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Love Honor Cherish Holds Community Meeting Tonight, Concerned About ‘Crisis of Leadership’ in LGBT Community

Love Honor Cherish Holds Community Meeting Tonight, Concerned About ‘Crisis of Leadership’ in LGBT Community

by Karen Ocamb on October 11, 2011

With Roland Palencia’s announcement that he is stepping down as executive director of Equality California after less than five months on the job, the marriage equality group Love Honor Cherish is concerned about what they call a “crisis in leadership in the LGBT community.”

LHC originally planned a community meeting Tuesday night to discuss what they see as EQCA’s abandonment of their responsibility to go back to the ballot in 2012 to overturn Prop 8. They say that meeting will now expand to a discussion of “the way forward” on marriage equality and leadership in the LGBT community.  The meeting comes just as Stop SB 48 announced they failed in their campaign to place a referendum on the 2012 ballot to overturn the California FAIR Education Act (see below).

The meeting is tonight, October 11th, at 7:30 pm, at the National Council of Jewish Women, Room 103, 543 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90036.

Here’s LHC’s press release:

LOVE HONOR CHERISH IS SEVERELY DISAPPOINTED BY THE DECISION OF EQCA NOT TO STAND UP FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY AND CONCERNED ABOUT THE DEPARTURE OF ROLAND PALENCIA AS ITS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Recent Events at EQCA Signal A Crisis of Leadership in the LGBT Community

(LOS ANGELES – October 11, 2011)

Last week, Equality California announced its much delayed decision to, once again, abandon and postpone any effort to repeal Proposition 8 at the ballot box.  EQCA’s decision comes despite its members’ favoring going to the ballot to repeal Prop 8, despite the town halls that EQCA held favoring being prepared to repeal Prop 8 if the Court case does not go well, and despite EQCA’s making numerous statements favoring 2012.  In light of EQCA’s abdication of their responsibility to fight for equality for the LGBT community in California and to honor their prior commitments, Love Honor Cherish stands ready, willing and able to fill the void.

Last night, we all heard the surprising news that EQCA’s recently-appointed Executive Director, Roland Palencia, is leaving that position.  LHC Outreach Director Lester Aponte says “Roland Palencia is a true gentleman is every sense of the word and has been a tireless advocate for our community and for all the least fortunate in society.  Although we disagreed on important issues, our disagreements have always been respectful.  Our concern is that his resignation reflects a far larger crisis in the largest LGBT rights organization in California and our movement in general.  The failure by EQCA’s Board and Mr. Palencia to push strongly for marriage equality is both a symptom and a consequence of this crisis.”

Join us Tonight, October 11th, at 7:30 pm, at the National Council of Jewish Women, Room 103, 543 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90036, for an open discussion on the way forward in the fight for equal marriage rights in California.

About Love Honor Cherish

Love Honor Cherish is a Los Angeles-based grassroots organization committed to repealing Prop 8 and to developing a new generation of leadership on this issue. Formed in May 2008 to defeat Prop 8, Love Honor Cherish raised over $500,000 for the No on 8 campaign and mounted its own outreach and media efforts. After the passage of Prop 8, Love Honor Cherish began working immediately to secure its repeal by means of a new ballot proposition. With its coalition partners, Love Honor Cherish had over one million conversations with California voters on the issue of marriage equality and collected hundreds of thousands of signatures in support.  Going forward, Love Honor Cherish will continue to lead the struggle to repeal Prop 8. For more information, visit www.LoveHonorCherish.org.

Here’s EQCA’s announcement that Stop SB 48 has failed:

Opponents of FAIR Education Act Fail to Qualify Referendum for 2012 Ballot

(San Francisco) Today, anti-equality advocates announced that they have failed to collect the required number of signatures to place a referendum for the November 2012 ballot to overturn the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act.

The FAIR Education Act, authored by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and sponsored by Equality California and GSA Network, was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown earlier this year. It requires schools to integrate age-appropriate and factual information about historical roles of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, people with disabilities and people of color into existing social science instruction.

