Friday, January 25, 2008

Blood, Guts and No Al Gore

We’re killing ourselves.

The LGBT leadership in this country is being thrown to the wolves, throwing each other to the wolves… And then complain to the national media that we are not getting enough recognition of our issues in the presidential campaign. The AP ran a story today, “Some Gays Frustrated with 2008 Presidential Campaign.” In the story, several leaders in the community said they were “ disappointed that the three leading contenders rarely mention gay-rights topics unless responding to a question.”

I have to say, I find that a little stunning to read, considering the LOGO Presidential forum last August, not only did the candidates participate in an LGBT forum, it was the first time in commercial television history it happened.

I know it happened in 2004 on CSPAN but I’m not sure many people outside the beltway actually watch CSPAN.

And each were asked about not only gay marriage, gay equality issues- they were asked about transgender issues, too.

I appreciate Susan Ryan-Vollmar, the former editor of Bay Windows, frustration. "They've merely settled on what the Democrats have staked out as a safe, consensus position, just far enough ahead of where the party was in 2004 to give a sense of progress but not so far as to threaten Middle America," Ryan-Vollmar wrote. "That's not leadership, it's poll-tested and party-approved pandering, pure and simple."

But unlike Ryan-Vollmer, I have to wonder how much of it is from our own lack of leadership.

We’ve been busy accusing, backstabbing, and ruining the reputations of our leaders. “A gay man’s lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee has revealed allegations of bitter, behind-the-scenes disputes that appear to pit black DNC officials against gays.”

Great. Like two underrepresented minorities need to be going at it?

And the Human Rights Campaign- like them or not, they are the largest LGBT group on Capitol Hill- has been continually hammered for it’s stance on ENDA.

I hated their stance. I’ve written about it. I complained loudly.

While I’m personally going to continue to push for an inclusive ENDA and HRC’s leadership around it. I am also aware it’s not the only issue HRC is involved with. It’s time to stop the infighting and win an election.

And have strong voices. I will say this for Mr. Solomonese- it was not an easy chorus to disagree with. Hate him or love him, you have to respect the fortitude.

The worst part of the current accusations flying back and forth around the DNC, and the leadership and the gay staff is the lack of cohesion at a time when we are desperate to win an election. Not to mention if you are on Capitol Hill, whom do you look to for leadership from the gay community?

You wait until the dust clears and see who’s standing.

I guess that would be Al Gore. Straight guy comes out for gay marriage equality. No one attacks him, celebration ensues.

I don’t know all the facts about the suit against the DNC. That is for a court of law to decide. In the meantime… I want to win the White House.

If we want to hear our issues be brought to the table? We better stop killing each other.

As the AP article noted, “Few constituencies are as eager for the Republican Party to falter this political season as gay-rights activists.”

I’m not asking for us all to get along all the time, but how about for the next 9 months? We need to remain focused. We have a mission.

The White House.

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Blogger Sue J said...

I'm disappointed that Gore's statement on gay marriage didn't get any press beyond the blogosphere. I'm not quite sure why he came out with this right now, and did it so quietly.

We have a bill in the state legislature in Maryland right now on gay marriage, and this kind of endorsement would be great -- but few people here know anything about it. You are right about the lack of leadership -- why didn't they jump on this opportunity to publicize Gore's remarks?

10:10 AM  

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