Karen Ocamb

Tyler is 'Divorcing' the 'Abusive' Democratic Party

Filed By Karen Ocamb | June 17, 2009 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics, Politics
Tags: API Equality, California Faith for Equality, Democratic Party, EqCa, Equality California, Jordan Rustin Coalition, LGBT politics, Marc Solomon, marriage equality, President Obama, Prop 8, Rabbi Denise Eger, Republicans, Robin Tyler

Lost amidst all the whoopla over President Obama's memorandum about limited benefits to same sex partners of federal employees 3635490005_ce6355fde8_m.jpgwas the historic anniversary of the legal marriages in California.

Equality California and California Faith for Equality co-sponsored a community celebration in West Hollywood that included several of the same sex couples who were married in the Los Angeles area. It is estimated that roughly 18, 000 same sex couples were married before the passage of Prop 8. There are plans for other celebrations today throughout the state.

But as historic as the celebration was - Robin Tyler moved the needle by expressing outrage over how the presumably LGBT-friendly Democratic Party has been MIA around LGBT equal rights. Tyler announced that she is "divorcing the Democratic Party."

Tyler told me:

"The LGBT community is like a battered wife. We constantly get beaten, degraded and raped by the Democratic Party. Then, once every two years - when they need us - they promise us everything and treat us like human beings. So we mutter the mantra - 'but if we don't support them, the Republicans will get in because of us.'

If we stop supporting the Democratic Party, the Republicans will get in because of the Democratic Party and their abusive relationship with us.

So - when are we going to stop being the victims of the Democratic Party, step out and act not just like survivors but begin to really fight back? All the marches [on Washington DC] in the world and all the protests will not count - until we are able to let go and step out.

This is the advice given to people who are in an abusive relationship. This is what we must do. Or the echo of our crying and our pain and our rage will only be heard by us - until we have the courage and the wisdom to Divorce the Democrats in the next national election."

The next national election is in 2010 when Democrats hope to win a greater majority in both the House and the Senate, as well as win gubernatorial elections - including in California.

There may well also be an initiative on the 2010 ballot to repeal Prop 8 - in which case - if one would follow Tyler's suggestion - LGBTs would show up to vote on the ballot measure but would ignore the Democratic slate - or possibly vote for a "supportive" Independent or Republican to "send a message."

Prop 8 hovered over the WeHo anniversary celebration like a pall.

After EQCA Marriage Director Marc Solomon described the anniversary as "historic" and Rabbi Denise Eger offered an opening prayer, Tyler and Olson spoke as did Jordan/Rustin coalition had Ron Buckmire and his husband Dean Elzinga, Bridgett Gonzalez and Elena Popp, Frank Reifsnyder and Jim Smith- Reifsnyder (holding their kids) and Bill Walker, who read a moving letter from his daughter about how Prop 8 effected her life.

California Faith for Equality's Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kwong also told how the faith community will take the lead in winning back equality for same sex couples in California.

A similar celebration was held in San Francisco.

Here's the agenda for today:

Fresno: 6 PM Historic Water Tower in Downtown Fresno - 2444 Fresno St.

Inland Empire: 6:30 p.m. Redlands UCC Church - 168 Bellevue Ave.

Orange County: 6 p.m. Fairview Community Church, Costa Mesa - 2525 Fairview Rd.

San Diego: 5:30 p.m. Mission Hills United Church of Christ - 4070 Jackdaw St.

Sacramento: 6 p.m. Sacramento County Clerk's Office - 600 8th St.

For more information, please visit: www.eqca.org/anniversary

Event sponsors include, Equality California, California Faith for Equality, Marriage Equality USA, Jordan Rustin Coalition, API Equality - LA, Equality Inland Empire, Redlands United Church of Christ's Christians for Marriage Equality, Orange County Equality Coalition, Equality Action NOW, PFLAG, Courage Campaign- Fresno Equality Team, Yes! on Equality, and Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry, Spousesforlifeproject.com.


Recent Entries Filed under Politics:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.


Yep. I've been saying this on PHB & Facebook:

Us: "Stop abusing me"
Obama (or Dems): "Where's my dinner?"

"Rape". I don't think I've ever even heard anyone describing what the Republicans do in those terms before.

After eight years of George Bush, I may not cast a vote for a Democrat, but I certainly won't be voting for any Republican under any circumstances, ever. I first registered to vote in 1982 and I have never in my life voted for a Republican. In addition to Democrats I have voted for Green Party members, Independents, and Democratic Socialists. Asking me to vote Republican is a bit too much. Simply put, that will never happen. I feel like the Dems have abandoned glbtq folks. But I am still much happier being 5 months into an Obama Administration than I would be if we were five months into a McCain Palin administration. I am gay and I am an Army veteran. But I am also concerned about issues of poverty, health care, the economy, and the massive messes in Iraq and Afghanistan. "Supportive Republican" is an oxymoron. You must have been joking.

LOL! Yes, perhaps the "to send a message" part got a little lost in some folks choking on the very thought of voting for a Republican.

However, as a reporter I can tell you there are actually a number of "supportive" Republicans - supportive on our issues - though they may have different views about such other serious issues as poverty or how to fix the healthcare system or wage wars, etc.

I think the point is for the LGBT community to consider taking a page from how the Evangelicals dealt with the Republican Party. Either threaten to stay home - or actually stay home and sit out an election - no money, no votes, no volunteers - just to get their attention and underscore that the LGBT community is tired of waiting for them to grow a spine.

Something like that.

