Losing Focus on Our Values

Have the recent discussions about illegal immigration triggered a reaction from CCGLA’s board of directors that now has this community organization discriminating against immigrants?

Recently the CCGLA board amended its’ bylaws to prevent anyone who is not a registered voter to be eligible to be a director or officer of the organization. To become a registered voter, a person must be a United States citizen. People who can’t become citizens include temporary workers (H1-B visa holders), international students, green card/permanent residents, and undocumented immigrants.

This action reinforces the widely held (and destructive) view that immigrants are second class citizens. While immigrants may not have the same protections under the law as citizens, they deserve the same levels of dignity and respect. How can an organization that advocates equality, dignity and respect, offer none of these to a group of residents in Collin County? Isn’t this new bylaw in conflict with the values for which CCGLA stands?

One of the original purposes of CCGLA was to bring together a community that reflected the diversity of people and their backgrounds that lived and worked within Collin County. I believe the founding CCGLA board reflected this diversity. I also now believe that the current board does not.

It is a concern to me that CCGLA now appears to support what many of us on the founding board were fighting against: discrimination. Discrimination is not just a GLBT issue. Everyone can be discriminated against for any reason. It happens every day, but should it happen within an organization that’s purpose is to fight against it? As one of the founding board members, I am disgusted that the CCGLA board has written such a discriminatory rule into their governing documents. I am equally surprised that the only founding board member remaining on the board supported this change.

With the annual meeting only days away, let’s hope the membership of CCGLA hold this board accountable for their actions, and refocuses the organization on its core values of advocating equality, dignity and respect in our community.