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Gay Inc. Is Starting a New ‘Secret’ Group to Do Everything HRC & Co. Cannot. This Sounds Like a Terrible Idea

Don’t we already have a slew of national LGBT rights organizations that, they continue to tell us, are fighting for our civil rights on the federal level? Yes! So why are there plans in motion to start a new organization with the exact same mission?

Put on your blindfold, pick up a bat, and take your swing around the room, where you might hit the Human Rights Campaign or the National Center for Lesbian Rights or the Family Equality Council. These are the Gay Inc. groups that have tried and, by their own admission, failed to secure the decades-long struggle for equality legislation. Which explains why there’s the urge to start fresh, with a blank slate.

And that’s where plans to create “a new advocacy project that will work behind the scenes to facilitate pro-LGBT policy changes at the federal level and get LGBT people hired to key positions in the Obama administration” are underway, reports the D.C. Agenda. Which is funny, because haven’t groups like HRC, with their cagey communications efforts with supporters, been telling us they’ve been working “behind the scenes” all this time? That when Joe Solmonese turns up empty handed one congressional legislative session after another, it’s only because there’s a plan in place, to secure, sometime down the road, our equality?

Working through the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force’s New Beginnings Initiative — which has a list of 80 “initial recommended policy changes” for the Obama administration — we’re told the Gill Foundation and the Arcus Foundation are financially backing the new effort. Which is cool, ’cause Gill’s strategy of supporting local and regional LGBT-friendly campaigns has shown some results.

But really, what’s going to be so new about this project? If it’s functioning under NGLTF’s umbrella, doesn’t that mean the same leaders — who have heretofore delivered piecemeal federal legislation for LGBTs — will be running the same sideshow?

The (as-yet unnamed?) group is charging itself with three main objectives, relays Agenda: “providing technical assistance for pro-LGBT policy changes in the Obama administration, ensuring LGBT people are represented in the federal government and advocating for an LGBT voice in the broader administration agenda.” Not to sound terribly mean, BUT THIS MAKES US LAUGH. Because every single Gay Inc. group around has a version of those very goals in their own mission statements.

And here’s the the most curious part: The new project “seeks no attribution for its role.” Yes, they want to remain anonymous! They don’t want anybody knowing who’s pulling the puppet strings! And NGLTF’s New Beginnings Initiative will act as the front group. Sort of like the Mormon Church’s role with the National Organization for Marriage, minus the religion. But you know what this also means? ZERO TRANSPARENCY. And nobody to call out when this entire project, and its $1.2 million budget, ends up with the exact same thing we’re growing accustomed to: failure.

Thus far, all we know is NGLTF’s project director Matt Foreman will be leading the new group, which officially launches Feb. 1. And when it comes to cash money, some $650k is being budgeted for salaries of four total staffers, with $400k devoted to short-term consultants. That leaves $150,000, or 12.5 percent of the initial $1.2 million, left to actually enact change, however this new power group expects that to happen.

Listen: We’re all for new and exciting ways to put pressure on Obama & Co. to do things like defend civil rights and rid the nation of discrimination. But nothing about this project shows organizers have any new ways of thinking, any revolutionary ideas about activism, or anything planned that won’t just be rinsing and repeating the same failed tactics as they’ve tried before. We’d be elated — ELATED! — to be proven wrong.

So try us.

By:           editor editor
On:           Jan 22, 2010
Tagged: , , , , , , ,

  • 77 Comments
    • Jackson Knight
      Jackson Knight

      The more organizations out there fighting for our rights from various angles helps insure that the goals will be met. Leaving it to one or two groups working on single angles is limiting the possibilities.

      Jan 22, 2010 at 10:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian NJ
      Brian NJ

      I think these groups have all become captive to the Democratic Party, and there is an inherent conflict of interest preventing any real pressure. It is not the financing that creates strength, it is INDEPENDENCE, and the strength of the people working there.

      But the hires of these groups seem very young,soft types, sweet sugary girls and boys from liberal arts colleges who work very hard, but have really just become the political equivalent of sex workers. All their activities are just stroking and lap dances to politicians who count on hard work rubbing in a circle, and away from demanding actions.

      They need older shark lawyer types, like Olson and Boise, not a bunch of Jan Bradys, thinking they are working for change but just getting worked on to assuring no change.

      Standing in shoes of a warrior, and calling yourself a warrior, makes you part of the problem, as nice a person as you are. Go to warrior school: wax on, but wax off, too.

      Jan 22, 2010 at 10:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Qjersey
      Qjersey

      and the first thing they’ll do is hire an executive director with a 150K salary, because you know, they have to compete with corporate salaries. AS IF any of the ED’s of the current orgs could command the same salaries in the private non-profit sector.

