GLAA urges Council to oppose ill-advised Office of GLBT Affairs Act
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GLAA urges Council to oppose ill-advised Office of GLBT Affairs Act


From:Rick Rosendall
To:D.C. Councilmembers
Sent:Monday, October 31, 2005 11:52 PM
Subject:Please oppose Bill 16-235, Office of GLBT Affairs Act


Dear Councilmembers:

We urge you to vote against Bill 16-235, the Office of GLBT Affairs Act of 2005, and to oppose its inclusion on the consent agenda when it comes before the Council on November 1. Our testimony on the bill, which was presented by my colleague Bob Summersgill on July 7, is copied in full below, but here are some key points:

WHY DOES GLAA OPPOSE LEGISLATION
CREATING A PERMANENT OFFICE OF GLBT AFFAIRS?

We understand that Councilmember Graham feels strongly about this bill, but so do we. Our opposition is to the bill, not to him personally. Jim is a longtime GLAA member who has received our Distinguished Service Award, and deservedly so. But even friends have their disagreements. As always, GLAA has offered detailed arguments. If our arguments are wrong, they deserve to be refuted with better arguments, not merely dismissed with rhetoric.

We have yet to see the need demonstrated for which this bill is the cure. Our community is long past needing a publicly subsidized political patronage office for our self-validation as gay people. Indeed, separatism and special rights are two things that our community has argued against for more than 40 years. Give us equality -- in both rights and responsibilities -- not pandering.

We are happy to note that other bills in this Council session, such as the Human Rights Clarification Amendment Act and the Domestic Partnership Equality Act, enjoy unanimous support in the Council. We were proud to lend our own efforts in support of them. Surely we can all afford to deal soberly with each bill on its own merits.

Thank you for your consideration, and for your collaboration with us during such a busy Council session.


Sincerely,

Rick Rosendall
Vice President for Political Affairs
Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance
www.glaa.org


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