Gay rights groups continue to miss the real enemy
I'm going to say something that will probably get some people angry. All of this anger against the Democrats and the Obama Administration, while appropriate and on some levels very useful, also underlines just how much off the mark the lgbt community is. The point came to my mind when I read the following piece about GetEqual, the direct action group getting a lot of attention:
GetEqual has a real problem with the Democrats who have introduced (and often passed in the House) these bills for gay rights but they never go after the Republicans who kill these bills in the Senate. In fact, they don’t even go after the few Democrats who helped to kill these bills. They would rather blame Obama… over and over and over again. The video they released features Obama, Barney Frank, and the HRC and outwardly blames them for the failure of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to be repealed… But Barney Frank is a member of the House – which did in fact repeal DADT. DADT was blocked from coming to a vote in the Senate. Two Democrats from Arkansas helped Republicans to block it… But Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor are missing from GetEqual’s video. One must really contemplate who GetEqual is really working for.The piece was criticizing videos made by GetEqual attacking HRC, Obama, and Barney Frank for supposedly breaking promises they made to the lgbt community. Now I don't agree with everything in that piece. I totally resented the negative comments said about blogging buddy and mentor, Pam Spaulding. However, the piece got me thinking. Earlier this year when Family Research Council spokesman Peter Sprigg commented on Hardball that he wants "homosexual behavior to be outlawed," where were we? Or how about when he said he wanted us exported out of the United States? And don't get me started on the many, many, many anti-gay comments of Bryan Fischer. Other than People for the American Way's statements, there has been no push back against Fischer or the American Family Association, his employer. At least not by the lgbt community. In fact, when folks like Fischer, Sprigg, etc. say the things they say about us, where is our anger? Where are the vigorous statements from the Human Rights Campaign or those who consume themselves with labeling HRC as "Gay, Inc.?" But yet some of us can heckle President Obama at a speech. And some of us can write pointlessly nasty comments on places like Facebook. I think sometimes we are aiming our fire at the wrong targets. Groups like the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, etc hold a lot of power and I think it's because we haven't challenged them like we should. These are the groups that have for over 30 years: relied on the discredited work of Paul Cameron to smear the lgbt community, truncated legitimate science to make us sound like the "diseased other" in American society, took unfair possession of the word "family" in an attempt to exclude us, and exploited religious beliefs and fears to get away with all of this. So while we raise holy hell with our allies for not doing what they are supposed to do, the question remains are we guilty of the same dereliction of duty? Don't get me wrong. No group has ever gained equality without exerting pressure on its allies, i.e. those who hold the keys to this equality. But at the same time, one has to ask why is the lgbt community leaving organizations like the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for American, Focus on the Family, etc. free and untouched to continue their mischief ? This isn't a matter of changing minds. It's a matter of drawing attention to what these organizations have been doing under the guise of "family values." You see, when people turn on their televisions and see these religious right spokespeople being quoted on news programs, they aren't aware of the levels of inaccuracy they have stooped in order to form their anti-gay talking points. And they will never know unless the lgbt community call out these organizations with as much vigor as we voice our displeasure with Congress and President Obama. In the long run, no matter how slow and sloppy they move, the Democrats aren't our enemy and neither is President Obama. It's those organizations who exploit religious beliefs through lies, distortions, and junk science. And as far as I know, we have YET to come up with a plan to put them on the defensive or to make them explain their behavior. Until the lgbt community makes a concerted effort with combating religious right groups who filter lies against us, we will get nowhere, no way, no how. Not even if Jesus Christ were elected President.