(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
The Dog is at the Netroots Nation and it is fabulous! For those playing our home game this week the Dog is going to try to post as many posts about being here as possible! This post is about the first panel of the day. It was titled Prop 8 and beyond. Marriage Equality for all 50 States.
There is no doubt the GLBT community were handed a set back when Prop 8 passed last fall. There were a lot of reasons for the voters choice in California to remove rights from gay citizens in November. There have been plenty of post mortems on this, so the Dog is not going to cover those points. This panel was much more about where we are today and where we need to be going if we are going to achieve the goal of full marriage rights for all citizens.
Julia Rosen – On-line Director for the Courage Campaign
Pam Spaulding – The force behind Pam’s House Blend (insert link)
Michael J. Wilson – Americans for Democratic Action (A labor group founded by Walter Ruther)
Monique Hoetflinger – The GLTB Mentoring Project. A group focusing on long term infrastructure building for full rights for citizens. Currently she is working in Maine.
In a room for about 90 people there were at least 70, with most of the seats filled and some folks standing at the back. The panel started late, as you might expect from a gathering a Liberals who love to talk with each other. The mood in the room was upbeat, with a lot of comments like “Oh! You are (insert blog handle here) I love your work!”
Once we settled down Julia Rosen brought the panel to order. The kick of question was a response to an recent New York Times article in which an anti-marriage rights for gay citizens spokes person said the success of Proposition 8 in California was a turning point for the Anti-rights movement in this nation and asked each of the panelists to respond.
Pam agreed this was a turning point saying it was the first real defeat the marriage equality movement had suffered. The Dog wonders if she is was forgetting all of the State Constitutional amendments which have been passed as well as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) .
Michael told the story of how Walter Ruther in the guise of the founder of ADA said of the civil rights struggle of the 1960’s that Labor was a natural ally of any group working for civil rights. The point being the struggle to be treated equally does not end at the end of the work day. This is why ADA is joining with other groups in the struggle for GLBT equality.
Monique made a great point there is turning point, but it is nowhere near a national one on the issue of full rights for gay citizens. We have entered a new phase where it has become clear we can win, but it is going to take a lot of work, a lot of talking to people at the local level, in the States to get this issue to where it needs to be.
Monique has been on the ground in Maine organizing since 2005. Her groups belief, which seems to be born out by the success in the legislature in Maine, is that it success on this issue can not be achieved in just a summer of campaigning. The resistance to full rights for GLTB citizens requires people see the individual human face of gay citizens. It needs to have done the out reach to the communities of color, to the religious communities well before the issue comes up at the ballot box or the legislature in order to carry the day.
Maine has been designated by the Anti-Rights forces as a place to end the building momentum towards full rights for all citizens. The money is pouring in from out of the State and the man who ran the Prop 8 campaign is going to be running the Yes on 1 campaign in Maine this fall.
This is crunch time. If you believe in Rule of Law, if equity for all citizens means anything to you, if you are a member of the GLTB Community or know someone in it (and you do whether you know it or not), the Main Freedom To Marry campaign needs your help! They are ready with out of State phone banking. You can make calls from home.
They are also setting up a program called Volunteer Vacation. You have to provide your own air fair, but the No on 1 campaign will provide you with a place to stay for a week., You get a training and then you will go out every day working the state to defeat Proposition 1.
Of course you can donate. This campaign is going to be outspent 3 to 1. The Anti’s have the money, but the GLTB community has the organization. Your dollars in any amount will go directly to helping defeat this proposition.
Finally, you can talk this up in your own blog posts! There are 80 days left. This is the real crunch time, but it is not getting the attention it needs from the Netroots! We all have our issues, but today we have to focus on this one. Not only can we hand the conservatives a defeat, we can make a stand for civil rights for all citizens. After all, a blow to one persons civil rights is a blow to all.
To get involved, follow this link.
The floor is yours.