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BAR: Freedom to Marry, NGLTF ban reporting at Creating Change event
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BAR: Freedom to Marry, NGLTF ban reporting at Creating Change event

Bay Area Reporter
EDITORIAL (Cynthia Laird, editor)

No change being created

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's annual Creating Change conference - taking place this week in Dallas - is one that many grassroots activists and organizers look forward to. Long considered the more progressive national LGBT organization, the Task Force, while not funded to the level of the Human Rights Campaign, plays a key role in the ground game for full equality toward which the LGBT community is working.

It was, therefore, deeply disappointing to learn that a marriage institute session being presented at the conference by Freedom to Marry's Evan Wolfson is closed to the media. This decision is reminiscent of a similar effort last year by members of both the Courage Campaign and Meet in the Middle to kick reporters out of a leadership summit because so-called secret polling results on same-sex marriage (that reporters already had) were going to be discussed.

Such moves are counterproductive and only serve to make many people in the community even more distrustful of what they see as a top-down approach to community organizing.

In an e-mail, Wolfson defended his decision. He pointed out that the marriage institute isn't closed to the press, rather, it is off the record. To us, that is a fine distinction that hardly results in unfettered reporting from that session. For its part, the Task Force did not respond to an e-mail query we sent to its communications chief.

If the session had been about hate crime victims, or victims of sex abuse, we could see the rationale about keeping discussion off the record. But this is an institute about marriage. Anyone who was following the federal Proposition 8 trial via Twitter or on numerous blogs knows full well what the community is up against regarding opposition to marriage equality. And for goodness' sake, if progressive activists and others can't articulate their views in a public forum, how are they ever going to accomplish the hard, on-the-ground work of talking to people - in public and private settings?

full story:
http://ebar.com/openforum/opforum.php?sec=editorial

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BAR: Freedom to Marry, NGLTF ban reporting at Creating Change event
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