The National Equality March is coming! The National Equality March is coming! And self-appointed leader Cleve Jones says he and his cohorts have raised $150,000 for the event, which is quite a bit of money! Jones even says he has the support of national gay rights groups, like the Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force. This would be significant — if it were true.
Jones has spent plenty of energy fending off critics who call October’s NEM a waste of time and, particularly, money. “There’s this notion among some people that there is a finite amount of money and a finite number of volunteer hours and a finite number of people that are available at any given time,” he tells the Southern Voice. “The purpose of a movement is to grow. A movement that does not grow dies. We must constantly work to expand that base of support.”
So does that base of support include Gay Inc. orgs like HRC and NGLTF? Supposedly!
While the heads of some local groups are voicing objections, Jones said national LGBT organizations have been “very helpful” in putting together the march. He said he’s expecting soon a joint statement from national groups, including the Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force.
Except if HRC is a part of things, they’re not saying.
Trevor Thomas, an HRC spokesperson, declined Monday to comment on the matter.
And if NGLTF is involved, well, this is news to them!
Inga Sarda-Sorensen, a Task Force spokesperson, said her organization had no plans to release a joint statement on the march and was unclear as to what Cleve was referring.
This isn’t to say HRC and NGLTF won’t end up support the march. But HRC, for one, is busy with its own travels. That, and a previous statement from HRC seemed to conveniently shrug off any notion it would back NEM. And NGLTF was basically a no: “National marches can certainly have a community-building impact when energized participants return to their hometowns and get involved, but in an economic downturn — when resources are extremely limited for individuals and organizations, and critical work remains to be done locally — focusing on grassroots organizing at home is all the more critical.”
UPDATE: Turns out HRC will back the march.