B.A.R. Calls Equality Summit Planners “Stingy”!
I cross-posted this to The Equality Summit blog:
An article written by Seth Hemmelgarn entitled Summit planners stingy with No on Prop 8 dollars was published today by the Bay Area Reporter.
Interestingly, I was one of the members of the planning committtee who responded and talked with the reporter, but I guess since the official records show that I donated $370 directly through NO ON 8 (not counting another $500 given by attending The Task Force's Los Angeles Leadership Awards over $1000 raised by readers of my blog, The Mad Professah Lectures and at least $1000 by people who attended my August 8, 2008 wedding and donated to Equality California) those facts didn't fit into Seth Hemmelgarm's “story.”
You can read excerpts from the article below the fold…
With hundreds of LGBT marriage equality advocates expected to attend the Equality Summit in Los Angeles Saturday, January 24 it appears that more than half of those organizing the event failed to contribute to the No on Prop 8 campaign during last year's election. And records show that the lead organizer of the summit contributed only $111. […] An analysis of data filed with the secretary of state's office indicates that 60 percent of the 57 members of the planning committee for this weekend's Equality Summit did not make any financial contributions to the efforts to defeat Prop 8 last year. The summit, to be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, is meant as a gathering of community leaders and others committed to winning back marriage equality in California to share information and resources, and to plan next steps. According to the state data, Oren Shepher, one of the committee's co-chairs, was among those who didn't contribute financially. But Shepher, who started the Facebook group Coalition for Equal Rights the day after Prop 8 passed, said he had contributed directly to the Gay and Lesbian Center of Los Angeles and to Equality California. EQCA didn't respond to a request to confirm Shepher's contribution and the Bay Area Reporter could not verify the LA center contribution.
[…] Andrea Shorter, who spent months working to defeat Prop 8 through the group And Marriage for All and who's also a committee co-chair for the summit, said financial contributions weren't a requirement for being on the planning committee, and there were plenty of other ways that people may have contributed to the campaign that aren't immediately obvious by looking at the secretary of state's data. People may have made donations through spouses or in other ways, she said. The secretary of state's data don't reflect any contributions from Shorter, but she said that she contributed $200. Shorter, who isn't married, also set up a wedding registry on EQCA's Web site where friends and family contributed to the No on 8 campaign. Referring to the percentage of planning committee members who appear not to have made contributions, Shorter noted there are “a number of people coming from nonprofit communities that have been hit very hard in the economy, so that's been tough.”
[…] Despite all the work they've likely put in to organizing the summit, many committee members apparently are reluctant to talk about it. When asked for planners' contact information, Anne Marks, coordinator of the summit responded, “Not everyone on the planning committee has expressed comfort with talking to the media.” Marks contacted committee members about speaking with the Bay Area Reporter and a handful responded. The secretary of state's data indicate Marks donated $111.11 during the campaign, but she said the correct figure is $161.11. Marks was Northern California deputy field director for No on 8 during the campaign.