Tuesday, November 19, 2013

SF Pride to Ban Military Recruiters from Gay Celebration?

Allow me to state my prejudice at the start. I am no fan of the U.S. armed forces recruiters and would be happy if they were banned from renting a booth at the Civic Center celebration during SF Pride weekend. Here's how the organization described the purpose of the forum held this evening (November 19) at the Metropolitan Community Church in the Castro:

Since the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, there has been an increase in the participation of active LGBT personnel in Pride Celebrations and Parades. For the first time, the National Guard participated in SF Pride’s 2013 Celebration, sparking much interest and comment. The community is invited to participate in a forum on military presence at the San Francisco Pride Celebration. Speakers and invited guests are still being determined – check back for more information.

Nothing said about a resolution being put forward for either the general membership of SF Pride or the board to consider, about anything related to this matter. Just a venting session, as far as I can tell from the only person tweeting from the meeting, my friend and fabulous skeptic Patrick Connors, alias @UppityFag.

When the organization's announcement encouraging attendance hit my in-box, I first wondered why the forum was not part of a series addressing larger political.contextual issues that can't be addressed at either the monthly board or membership meetings.

Given that SF Pride has under $200,000 in reserve, must radically reform its site to be user-friendly, has been asked to radically reform the parade that lasts 4 - 5 hours and the lineup that favors politicians mostly at the front, needs to expand the board membership with more worker bees and address diversity (or lack thereof) composition, deal with progressive grassroots queers demanding issues such as affordable housing and the eviction epidemic be part of the agenda instead of gay marriage sucking up all the political oxygen, and other crucial nuts-and-bolts concerns of Pride Week vie for attention, why did the board agree to make military recruiters the topic of their first town hall?

No word whether the board has plans for more town halls and as per their custom, there were no tweets from the board members at the meeting and there won't be a report back to the community on the SF Pride site. I guess the board thinks it's not their responsibility to inform non-attendees what happens at meetings because James Patterson at the Bay Area Reporter is reporting on them. If the minutes from recent meetings have been posted in a timely manner at their site, I can't find them. Lemme know where they are shared.

A selection of tweets from tonight:

I'm glad the two dozen or more folks who showed up participated, but what does their discussion mean, if anything, for the rest of us and a decision about ridding the military recruiters from Pride Weekend? I'd like for the board to explain by the end of the week about their next steps on this. There must be real-time communication from the board at their meetings for the vast numbers of LGBT folks who can be present and want to and need to be kept abreast, along with reports back on the forums within days after they happen.

The reform slate of candidates that won election to run SF Pride's board are over all quite lacking with on-going communication with the at-large membership and wider community. The board can take a serious and easy step to address this deficit by issuing a report from tonight's forum.

Tawk to me awready!

1 comment:

patrick said...