Monday, October 25, 2010

Gay, Inc.- Wanna Preserve Your Jobs And Pass TBLG Rights? Simple Tips For Doing So

The one thing I hear from GL people far too often is that they respect the history of the African-American civil rights movement.    They may respect the history of that movement, but they haven't studied it enough to avoid making some fundamental mistakes they repeatedly make in their own.

One of those is an overriding belief in the power of direct action as the main avenue for creating positive social change when it is really just a weapon in your civil rights toolbox.

Another mistake is believing that because a large civil rights organization exists, it acts as an impediment to civil rights work instead of a force multiplying partner.   That may be the perception about HRC and NCTE fueling discontent toward them, but it is not applicable to organizations such as AARP and the NRA.

There is the growing perception in the rest of TBLG America that Gay Inc ogs are only concerned with fighting just hard enough to give the illusion that they are doing something for LGBT rights, but not passing the laws we need to really make a dent in the ills that impact BTLG America.

I basically want to address that perception.   Proponents of  this view it point to EGALE in Canada as their favorite Exhibit A of the paradigm.

After achieving GL advances in Canada including same gender marriage in 2003 and coverage in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it has basically not involved itself in fighting for Canadian trans rights issues such as passage of Bill C-389 and fighting to keep SRS and trans medical care  from being delisted from the Canadian healthcare system.  

The proponents of this cynically pessimistic view assert that  HRC and NCTE, for example don't want to go all out to pass DADT and DOMA repeal, ENDA, or the SNDA because enacting the major centerpieces of TBLG advocacy into law will put them out of their high salaried jobs.   

If they actually studied the history of the African-American civil rights movement, they would discover that is not the case.
 The NAACP and other civil rights era organizations accomplished many of its primary legislative goals in the 60's, and is still here because if you accomplish your legislative agenda, there will always be pushback from the Forces of Intolerance attempting to eliminate or roll back what you fought tooth and nail to pass and what they fought hard to oppose. 

If we assume the most cynical critics of Gay, Inc are right and they are sandbagging it, the thing EGALE and other corporate orgs could do to save their jobs and refill their sagging donation coffers is shift into an unrelenting and aggressive broad based effort to pass the legislative crown jewels, then prep for a multidecade long defense of those hard won BTLG legislative victories. 

The Gay, Inc orgs must grasp the reality that the old way of doing 'bidness' won't work.. Vigorous defense of your hard won civil rights will keep them in business along with a sustained aggressive campaign to attain them.  It's also critical to note that the GLBT laws they fight for mist be broad based, fair and inclusive as well.

The cynics in the LGTIB community must make it crystal clear that donations to the Gay Inc orgs and support will be predicated on coming up with a smart political strategy for achieving our legislative goals,  fighting tooth and nail to enact it, having fiscal and ethical transparency, results based progress towards those legislative goals, and building an NRA like presence inside and outside the Beltway.

Like the National Rifle Association, we should have long ago had an org or orgs that relentlessly pushes our agenda, punishes our enemies and makes wavering friends vote with us because they fear the swift and sure electoral primary challenge that will come in the next election cycle it they don't. 

So Gay, Inc, the choice is yours.  If you want to keep those cushy jobs, you better get busy building an NRA clone that aggressively advocates for our issues, passes legislation we like and kills legislation we don't like.

Or you can keep holding those expensive $200 a plate dinners, high end cocktail parties and spending donated money on first class airfare jetting across the country while someone else builds a lean mean GLBT rights acquiring machine that makes you irrelevant.

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