      Jan 22, 2010 at 11:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      The problem here is not that we have a new group fighting for our rights but that it will be yet another group playing the access game that has given us very limited results.

      IMHO, we have enough of those groups. We need a refurbished Queer Nation/ACT UP type organization and not another group of party queens.

      Jan 22, 2010 at 11:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RickDetroit
      RickDetroit

      Simple answer? Don’t give money to NGLTF. This sounds just as bad as the rest of their ‘ideas.’

      Jan 22, 2010 at 11:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AndrewW
      AndrewW

      This group was formed to “counter the mounting criticism of the major LGBT Advocacy groups.” There is nothing new here. No new ideas. No new strategy. No new plans.

      It is primarily a public relations effort to create the illusion that Gay Inc. speaks with one, coordinated voice. It is an attempt to create the false impression that these groups are working together.

      This is about the survival of Gay Inc. and NOT about LGBT equality.

      Jan 22, 2010 at 11:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      So, I suppose the idea of a Queer Union would not settle well with the posters above? We need to unite all of the different groups under one powerful umbrella and streamline our efforts. This sounds possible. It wasn’t working before because all of the huskies pulling the sled were going in 20 different directions.

      Jan 22, 2010 at 11:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jackson Knight
      Jackson Knight

      Due to the complexity of the political system, a single unified approach would be very limiting. Politicians need to be bombarded from numerous directions to get anywhere in Washington. Having 3 or 4 groups concentrating on specific issues would be a better path than having one group trying to cover all the issues. Something would get lost.

      There should be a unified ‘as a whole’ agenda of we will not take it anymore. But each group within the unified group should have their specific goals and agenda so they can concentrate on that rather than watered down multiple goals.

      Jan 22, 2010 at 11:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dontblamemeivotedforhillary
      dontblamemeivotedforhillary

      We need to learn how to lobby on the level of the Pro-Israel group and the NRA. That is the blueprint! Anything less will Not get us Marriage Equality and/or Civil Union Recognition (if GOP!) Our Federal target should be 2015 after a blitz of Advertising about our “second-class citizenry!”

      Jan 22, 2010 at 12:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      When businesses merge, often those at the top are laid off and pared down. This saves money and double spending. Too many supervisors. We need to push legal eagles out of the nest and sic them on to the Casa Blanca like the flying monkeys in “The Wizard of Oz”.

      Jan 22, 2010 at 12:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @Jackson Knight:

      Now streamlining the national organizations that are already there would be a great idea.

      And Lambda Legal stays, they are good at what they do.

      Jan 22, 2010 at 12:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael W.
      Michael W.

      “new advocacy project that will work behind the scenes to facilitate pro-LGBT policy changes at the federal level and get LGBT people hired to key positions in the Obama administration”

      The Obama administration is only going to be around for like two more years.

      Jan 22, 2010 at 1:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HiveRadical
      HiveRadical

      What I love about people addicted to advocacy organizations combined with their obsession with the appearance of diversity is their so prone to the inefficiencies of the demi-bureaucratic constructs of non-profit advocacy. These organizations will never be streamlined in any real meaningful way because they employ too many well compensated executives and advisers. It’s a jobs program fueling itself on the LGBT community’s proverbial back. Pun not initially intended, but it does somewhat fit.

      Follow the money. That’s more why civil unions will never be enough, because if there’s no grand cause to advance, no boogie man groups to cry foul against then virtually all the heads of these groups will be out of rather well paying jobs.

      Here’s a challenge. Try and get these executives to work for what the Mormon leaders worked for in California—zero compensation. Just don’t pay them or pay them very little. If they really believe in it then they’ll put your money to better use than a salary in excess of your average Joe’s take home.

      Jan 22, 2010 at 1:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      HiveRadical, Interesting notions in post #13. We should elect, as members of a Queer Union, one representative to rein over the Union for 5 years, for a maximum of two terms. One web site where ideas can be shared and put into action and a panel of keen advisors with no other agenda than equality under our Constitution. The legal team should be the priority. As far as cutting the brush, HRC helped in this regard. The gay face became more visible and even likable. They had cute shirts and a simple, pleasant logo. They’ve done some service, but now a legal approach will be our only real option of attaining equality. A streamlined Queer Union would be efficient. Prune off the dead wood and feather the legal eagles’ nests. If any work for free, all the better.

      Jan 22, 2010 at 2:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AndrewW
      AndrewW

      I would like to offer a $100 million prize for anyone or any group that can figure out how to achieve our full equality in the next 3-5 years.

      Like many of you, I am tired of the non-profit advocacy groups that have only one incentive: continued employment. As further evidence for this I suggest you notice that NONE of these organizations has presented a Strategy to WIN. All we get are fundraising requests and the promise of “one of these days.” That’s not good enough. Not anymore.

