Thursday, April 2, 2009

Equality Cincinnati on Chris Finney/Smitherman

From Equality Cincinnati...
"We at Equality Cincinnati were disappointed at the recent news regarding the retention by the local NAACP chapter of Chris Finney as legal counsel. We hope this does not signal a change in what we can expect from the NAACP in the future. While the local NAACP chapter did not support the repeal of Cincinnati's notorious anti-gay law known as Article 12 in 2004, Mr. Smitherman and many individual leaders and members of the local NAACP did. Furthermore, the national NAACP has long made clear its support for LGBT rights. Additionally, Equality Cincinnati and others in the LGBT community supported Mr. Smitherman in his re-election campaign in 2005.

Mr. Finney has a been a leader of groups opposing equality for LGBT person and continues to actively work to undermine any progress we have made. We would remind Mr. Smitherman that the LGBT community knows no color lines. So the issues of importance to the African American community are also of importance to the LGBT community.

As the leader of an LGBT organization, I take my duty to the entire LGBT community quite seriously. And I take seriously the dual nature of many of their identities. Many of our members are women and LGBT, or persons of color, and LGBT, or persons of various faiths, and LGBT. Equality Cincinnati must be mindful of these dual or multiple group identities in order to best represent our community.

We would also hope that when the NAACP represents African Americans, they are speaking for and representing LGBT African Americans. When Mr. Smitherman said that he cannot be concerned with the interests of "any other constituency group", was he suggesting that the NAACP does not consider itself to represent its LGBT members? Or their interests. Clearly, the national NAACP is highly supportive of LGBT civil rights issues and we hope the local chapter will continue to supportive as well.“
Update: A little press has come from it, check the article.


Wolfie said...


You know I really don't know how I feel about the statements form EO and EC. I am glad that they made them. But I am certainly feeling held hostage and really insulted and somewhat threatened by Smiterman considering his threats and comments. Especially the "support us or else" crap. I can understand not wanting to alienate and burn bridges through. But are there really any bridges to start with.

Not sure.

Anonymous said...

There are two distinct entities here: the Cincinnati NAACP vs. the Finney-Smitherman Cincinnati NAACP.

The former is a venerable organization. The latter exists to run political scams. Get next to it at your peril, including the April 8 rally.

Don't allign or reach out until the smoke clears, otherwise you'll look like chumps. First they insult you and then you capitulate by showing up? Bad move, one which will make you look like wussies and weaken your position. Better you draw the line and make them cross it.

At minimum, wait until Smitherman apologizes to the LGBT community or Finney resigns.