There has been much frustration in the LGBT community over the difficulty in passing LGBT civil rights legislation in Congress even with Democratic majorities in the House and Senate. That frustration is justified, but I think too often misdirected at our national advocacy organizations. The real problem as humorously laid out in this video from the Campaign for America's Future is the intentionally obstructionist tactics of the Republican Party.
The quote from Trent Lott at the end of the video about obstructionism as a political strategy to blame the Democratic majority for congressional gridlock is telling. The Republican Party doesn't want to see progress on LGBT or any other issues in Congress. They would rather see the Democratic Party fail than participate in solving the issues challenging our country. They have built a political platform on anti-government rhetoric even as they use the government to benefit the rich and the powerful.
This is not to say that our national organizations are perfect. They are not by any means. There is much more than can be done to build the raw political power similar to that wielded by the National Rifle Association that puts the fear of God into politicians. We are not presently in the position except in limited circumstances to vote out of office people that vote against our interests or to move enough votes to guarantee victory to candidates that unequivocally support fully equality for LGBT people.
Our allies in the Democratic Party are also at some fault for not being willing to expend the kind of political capital needed to force LGBT civil rights to the front of the congressional legislative agenda. We have given much money, time and energy to get Democrats elected to office. That support has so far gotten us only limited success.
We have much work ahead of us to build a stronger movement that engages the American people to help us achieve LGBT equality. It's not going to be done by our national organizations alone which in a lot of ways are dwarfed by the size of the anti-gay organizations. It's not going to be done simply by electing any candidates who come around saying that they are Democrats. Most importantly, it's not going to happen if the majority of LGBT people refuse to join the fight for their own civil rights.