Juan and Ken Ahonen-Jover

The Dallas Principles: Why Not Now?

Filed By Juan and Ken Ahonen-Jover | May 30, 2009 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: eQualityGiving, lgbt civil rights, lgbt legal equality, The Dallas Principles

Two weeks ago, a group of 24 thinkers, activists, and donors (including Juan and Ken) got together to discuss how to reach legal equality faster for LGBT Americans.Dallas-Principles-logo.jpg The result was the creation of a document called The Dallas Principles. It includes a preamble, eight principles, goals, and a call to action.

The essence of The Dallas Principles is very simple: Full LGBT civil rights now. No delay. No excuses.

We understand that Congress and our President are working hard to solve many problems in our nation. Enacting full legal equality does not present a financial burden or cost political capital since most Americans support equality. And it is the right thing to do.

We now have a political environment that makes it more likely than ever to enact equality:

  • Democrats have a majority in the House of Representatives
  • Democrats have 59 (about to be 60) seats in the Senate
  • Some Republicans in Congress vote consistently for equality
  • The President is a "fierce advocate for gay and lesbian Americans" (his own words)
  • The Vice President has a long track record supporting equality

Excuses and delays have a significant impact on our lives. Every day that passes:

  • Servicemembers are discharged from the military, averaging about two a day, posing a risk to our national security.
  • Thousands of legally married couples are discriminated by the federal government.
  • Countless individuals are being fired, without any legal recourse.
  • Crimes are not investigated properly.
  • Over a million students are in despair due to bullying, and some are taking their own lives.
  • Straight children of LGBT parents are harassed and not welcome in their own schools and neighborhoods.

Remember the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.

"A right delayed is a right denied."

WHAT YOU CAN DO

The first, and simplest, thing you can do is tell us you support The Dallas Principles by signing up at www.TheDallasPrinciples.org. You can even choose to be listed publicly as a supporter of The Dallas Principles.

And you can do much more, if you so choose. Each individual should do what they can to help achieve equality faster. So be creative. Make a video and show it around. Lobby your elected officials. Motivate your friends, family, and coworkers to support The Dallas Principles.

Here is one of the videos we created (click on it to see it larger):

And here is both of us talking about The Dallas Principles (in English and Spanish):

You can also vote on your opinion of The Dallas Principles here.

Full LGBT legal equality now.

No delay. No excuses.


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Why not now? Because the community as a whole is not willing to do what it would take to accomplish it.

Why hasn't this been done before? Because GLBT people are afraid of revealing just how little support they actually have in the DNC from the top leadership.

I think it's time to bite the bullet. There will never be a better time in the next two decades.

These principles are meaningless abstractions. They're not policy. Come up with specific laws to enact to protect gay workers and students and renters and I'll sign on in a New York minute.

The Dallas Principles are an inspiration for people who want full equality now.

But, do not worry... check here:

wwww.eQualityGiving.org/Dallas-Principles

for the full details about the goals to be achieved and the specific language for legislation, and a measuring system to check our progress. Check in particular the section called: How It All Fits Together.