      How and When can we achieve full equality? That’s worth $100 million.

      Email: HonestAmbition@gmail.com

      Yes, I’m serious.

      Jan 22, 2010 at 3:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike
      Mike

      Matt Foreman is going to run things and it is being funded by Urvashi Vaid’s organization. Have these two accomplished anything significant in their entire careers at NGLTF or since? Talk about throwing good money after bad.

      Jan 22, 2010 at 3:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      AndrewW, If you’ve got 100 million to work with, start a Union. Pull the huskies back into line. Get other gay organizations to join. Queerty has a unique approach to communication. Involve the community and an involved community becomes more involved. A singular website, and elected representative, legal eagles beating their wings in unison, and a panel of keen advisors seems reasonable. Make it so. Cap’n to bridge…

      Jan 22, 2010 at 3:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AndrewW
      AndrewW

      @1EqualityUSA: I appreciate your Union idea. I am looking for HOW and WHEN we achieve our full equality in the next 3-5 years. We already have too many organizations – we need ideas, strategies and plans. Three things Gay Inc. doe not have.

      The Union idea you have presented would be helpful in getting us to work together – my offer is for “what” we’d all be working on.

      Figuring out “how” we can win is worth $100 million.

      Jan 22, 2010 at 3:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      Hatred is a hard row to hoe, friend. The Church makes money off of it and the government doesn’t need to disperse any “equality” cash n’ prizes our way. Greed and hatred walk hand in hand.

      Jan 22, 2010 at 3:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AndrewW
      AndrewW

      @1EqualityUSA: It’s my offer. I get to do that. Welcome to America.

      Jan 22, 2010 at 4:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      Start with selling a high quality chocolate bar. Name it “equality bar.” They’ll sell. The proceeds could pay for other foods, sort of like, “Paul Newman’s Own”, but the name would be “equality”. Christians will boycott the produit, making it more desirable to young people.

      Jan 22, 2010 at 4:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RickDetroit
      RickDetroit

      Uhm… 1equality, you can label your chocolate, or pack your fudge, or whatever it is you’re doing… but could you do it more quietly please?

      Jan 22, 2010 at 4:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      The crunchy line hasn’t been introduced.

      Jan 22, 2010 at 4:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RickDetroit
      RickDetroit

      But you’ve clearly already gotten your hands on the line of mixed drinks.

      Jan 22, 2010 at 4:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      I don’t drink. I think. That gives me a headache!

      Jan 22, 2010 at 4:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anthony in Nashville
      Anthony in Nashville

      People, how many more organizations do we need?

      I attended a “LGBT Town Hall” last night and even in moderately-sized Nashville, there were people who were not familiar with some of the existing organizations and publications.

      That tells me we separate into too many small niche communities and don’t communicate or go beyond our comfort zones, leading to duplication of effort.

      I understand the impetus to forming new political groups, but I also believe in the old adage “if you aren’t bringing anything new and dynamic to the table, join an existing group.”

      The Task Force and HRC are similiar enough to where they could merge.

      Jan 22, 2010 at 5:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      No. 22 · RickDetroit

      UIm…Rick, if the din in here is too much for you, perhaps YOU could take your derogatory labels with you and leave. You have nothing constructive of your own to add to this dialogue, so all you can do is take a dump on people who ARE trying to do something constructive.

      Oh, and don’t let the door hit you in your fudge-packed ass on your way out!

      Jan 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RickDetroit
      RickDetroit

      And amazing, we now have a less constructive comment then “let’s sell chocolate, and then sell other kinds of food to make religious people upset.” Thank you, Schlukitz, you’re the big winner.

      Jan 23, 2010 at 11:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      RickDetroit, Selling food with the name equality and having the proceeds go to fighting discrimination is a good idea on many levels. If people will be willing to support equality at the grocery store, it will translate in the voting both, not that voting for inalienable rights is acceptable. I agree, post #22 was unnecessary, but then so was your obnoxious #22 that disparages the gay community.

      Jan 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh_Texas
      Josh_Texas

      @Jackson Knight: “Due to the complexity of the political system, a single unified approach would be very limiting.”

      Bull shit. Our equality isn’t complicated, either. It’s a “yes” or “no” proposition. Like “W” said: “you’re either with us, or against us.”

      Jan 23, 2010 at 12:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RickDetroit
      RickDetroit

      Darling, I wasn’t disparaging the gay community. I was disparaging you.

      But I do apologize. I didn’t understand that you were being serious. That was too much of a stretch of the imagination. If I had, I would have put together a more comprehensive response. So in that spirit, I think we can come up with a better strategy than chocolate manufacture.

      How about, instead of tricking people into supporting our equality because they like our food products, we ask them to support our equality because they like us. I think that could be a bit more effective.

      Jan 23, 2010 at 12:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh_Texas
      Josh_Texas

      @1EqualityUSA: How does eating equality food translate to “votes?” What’s in the chocolate. Come on, tell us.

      Jan 23, 2010 at 12:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      Dear RickDetroit, It’s not about “tricking” people, it’s about getting the subject of equality out there to be seen. Most people don’t even talk about our issues because they are unaffected by our plight. Many don’t even know that there is an issue. Just as the Save the Whales issue was dead until it was packaged and sold to the community in a way that made it as visible as, say food. As for using disparaging remarks to make your points, I disagree with your method of communication. It’s mean-spirited and takes away from the content of your ideas.

      Jan 23, 2010 at 12:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gregg
      Gregg

      The point in the article about salaries shows that the person who wrote this is a bit confused about how budgets work. Above, it says “some $650k is being budgeted for salaries of four total staffers, with $400k devoted to short-term consultants. That leaves $150,000, or 12.5 percent of the initial $1.2 million, left to actually enact change.”

      For a lobbying or advocacy organization, the staff are the ones doing the work to enact change, so their salaries ARE the “change budget” if you want to call it that. The staffers speaking at hearings, meeting with legislators, training activists, preparing legislative briefs, researching voting records, etc. are what such an organization does. This is not a social service org providing direct services to LGBT people in the form of counseling or HIV testing, etc. Although even there, how do you provide counseling or HIV testing without paying the salaries of the counselors? Even in those contexts, very little of the budget is spent on material things (HIV test kits, for example). The bulk is spent on human resources.

      You can legitimately quibble with how high or low the salaries might be, but to complain about an organization devoting most of its budget to salary support for its staff is demonstrating a complete misunderstanding of how work like this happens.

      And to the comment above suggesting staff at such orgs should work for zero pay: How the heck are they supposed to eat and pay their rent? Are YOU willing to work for free? If so, congratulations on having a trust fund. But most people who aren’t rich do need to be paid.

      Jan 23, 2010 at 12:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      Gregg, Do you agree that too many organizations are following this same framework, resulting in double, triple redundancy?

      Jan 23, 2010 at 12:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      No. 28 · RickDetroit

      And amazing, we now have a less constructive comment then “let’s sell chocolate, and then sell other kinds of food to make religious people upset.” Thank you, Schlukitz, you’re the big winner.

      Perhaps you would care to show the rest of us how injecting the term “fudge packing” into the dialogue was constructive?

      I fully concur with 1EqualityUSA. Your method of communication is mean-spirited and takes away from the content of your ideas.

      Jan 23, 2010 at 12:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      If I never hear the term, “Fudge-packing” again as long as I live, it will be too soon. Schlukitz, I think the skirmish is done. Sometimes people shoot off things that could have been worded more politely, but opinions are just that. How are your book shelves?

      Jan 23, 2010 at 1:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh_Texas
      Josh_Texas

      @Gregg: I think the point was that those that work for Gay Inc., ahhhhh work for Gay Inc., not our equality.

      Paid or not – HRC, NGLTF and others haven’t really accomplished anything… well, except for their salaries and expense accounts.

      I’m not giving any money to HRC, NGLTF or GLAAD. I’m giving to LAMBDA, GLSEN, GLAD (the good one) and local groups.

      Jan 23, 2010 at 1:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh_Texas
      Josh_Texas

      @schlukitz: You’ve been crying for +70 years, right?

      Jan 23, 2010 at 1:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh_Texas
      Josh_Texas

      @1EqualityUSA: This “Queer Union” idea you promote sounds a lot like Cleve Jones (Socialist union advocate).

      I’m wondering why you think “electing” leaders would change anything. Wouldn’t it be better for these organizations to have some agreement on a plan or tactics? They do seem to be very redundant – almost to the point of being completely useless.

      Jan 23, 2010 at 1:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      For a lobbying or advocacy organization, the staff are the ones doing the work to enact change, so their salaries ARE the “change budget” if you want to call it that. The staffers speaking at hearings, meeting with legislators, training activists, preparing legislative briefs, researching voting records, etc. are what such an organization does.

      And that said, we can now safely assume that such organizations do in fact, exist for their own celebration because for all the monies donated to them and membership fees paid to this myriad of organizations, precious little has been done to obtain our equality…an elusive goal that always seems to be just a tad out of reach…while we continue to be assured by these organizations that a victory is there somewhere in the vague future, if we but keep on renewing our memberships and sending in OUR hard-earned dollars, to make sure that the execs continue to collect their not-so-hard-earned dollars.

      For me, the question is academic.

      Do you use your right hand, or your left hand?

      Jan 23, 2010 at 1:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gregg
      Gregg

      1EqualityUSA: To a certain extent, yes, I think there is some unnecessary overlap. That being said, I’m actually a bit hopeful about this particular idea, at least based on the limited info we have so far, because of the backing from the Gill Foundation. While many of “our” movement leaders are strongly focused on process (the Task Force, especially), Tim Gill is deeply committed to outcomes. His successes in causing political change in state legislatures during the past two election cycles speaks for itself (and yes, not everything worked – but nothing is ever 100%).

      Now it’s important to remember that Tim Gill and the Gill Foundation are not the same thing. His personal political giving, and even the work of the Gill Action Fund, is managed separately from the foundation, although Tim obviously plays a huge role in all of it.

      I personally have great respect for Tim, the work of the Gill Foundation, and the foundation’s executive leadership. They keep their eyes on the prize – tangible outcomes, large and small, direct and indirect, that are of strategic importance in the battle for full equality.

      Jan 23, 2010 at 1:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      No. 39 · Josh_Texas

      And you have been making constructive contributions to the conversation for how long now, did you say?

      Jan 23, 2010 at 1:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      Dear Josh_Texas, The reason for elections is that every gay person who joined the Union would have a say in how the Union proceeded. The term limits would allow for fresh ideas to come about. These are simply my ideas, not those of Mr. Jones. Redundancy is difficult to overcome, because nobody wants to be the one to get laid off. Merging and intensely focusing on legal arms of the organization is now necessary. I thank HRC for putting a friendly face on the queer movement and hacking away at the brush on the path, but now legalities need to enter in.

      Jan 23, 2010 at 1:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gregg
      Gregg

      Josh_Texas: I think you overstate and simplify to say that “those that work for Gay Inc., ahhhhh work for Gay Inc., not our equality.” If they haven’t achieved all that we’ve wanted that isn’t entirely that fault of the leadership of these orgs. To a certain extent, it is the way our political system works and the complexity of pushing national change-making agendas. It’s also relevant that in general, the LGBT community is much too complacent and uninvolved in politics (the Prop 8 battle showed some serious failures at the leadership level, but also serious failures at the grassroots – for every one volunteer our side mustered, the Prop. 8 side found two, or even three).

      But like you, I also give my personal donations to Lambda, NCLR (one of my favorites), GLSEN and a few smaller local, regional and faith-based LGBT orgs. I haven’t paid an HRC membership in years.

      Jan 23, 2010 at 1:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      No. 37 · 1EqualityUSA

      I’m with you, hon. Fudge-packing is such a demeaning term, especially when used by someone who purports to be one of our own.

      We have more than an amply of supply of homo-hating heteros who happily lob that term at us at every given opportunity. We sure as heck, do not need self-hating gays taking a dump on us as well.

      Your comment about opinions is right on. I am reminded of the old adage “Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one.” ;P

      The bookcases came out really well, thank you. All that is lacking, is the books to place in them. lol They are all packed-up in my 7 x 14 ft. trailer sitting in my driveway in Florida, along with other furnishings to bring up here when the house here in NYC is finally completed which, hopefully, should be in the spring.

      And speaking of the time of the year, I cannot believe that it has been almost a month since New Years Day. Time flies when you’re having fun. :)

      Jan 23, 2010 at 1:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      Don’t hurt your back. Put the books in grocery bags, if you are hauling them yourself. Don’t let every comment get under your skin. I’m going to clean house today. Be good, Schlukitz. Read a book you’ve been postponing. Write a “to-do” list and enjoy your day.

      Jan 23, 2010 at 1:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh_Texas
      Josh_Texas

      @Gregg: What is Tim Gill’s strategy for our full equality?

      Jan 23, 2010 at 2:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh_Texas
      Josh_Texas

      @1EqualityUSA: I think you’re obsessed with the idea that we lack “Leaders,” (duly elected leaders) and i don’t think we need them if WE lead. What seems to be missing are the “fresh ideas” you mentioned. I think people would participate, but to do what? I agree with the many who have suggested we need to feel like we can win in order to get active again. I want to win.

      Jan 23, 2010 at 2:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gregg
      Gregg

      Josh_Texas: Tim Gill’s strategy, as I understand it, is focused on several fronts:

      1) Putting in office elected officials who support equality, particularly at the state and local level. This is the strategy that basically built the Conservative Movement – focusing attention on smaller races and flying under the radar, while understanding that local/state officials actually do play important roles in policies that impact our daily lives, AND that Congressional leaders and others on the national stage all start somewhere, usually local (think Obama) and require the support of local/state officials to really launch themselves. So although it’s sexier to focus on the national races in election cycles, the real work needs to happen in state house districts in ex-urban and rural areas throughout the country.

      2) Connected to #1, above, is making the cost of being anti-gay simply too high for elected officials. If they vote against equality, they need to know there is a price. As Tim sometimes likes to joke, he’s really just a career counselor, helping anti-gay legislators realize the need to find new jobs, one at a time. This sort of strategy requires money, volunteers and a grassroots movement.

      3) Put significant resources toward corporate policies and change – if the majority of Americans work in environments that respect equal rights openly and visibly, that has an impact on how they vote, how they give money politically, etc. This is one of HRC’s key areas and something I actually think they do well and deserve credit for.

      4) Support efforts that change the hearts and minds of average voters in the “moveable middle.” We’ve got the left and liberals on board, and the far right isn’t going to change their minds. But there is a broad middle section of people who can be persuaded that equality matters and that anti-gay laws hurts average Americans. This is where I personally get frustrated with the Task Force, which from what I’ve seen seems to spend an inordinate amount of time and energy preaching to the choir.

      You get an idea of his thinking from these two articles that profile his political strategy in detail:

      http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200703/tim-gill

      http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1606679,00.html

      Jan 23, 2010 at 2:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      No. 50 · Gregg

      Thank you for sharing those two articles with us. Tim Gill is, indeed, a very interesting man who is passionate about the obtaining of equality for LGBT people.

      I like his thinking.

      Jan 23, 2010 at 2:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh_Texas
      Josh_Texas

      @Gregg: Most of Tim Gills efforts seem to be about politics. It looks like we’re basically screwed in the US Congress for the next 8-16 years (we can’t get past the US Senate). I don’t see us prevailing politically.

      I saw he wasn’t spending on legal fights, except in Colorado.

      I looked at the articles, but didn’t see anything to accomplish #4. I don’t think any Gay Inc. organization focuses on changing minds.

      I’m like some of the other posters here, I’d like to know how we can finish this job. Electing enough gay or gay-friendly people seems like ti might take another 25 years – if we can even find gay candidates that can win.

      He seems like a cool guy, though.

      Jan 23, 2010 at 4:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      One of the witnesses at the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial, Dr. Gary M. Segura, a Stanford Political Science professor, has explained WHY so little progress has been made on gay issues, despite 40 years of steady lobbying. The basic problems are that the gay minority is so small that we have no real voting power, and that the people who hate us have much larger numbers, so they do have greater voting power.

      The clear inference is, Lobbying is not going to work. The legislature is where the majority gets its way. G&L people are not the majority, never have been, and never will be. Worse, the number of people who either hate or fear G&L people is greater than the number of G&L people. Forty years of lobbying has done only one thing — it has accumulated enough failures so that the G&L minority is getting studied and recognized as a minority

      The COURTS are the place where minorities are protected, not the legislature.

      I expect the current case (Perry v. Schwarzenegger) will do many times more for us in 2 years, and at less cost, then throwing money at the Democrats has done over a period of more than 40 years.

      Jan 23, 2010 at 9:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      Wow, Steve. #53

      Jan 23, 2010 at 9:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      If gays suddenly got their equality firmly established through law, I wonder how many of them would leave the Democratic Party for various reasons. Maybe that’s why Democrats are dragging their flaccid limbs.

      Jan 23, 2010 at 9:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      Gregg, Thank you very much for those links listed in post #50.

      Jan 24, 2010 at 12:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      @1EqualityUSA:
      Equality cannot be established through law. “Equal” expresses a comparison. To be a complete concept, “equal” needs to reference something concrete that can be measured or compared.

      Equal rights and equal protection are concrete enough to be established in law. But even that won’t come all from one case. It will take time. The thing that one case can do is to set the precedent that the Constitution actually grants equal rights and equal protections to G&L people.

      Winning marriage equality is the explicit goal of the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case. But, in my opinion, a possible detail in the decision might actually be more important. If the decision includes that the G&L minority is a “suspect classification”, and hence qualifies for “strict scrutiny”, it will make future litigation for other rights and protections much easier.

      Olsen and Boies do seem to have established all of the elements that are required to establish that sexual orientation is a “suspect classificaton”. They have brought in expert testimony to establish each particular element. See, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suspect_classification for an accessible English explanation of those elements.

      Of course, IANAL, and I am certainly not counsel to Perry. This is just my take on reading about the case.

      Jan 24, 2010 at 12:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      Do you think that as soon as marriage equality is attained, GLBT might migrate away from Democrats? If so, do you think this is why they are so slow in pushing for change?

      Jan 24, 2010 at 12:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      I “scrutinized” the link sent. Thanks, also, for that. The different tiers of scrutiny are chilling. Learning everyday.

