The Way I See It
|by Steve Elkins, Editor|
|One sure sign of spring in Rehoboth is the reappearance of friends we haven't seen in several monthsand the question from everyone's lips is, "How was your winter?" For those of us here in CAMP Rehoboth, several adjectives come to mind, such as fast, busy, and exciting. We are currently working on our annual report, which will include a brief summary of all the programs and projects of CAMP Rehoboth: Letters, CAMPsafe, The Women's Project, Sundance, The Community Center Project, support groups, community relationsno wonder the winter was "fast and exciting!" The CAMP Rehoboth Annual Report will be available in late April and will also be included in the May 4 issue of this magazine.
While I'm using the word "exciting," the first annual Women's Health, Legal and Financial Conference, presented by The Women's Project of CAMP Rehoboth, was a huge success. With more than seventy women participating, the conference was a great first step for this new program. On page 6, Kelli Steele reports on the day's activities.
Last week, Delaware moved closer to ending discrimination against gays and lesbians when the House of Representatives voted 21 to 20 in favor of HB99. The bill makes it illegal to discriminate, based on real or perceived sexual orientation, in employment, housing, public works, contracting, public accommodations and insurance. It has been sent to the Senate for their consideration. Governor Ruth Ann Minner, a strong supporter, has pledged to sign the bill if given the opportunity. Members of the Senate need to hear from supporters of HB99. (See the Action Alert on page 5 for more information on who to call.) And remember to thank our local Representatives, John Schroeder and Shirley Price, both of whom were early supporters of HB99, and Senator George Bunting who is back on as a sponsor. I'm certain that opponents of the legislation will continue their campaign of misinformation and scare tactics in an effort to defeat it. Counter their attacks. Let your voice be heard in the Senate.
It was exciting to be in Dover when the house voted in favor of HB99. I remember how nervous I was the first time I lobbied my state representative, now it's second nature. If you are interested in becoming more involved in working for passage of civil rights legislation, you should consider taking part in the Third Annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Lobby Day at Legislative Hall in Dover, Tuesday, April 10. The day begins at 10:30 with a workshop on effective lobbying, followed by opportunities to visit with your Senator and Representative. For more information call the ACLU-DE office at 302-654-3966.
A couple of weeks ago, I had a call from a friend caught up in a family tug-of-war while attending the funeral for one of her best friends. It was the familiar story of a gay man and his partner who lived together for fifteen years but never got around to having a will, and the family who wanted to come into the home of the surviving partner and take whatever they wanted. This little episode, which in this instance our friend was fortunately able to mediate, reminded me that until domestic partnership legislation for gay and lesbian couples becomes law, it's important to protect yourselves in every legal way possible. That includes keeping your will up to date and both general and medical power of attorney for you and your partner. Don't put it off, tragedy doesn't give any warning.
There's a lot going on in CAMP these days with projects and events in the works. To get involvedvolunteering at one of the events, putting condoms in their little CAMPsafe packets, and many other waysgive a call or stop by CAMP.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 11, No. 3, Apr. 6, 2001.