Karen, I see what you are saying. I am, however, more than a gay man (and an Army veteran). I am also liberal and progressive to the roots of my hair and soles of my feet. I am so left leaning I make Abbie Hoffman look like a moderate. Growing up gay in the rural American South really radicalized me. I wish we could destroy the two-party hegemony in the USA. We need smaller parties which have to work by concensus (or face loss of majority power). In Bulgaria, we have smaller parties which form the majority ruling power in government (the current coalition includes Socialists, Greens, Liberal Dems, Communists, Social Humanists, etc.). If one of those parties bails out on the coalition, the ruling coalition would lose powers of majority. So this is a powerful wedge to insure majority rights. Just say we have an American Progressive Party apart from the Dems. If the Dems in the USA faced a walkout of a portion of their ruling coalition and stood to lose control of Congress they might think twice about throwing gays under the bus. These are just ideas I am spouting, but I think the two party system has to go. Smaller parties being forced to work by concensus would insure minority rights in the USA.

Karen and others,
Sitting at home isn't an option either. In Texas the Black community was dissatisfied with some things that occurred with the national Dems and many sat out the 1994 election.

The result was we got George W. Bush as our governor in Texas and allowed the GOP to get control of Congress.

Sitting out an election cycle or leaving for a party that isn't on the ballot in all 50 states may be a option for white GLBT peeps, but is political suicide for GLBT for peeps of color.

Your best option is to put a scare into the peeps you're dissatisfied with by running a candidate in the primary and try to knock them off.

And I stopped listening to Robin Tyler the day she came out in 2007 supporting the excising of transpeople out of ENDA.

Monica,
About half of the LGBT community supported excising the T out of ENDA.

It was wrong, and people have learned since.

Robin Tyler is a committed activist and worth listening to, whether you agree or not is up to you, but do not reject her out of hand simply because of a position that she took that in the end was naught but a forensics exercise anyways on a bill that could never have passed.

Very Respectfully;
Maureen

I cannot vote for a Republican. But, I will
definitely sit out the mid-term election
unless it is voting for a proposition, or pro
gay ammendment, or against an anti-lgbt amendment. I am just walking out of an abusive relationship. This is what Martin Luther
King did to President Johnson. It was not the
national march that caused Johnson to sign the civil rights bill. It was the
threat, and they planned to carry it out, of
not supporting the National Democratic Party.
Our commmunity should also not send the National Party any money. Any money people in our community were going to donate to the National Democratic party, should be donated
to legal organizations such as NCLR, LAMBDA, GLAAD, or AIDS organizations whose funding has
been cut back. (we can choose any local, regional, or national organization (excluding the
huge LGBT ones who raise money from us but have delivered nothing.) We are not sitting at the Democratic table. We are sitting under it, while
they brush off crumbs. And they have been doing
this to us, since the 1970's.
Robin Tyler

No, Robin, we have been crouching deferentially next to the table, begging from crumbs of liberty from the same people whose jackboots are firmly affixed to our throats.

Monica Roberts and others repeat the American mantra: politics equals elections, voting. Please take a look at what really drives change in the US: folks organizing for their own liberation through direct action. This is what won rights for women, African Americans, labor.

Martin Luther King didn't go to Wasington to plead with politicians who he knew didn't have the will to introduce civil rights legislation. No, he and (gay man) Bayard Rustin and others organized masses of people to go to Washington to demand that the politicians act. And King's demonstrated acts of civil disobedience lent additional credibility to his presence.

Get some self-respect. Organize. Screw the Democrats.

Monica Roberts and others repeat the American mantra: politics equals elections, voting. Please take a look at what really drives change in the US: folks organizing for their own liberation through direct action. This is what won rights for women, African Americans, labor.

Martin Luther King didn't go to Wasington to plead with politicians who he knew didn't have the will to introduce civil rights legislation. No, he and (gay man) Bayard Rustin and others organized masses of people to go to Washington to demand that the politicians act. And King's demonstrated acts of civil disobedience lent additional credibility to his presence.

Get some self-respect. Organize. Screw the Democrats.

Dead on! This and many other reasons is why I left the Dems back in 2000 in favor of a party that, rather than "tolerating" or even "accepting" LGBT citizens, actually embraces the diversity we bring to the table: the Green Party of the United States. Check out their platform at gp.org to see that they include Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in their national platform, and for a position statement issued in 2005 supporting same-sex marriage. I don't see the Dems doing anything remotely similar during Obama's current term.

Bob Schwartz,
Since you seem to know so much about my people's history, care to explain the Voting Right Acts of 1964 and 1965?

Politicians are motivated in the end, by votes.

How many Marches on Washington have occurred since 1963, and how many have the gay community had?

Marches and direct action are only one tool in the civil rights toolbox, but the most important one is the ballot.

To continue my point, if voting wasn't so important, why has the Republican Party spent billions on the Southern Strategy, hackable electronic voting machines, and countless hours conjuring up voter suppression tactics?

We had peeps in my community who DIED to have the ballot, so I don't that that lightly. And if Bob Schawrtz knew as much about my history as he purports to, he'd know why as an African-American I see voting differently that a white person would.

As to Scott, good luck with the Green party. Y'all are the reason we got stuck with George W Bush in the first place in 2000.

So what was the Green Party share of the vote last year?

This isn't Canada. We only have two major parties with the others in a perpetual battle to get to major party status.

Lets see, wasn't the Reform Party supposed to be challenging the Big Two by now?

Wonder what happened to them?

The Green Party platform is nice, but until the Green Party can show me where they've lined up with my political interests as an African descended transperson AND consistently elect congressmembers, governors, senators, state legislators, big city mayors to follow through on the promise of that platform, you're still the little sisters of the political poor.