December 29, 2007

A Wish for More Effective Activism in 2008

This column from the Washington Blade states the view that GLBT activists need to work both smarter and harder in 2008 to move further down the road to equality.
The GLBT community should be proud of what we accomplished in 2007. But
there is definitely a feeling of frustration that we couldn’t do more. We passed
hate crimes in both houses of Congress and a version of ENDA in one, but didn’t
get all that we wanted.

We have commitments from all the Democratic candidates to work for equal
federal benefits for state-approved civil unions, to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
and to finally sign inclusive hate crimes and ENDA legislation if we can get
them through Congress.

I choose to see this as the glass half full; others see it as half empty.
We have seen the frustration produce a rift in our community that needs to heal.
We must work together if we are to move forward and accomplish what we all agree
is the goal, full human and civil rights.

To do this, the community must demand that our National Organizations stop
trying to compete with each other and work together. I think we may actually
need a new organization, a real grass-roots one that can lobby effectively on
all issues and support our national organizations with the ability to reach the
GLBT community, without regard to any one issue. We need to target our outreach
and lobbying efforts to communities and legislators who don’t yet support us
rather than fighting with those who do.

There is no one organization that speaks for our entire community and
probably no one organization ever will. It is time to clarify what it is that
each of the organizations does best.

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