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Don't Allow Religious Right To Control Moral High Ground Gays Told


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Don't Allow Religious Right To Control Moral High Ground Gays Told

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: November 13, 2005 5:00 pm ET

(Oakland, California) More than 2,000 LGBT community leaders from across the country have been told that gays cannot allow conservative Christians to claim the high ground in the struggle for equal rights.

Coming on the heels of a vote in Texas where a ban on same-sex marriage was enshrined in the state constitution, a year after 11 other states adopted similar constitutional amendments and in the expectation that at least another ten states will take up the issue over the next year, the Creating Change Conference was an opportunity for grass roots organizations to become mobilized.

The weekend conference in Oakland was organized by the Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Executive director Matt Foreman told delegates it is time to seize the moral high ground.

"Let's start by claiming our moral values - liberty and personal freedom for all," Foreman said.

He implored delegates to concentrate on two key issues this year: reach out to people of faith and demand that Democrats no longer dance around the issue of gay marriage.

"The Democrats' response to gay issues over the last few years has been incoherent and spineless, and that has only worked to their disadvantage," Foreman told Reuters. "There is a sense among large gay donors to the Democratic party that they need to have the party take a stand for us."

In a keynote address to the conference University of Chicago teacher John D’Emilio and author Urvashi Vaid said that while national organizations remain vital to LGBT equality much of the work must be done at the grassroots level.

“A movement does not consist of organizations, it consists of people,” said Vaid.

D’Emilio told delegates that in the public eye the most visible LGBT people are white, and that this misrepresents the wide diversity of the community

“Until we shift the colors of our visibility,” D’Emilio said, “visibility will remain a double-edged sword.”

One of the biggest battles over the next 12 months will be in California where two conservative groups are trying to get separate amendments on the ballot to ban gay marriage.

©365Gay.com 2005


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