WASHINGTON - August 9 - A statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director, Sue Hyde, Conference Director and Rea Carey, Deputy Executive Director.
Over the last week, we've received a few letters asking that the 17th Annual Creating Change Conference be moved from St. Louis, Missouri because voters in that state voted overwhelmingly on August 3 to amend the state's Constitution to prohibit the recognition of same sex marriages. We won't do that and here's why.
Creating Change is when our movement comes together every year for inspiration, to learn skills, and to give advice and information to community leaders and organizers. Every year, the conference is a source of solace to those of us who have lost an important battle and a site of celebration for those of us who have won.
Our friends and colleagues in Missouri were the first in the nation to face a statewide campaign to enact an anti-gay constitutional amendment since the historic Massachusetts Goodridge decision late last fall. With scant resources, they fought valiantly and with great heart in an uphill battle against deeply held prejudice and antipathy towards our people. In fact, they turned it around in the city of St. Louis where voters rejected the amendment 53% to 47%, the only city in the state to do so.
There is no shame in their loss and unfortunately, there will be other losses in the months and years ahead. Another ten states face anti-marriage amendments between now and November 2 and we are huge underdogs everywhere. Our movement is in the midst of an epic struggle to free ourselves from millennia of teaching that consigns us to a status unworthy of equality and fairness. We will win. But along the way there will be many more Missouri's before there are many more Massachusetts's.
We have been working with 50 committed activists in St. Louis to bring Creating Change to their community. They have told us that they look forward to the influx of energy, spirit and fresh perspectives. This is exactly why the Task Force moves Creating Change to different communities each year: the conference itself can act as a jumpstart for organizing work in the host community.
After the loss on Tuesday, August 3, we think there is no better place for 2000+ community leaders and organizers to be from November 10-14 than St. Louis Missouri. Let's show them solidarity and collegial support for in the challenge they faced and that we are all facing.
See you in St. Louis, November 10 to 14.
For more information about the 17th Annual Creating Change Conference, please visit our website: www.creatingchange.org