We always knew there were fractions and rifts between gay rights groups. Why do you think the Log Cabin Republicans split into a second group? Or why Equality California and the Courage Campaign only sometimes see at eye-level? Except never have we seen such arguing between two camps explode like it did last night at a Cedar Springs, Texas, rally over Maine’s marriage defeat. In one corner, Queer LiberAction; in the other, the National Equality March. Welcome to the new era of gay rights, where we just bitch at each other!
Queer LiberAction’s Blake Wilkinson (the younger gent in the orange shirt) and Rick Vanderslice (in the glasses), who staged an Obama protest outside the HRC dinner in D.C. on the weekend of the National Equality March, encountered NEM’s executive committee member Mark Reed (in the black shirt, with writing on the front) and his partner Dante Walkup in an episode recorded by Laura McFerrin and relayed by The Dallas Voice‘s John Wright.
And they had some words!
Namely, because Reed had offered a dozen airline vouchers so various LGBTs so they could fly to D.C. to be at the march. He even offered Wilkinson a ticket, only to rescind the offer when Wilkinson and Queer LiberAction began criticizing the NEM. It’s a debate about power, money, and who gets to claim the term “activist,” boiled down to this comment from Vanderslice to Reed: “You’re amazing, masquerading as a gay rights leader.”
If you believe the script, Reed is a “piece of shit” and “slimy motherfucker” who tried to “buy his way into activism,” while Wilkinson is “a fucking liar.”