Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Jerry Thomas to Caucus, 3/18/2008

First, thank you for so thoroughly framing this issue for us.

My comments are general. First, I want to iterate my support for developing objective criteria without consideration of New Orleans. Second, I am in favor of this plan allowing exceptions for cities in restrictive states that demonstrate "substantial" LGBT support. I further favor outlining broad parameters to define "substantial" but also generally favor allowing site selection committee discretion in applying these parameters, subject to appeal and review within existing APSA structures (whatever this might be). Otherwise, I fear we will continue to be bogged down in the details and cripple decision-making authority.

Broad parameters could include a laundry list of pro-LGBT policies. As a pragmatic matter, if cities in restrictive states want to be considered for site selection, could we not ask those cities to demonstrate their pro-LGBT initiatives as part of the application process and to demonstrate which of the pro LGBT policies from the laundry list they have in place? With this approach, the site selection committee can then evaluate which cities offer "substantial" support relative to others.

I would hope LGBT members have a voice in the site selection process (along with other minority groups who may have site selection criteria created for their benefit). Understanding, I am a new member to this group and am generally optimistically trustful that site selection committees will fairly consider the interests of LGBT and all members. If there is significant (and recent) history of this not being the case, I am happy to defer to the opinions of more experienced members of the group.


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