Letter from Dale Kelly Bankhead of the ACLU
Hi everyone, First of all let me thank everyone who participated in Tuesday’s presentation to the Council. I have received many comments about how professional, eloquent, and dignified we were. And, considering WE didn’t have a radio show recruiting for us, the turnout was fantastic. Sherry and Heather, I think we need you in Afghanistan. Of course, we are disappointed in the vote, although we knew success was next to impossible going into Tuesday. Toni Atkins, Donna Frye, and Ralph Inzunza showed great integrity and courage by voting based on principle, not politics. I understand that Donna’s office is receiving many hateful calls and emails, so if you live in the 6th, please drop her a note of thanks. Of course, we were very disappointed in Scott Peters. Councilman Stevens boggled everyone’s mind with his AM/FM radio diatribe. If you weren’t there, ask someone who was. Just for your information, the new lease will be incorporated into the ACLU’s lawsuit. It will be a slower process, but perhaps we can win at trial in early 2003, by which time we will have a new City Council minus two of last night’s “No” votes, and perhaps we will be able to persuade the Council not to appeal the decision. It has become very clear to me in the past few days that the Boy Scouts are feeling the pressure. I hope the Council will follow-up on the suggestion to adopt a resolution condemning the Scouts’ discrimination(although the Mayor seems resistant to condemning religious discrimination) to be sent to both the local and national scouts. We should continue to urge past and present scouts to resign, lodge opposition, and otherwise pressure the local council to abandon this policy. It was also gratifying to hear Scout Pres Dan McAllister disavow the comments of the right wing homophobes who spoke to the Council Tuesday night. He didn’t have to do it and I’m glad he did. On the flip side, despite his earlier assertions that this was a pro-Scout, not an anti-gay, thing, Roger Hedgecock reportedly ran the gamut of homophobic garbage as he broadcast live from Golden Hall Tuesday. Please remember this next time we’re tempted to go on his show. We clearly have made huge progress on this issue. Everyone who voted against us — except Rev. Stevens — expressed regret. I know they’re only words, but a year ago we weren’t even hearing that much. Thanks so much to everyone. It’s a pleasure being on the same team.