Here is an opportunity for Howard Dean to say something of consequence about equality and the Democratic Party. He will speak at Baltimore Black Pride. From the organization’s press release (thanks, T):

The International Federation of Black Prides, Inc. (IFBP), International Federation of Black Prides Fund For Leadership (IFBP Fund) and Baltimore Black Gay Pride are pleased to announce Gov. Howard Dean, Chair of the Democratic National Committee as the featured speaker at the 2006 Baltimore Gay Black Pride Pre Black Out Party Reception on Friday October 6, 2006 from 5:00 – 7:00 PM at the Wyndham Baltimore Inner Harbour Hotel 101 W. Fayette Street Baltimore, MD.

…”We are all very pleased that Gov. Dean chose Baltimore Black Gay Pride as the first opportunity to address the Black LGBTI community as we continue to engage our people in the various political processes. It is a very historic appearance given this is the first time the Chair of any national party system has addressed a Black gay audience specifically, said Earl Fowlkes, President/CEO of the IFBP and the IFBP Fund.

I hope someone out there is able to attend and hear whether Dean does anything other than a “rally the troops” message, telling them to vote in November. It would be impressive if he used this forum to address the crowd with a message about what the Democratic party intends to do to:

1) counter the inevitable demonizing of gays by the Right for political gain, particularly where there are amendments on the ballot in Nov.;

2) make it clear to voters what the party’s values are regarding full civil equality (not just marriage) and discrimination — many potential het allies have no clue what is at stake, and voter education is sorely needed;

3) talk about the subject of homophobia in the black religious community. (Hell will probably freeze over before he says anything about this.)

Will Rev. Willie Wilson drop by to shout out some epithets about “lesbians taking over the community?”

I don’t have high hopes that what he says will be anything substantial, given the DNC probably thinks his appearance alone will inflame the Right. That’s probably true, but as I’ve said before, they already think Dems are the party of the homos, so take a position and defend it, not run away from it.

A must read — Terrance’s: Letting It Shine: Anti-Gay Bigotry & Black Churches.

H/t, Jasmyne.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding