There probably won’t be many White House fence handcuffings in the near future for GetEQUAL creators Robin McGehee or Kip Williams, who formed the group this time last year after the National Equality March: The pair have announced they are returning to the real world now that their “generous seed funding” has run dry: “Launching this exciting shift in our structure is accompanied by a shift for me,” writes McGehee in a statement. “I made a decision one year ago to put my career as a tenure-track college professor on hold in order to work with GetEQUAL full-time — intending to get things up and running, and then to step back a bit in order for other organizers to step forward. That work has been the opportunity of a lifetime and, though I am returning to the classroom, I will remain at GetEQUAL as Director. This shift is only possible because of the success we have seen in building up a community of folks — including you — who are unwilling to sit on the sidelines while others deal away our equality in the confines of Washington, DC. While I am returning to the classroom, I am also keeping my feet firmly planted at GetEQUAL and will be encouraging all the talented organizers working with us now to take a more active role in GetEQUAL’s work. GetEQUAL’s co-founder, Kip Williams, will also be shifting a bit — while he will continue organizing with us, he has succumbed to the siren call of graduate school and we’re proud that he will be making academia just a bit more radical. :-)” So what does all this mean, besides leaving Nancy Pelosi alone and more freely flowing traffic? That Jonathan Lewis, the Progressive Insurance heir who bankrolled the operation, is trimming down his cash infusions, though “three full-time regional field directors and a managing director” will stay on. Maybe they’ll start poking at that ENDA thing?
GetEqual never got any real participation – most were paid to attend their “actions.” People didn’t want to contribute either.
The failure of this organization is directly related to their self-importance and their failed strategy of “embarrassing, humiliating or irritating people into submission.” It is a childish and stupid strategy. None of their circus-activism changed any minds or any votes. They simply made the LGBT community look pathetic.
Unfortunately they wasted $1 million on their stupid publicity stunts. That money could have been better spent at many authentic organizations.
Michael@LeonardMatlovich.com is GetEqual’s biggest fan.
I rest my case.
I wish Robin and Kip well, but GetEqual was a huge waste of time and energy. Maybe they’ll grow up now.
And GetEqual is finally out of money. Great.
The lesson of GetEqual’s failure is that we must recognize this is 2011 – not 1960. The world has changed and no matter how much we want to pretend that it’s still 1964 – it isn’t.
Our methods, activists, organizations and advocates need to grow up. Our primary responsibility is to educate, enlighten and enroll people to support our full equality.
Marching around making demands doesn’t accomplish that. Paying self-described “activists” $100,000 a year (plus travel expenses) doesn’t, either.
More than half of America supports our full equality. It is our job to increase that to a sizable majority or two-thirds. We do that by being SMARTER, not just LOUDER.
@David John Fleck: Soon, David.
The failure of GetEqual is good news for our community. Accountability works. It is important that WE determine how effective a tactic, method or strategy is and demonstrate that with support – time or money.
DADR Repeal passed because a few Republicans got “permission” from the Military. It has nothing to do with childish publicity stunts or protest. The compromise deal did exactly what it was supposed to do – garner 4-6 votes. HRC did that and as much as I think they are useless, they got this one right.
Much will happen in the next three years despite the fact that most advocates and activists think we can’t accomplish anything under Republican rule. It’s the “people” we need, not politicians. Our community is finally understanding that reality.
I appreciate your comment.
Oh, I get it – you’re Bil Browning from Bil’s House Blend. You’re mad that your favorite group failed. Maybe Bilerico is next.
I’m glad GetEqual has failed. I wish it was sooner. Maybe we can restart our movement now. In my response I told you how HRC persuaded a few Republicans to help repeal DADT. It’s simple math.
I know your Blog is failing Bil, but if you have any valuable ideas, email me and we’ll see if we can get you some help.
1. First, it’s much more than what you have referenced, but I think by the Spring we’ll know about launch dates. I believe the necessary shift in thinking by our community has begun. We have begun to embrace accountability and i think we’re finally getting over “old tactics.” I think the Movement, as stale as it is, has begun to wake up and recognize we need a cohesive strategy to win. We are no longer going to fund ineffective organizations. We want or “demand” (nods to Robin) a real, viable strategy.
2. Of course the offer still stands. If you have a way to WIN our full equality, email me. Achieving our full equality is worth much more than $100 million. I do not believe that ANY current organization (from HRC to the now defunct GetEqual) has any incentive to actually win. They exist to raise money and continue their jobs.
@David John Fleck: No, David, GetEqual is over. The three “regional directors” is just a last gasp. Jonathan Lewis isn’t very bright for giving GetEqual money in the first place. Recently, he admitted the failure and acknowledged that Robin and Kip weren’t worth $90,000 a year.
Having community meetings to “decide who to put pressure” on is silly. We CANNOT out pressure on ANYONE. That’s is childish.
Instead we should be encouraging people to join us and stand for our full equality.
Be honest – GetEqual didn’t put pressure on anyone. They just got some attention for “complaining.” That doesn’t change any minds or votes – it just irritates people.
Please don’t suggest that GetEqual will continue. It’s like NEM and JoinTheImpact – nobody wants to march in the streets and make silly “demands.” They want results. GetEqual didn’t have any and they were dismissed. I don’t care if Lewis is dumb enough to waste another $100,000 – it’s over. Way over.
Looking forward . . .