January 6, 2011 | by Peter Rosenstein
After a year to remember, what’s next?

Looking back on 2010, one word sums it up nicely: Wow! It was a roller coaster of a year with enough political ups and downs to get the person with the heartiest stomach a little queasy.

Democrats began the year with an overwhelming majority in Congress but seemed unable to move forward on so many issues. Then, in the last few weeks of a lame duck session, after being handed what the president called a “shellacking” in the mid-term elections, they suddenly got it together. They repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” with a bill that became the first stand-alone civil rights bill for the LGBT community. We can thank sponsors Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), who was defeated in his bid for reelection, and Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). With the signing ceremony on the Wednesday before Christmas the congressional session ended on an incredibly high note for the LGBT community. As Shakespeare said, “All’s well that ends well.”

On so many issues during the year there were times many of us railed against President Obama and his staff and other days when we wanted to send a big kiss. There were days that even as a Democrat it was hard to imagine wanting to reelect Harry Reid and then at the end wondering why we supported Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

But with repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” passage of healthcare reform, the START treaty, financial reform and a number of other bills, the 111th Congress turned out to be the most productive since the New Deal.

Congress allowed the D.C. marriage equality law to stand and the courts ruled that marriage equality was legal with no referendum required. There is real confidence that the Supreme Court won’t even look at the issue.

As we begin 2011, my crystal ball reveals challenges ahead but based on this past year, no one can tell us where we will end up on Dec. 31, 2011. Who knows, maybe we can even have a signing ceremony for federal partner benefits and ENDA. We must never stop fighting or give up hope.

What we do know is that if we band together and are vigilant in protecting the rights we have, as we continue our fight for total equality for the LGBT community, there can be success. There are some out there that fear us, because they believe we threaten their way of life. It is our job to convince the majority of them that all we want is the right to live our lives in peace and dignity, with full equality, just as they do. If only there were some magic wand to wave maybe we could avoid all the sturm and drang that is sure to come.

In the District we will be prepared to defend marriage equality against a new Congress. But even they may have moved on to other fights. In New Hampshire we will need to stand tall with our brothers and sisters and defend it there. In California we await a court decision on Proposition 8 and know that whatever happens the case will most likely move to the Supreme Court.

Our new year’s resolution should be to stop bickering among ourselves. We will need each person and organization — HRC, Task Force, Log Cabin, Stonewall, GetEqual, SLDN and so many others and allies too numerous to mention — working together if we are to make progress on completing our quest for equality.

Our strength comes from being on the right side of history. Knowing and understanding history and our vision for a better future for the entire world will make us successful.

In 2011, I want President Obama and others to fully “evolve” and support marriage equality. More of us must come out and that includes members of Congress, past and present Cabinet members, and military leaders, including generals.

As we work on that we can make progress on passing an inclusive ENDA and repealing DOMA. Just let us take heart from the fact that no one could have predicted that the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would be in the form of a stand-alone civil rights bill.

Let us march hand-in-hand into 2011 looking to the better angels that I believe stand on the shoulders of every member of Congress and all Americans, and work to make sure that those angels’ voices are heard loud enough to drown out the bigotry and hate and allow us to make progress.

3 Comments
  • If you want to stop the “bickering amongst ourselves” we will need a STRATEGY.

    Our community does not and never has had a strategy to win. We have never figured out how to win, but the organizations you mentioned have figured out how to raise money. Millions.

    We will continue to reap the benefits of the cultural conversation (and not our own efforts) until we create a strategy. We shouldn’t support any of these organizations until they can tell us how and when we will achieve our full equality.

  • GetEqual wasted $1 million on ten publicity stunts and all we get is a two-minute video. I feel cheated.

    They didn’t change any minds or votes. They didn’t encourage people to support us. They didn’t generate participation. This band of circus-activists make more than $100,000 per year with travel expenses and health care. They got to spend the weekend in 7 different cities in 2010 and (according to Facebook) Miami was their favorite, but the “bars were the best in San Francisco.” I think they’re adding NYC to the travel list this year, so expect some good competition SF.

    Robin McGehee has been asked many time to provide the simple rationale for these stunts. How do they change any minds? The few Republicans that supported the repeal of DADT didn’t do so because a few played the fool – they did because the Military gave them permission.

    Acceptance of the LGBT Community is changing because the entire cultural conversation is changing, especially as younger voices (and beliefs) over rule tired ideas (and religious beliefs).

    In 2010 the “It Get’s Better” Campaign did a lot more to advance our cause than GetEqual. That (smart) effort cost less than $20,000. Robin spent $38,000 just on travel and hotels.

    Dan Choi and Robin McGehee want to be famous. Your support of their organization helps them achieve that – but, don’t think it’s about obtaining our full equality. Obtaining our full equality requires a strategy and a plan coupled with participation by our community. Get Equal has none of those things.

    I’ve watched them for a year now and I have to conclude they have as much as HRC – a nice logo.

    We should withhold financial support of ALL LGBT Advocacy and Activist groups until they provide us a cohesive strategy to win. It is clear the only strategies they have are to raise money – like a short video referring to potential donors as “Giants.” Clever, but still useless.

  • IMHO , and as the largest single Maryland contributor to fighting Prop Hate in CA, I ask is “marriage” the real short term goal.

    Or is an alternate goal more important. Breaking down the closet of shame and fear that keeps gay people from daring to tell who they are.

    The closet is the creation of christian / catholic churches to hide gay people from he rest of society. it is similar to the ghettoization of Jews by hitler. Which made the Jews into “them”, nameless and faceless, and so easy to demonize. And we know where that one led.

    If you break the closet down, people who know and respect you will of course discover you are gay. And the respect will result in them being inoculated against the insane hatred of some people – primarily the people described int he book by chris Hedges – “christian Fascists’. BTW, hedges is not some aethist, but has a Dr, of Divinity degree.

    And with the inoculation, the battle over marriage and equal rights will be won in the minds of all but the lunatic fringe.

    America is the epicenter of the gay rights movement in all but the Islamic and communist states of the former sov. union. Canad and argentina, Columbia, and Mexico have gay marriage. Equador, Urugay, and much of brazil havee CUs. Western europe -only italy and greece do not recognize gay unions, and half the countries and counting there have or are moving fo the big M word.

    Austria, hungary, and chech republic. – all Cus. israel, and RSAfrica marriage. NZ and AU Cus in some hodge podge fashion, but AU is prob M within a couple of years as the catholic church of endless hidden molestation is expsoed. Nepal – supreme ct says marriage, not sure about implementation.

    The point of all this is if America goes to Marriage equality for gay, its all over in the westernized world for the mechants of hatred.

© Copyright Brown, Naff, Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.
Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin