Friday, April 01, 2011

TVC Mobilizes: April 5 Gay Ed Hearing;
EQCA & Leno Silent

(TVC advocates proudly showing themselves at a Sacramento hearing last week. EQCA leaders have failed to distribute a comparable photo. Credit: TVC.)

Last week I blogged about a fundraising pitch from Equality California related to SB 48, a bill that would combat anti-gay bullying in schools introduced by out state Senator Mark Leno, and hearing before the education committee. I cited EQCA's claim that 40 anti-gay folks were present, outnumbering pro-gay activists.

Today, and this is no April Fools' Day joke, Lou Sheldon's Traditional Values Coalition has posted a lengthy and informative call to action before SB 48 is debated on April 5 at the Senate Judiciary Committee:

The next hearing and committee vote for SB 48 is coming fast! The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a vote on SB 48 this coming Tuesday, April 5th!!

This means we need you to call members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and jam their lines!! In addition to phone calls, emails and faxes are just as crucial!! ...

Remember, Committee Vote Set for April 5, 2011!
Vote Can Happen Anytime After 1:00 pm!! ...

The TVC sure is fond of exclamation marks!! They are also pushing about a dozen or so lies about the bill, existing laws, the lives and needs of gay people and LGBT youths in California. I hope I have made it clear that anti-gay activists are using the web and their social networks to mobilize against us and SB 48.

Just like our opponents organized better to pass Prop 8 in 2008, they are doing a better job than us at organizing a visible presence for hearings about SB 48 and sending more letters opposing the senate bill than supporters favoring its passage. This info is from the legislative analysis report presented last week to the education committee:
American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees
California Teachers Association
City of West Hollywood
Equality California
Fresno County Democratic Central Committee
Gay-Straight Alliance Network
Los Angeles Unified School District
Public Advocates
San Joaquin Valley Democratic Club
The Trevor Project
An individual

Only 11 groups and an anonymous person expressed written support of SB 48. Have a look now at the 25 organizations or chapters, and several individuals, who wrote to the education committee in opposition:

Advanced Marketing Concepts, Inc.
Bible Baptist Church
California Right to Life Committee, Inc.
Calvary Chapel of South Lake Tahoe
Calvary Christian Church
Capitol Resource Institute
Concerned Parents United
Concerned Women for America of California
Concerned Women for America of Central California
Diversity Reform USA
Eagle Forum of Sacramento
Faith Assembly of God
First Southern Baptist Church
GateWay Bible Church
Hamilton Square Baptist Church
Heritage Christian Fellowship
New Harvest Christian Fellowship
Novato Parents & Family Coalition
Praise Center Church
Protect Kids Foundation
Riverpark Bible Church
The Conservative Party (California)
Thousand Oaks Christian Fellowship
Traditional Values Coalition
Vallejo Involved Parents & Students
Numerous individuals

Sad to say, but the TVC is doing a much better job at publicizing the meeting on April 5, informing their supporters about, giving them online and easy tools to work against SB 48 than either EQCA or Leno.

We should not be allowing the TVC or any opponents to outnumber gays at Sacramento hearings or writing letters to a legislative committee. Our community needs to be engaged every step of they way regarding any gay bill before the legislature. Who in their right minds in our movement wants to concede attendance at hearings and letter-writing organizing to the TVC and their ilk? Bragging rights are important.

I looked at the EQCA and Leno sites and couldn't locate any info about April 5, forget about details to involve gays in the hearing.

If EQCA and Leno ever find a cure for their allergies to town hall meetings, regular information sharing with grassroots gays, and conduct organizing beyond asking for donations, we might see our fabulous and beautifully diverse community fully engaged in Sacramento and across the state.

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