SF Plans for Prop 8 Trial
Day of Ruling Action
An open planning meeting was held last Thursday, June 24, starting at 10:30 am, to make preparations for what actions to take on the day Judge Vaughn Walker, and I was there. On the plus side, it was good to see such an opening session taking place, but on the negative side of things, it was another morning meeting attended by a large number of people from Gay Inc, staffers from City Hall offices and Gay Clergy Inc, with a smattering of unaffiliated ordinary activists.
The week prior, I attended another morning event put on by Matt Foreman at City Hall, to discuss his new polling on gay marriage ballot props, and there was evening meeting scheduled to engage the larger community. I'm not saying there shouldn't be any meetings or press conferences in the daytime, but when those are the _only_ times such events are happening, many working gays cannot make it and add their voices to the discussion.
The Thursday meeting had elements of re-inventing the wheel of community organizing, and I hope if there is follow up session before a ruling is made to further startegize, that the session is held after work. San Francisco has got to figure out how to start holding monthly forums with Gay Inc orgs and leaders, and ordinary gays, where organizing for things like the Day of Ruling action can take place, along with frank discussions about the state of the movement.
Kudos to Molly McKay for good facilitation and for sharing her report, from which I've excerpted the following:
Attendees: (may be incomplete – if so – send addition to email@example.com and sorry for the oversight in advance – Kelly has the sign in roster) Kelly Hart, Molly McKay, John Bare, Kate Kendell, Seth Fowler, Jack (from Colage), Roberto Ordena, Mike McLeod, Rev Roland Stringfellow, Rev Jay Johnson, Rev Dawn, Rev Lea Brown, Aiden, Alex Randolph, Sergeant Chuck, Pam Brown, Stuart Gaffney, Ed Ness, Todd Farrell, Rev Karen Oliveto, Andrea Shorter, Lauren, Margee Churchon, Chad Griffin, Adam Umhoeffer, Sister Barbi, Sister , Eric Ross,; Lisa F, Sister Viva, Alex Randolph; Bentrish Satarzadeh; Andrea Shorter; Lauren Margaret Sage; Angelo Campisi, Joseph Peralta; Robert, Charles Limbert, Pam Brown, Stuart Gaffney; Michael Petrelis, Chelsey Haley, Scott Gaines, Masen. [...]
Talking Points if We Win or Lose – Group Brainstorm
The feeling/frame/theme that we hope the community and larger public will take away from the community gathering:
Avoiding the sense that this is a Zero/Sum game with winners and losers (like a soccer match) Reaching for the transformation of consciousness, integration, inclusion.
Taking this win (if we win) as graceful winners and using this initial win to reach out a hand of fellowship to people who are not quite with us yet:
Fairness has prevailed (NOT “We Won, ha ha!”) [...]
Reflect Common Values and Traditions: Love, Fairness, Dignity, Unity, Commonality, visible supportive clergy especially clergy of color, showing diversity of support from wide variety of denominations, supportive/ally communities, include the Broader civil justice frame – contextualizing this case in the broader movement for equality on all fronts, for all people, in this country and around the world.
(The tension between wanting to work for peace and the fight to lift the ban on gay soldiers was raised. The tension between wanting visible leaders of faith participating and making room and voice for atheists who want to be free from religion and the value of separating church and state and focusing on civil marriage.)
Engaging Pelosi’s office to continue her leadership and secure a vote on ENDA now, the need to honor our transgender community and voice in the marriage equality issue, address the larger issue of queer justice issues, the need to honor the voices of HIV/AIDS community, ensuring we invite our straight allies to help us – invite them to participate in leadership – this is a justice issue for all people – need to reflect that truth by our message and messengers and leadership. [...]
ADDITIONAL POINTS IF WE LOSE
Everyone agreed there will be anger and pain if Prop 8 is upheld and we want everyone to stay safe and yet have the opportunity to vent and channel their feelings and find out what they can do next.
The feeling that people would want to come out of a gathering if we lose, is compassion, sympathy/empathy, support, connection, resolve to help, resolve to persevere and remind people that there will be ups and downs but we know the road will end in our full equality – so keep on going – get ready for the appeal and keep telling your stories and reaching out.
The commitment to peace and non-violence was discussed as a value and goal.
There was a counterpoint raised that Stonewall – the start of the gay rights movement – was not non-violent and people had a right to be angry and take action.
The idea of civil disobedience including sit-ins, actions taken over several days, not just the day of the ruling was discussed. [...]
ROUTE and TIMING on day of Ruling. Start gathering at Castro that evening from 5-6pm (convenient to public transport and where people should be encouraged to return to for dinner – support the community)
With our children and youth leading the march - Go from Castro stop at SF LGBT Center – remarks in support of Center.
From SF LGBT Center continue on to SF City Hall (Federal Building flagpole does not have enough room to accommodate a crowd larger than about 500 people). This is where the bulk of the speakers will be heard and the place to send people directly if they can’t march from the Castro).
Speakers will start at around 6:45pm. Everyone agreed best to keep the list short – to recognize people don’t want to stand there all night. There would will be a need for porta potties and strong sound system and security (referred to logistic team to flesh out).
If we LOSE and/or if the crowd is still fired up to march – possibly march to either Federal building where decision rendered or directly to the 9th Circuit courthouse on 7th and Mission (across street from Federal Bldg too), possibly to Union Square, Ferry Building etc and then on back to the Castro.
TEAM ROSTER AND TASK FORCES
[...] Kelly is going to send the roster of contact information from the sign up at the meeting – send him any additions so we can keep that up dated and include all (including those on the phone) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Molly will send an invite out to the former No on Prop 8 SF yahoogroup to ensure we have everyone who wants to be included in the loop – and feel free to continue to expand our coalition and network so we can all be connected as we move forward. [...]