Interesting post by Joe Sudbay at Americablog. He says that the LGBT movement is underachieving because we are not feared – like the National Rifle Association (NRA). Of course, we will never be as powerful as the NRA because there are more homes with guns than gays. This is common sense. But his larger point is well taken:
The conversation stops (with members of Congress) because people in these DC offices don’t fear us. They fear the other side. And, although candidates often want our support (mostly money), they won’t take the votes necessary to give us our rights. The Victory Fund’s Chuck Wolfe’s solution is: “Our job as advocates is to come together to find a solution, address the fear and create the conditions to win.”
We do need to create the conditions to win. And, we’re not going to get there by playing nice. For one thing, our advocates need to call out “political homophobia” when they see it. And, we need to make politicians fear us, not our opponents. Elected officials and candidates view the gay community as an ATM. And, too many in our community are happy just to get invited. That hasn’t gotten us our equality. Not even close.
Joe is right. Our job as advocates is to win equal rights under the law. It is not to make friends with powerful people for the sake of having a nice Rolodex — or later getting a plum lobby job where one can buy a pretty Rolex.
As they say, if you want love in Washington, DC buy a dog. Before we are revered in the halls of Congress, we must first be feared.