@ Creating Change 2009: The State of the Movement

Rea Carey, head of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, gives the annual “State of the Movement” address.
Kate Clinton, lesbian comedian and emcee for the conference, informs us that the Republicans can’t find anyone to chair the RNC. (Lots of laughter and clapping)
Award for Uncommon Leadership–Patty Burns, activist in San Francisco, National Director of Sins Invalid
Rea Carey, NGLTF:

We now have a “community organizer in chief.”
It’s not biology that makes a family, but love.
A lot of progress in the middle part of the country. This weekend we will be asking you to share your achievements, large and small.

  • Amendment 46–anti-affirmative action, failed.
  • Protections for LGBT in housing and public accomodations
  • Non-discrimination laws all over the country upheld and created.
  • Connecticut–Freedom to Marry State
  • 18,000 couples legally married in California
  • Many new domestic partnership expansions and the creations of new registries.
  • New York decided to respect out of state same sex marriages
  • A record number of openly gay and lesbian elected officials all over the country–450.

What we continue to accomplish as a movement is electrifying. The anti-gay, anti-family initiatives are temporary barriers to our success. Just four years ago we lost 13 anti-marriage ballot measures. We lost by much larger margins four years ago then we did today. That is progress.

More after the jump.

My fellow activists there is no easy answer for why we lost in four states. Pain turned the corner to agony when we all started lashing out at each other. Party affiliation trumped all other factors when it came to voting on Prop 8 (including race, age, etc).
The finger pointing and scapegoating was an affront to everyone.
I have had enough. Let us dig deep in ourselves and show others we will not stoop to scapegoating, we will not turn our backs on our allies, and we will not give up.
There is a big difference between blaming and learning.
We need to remember that these anti-marriage ballot measures are fundamentally part of the larger ever expanding right wing assault on the expanding diversity of our country.
Let us recall that much has changed, because of the hard work of people in this room and those who have come before us.
“Fall down seven times, get up eight”
The state of our movement is resilient. And we will win.

I believe the power of this historic moment is the shift in this country from a culture of “I” to a culture of “we.” Yes we can.
Obama’s we challenges the culture of I that has been so prominent in our country.
Our community, the LGBT community, is expert at showing the country just what can be done when we come together.
We have much to offer this country. So now it is our time to contribute again. It is our time to hold steady as we are being attacked at the ballot box and in the street. To hold steady as we assert how we create family.
First, this moment calls for a new kind of leadership in the LGBT movement. Not the leadership of one, the collaborative leadership of many.
We believe that strength comes from sharing power.
We must think differently about who our playmates are. The time for isolating ourself as a movement is OVER. We will ask them to show up for us and we will show up for them.

(She just twittered on stage. WTF)

We are part of a larger community of people reaching for full equality.

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