Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, spoke to the state of our movement at Creating Change today. Carey highlighted the many local, state, and national victories over the past year, the harsh losses, and the frustrating lack of action at the federal level, as well as an agenda for moving forward. Some highlights from her remarks, which received a standing ovation, after the jump.
Good speeches are not action, change is action.
[On Don't Ask Don't Tell:] If the administration takes action things will get better. But let me be clear, a year long study does not a fierce advocate make.
Mr. President, the ball’s in your court.
While we have criticized the President we must hold equally if not more accountable the Members of Congress who stand in the way of full equality.
We thought we were going to have leadership who would stand and push for us. That hasn’t happened yet. It’s up to us to lead.
if you step outside this entrenched political battle, at its most basic this is about our humanity. When it comes to our equality, full equality, you either have it or you don’t. And we don’t.
Equality is a moral imperative, because who we are and who we love should not be a matter of political debate.
There can be no compromise on human rights, these rights cannot be piecemeal.
There is no such thing as being just a little equal.
To those who say, “Don’t push too hard, just wait,” that sounds like the voice of someone who already has full equality.
While we wait for action, for the President to move beyond words and into action, and for Congress to find its moral compass, we will continue to push for change.
No matter what happens along the way, the dignity of our lives will not be denied.
We will regain marriage in California and Maine and elsewhere.
Our opponents have seen what we can accomplish united. And it scares them.
There will be a day when people will wonder how our rights were even an issue – what was the big deal?
We will not ask for change. We will create change.
If we do not explain that being L, G, B, or T is simply human we are making a mistake.
I have an agenda. Let’s end Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, pass an inclusive ENDA. State by state let’s enact anti-bullying laws to protect LGBT youth.
Let’s not be limited to these legislative battles. We are more than these issues. We must be a movement for liberation.
Let us work for meaningful health care reform that protects LGBT people.
If we are truly a nation committed to full and lasting equality then reforming our broken immigration system must be on our agenda. Immigration reform is an LGBT issue. We will stand by our allies in the immigration movement come what may.
Write this down:
As LGBT people and our allies I want us to commit to taking three actions each month this year. Each month talk to a neighbor about an issue that affects your life. Write, on a blog or in a newspaper, about an issue that affects your life. Meet with your legislators and leaders about an issue that affects your life.
If just those of us here today take action we will take 72,000 actions.
Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, here is your money quote: We are still recruiting! We are recruiting a movement of people that care about liberty and equality.