      Jan 24, 2010 at 12:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      @1EqualityUSA:
      There are still lots of other issues that affect G&L people. Employment discrimination is a big one. Covering all of the topics will take time.

      After marriage equality happens, and particularly if the decision includes strict scrutiny, it will be easier for Republicans to support our other issues. The Democrats might have to start earning some G&L votes, instead of just taking them for granted.

      The other issues may be easier. Mormons and “social conservatives” might focus on trying to repeal marriage equality, and give less attention to hating us in other ways. Or, they might loose interest and get on with their lives. Either way, I doubt they will focus on discrimination in employment, housing, etc.

      Jan 24, 2010 at 12:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh_Texas
      Josh_Texas

      @Steve:

      “Dr. Gary M. Segura, a Stanford Political Science professor, has explained WHY so little progress has been made on gay issues, despite 40 years of steady lobbying. The basic problems are that the gay minority is so small that we have no real voting power, and that the people who hate us have much larger numbers, so they do have greater voting power.

      The clear inference is, Lobbying is not going to work. The legislature is where the majority gets its way. G&L people are not the majority, never have been, and never will be. Worse, the number of people who either hate or fear G&L people is greater than the number of G&L people.”

      That’s why it makes sense to stop giving money to HRC for lobbying or any other political group. HRC has wasted $550 million lobbying. We wasted a lot of money on Clinton, Obama and most Democrats. We should stop.

      We have only two choices:

      1. The Courts pass laws to protect us. This could provide some recourse, but most people will still hate us.

      2. Spend our money and efforts on reaching out to fellow citizens. We would find out how many of them believe in equality.

      Until we do get people to join us (2) – and find some kind of majority favoring equality – we will continue to lose politically.

      **@Gregg: Please share Steve’s observations with Tim Gill.

      Jan 24, 2010 at 12:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @1EqualityUSA:

      Wiil they migrate away, yes, IMHO. Or rather, people will vote on other issues besides gay rights.

      IMHO, this is one of the reasons why the Dems were (to an extent) forceful in pushing Obama. Republicans can already peel off blacks on some issues (e.g. gay marriage, school vouchers) but blacks generally aren’t to the point where they will vote Republican because of the racism. But blacks do listen at times.

      Jan 24, 2010 at 3:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dontblamemeivotedforhillary
      dontblamemeivotedforhillary

      The Executive Branch is against Gay Equality!
      The Legislative Branch is against Gay Equality!
      The Judicial Branch is several votes short of Gay Equality!

      The only purpose for this President to serve a second term, long enough for several conservative Supreme Court judges to die of natural causes, is that we can lobby for a Judicial Replacement who adheres to the Constitution and Equality for All.

      We have until 2016!

      Jan 24, 2010 at 4:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MauraHennessey
      MauraHennessey

      We will get our rights ONLY WHEN we make it too costly and inconvienient for our opponents to continue to oppose us.

      That means radicalism, that means civil disobedience.

      And I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

      And screw the Dems…I will support only LGBT supportive candidates, and I don’t mean ones that claim to be fierce advocates while giving interviews that can be used as sound bytes for our opponents

      Jan 24, 2010 at 6:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh_Texas
      Josh_Texas

      @MauraHennessey: What? Yelling at people? Come on Maura, that hasn’t worked since the 70s. Welcome to 2010. We are MUCH smarter than yelling at people. Let our opposition keep yelling – we can do better.

      Jan 24, 2010 at 8:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh_Texas
      Josh_Texas

      @dontblamemeivotedforhillary: What about “the people?” Exactly what do they think?

      Jan 24, 2010 at 10:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rob Moore
      Rob Moore

      We have gotten exactly what we deserve. We have parades and festivals when we should be having protest marches. We have lunches with our “friends” in power when we should be barging into their offices. We go to brunch and twitter about who is doing whom, who some fucking celebrity is banging, when we should be focusing our energy on bring lawsuits to have churches’s tax exemptions lifted. We spend our money style instead of substance. If we are going to get our collective queer butts in gear and actually do something instead of paying someone to pretend to do it for us, we should stop all this bitching and complaining and accept our status and place in the heterosexual controlled world.

      Jan 25, 2010 at 12:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • QueerToday
      QueerToday

      @Chitown Kev: Join QueerToday. We’re slowly but surely building the Queer Nation of today.

      Jan 25, 2010 at 1:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lukas P.
      Lukas P.

      Let me be bold here. We have lobbyists, superduper activists and their publicists “acting” on “our behalf.” We have “macro” strategies that sound oh-so-lovely and occasionally work.

