Wednesday, February 07, 2007

What We’re Proud Of: The Caucus Opinion on Changing Pride

Tonight, during our monthly general meeting, the GLBT political Caucus unanimously voted to adopt the following statement regarding the proposed relocation and date change of Houston’s Pride parade and festival:

With the hope that much of the GLBT community will address this issue as well as continue the discussion of the future of the Pride Parade, the Caucus would like to state for the record the following:

June is the historic date of Stonewall, since 1969 one of the most significant moments in the GLBT civil rights movement;

June of 2003 was also when the Lawrence and Garner vs. Texas case was announced, making that month particularly important to Houston;

Montrose is the historic heart of the Houston GLBT community and deserves that recognition;

Finally, for the Houston GLBT Political Caucus, a parade in September is directly in the middle of the political calendar and would be in direct competition with the demands on the caucus during that time of the year.


John said...

Wouldn't a parade in September be a great opportunity to encourage people to vote?

The Caucus Blog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Caucus Blog said...


First, thanks for visiting the blog and participating in the discussion. I hope you'll continue to visit in the future.

As far as moving Pride to September, members of the caucus expressed several reservations. Removing historic significance from the celebration was by the far the primary concern. Some members noted that a bigger, flashier Pride, with high profile pop-stars and big corporate floats, leaves very little space for recognizing the important sacrifices of GLBT 's seeking equality. June represents Stonewall and the Lawrence decision, and these two milestones together generally represent our communities poignant sacrifices for equality over time. The Caucus is committed to commemorating these events, and we feel that moving Pride to September diminishes their importance.

Now to your question. Here's what people said about the consequences of the date change on caucus operations. Some might say that a fall celebration's close proximity to the November election makes politics a more pertinent topic for people attending Pride, but a number of Caucus members, who have a lot of experience motivating voters, found several liabilities of a September celebration that outweighed this presumed benefit. Most importantly, by September caucus members are block-walking and phone-banking every weekend, contacting the GLBT voters we've identified throughout the summer, including voters identified during the June Pride festivities. Block-walking and phone-banking are proven to be the most effective methods of voter mobilization, using an event, like Pride, is less effective. Of course, if Pride's date is changed, we'll be there working, but this will prevent us from doing more effective work. Furthermore, as it is now, the caucus uses the June festival to identify and register GLBT voters. A September celebration is dangerously close to the voter registration deadline, which would further complicate the work of the caucus. Some members also fear that a more corporate,less neighborhood centered celebration would prevent us from reaching out to as many voters as we do now.

Again, I really appreciate you're interest in the blog, and I hope I answered your question.