Monday, November 17, 2008

Circling the Waggons

It's back! Another Monday to start this week's spin cycle and caravan post here at COP:24/7. It was a busy weekend all around and much of that news, updates and more will be covered this week. So, why wait...Let's go get em...

Rainbow Rallying: I got the e-blast about Arkansas' participation in the national Prop 8 demo that was held on the Capitol steps 11.15.08. About 60 people both gay and straight showed up to hear a variety of speakers exclaim their displeasure at the recent same sex marriage reversal in California as well as connect that movement with the passage of ACT 1 in Arkansas. The crowd braved the breezy cold to listen to personal stories, fiery testimonies, and mandates. Stonewall Democrat President, Joe La Fontaine made a passionate plea for all GLBTQ leaders statewide to form a reaction network to deal with issues that affect the community at large. Even though there was a lectern sound system offered, often it was inadequate which made hearing certain speakers extremely difficult. I was positioned down front and sometimes couldn't understand what was being said. However I noticed that their was at least two media outlets present, Fox 16 and a print reporter. Yet, when one speaker( I assumed he was an organizer) was asked if he was "gay," he replied that he would rather not say because he didn't think it mattered." I found that interesting since he had just made a throaty speech about pride and community involvement. Green Party candidate, Conrad Harvin was the only political face in the place whom spoke about his first such event 20 years ago. He quipped that no one today was wearing "paper bags or mask," as they had done during that time. Since I was present for that ditty and for clarity sake, that civil act was to symbolize the facelessness of the GLBTQ community not totally about hiding in plain sight. Unlike the big time politico's, Ms. Kathy Webb whom didn't make the event, also didn't have a surrogate to speak on her behalf, but much praise was bandied around. Alrighty now. The rallying cry was sounded, the flags unfurled, voices carried and now comes the hard part. Taking all that talking and turning it into some walking for change. Stay tuned...!

Prop 8 Cash Connection: Since I stood in the cold for that rally, I couldn't wait to get back to the warmth of my keyboard. Once I got going, I pondered several approaches in connecting the dots of Prop 8 and ACT 1. Viola, there's one big dot and it's cash. Yes my friends I discovered that there were 4, $5000.00 donors from the Natural State in support of Prop 8 in California. According to public campaign records, there were also notable Arkansas contributors who sent in donations ranging from $50.00 to $150.00 each respectively whom opposed the measure. But they were dwarfed by that $20,000 combination that was sent from the Benton area and North Arkansas. In case you didn't know, all initiatives take dollars and how. To date, to fight Prop 8 took a massive 40 million dollars and they lost. I was told that there was going to be a legal challenge to repeal ACT 1 coinciding with other activities. So be it, but if the Prop 8 folks had 40 Mil to throw around and couldn't do it, then some body better start passing the collection plate.

1 comment:

Steve Thomas said...

After attending Saturdays rally, I found myself once again disheartned by the low turnout. Not surprised, as this is how it normally happens in Little Rock. Perhaps if the event would have been held at midnight,with $2.00 cocktails and stagelights, we could have gathered a massive crowd. Our community is quick too bitch and gripe, but also quick too "not participate". If we as a community fail too rally for our own causes, we can only expect the worse. I heard many people say they were coming to this event, and saw NONE of them there. After watching the news coverage of the event held in Fayetteville, Little Rock certainly has some "splaining" too do. I will continue too do my part, however I am needed for our community. Count on me, can I count on you?

Steve Thomas