January 12, 2009

There's Strength in Working Together

A few days ago, I posted about how GLBT activism did not need new organizations, they needed more effective ones. According to this story from the South Florida Blade, some folks in Florida are thinking the same way. As an aside, for a straight guy I DO spend a lot of time reading GLBT focused publications.

Anyway, back to the story:

The Nov. 4 passage of Amendment 2 has led to a groundswell of activism and protests, as organizations—primarily associated with the national Join the Impact movement—continue to stage equality rights demonstrations. It could as well lead to new grassroots strategy among Florida’s gay political organizations.

On Tuesday, two months after the November election, leaders of several local and regional gay political organizations including SAVE Dade, Palm Beach Human Rights Council and Sarasota Equality Project announced the launch of Organizations United Together (OUT). OUT will act as a network of myriad local GLBT groups and allies to address equality issues throughout the state and attempt to bring increased visibility in communities where gay groups are lacking.

The organizers announced they will hold their first organizational meeting in Orlando Jan. 24.

The passage of statewide anti-GLBT amendments in Florida, Arizona and California was a wake up call for many in the movement, said OUT spokesperson Karen Doering.

“After Amendment 2 we did a lot of soul searching,” said Doering, a veteran gay rights attorney. “This last election has caused leaders in the gay movement to do some serious thinking.”

Advocacy is not effective when individual agendas are pursued. Rather, it makes the most impact when people are working together for a common goal. Organizations gathering together to focus on that goal, especially when they are coming at it with different resources and approaches, can draw strength from that diversity and speak with a stronger voice.

I hope people outside of Florida are paying attention to this.

Click here to read the rest of the story from the South Florida Blade.

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