“The FAIR Education Act will simply ensure that California’s students learn an honest, accurate, and inclusive account of history, but opponents of equality have grossly distorted the intent and the effect of the FAIR Education act in their quest to secure signatures for this referendum. Today’s victory shows that their lies cannot stand up to our truth,” said Roland Palencia, Equality California Executive Director and Interim Executive Committee Co-Chair of the coalition to protect the FAIR Education Act. “But we know that opponents of equality won’t stop here. We remain vigilant, not only to make sure that people know the facts about the FAIR Education Act, but also to continue preparing for new attacks on the FAIR Education Act at the ballot box, in the legislature and in courts of law.”

“Now it’s time to focus on implementing the FAIR Education Act and demonstrate to the public that our opponents’ lies are nothing more than smear tactics designed to censor the historical contributions of LGBT people, people with disabilities and people of color from social studies classes,” said Laura Valdez, Interim Executive Director of Gay-Straight Alliance Network and Co-Chair of the Interim Executive Committee of the coalition to protect the FAIR Education Act. “Already, we are working with school administrators, teachers, students, parents, and community groups to ensure the fair and accurate portrayal of historically marginalized groups in schools, and we will continue to work to educate the public.”

“Today’s news is welcome and it comes as the Second Annual Disability History Week in full swing, a reminder that youth with disabilities are powerful voices for change and tolerance,” said Teresa Favuzzi, Executive Director of the California Foundation for Independent Living. “We look forward to getting to work to implement this important law and to ensure that disability history is included in a full, inclusive, study of our history.”

Since July, FAIR Education Act supporters across the state have built a broad coalition to protect the law and educate the public that spans people of faith; labor organizations; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights groups; disability rights advocates; racial justice organizations and many others who care about equality. These organizations remain committed to strengthening the coalition and protecting this important law. For more information, please go to www.FAIREducationAction.com.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

MPetrelis October 12, 2011 at 1:47 AM

i’m happy this meeting is happening, in so many ways we need such a meeting. the crisis of leadership is just the tip of the iceberg of what is wrong with Gay Inc and how they (mis)manage the Gay Agenda. please, please, please – LHC leaders, be sure to give the community a full report on the meeting tomorrow and include lots of photos. let those of us who couldn’t attend, know what was said and decided upon. oh, and thank you, LHC, for organizing the gathering.

Reply

Rev. Scott T. Imler October 12, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Hi Michael:  I’m sure Karen will post something about the meeting last night, so I’ll just note that there seemed to be a lot  of fence-sitting on the matter of a 2012 repeal campaign.  To their credit LHC took it like so much water off a ducks back and seem committed to moving the ball down the field and plan to file language  in the next week or ten days.  Not a minute too soon.  They seem open to hearing what folks have to say, but I fear  that facilitating too much of a listening fest will spread an all too prevalent and contagious apathy epidemic.  I’m so tired of people parroting the “We don’t have the money”screed.  BULLSHIT!  Put tdown the $14 Apple Martinis and cut back on the $40 a pair Hans Christian Anderson underwear — and do we really need 52 White parties a year.  Good Lord, where are our priorities.  As long as Prop 8 is enshrined in the Costitution, haters have permission of the state to hate, we remain second class citizens, and our little brothers and sisters will pay the price with their lives — through their own despairing hands or those of a schoolyard bully with his daddy’s gun. The time is now, the course is clear, let’s get this show rolling and be fabulous about it.

Pastor Scott Imler
West Hollywood, California

“God Is Good – Love Is Great – Jesus Would Repeal  Prop 8 !!!”

Reply

MPetrelis October 15, 2011 at 6:33 PM

 hey scott, so good to see your name! glad you’re involved with the organizing effort down there and i always feel better when i know you’re engaged on an issue. totally appreciate you call for restructuring our LGBT priorities. keep in touch! much love, michael

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Karenocamb October 12, 2011 at 5:13 PM

I’ve written up a quick overview of the meeting and posted it at FrontiersLA.com as a Special Report. Here:
http://www.frontiersla.com/News/Context/Story.aspx?ID=1554225

I’ll have more in my Frontiers piece on EQCA. Am getting ready to fly to the OutServe Conference – if I can cross-post later here, I will.

Reply

MPetrelis October 15, 2011 at 9:28 PM

thanks, karen, for that report on the meeting. i followed the link to the frontiers LA site and hope others did so also.

Reply

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