Friday Forum: Who’s In Charge of the Gay Rights Movement?

It’s that time of the week, when Queerty takes a break from the opinion-making and puts you, the readers, in charge. Each Friday, we invite you to be the pundit on a hot-button question facing the LGBT community and its allies. As always, we expect people to be respectful and considerate of others by refraining from personal attacks. We present the information, you make the decision.

harvey-milk-001-450Plucked from a codeine-filled obscurity in the national consciousness, conservative radio shock jock Rush Limbaugh returned over the last two weeks to earn the title of the head of the Republican Party after newly-elected RNC Chairman Michael Steele was forced to apologize for calling him “an entertainer.”

All well and fun– and great news for Democrats, but the return of Rush really points to the power vacuum within the current Republican party. Rush may not be elected, but he is persuasive (to you know– a certain segment of the Republican Party) and in the battle for the soul of conservatism, Limbaugh’s winning out over moderates.

For us, this makes us think about the gay community and its own leadership. With just about everyone confessing that the No on 8 campaign was poorly run– and just about every gay organization having a hand in it in some way or another, we’ve seen in the past few months, angry gays and lesbians calling for new leadership– and some grassroots-based activists ready and willing to step up to the plate.

The situation’s only aggravated by the release of Milk, which showed us what a charismatic, persuasive and unrelenting LGBT rights leader looks like. In the battle for the soul of the LGBT rights movement, who’s in charge? Is it the Human Rights Campaign’s Joe Solomonese? What about the Courage Campaign’s Rick Jacobs or Amy Balliett of Join the Impact? Or, is it, like Rush, someone from the media? Is Michelangelo Signorile the voice of gay America? Certainly gay rights are won by no single person, but when we talk about “our gay leaders” who do we mean?

We put it to you: Who’s in charge of the gay rights movement?