      In my admittedly ad hoc,grassroots experience, I have found that many people who wouldn’t otherwise donate time, trouble, money and brainpower to “big” causes WILL step up to the plate when asked to contribute to a specific cause. When/if they see results (e.g., a corporation extends health care benefits to same-sex couples, a university funds research into LGBT issues, a politician changes a position on same-sex marriage, etc.) they’re often willing to get involved on another issue.

      This doesn’t mean we should abandon bigger issues or national topics, but rather try to mobilize the otherwise jaded or disinterested folks for something tangible. Success on one front keeps those people fired up to take on other causes. Really.

      Too many of my friends and colleagues have just plain given up on Gay Inc, and do nothing because they think there’s nothing useful coming from our boycotts, marches, demonstrations and campaigns. When I & others succeed in getting them to do something specific that actually works out, they DO come back for more. Otherwise, they sit on the sidelines and overdose on Ugly Betty and Jersey Shore, waiting for someone else to do something. Getting yourself and your friends, family, co-workers fired up may not end gaybashing across the country, but it may mean that your state senator, your employer, your township, your local newspaper or your county college gets off the fucking fence and does something that matters to the lives and GLBTs who are trying to find work, put food on their table, adopt a child, get treatment for substance abuse, pay for college, get screened for STDs, avoid job discrimination, or keep gay-themed books from being taken off the shelves of the library.

      Get off the damn couch and get involved.
      Get your uncle and your neighbor involved. Do something.

      Rant over.
      Party’s just begun.

      Jan 25, 2010 at 2:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bruce in Tampa
      Bruce in Tampa

      @Mike: Uh, Urvashi Vaid has been gone from NGLTF for more than a decade. I say bring her back and we’ll see some better ideas and definitely some action.

      Jan 25, 2010 at 10:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh_Texas
      Josh_Texas

      @QueerToday: I checked out you website QueerToday. It’s all about PROTEST. Is that it? I don’t think protest works in our new world. Nobody cares who is upset or angry. I think it just works against us.

      It may have worked in the 1960s, but the world has changed. Why haven’t we? We need to get people to join us – marching around doesn’t do that.

      Jan 25, 2010 at 11:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh_Texas
      Josh_Texas

      @Lukas P.: I don’t think we’re going to have a real movement until we believe (are convinced) we can actually win. Everyone is frustrated and disappointed by Gay Inc. and article like this one. “Getting LGBT is Federal Jobs” doesn’t solve anything or lead to our equality.

      Jan 25, 2010 at 11:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lukas P.
      Lukas P.

      @Josh_Texas: I wasn’t talking about A movement, I was talking about getting humans into MOTION. As in, off the sofa, out of the reclining chair, and away from the barstool.

      The problem with letting full-time “professional” organizers and activists do all the heavy lifing is that they seem to spend more time raising money than actually doing something that matters in the day-to-day life of BTLGs. As long as we’re just sending the checks and asking Gay INC. for little to no accountability for tangible results, we’re living in a fairy tale village. We feel powerless, act powerless and yet are glad someone else is worrying about justice, peace, and equal rights.

      What sense does it make to invest in a business without seeing a well thought-out plan with concrete action steps. What are the deliverables?

      A “new” organization that relies on the same old business model will get the same old results. I’m no longer interested in attending a $250 dinner to hear about great plans and get my photo taken with someone who did a lot of press conferences but can’t articulate any gameplan or actual victories. Attending that dinner makes me feel like I’m contributing something, but the same couple hours convincing a “retirement village” director to allow same-sex couples to share a one bedrom suite might have been more productive.

      Jan 25, 2010 at 4:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      Gay presence in society seems to go through contractions and growth spurts. Sometimes we win. People are susceptible to the words, especially when the country’s in financial woe. This very young country tends to find it’s way through the mire.

      Jan 25, 2010 at 4:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh_Texas
      Josh_Texas

      @Lukas P.: I agree Lukas, but how do we organize that? I agree Gay Inc. is a waste of time and money. I don’t think that we can even imagine a political solution, either.

      Ultimately, WE need to convince our fellow citizens to join us. That’s what we must do. It’s one thing to say “do something,” it’s another thing to give US something to actually do.

      We don’t have a movement now – we need one. Even if is has to be defined as everyone moving. We need to define what and all move in the same direction. I don’t see any of that now.

      Jan 25, 2010 at 6:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tom N
      Tom N

      I think the more organizations out there fight for us, the better it would be, I don’t think its a waste of time.

      Jan 27, 2010 at 8:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh_Texas
      Josh_Texas

      @Tom N: Fighting? WHO is FIGHTING? Are you kidding me? Do you think HRC is fighting?

      This new group wants to make sure LGBT persons get Federal positions. 1. What good does that do? 2. Weren’t we already doing that? 3. How is that fighting?

      Jan 27, 2010 at 8:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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