banning interracial marriage off the books in Virginia and 15 other states. In the intervening half a century, we have seen lots of progress, but there is still so much more to work on. The ACLU took the case Loving v. Virginia to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967, which finally made the aforementioned unanimous ruling. The ACLU fights for the civil liberties for American on many different fronts. If you are able, consider donating to the ACLU. You can donate in honor of someone, and who better than Jeff Sessions to get a letter notifying him of a donation to the ACLU in celebration of this victory against racism?
- The donation form is here, which has points to enter the address and email of the “honoree.”
- Jeff Sessions, c/o U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20530-0001
- Suggested message: “In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, and the continuing fight against racism, know that I have donated to the ACLU thinking of you. May the ACLU find such good and just verdicts to any cases they bring to this Supreme Court.”