There are many people who deserve credit for our win yesterday; Jackie, Scott, & Bil led the fight, but others came before to prepare the way and the glorious multitudes chipped in to make victory possible and to deepen its savor. It did taste good last night. I cannot resist recognizing PFLAG, especially the moms, they are always the most powerful images we have and our greatest strength. But this truly was a family victory and the lesson is that when we work together we can achieve the impossible, and do it now.
I want to thank those councillors who switched their votes, especially President Steve Talley. Much is made, recently, about admitting your mistakes and often it seems that it is a mug's game; admit your mistakes so I can quote your own admission against you. Lance Langsford felt that he had made a mistake in April; said as much and promptly endorsed the HRO. Essentially he pressed the wrong button. He is an honorable man and his support was most welcome.
President Talley clearly had doubts and reservations about the changes to the HRO and voted against it in April. Nevertheless, unlike some of his colleagues, he listened, he heard, he learned about ideas, and most importantly people, he had not known. Jackie took him to Black Pride's Festival in the Park where I met him. He talked with members of the community and he came, not only to change his mind, but to become a friend. I have no doubt that his strong, public support helped to change some other votes and win this city the victory last night.
I think it is evident that when someone changes their position in the light of new information or a better way of seeing the issue, you have to give them credit for having had a principled position, even if you do not agree with it, in the first place. We all have things we do not know; that we need to learn. Not all of us have the integrity and courage to grow, especially when that growth must be done in public and be subject to every kind of misinterpretation and misrepresentation.
So one of the great heroes of this momentous moment must be President Steve Talley who had the character to change his position publicly when he came to understand that to do so was the right thing.
Thank you President Talley.