Last Friday, I attended a panel discussion sponsored by the San Francisco Bar Association. The following were some of the points raised in our discussion and some of the thoughts on how to move forward from this point. In brief, the November 4th Election has paradoxically helped to reignite passion within the LGBT community, not only in California but, in the nation.
The Intersection: Race, Religion, The Law & Same Sex Marriage
December 12, 2008
Roundtable Discussion Outcome & Action Items –
The final 30 minutes of the roundtable discussion were spent brainstorming solutions on how we as community leaders can assist the community with moving forward on the issues of race, religion, civil rights and same-sex marriage.
Below is the list of action items recommended by the panelists:
* Going forward, the LGBT Community should create one voice to speak out on this issue
* Develop a common “theme” to use when speaking out on this message (example from the audience: “LGBT need to be empowered to come out, be visible and encourage straight people to tell their story”)
* Develop and publish opinion editorial (op-ed) pieces that speak about these issues.
* Approach mainstream media (CNN, C-Span, etc.) to talk about these issues, just as the religious right advocates are doing. Be sure to highlight the positives that can come from these discussions and present the topics in a non-threatening manner. Start now.
* LGBT community needs to become present in other communities. Go to association meetings, church, etc., in other minority communities.
* Identify ways for LGBT community and straight communities to educate others on the fact that sexual orientation is “not” a choice
* BASF should reach out to other bar organizations to encourage them to put on programs/hold discussion forums similar to this one.
* Create ad hoc religious coalitions as it appears that people may be interested in collaborating with other religions on certain issues.
* The legal community needs to community clearly that same sex marriage is not a zero-sum game, that is, help people to understand that if gays gain the right to marry, that does not mean another group will lose a right that they have – specifically that religious institutions will not lose any rights with respect to what marriages they will perform.
* Coalition building between organizations that might have opposing positions (between boards, etc.) to find a middle ground and/or educate each group.
* Engage ICONS, public figures who are opinion makers and who are in a role to affect policy.
* Be sure to address these issues from a grass roots perspective, while at the same time utilizing the media.
* BASF should consider additional forums like this one, but next time in front of the public or media.
- Boycott the Knights of Columbus
- A wedding sermon.
- An open letter to my parish community.
- Why was a college student in the car of drunken Archbishop-elect Cordileone at 12:26 AM, when Cordileone was arrested for a DUI?
- When the Church married Same-Sex couples.
- How It All began
- The Supreme Court’s Decisions and the New Mason-Dixon Line
- What the Vatican & American bishops DO NOT want you (and Politicians) to know.
- The Morality of Sex, gay & straight.
- San Francisco in archbishop Cordileone’s sight