Here’s How the Future of Gay Rights Was Decided (Whether You Were Involved Or Not)

Gay Rights March

Did you get your invitation to decide whether you wanted the gay rights movement to march on Washington? No? Doesn’t matter! You’re still invited this fall to take to the National Mall in D.C. and demand your rights.

Amidst complains from grassroots LGBT organizers like Michael Petrelis that the “new” stab at calling for civil rights is eerily familiar to the failed No On Prop 8 effort — were top-down leadership and closed door meetings helped lead to the end of same-sex marriage in California — the Courage Campaign’s Rick Jacobs and Torie Osborn and activists including Cleve Jones (pictured, at the Utah Pride Festival yesterday ) and Corey Johnson are moving ahead with plans for an October march. Yes, these folks are the same ones who planned October 10-11 as their march date on the National Mall, despite the National Mall, um, already being booked by three other organizations (with attendance there already expected at 135,000).

So maybe we’ll see you in Washington sometime this fall? Indeed, go where you’re told! Adds a clearly enraged Petrelis: “We’ve had no open meetings with march organizers, they’ve announced no plans for such meetings, it’s been decided we’re going to DC, the date for it, the route of the parade, our single demand, and how the organizing committee will supposedly be structured. I guess the only thing left for me, and thousands of other LGBT persons, to do is to get our poor asses to DC in October and be ready to act as spear-carriers in the grand opera being planned by our elite leaders.”

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  • EgOiStE

    While I agree, these people should have had all their ducks in a row before saying they were gonna have a big To Do at the National Mall, as an intellectual anarchist, the very idea that a movement needs anyone’s blessing or consultation to be legitimate just rankles my nerves. WE THE PEOPLE are free to protest at any time. Fred Phelps knows this. You do NOT need Joe Solmonese’s permission to do anything. Just sayin.

    Did you see Milk. You know that movie where the gays immediately took to the streets? No set date. No consultation. No Mall.

  • Leslie

    Yeah, I saw MILK, the movie. I also lived Milk the history and the first March of Washington. We went to the streets behind one person who was a LEADER, who worked tirelessly for years to build an awareness, coalition and unity in the gay community and across neighborhoods to minorities and unions.

    We also had a grassroots network with imagination, spontaneity, sweat and guts.

    We didn’t have or need “instant messaging, cell phones, texting, chat, internet, blogs” or any of the other do nothing, talk is cheap, diversions.

    “Intellectual” anarchist? Thanks for sharing.

  • alan brickman

    they’re naturally hoping to make some back room deals for themselves…thats why they don’t want others who can help around….

  • Alex

    Yeah, I was just talking to an old black guy, and he was telling me all about the meeting where they voted for their March on Washington. MLK really had to work hard to convince them, what with all the opposition to…yeah, you get the point.

    @Leslie: I also saw Milk, and by the time he was leading those marches, he had only been out of the closet for 7-8 years. Cleve Jones has been involved in two or three generations of LGBT activism, fighting hard for are rights and also with important contacts in the labor community. David Mixner was deeply involved in Democratic politics, helping get Clinton elected, yet just as willing to get himself arrested outside the White House when, in his view, Clinton failed us on DADT. These are real leaders, and the unwillingness of some to get behind them now appears to be our primary obstacle. Every liberation movement was led intellectually by a group of elites, then embraced by the people. We have the leadership, now it’s time to get off our asses and do something.

  • InExile

    I do not care who is or is not involved or consulted here! WE

  • InExile

    @InExile: We need a march for equality now!

  • galefan2004

    If only I could get my poor ass there. We are in the middle of a recession. Half of us probably can’t even afford to pay our bills. However, I’m sure if we squeeze really tightly the money for a trip to Washington should just pop right out. I mean, its not like it would make more sense to have an effort nationwide when we can all just march on Washington. Sorry, I spend way to much time being a sarcastic bitch that I normally just can’t stop myself. Seriously though, I would much rather get involved on a local level than a national one, especially when it seems like the gay rights issue is headed that way in legislation. Ohio is right now considering HB 176 which will end discrimination in Ohio. Every decision on gay marriage has been on the state level except DOMA. The only other gay rights issue that has been decided at the national level resulted in DADT, and we still want to push this on a national level. I think the organizers need to get their heads out of the sand and realize that the national government has decided that gay rights is a STATE issue (much how our founding fathers decided that any right not inherently mentioned in the constitution was a state issue when they wrote the thing).

  • Mark C.


  • youcanthandlethetruth

    You homosexuals have never really sold the American people on your allegedly oppressed status.

    They see you living your lives, buying houses, getting senior-level jobs, voting and enjoying free speech just like normal people.

    They realise you enjoy “protected class” legal status, something most of them are denied.

    Holding a gay picnic on DC won’t do a single thing to change your already spoiled brat image.

  • Montco

    Obama has been asking the “gay leadership” not to march or protest. It’s not surprising that some in the community are caving to the political pressure. Obama really hates to look bad and this is going to be a big, big embarassment for him.

    Of course, if you’re comfortable with DADT, DOMA, and a country where civil rights are being denied, stay home. Obama will thank you for it.

    I think it’s sad when the gay community is more concerned about who’s driving the bus than it is in where we’re going. I’ll ride on anyone’s bus if they make progress on civil rights.

  • Brian

    @Montco: Are you kidding? Nobody is going. Obama and other elected officials don’t care about homos marching – in fact, nobody cares. It doesn’t help and it doesn’t work. Spend your time and money in your neighborhood and City.

    When we have something to celebrate, perhaps a Parade would be in order – but not this “charade” by Cleve Jones.

    What happened to the money Cleve?

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