I want to begin this post by commending the various gay organizations spearheading “Meet in the Middle” event in Fresno yesterday. They’re taking a step in the right direction by gathering in a more Republican region of the state, understanding that they need “explain who we are to the heartland,” as Orange County gay activist Linda May put it.
I believe, Prop 8 will be overturned, if those organized in favor of a new ballot initiative doing just that, work to change people’s minds by making the case for gay marriage (instead of attacking supporters of the institution’s traditional definition). To that end, they need develop a strategy to reach Republicans, given that Republicans, like Fresno residents, voted overwhelmingly in favor of Prop 8.
I did not attend “Meet in the Middle” (even as I had considered going as it might provide fodder for blog posts) for a great variety of reasons, chief, among them, that while approximately one in every four self-identified gay voter votes Republican, organizers included no Republicans on the event agenda, as just as their confrères (and soeurs) invited no Republicans to speak at the Decision Day Rally, as they had no Republicans at a Town hall on gay marriage at LA’s Gay and Lesbian Center, as they included no Republicans in the officials program of the “Equality Summit.”
See the pattern? In conferences on gay marriage, the organizing groups regularly exclude gay Republicans.
To overturn Prop 8, they’d do well to include those who know how to talk to a group which voted overwhelmingly in favor of the ballot initiative.
Perhaps gay Republicans should start boycotting such confabs until the organizers acknowledge our presence in the community. If we were an approved minority which threatened such action, they would bend over backwards to accommodate us, even holding seminars exploring their own internalized bias against political minorities in the gay community.
More on this anon, much more.