My post on the summit, "CA Marriage Equality Leadership Summit an Utter Failure - Shame On All of Us", has drawn numerous reactions and has been referred to in many different opinions. I have been told by many that I hit the nail on the head, others have said I want it all to be kum by ya and that I'm too "Pollyanna," and still more have criticized me, saying that for someone who is trying to unite the community, my piece only added division.
I must disagree. I call it tough love. Sometimes, in order to unite, we have to take a good, long, hard look at ourselves. To call the summit anything other than a failure to me is not constructive because it undermines the seriousness of our divisions. (See the results of the Get Engaged Tour. Its bottom line result: there is no consensus.)
In my piece, I called for our community to put aside our differences, to unite by allowing ourselves to heal from the damage of Prop 8, to trust each other, and most importantly, trust our leadership again. That "it's not about 2010 or 2012 anymore. It's about us uniting. Only then, can we win."
I haven't stated on this blog whether or not I support 2010 or 2012. In my summit piece, I did state that at one time I was personally for 2010, but that after the summit, I just don't see how that's possible with us, as a whole, not united. Does that mean I won't support it? No. But those in favor of 2010 first have to prove that they can unite us, and by doing so, show true leadership.
Here's my official stance: I will support either date, or a later date, because now, it doesn't matter to me when. (And yes, I want to marry my partner. It's devastating not to be able to NOW.) What matters to me most is that we have a united front working together to WIN. And I will work tirelessly on seeing to it that we do unite. (I may have to show tough love at times again!)
People have asked numerous times, "Can you put a price on your rights?" If that price is the unity of our community, then that price is too high. For who are we if we don't have each other?
I've already seen, as the result of the summit and its failure, people already making efforts to work with those they disagree with, because they realize keeping us united is more of a priority than stubbornly sticking to what they believe is to be the one and only path.
I'll quote Karen Ocamb from her piece on the summit:
It seems to me that the first step to winning back marriage equality is finding a mediator who can help this community find common ground and learn to keep our eye on the prize so we can move forward together. There are now so many LGBT folk who want to be leaders - let this be their first real test of leadership: find a way to bring us together.I repeat, it's not about 2010 or 2012 anymore. It's about us uniting. Only then, can we win.
Below are links to other posts and articles on the Leadership Summit. If you have one and want it to be added, please email me with a link at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karen Ocamb's posts:
What Really Happened at the Repeal Prop 8 Leadership Summit
Repeal Prop 8 Leadership Summit: The Expert Point of View
The Unnoticed Power Player at the Repeal Prop 8 Leadership Summit
Dawn Cobalt: A Great Opportunity
The Advocate: 2010? 2012? The Fight in California Continues
Gay Fresno: Strategy & Self-Preservation
The New Civil Rights Movement (Jane Wishon): Recipe for Disaster?
OC Weekly: Anti-Prop 8/Pro-Gay Marriage Summit Deemed "a Disaster"
David Mixner: Oh California!
Queerty: Are There Any California Activists Who Know How to Play Well With Others?
The Gawker: California Activists Not Going to Bother Overturning Prop 8 Next Year
Sara Beth Brooks and Chelsea Salem: The Elephant in the Room
Edge: 2010 Prop 8 Repeal Effort Up in the Air
Bay Area Reporter: Gays squabble over Prop 8 repeal debate
Beyond Chron: Repealing Prop 8: Should We Do it in 2010 – or 2012?
Jeff Cilione: 2010 and the Irrelevancy of EQCA