October 17, 2009

So What SHOULD LGBT Strategy Be Going Forward

By any reasonable measure, last Sunday's National Equality March was a success. Now what? Waymon Hudson offered some thoughts at The Bilerico Project. Here's an excerpt:

I'm no pollyanna (well, maybe a little bit). I understand there will always be infighting in any movement. There will always be harsh, passionate debate, especially when it comes to things like basic rights.

What we need to accept is that that debate is okay. There is no one path to equality.

We need the protests in the street and anger from the grassroots to keep pressure on politicians (and our own major organizations) to keep moving forward, even when it isn't convenient or easy. But at the same time, we need politicians and leaders to enact that change- it's the reality of how of government is set up.

The same can be said of the state-by-state vs national strategy debate. I'll admit that as a Floridian, who has little or no hope of getting the rights other progressive states are currently pushing for, I get impatient. Which is why I tend to support national movement. Yet I know that without momentum from states winning victories in employment non-discrimination, relationship recognition, and other issues, national leaders won't have the political will (or courage) to make the change that will effect my home state.

There are legitimate complaints and risks about any strategy people pursue: limited community resources and attention, leaving people behind, setting up bad legal precedent with lost court cases, scaring moderates with sows of anger or frustration, or being too moderate and not moving fast enough. Even within strategies, like the stat-by-state movement, there are disagreements and problems- usually one state gets all the attention and money and others are left to fend for themselves in political cycles (like with California's Prop 8 overshadowing Florida, Arizona, and Arkansas).

That's why we need everyone to balance it out. We'll never get everyone to agree on a "LGBTQ strategy." We aren't a homogenous people. Our strength is our diversity. Let's use it.

Click here to read the rest of the essay.

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