October 5, 2010 | by Kevin Naff
Good luck holding Dems accountable

GetEQUAL today launched a campaign calling on LGBT people to donate money and volunteer time only when politicians show leadership on our issues.

Specifically, GetEQUAL is calling on President Obama to sign an executive order ending the discharges of gay and lesbian service members before Election Day. 

“A group of Americans can only be taken advantage of by politicians for so long before they no longer will stand by and allow broken promises to pile up without consequences,” said Robin McGehee, director of GetEQUAL.

It may sound like a simple, common sense campaign, but most gay people are so desperate to be welcomed and validated that they keep right on giving their money to politicians who never intend to earn it.

It’s a theme I have hammered on in vain for nearly eight years at the Blade: Stop supporting politicians – mostly Democrats – who promise us everything behind closed doors, then run for cover when elected, tossing LGBT constituents the barest of crumbs.

After two years of wide majorities in both houses and an allegedly supportive president, LGBT Americans have precious little to show for their overwhelming support of Democrats. No ENDA, no “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal, and certainly not a whisper about delivering on the president’s repeated campaign promises of repealing DOMA.

If the Democrats can’t manage a repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” an issue on which about 80 percent of Americans agree, then the strategy of aligning ourselves so exclusively with one political party has backfired with catastrophic results.   

The movement is largely a joke, with our representatives trading endorsements and platitudes for “access” and cocktail party invitations. What a waste of time and money.

Kudos to GetEQUAL for joining the call to stop giving to all those two-faced Democrats. Will anyone listen? I’m highly skeptical, but I wish them luck.

Kevin Naff is the editor and a co-owner of the Washington Blade, the nation’s oldest and most acclaimed LGBT news publication, founded in 1969.

9 Comments
  • The rest of the LGBT media has the sense to ignore the childish shenanigans of GetEQUAL, what’s your problem?

    It is becoming very clear that the in-your-face and immature publicity stunts of GetEQUAL have alienated us with other Democrats. At the recent “Progressive March” in Washington D.C. LGBT-issues and groups attending were shunned and even ignored. That is the result of GetEQUAL’s idiotic strategy of “embarrassing Democrats.

    The attention they seek now is simply to help them raise money. Giving them any attention hurts the LGBT community. Please consider that when publishing their silly “campaigns.” GetEQUAL is and has been counterproductive and the evidence is mounting that they have hurt the LGBT community.

  • AndrewW – Nothing else seems to be working. We have donated, supported OB’s campaign/administration, played nice with the dems. And got nothing. We even have 3,000 people on ADAP lists. Why play nice any more?

    • Then don’t Bill…you already a bitter indivdual who doesn’t like African Americans and you’re living in VA. So you should feel at home with the good Ol’ GOP/Tea Bagging crew.

      VOTE RED in Nov..It’s going to be hilarious!

      • Well – your reply is just bizarre. Where in my reply did you see anything like I don’t like African Americans? I can’t challenge Obama and that becomes race? And what is this about Virginia?

      • And it’s okay for you that over 3,000 people are on ADAP state lists? Guess if it was your ass on one of these you’d feel different.

    • We don’t have to play “nice,” we have to play “smart.” GetEQUAL isn’t smart. I think we should treat GetEQUAL the same way they want to treat democrats – we’ll give you money when you have some results. In their first year all they’ve done is wasted $1 million.

  • Kevin, you should know it requires 60 votes to pass something in the Senate — and very little passes. You can blame that on the Democrats who vote almost unanimously for us, or you can fantasize that the President as some magic way of stamping his foot REALLY hard and getting McCain/McConnell to submit, but he doesn’t. Yet we’ve gotten hate crimes, hospital visitation, and WILL get DA/DT repealed . . . even though Idaho and Mississippi (did you know this?) have as many senators as New York and California (blame the Democrats for that, too?). How can the solution be to give more power to our explicit opponents?

  • Great editorial!!!

  • It’s amusing to watch the partisan Democrats’ utter fury. The replies that prominent Democrats have issued to GetEqual and furious gay voters have largely been “shut up and get in the back of the bus NOW, faggots! We own you!”

    It’s clear that 20 years of absolute fealty to the Democratic Party got us nothing but DOMA and DADT (both Democratic Party initiatives). Further support of that party, given the complete lack of significant returns on our efforts, is a stupid idea.

    Perhaps two, four or six years as a struggling minority party in Washington will give the Democrats a taste of what happens when they don’t deliver. It’s not like things for us can get any worse (absurd rhetoric about “GOP death camps” to the contrary).

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