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Old 05-18-2019, 06:28 PM
navane navane is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 2,581
I have an example regarding my employer. I work as a Fire Captain for the State of California. The California state politicians disagree with a number of other U.S. states which they feel have discriminatory (anti-LGBT) policies. They don't believe that our state employees should be giving any business to those states which won't allow adoptions to LGBT people, have single-gender bathrooms, etc. Thus, the CA state politicians have banned state-funded travel to eight states: Texas, Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee. This means that state employees are not allowed to travel to 8 of the other 49 states on state business.

Were you invited to be a guest speaker at the national water pollution conference in Texas? Sorry, can't go.

Want to discuss best practices in reducing childhood obesity with a highly successful program in North Carolina? Nope. No go.

The opioid addiction problem in the U.S. has reached critical levels. People are now using, overdosing and dying from the synthetic opiate drug fentanyl. Fentanyl is potent and extremely dangerous in even the tiniest of amounts. Police and fire department first responders have been hospitalized by accidental exposure to fentanyl while responding to 911 calls for overdoses. Being able to safely contain this highly toxic substance is vital to keeping our first responders safe.

We were told by our [State] agency that the federal government was offering an all expenses paid training course which specializes in the collection of hazardous materials evidence. Airfare, lodging, meals, and course fees are completely covered by the federal government. This course would be vital to help provide our responders with the technical know-how for how to safely address these high-risk responses to drug houses, etc. The course is held at the FEMA Center for Domestic Preparedness.....

............in Alabama.


Look, I'm not going to get into whether I agree or disagree with another state's particular policies. The problem is that the COBRA Training Facility in Anniston, AL is the *only* facility in the United States where students train using *real* chemical agents. It's the only location where this course is taught.

We were required to route a request for an exemption up our local chain of command and have it sent to headquarters. Then our agency director had to sign-off on it at the State capital. Then it went to the GOVERNOR for approval. In they end, they decided to let some people go, but not all. Only one person per region was "allowed" to go. My coworker was selected and I stayed home. They wanted to "stick it to Alabama"; but, the training was a completely free course sponsored by the federal government. Therefore, Alabama wouldn't have gotten any of our money anyway. All we did was shoot ourselves in the foot by turning down a critical training opportunity in order to virtue signal.

Ok....so now I turn to AST. I get it. Some of the women want to send a message that they are not ok with that state's decision. As other posters here have already pointed out:

- some sisters might *agree* with the state measure and, thus, the petitioners wouldn't speak for everyone

- if finances have already been committed, you would be hurting the organization

- we could always find something to protest about in any state we go to. (Please see California's list of 8 banned states for other places for AST to avoid for conventions. Unless, of course, AST is ok with anti-LGBT policies.)

And then there's this -- forgive me, but I doubt that "Georgia" is going to cry over losing the AST Convention. I get it, I get it....."if we all join in and refuse to support, then it will eventually hurt Georgia in the pocketbook." Ok; but, again, give me any state in the union and I am sure I can find a reason for you to not go there.
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Last edited by navane; 05-18-2019 at 06:40 PM.
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