For reasons I'll explain after the jump, I was thinking last night that someone should ask this question in a poll. Why can't that someone be me here on TBP? It isn't scientific, but I don't think any legit polling outfit can or will poll queer people on this question. (Please keep yourself honest and respond only once.)
Arranging the Homosexual AgendaFollow alexblaze
I've been seeing a few people on other site, the same folks who got more riled up than most when the DOJ released that homophobic brief defending DOMA, actually get upset that Congress is working on ENDA. I've seen it from quite a few people, but it was a sentiment best encapsulated by John Aravosis while responding to a Steve Hildebrand (despite Aravosis's assertion that Hildebrand's writing could be used as "tea leaves" to parse the White House's support for various legislation, Hildebrand doesn't work for Obama or the White House) Huffington Post entry talking about how much good ENDA, the Safe Schools Improvement Act, and hate crimes legislation would do for LGBT people:
Second, the three big gay rights priorities that Congress should be focusing on do not even include what have organically become the community's top two priorities: repealing DOMA and Don't Ask Don't Tell. They're not even mentioned in the Obama deputy's essay.
At least he's addressing the fact that there's other LGBT legislation out there, unlike some other prominent queers who've talked about DOMA and DADT as if they were the only LGBT bills that exist.
But I'm still wondering how Aravosis is asserting that DADT and DOMA are "the community's top two priorities." Does he have a poll to support that claim? Doubtful. Most likely, he's referring to the informal poll he's been conducting for months of his DC gay buddies. But there's a huge difference between Aravosis's friends' and colleagues' legislative priorities and queer people's general priorities. I shouldn't have to mention that DC is a... special place.
It's not an uncommon trap for LGBT people to fall in, though, thinking that the people they know in real life who are out are, in fact, representative of the US's entire LGBT population. People get cloistered. I understand. If I were to go by my LGBT friends, I'd say ENDA and HIV/AIDS funding are our top priorities. If I had to go by what I've seen on this site, I'd say DADT repeal and ENDA are the top priorities. People here seem to understand that DOMA repeal isn't going to happen until some of the more basic and more popular pieces of legislation get passed, and pushing for it now at the expense of things like ENDA is really just putting the cart before the horse.
And that's the point of the poll before the jump. Michael Crawford put up a similar poll way back in the day before Obama was elected into office and got some serious flack from people who disagreed with the fact that we'd be getting a limited amount of loving from the Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats. Recent events, though, have proven him right in that regard.
Moreover, prioritizing was always going to happen, if not by Congress then by our advocacy groups. And instead of a few A-gays in DC deciding what the priorities are based on how them and their buddies live, I'd much rather everyone participate in that process.