I am responding to your informative article "Transgender ordinance sets off EQ IL-TCRA fallout," written by Kate Sosin.
I think Kate's article highlights a difference in our political leadership vision about strategy when it comes to legislation. There are those who believe that the quality of our equality legislation should be based on our community's needs, while others believe that passage of even weak legislation is important because that can be built upon.
I think both views have their merits, but even above both of these views the question that must be asked, is this very public eruption over strategy helpful to our community unity or not.
What is troubling to me is that I sense that real issue is not the legislation, but rather some of the personalities involved.
I think there can be legitimate differences on strategy; however, there should be no differences in the ethical way we treat each other.
There are a lot of wonderful people involved, including the gay and straight alderman and organizations that support this legislation. My concern is that some individuals are using this very public debate as a proxy for their own petty concerns of division and retribution.
I have the highest respect for both Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois, as I do for Anthony Martinez of The Civil Rights Agenda. It is my hope that they will insure the focus of this debate is on strategy and not personalities.
Rainbow Sash Movement
As an adoptee and LGBT ally, I wholeheartedly support the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC's) efforts on behalf of prospective adoptive LGBT parents.
Windy City Times recently reported on the Human Rights Campaign's pioneering All Children-All Families program to recognize adoption agencies that demonstrate a staunch commitment to LGBT equal rights. Qualifying agencies must show proof of their clear non-discrimination policies, staff sensitivity training, family training initiatives and gender-inclusive language in their internal and external communications.
The best interest of children should always be the first and foremost concern in any foster care or adoption. As an adoptee, I know that "best interest of the child" means unconditional love, an unwavering commitment to parenting and fostering a sense of safety, home and belonging. I also know that none of this is pre-determined by the age, gender identity, sexual orientation or marital status of parents.
I applaud the efforts of HRC to ensure that members of the LGBT community have equal access to adoption services while simultaneously giving children an equal opportunity to find a loving family.