Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Don Rosenthal (Chair of LGBT Status Committee) to Caucus, 3/18/2008

To: Association Members
From: Don Rosenthal,
Chair, LGBT Status Committee

After several delays, the APSA President and Council appear to be close to making decisions on the siting issues that the Status Committee has been raising since 2005. In that connection, the Status Committee is sponsoring an informal meeting this weekend at the Western Political Science Association conference in San Diego to discuss where matters stand. If you are planning to attend, PLEASE join us at the session which is scheduled to be held in WINDSOR C at the Manchester Grand Hilton at 10 AM on Saturday, the 22nd, following the last Sexuality and Politics Panel.

This meeting is designed as an open and frank discussion so that the Status Committee can be guided by your thoughts in the process of pressing for action in the next few weeks. For that reason, we have asked President Dianne Pinderhughes and Executive Director Michael Brintnall -- both of whom will be attending the meetings and have also offered to participate -- to NOT attend the session. However, I have also asked them to make themselves available for conversations with LGBT and LGBT-friendly allies who wish to talk with them during the meetings. Interestingly enough, President Pinderhughes is scheduled to deliver the keynote address on Thursday at noon entitled, "Dimensions of Representation." If you can do so, please attend that address and let us know how our her comments square with the approach APSA has taken with regard to the siting matters.

For those of you who have not followed the issues closely, I am appending a letter I sent to APSA leadership back in July 2007. Some of you may be more familiar with the events described than I am but it is intended to provide some background to those who are not and also to refresh the memories of others who have followed all of part of the events discussed. It also intended to trigger further comments on these matters from those who will not be at the Western meetings (either on the listserv or to me personally at dbrosenthal@bellsouth.net

From the outset, the two major issues that the Committee has been raising for some time have been: 1) the adoption of a new general formula that places primary weight in site selection on the passage of state amendments that are not only against same sex marriage but contain language which also may bar state and local domestic partnership arrangements and civil unions; 2) the decision whether or not to relocate the national meeting contracted for New Orleans in 2012 despite an onerous state constitutional amendment passed in 2004 by Louisiana which also included a majority of voters in New Orleans who supported that amendment).

To this list, I should also add a third proposal put forward by Executive Director Michael Brintnall. Michael prepared a draft statement that he circulated to the Status Committee before the meeting the Committee held in the Washington office of APSA on February 11th. In that proposal, he provided support to a state-level general formula but included a section that outlined "exceptions" to that strict interpretation of the general formula. That addition has raised important issues among members of the Committee and others with whom we have consulted.

Finally, as we have recommended, the final decision on New Orleans appears to have been put on hold until these other matters are sorted out.

No comments: