Edward Fox

Sound the Trumpets!

Filed By Edward Fox | July 14, 2006 7:23 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
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I just had a conversation that brought to the fore questions that I think need ventilating. Start the fans!

I have gotten the impression from several sources, and if I am wrong, I am pleased to be wrong and nevertheless pleased to have the occasion to discuss this issue. I have gotten the impression that IE and HRC in their upcoming convention are going to engage in training so that the community can suppress our agenda that consists of equal rights for everyone and concentrate on issues that will get "our friends" elected: issues such as the environment, or for all I know I-69, or daylight savings time, or medicare waivers.

WRONG!

Am I too subtle?
WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!(Remember I do not know that this is the plan, but if it is, I am against it, and if it is not the plan, I am against it.)

We have gained the upper hand in the political discussion. Eric Miller has decided not to run for office again, because he underestimated the good sense of Hoosiers. There is no public forum where the forces of evil--Eric, Micha Clark, Eric Turner, Brian Bosma, Brian Hershman, Ginny Cain, Scott Schneider, Pat Miller, Ike Randolph, their friends and relations--will engage us. They have nothing to say that could possibly persuade anyone who is not already committed to their cause beyond reason; they can only elict disbelief and ridicule, while we have a lot to say that will set their minions thinking. Bad minions, do not think!

They must be thanking their god if they know that we are about to cede the high ground to them and divide our forces voluntarily. Not everyone who supports equal rights takes the same side on "the environment" or I-69, or any of the other issues that constitute Hoosier politics. With each extraneous issue we espouse to "elect our friends" we will lose most of those people who do not share our view on that particular issue. They will take our slience on equal rights to mean that we are ashamed of our position. The history of coalitions, the experience of the lovely couple from Ohio I met on the Fourth, tell us that "our friends" will accept our support, as Ike Randolph did in the last city-county election, and then vote against us, as they did when a majority of Democrats in both houses voted for SJR-7 (now called the Marriage Discrimination Amendment) and when the House Democrats sponsored the Indiana version of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

(We have real friends in politics, in both parties, on both sides of many issues. We owe them our support. We owe them our time and money and we owe them that we represent them in ways that meet with their approval and help them in their campaigns. I am not talking about waivering in support for our true champions or staying on their message. That should be easy: our true friends do not miss an occasion to stand up for all of our rights.)

I would love to see Brian Bosma defeated, if only as Speaker, and I can see the value of "flipping the house"; but what we need to do is take the advantage we now have and build on it. We need to press home our advantage. We need to build a broadly based consensus that when our constitutions talk about equal rights, we all understand that those words mean everybody or nobody. We need to talk about equality and families in every venue in every corner of the state until the 60% to 80% of Hoosiers who favor "equality for gays and lesbians" in every recent poll, understand what that means and that it must include everyone, specificly transgender Hoosiers. I have no scientific data with which to bamboozle you, but I feel the churches finally starting to move. I hope I am right, and that when they have looked around and found that they are not alone, they will take heart and start to emulate each other and begin to preach inclusion.

Only when that overwhelming majority of Hoosiers is conscious that their instincts are correct and that, to quote the Log Cabin, "inclusion wins" will we be safe and will our two constitutions cease to be in mortal peril.

We cannot achieve that by dividing our forces and alienating our supporters. We cannot achieve that noble goal by giving up our advantage now that we have the enemy on the run. Far from being quiet about who we are and what we want, we should trumpet it from the rooftops (think you Darien), politely and respectfully but day and night and with the unrelenting authority of Gabriel.


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Wow Ed, I'm speechless. I hadn't heard anything about this but I agree with you. Wow.

One other thing, when exactly is this convention? Thanks Ed.

Linda Perdue | July 15, 2006 6:50 AM

The meeting is August 19 at IUPUI. 8:30 to 5, $20 a person. Don't know where but maybe in the lecture hall building.

At the Region 8 meeting, it was announced that there would be many workshops and included people from a broad range of organizations, some not LGBT. Other than a vague mention of "labor unions", I didn't catch any names.

I didn't hear anything about content at the meeting so Ed's posting is news to me. While I would agree that the House need to turn over to the Democrats again and will do all I can to make that happen, I would question why this 1 day meeting would only focus on that and not to deepen people's understanding of the precarious position we're in and what other things can be done. I'm a Democrat but I'm not convinced all D's are our friends. The 2004 election certainly proved that!!

I would think IE would be posting the agenda for the day, and getting publicity out. It's not that far off. And is it safe to say none of us have been asked to participate as presenters?

You can see more about the convention that is being planned at the IEPAC website - http://www.iepac.org There is a link there to the sign up page for the event which covers not only some of the basic workshops offered, but also the other orgs participating in this. Those orgs include: American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Campaign, Indiana Black Pride, Indiana Equality, Jewish Community Relations Council, Lambda Consulting, National Association of Social Workers, Stop The Amendment, and more.

I think when you see the discussion workshop topics, you'll be somewhat soothed. While there are some non-LGBT related topics, that's okay - there are a lot of progressive PACs and organizations out there who don't focus on LGBT rights but who's membership would attend and learn about our issues.

This is no different than the PFLAG basic mission - LGBT folk can't do it alone. It will take straight allies to accomplish our goal of equality for all. And if IE has an opportunity to speak about our issues to a large group of people that wouldn't normally be hearing our message - so much the better!

After all, when you look at the list of participating orgs - the majority of them are LGBT focused. The rest have large LGBT components. To think that LGBT concerns will be overlooked to focus instead on I-69 or daylight savings time is simply asinine. Why would HRC and IE sponsor a convention on daylight savings time? I mean, really? Let's just use some logic about this...

Where can you register if you do not wish to register online?

Obviously if the convention is as you describe it, Linda, I am all for it. Rather than attack the convention, about which I have little official information, I wanted to use it as an occasion to join an argument that is clearly abroad. I hope that my post raises interest in the convention and that it turns out to be an opportunity to educate our friends.

Retail politics presents difficult choices which we all must make individually. I hope we can agree on Ginny Cain and Brian Bosma, but between Julia Carson and Eric Dickerson reasonable people will have to make their own choice. It would be nice to have parties and candidates such that we could decide between them based on other issues, confident that all understood the need to protect everyone's civil rights and our system of laws, including the constitutions. Until that time, I believe that the fight for equal rights trumps everything else, and that it must be waged strategicly, relentlessly and publicly. It is a matter of educating the ignorant and encouraging those who know better to find some courage and the opportunity take a stand.

Linda Perdue | July 16, 2006 1:01 AM

Ed, Bil posted the information about the conference, not me. I'm only involved with IE through my participation in Region 8.

Bil posted good info to have. We can each go to that site and decide if we would gain anything by attending. If so, go, if not, don't go. But it sounds like a balanced mix of information.

It's too bad that this is the same weekend that the IDEA convention for the Democratic Party will be held in Southern Indiana.

Unfortunately, IDEA is a MUST for most candidates in an election year and some D candidates might have enjoyed the opportunity to attend.