Thursday, May 18, 2006

Dear Cathy...

Very interesting day today. I have some clarity as to what I'm supposed to do with these Measles Partnership numbers. Basically, I can pick the number I like best, which means to me sticking as close to published numbers as possible. However, this report is not supposed to see the light of day outside of WHO. Good thing too, because the information they are seeking does nothing than expose shoddy record keeping and somewhat shady financial practices, at least when you consider the controls that are placed on how we spend money at CDC. Maybe the Defense Department comes close to what I see at WHO. We are getting results, which is what ultimately matters, but you need an army of people to keep track of this money properly. To have only one person doing the work of 10 is ridiculous. It also allows WHO to play its shell game with the money its given. Things get covered, but you never know whose money is covering it half the time.

I found out that the overturning of the gay marriage amendment has created a firestorm in Georgia. Just as I predicted, Sonny decided hed call a special session if the decision wasnt quickly overturned by the GA Supremes. Just so happens that 4 of the 7 justices are up for election this yearthink that will weigh on their decision? Well see if theyre politicians or jurists. The fact remains that amendment was illegally drawn, and everyone knew it. But they wanted that precious part B in there to really send the message that gays need to leave Georgia and never return because they will always be second class citizens. What galls me is that the Democrats are all rah-rah about this move to call a special session! Dubose Porter, the leader in the House, thinks its grand. So does Cathy Cox and Mark Taylor. Cathys campaign went out of its way to say that she fully supported the amendment, and only thought in 2004 that it was drawn poorly legislatively. That's not quite how I remember it, but Cathy's leading the Down with Fags! cheers from the Democratic side. Mark Taylor stopped short of saying we need a special session, but said to wait for the GA Supreme Court to decide, adding he hoped they upheld the amendment.

This is exactly the kind of shit that people bring up to show that Democrats really dont care about gays at all. The thing is, I know the party is very supportive. Were at all levels of the party power structure, and no one cares were gay. Most of the time, they think its pretty cool. But when 76f Georgia voted yes on the marriage amendment in 2004, that told politicians that gays were nuclear material in Georgia politics. We are lepers to be shunned in public, no matter what our conscience or our hearts tell us is right. Certainly, you shouldnt lead on an issue such as gay rights in any formthe best thing to do is what Democrats did until blacks were forcibly given the vote in the 1960spander to the basest instincts of the public. And this means to sound the alarm bells, call a special session, and make sure no time passes where those damn queers dont know their placeat the bottom of Sadie Fields stiletto heel to be scrapped off on the curb like dog shit.

Well, I'm not letting this one go quietly. I was angry enough that I fired off a letter to the Editor in the AJC, and I also wrote Cathy Coxs campaign a note which I copied to every YD leader I know and some others too. My friend Mike called her campaign from England and demanded his contribution (which I had urged him to make months ago) back. I frankly dont blame him. I dont know if shell even see this letter, but you can be assured that I will deliver the message in person should I get the opportunity:

Dear Cathy -

I find myself filled with profound disappoint and disgust at your decision yesterday to release a statement of support for Gov. Perdue's cynical call for a SPECIAL legislative session to make sure that both parts of the gay marriage amendment struck down for violating the single subject rule will be on November's ballot. I have met you several times, and I have even supported your bid for Governor. I have also heard you speak on LGBT issues, and I know you are more fair minded than your actions have shown. Yet, when it comes down to it, actions speak louder than words.

The AJC today ( stated, "On Wednesday, Cox issued a statement supporting the governor's plan for a special session. So did her Democratic rival, Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor. Cox's opponents from both parties pointed out that in 2004, Cox said the amendment was "unnecessary." Peter Jackson, her campaign spokesman, said in response, "Yesterday showed the circumstances have changed" since 2004."

I would like to know exactly what circumstances have changed? In 2004, you had it right when you said the amendment was unnecessary and a cynical political ploy. It can be argued that passing that amendment directly led to the loss of Democratic control of the House. The people who care most about putting LGBT Georgians in "our place" are never going to vote for you or any Democrat. The only way that would change is if some Democrat pulled a Zell Miller and became essentially a right wing Republican in his/her views. You gain nothing by supporting Perdue in this scheme to call a special session. Even if you are the nominee, this amendment will guarantee that the troops of Sadie Field and her ilk will turn out in droves to reward Sonny for acting swiftly to put the "queers" in our place.

I am a gay Georgian, one of many you already know. You know personally how hateful and painful that amendment fight was in 2004. That you are now supporting actions that would not only hurt Democrats, your own bid for Governor, along with delivering a double fisted bitch slap to every LGBT Georgian is disgusting. As a Christian, you know better than to think this is the right thing to do. I know this is a tricky issue to deal with, but wouldn't it have been better to allow the judicial process to play out in the GA Supreme Court and then decide to move forward later? What's the rush? The amendment would easily pass in January 2007 when the new legislature is in session, and everyone knows it. There is no emergency to warrant spending taxpayer dollars on a special session just to be sure that LGBT Georgians like myself can be reassured that yes, indeed, our state HATES us, considers us less than equal citizens, and wants to be sure I never enjoy anything approaching equality with straight Georgia.

I get that this state is light years from being gay friendly when you go outside of 285. By your actions yesterday, you have given sanction to creating an atmosphere of hate and hysteria around gay rights. LGBT teens are already 30more likely to commit to suicide than their straight peers. My community is already rife with self-destructive behaviors whose origins lie in just the kind of hate campaign Sadie Fields led against us in 2004 and are promising to do again in 2006. I expected much more out of you than that. This is not leadership; it is pandering. To see you sink so low as to kick some of your most ardent supporters in the teeth for political gain breaks my heart. Yet I know that Mark Taylor and Sonny Perdue are no better.

I will no longer actively support your campaign. I may or may not vote for you in the Primary and General election. I feel betrayed by you, and I know I am not the only LGBT supporter of yours that feels this way this morning. I think we deserve and explanation and apology for being so hasty to play into the political tricks of the GOP. In the meantime, my time and treasure will no longer support someone who obviously no longer supports me.

Yours truly,
Jason A. Cecil

Am I being too harsh? No, I dont think so. Im not going to work against Cathy, and its likely I'll vote for. When you think of Mark vs Cathy in the Democratic primary, I think Cathy has the best chance of unseating Sonny Perdue. I also love the idea of a smart woman governor. But that doesnt mean I smile meekly, bend over, grab my ankles and say, Do what you want. Ill be the good little soldier. Youll see no consequences from me. For LGBT people to make real gains, we must demand respect, especially from our friends. We dont have to abandon them (because they truly are light years better than Republicans) but we do need to let them know when theyve done wrong. And Cathy fucked up big time on this. She may not think so now, but I hope Im just the tip of the iceberg of LGBT supporters who will let their displeasure be known. Thats the only way we can be sure that she wont pull this kind of shit again, and will be more sensitive to the people who have supported her most.