Alex Blaze

About that LGBT boycott of the Obama Campaign, the DNC, and Organizing for America....

Filed By Alex Blaze | November 10, 2009 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: DOMA, Don't Ask Don't Tell, ENDA, gay marriage, marriage, same-sex marriage

I have the following problems with the LGBT boycott of the DNC that a few bloggers launched yesterday:

1. I thought we were already boycotting the DNC. Am I the only who thought that the gAyTM was already supposed to be shut down?

2. The list of charges against the DNC, in its current form, contains some half-truths and unconfirmed rumors on it. According to MLK, self-purification was an entire step when it came to executing a social justice action, and it should be instinctively obvious as to why. If we're seeking justice, we have to base our actions in truth.

3. They say the boycott ends once ENDA is passed and DOMA and DADT are repealed, but they don't specify whether they mean a transgender-inclusive ENDA or not. Since a known and unapologetic transphobe is organizing this, it's a very appropriate question. (And, yes, I would say the same thing if a homophobic transsexual person were organizing something like this.)

4. There has been some movement forward on LGBT issues. Hate crimes legislation passed, discrimination against trans folks in government was banned, a slew of LGBT people were appointed to high-ranking positions, LGBT-specific health care provisions were included in the House bill, an inclusive ENDA's plugging along, the HUD opened up their definition of family to include LGBT families, the Census Bureau will release data on same-sex couples who put themselves down as "married," the HUD will study LGBT housing discrimination for the first time ever, increased HIV/AIDS treatment funding through the Ryan White CARE Act was proposed in the House, the DHHS lifted the HIV travel ban, abstinence-only education is most likely gone, and the DHHS has promised to create an LGBT senior resource center.

These are important changes for lots of people in the community, and if the biggest thanks the DNC can expect to get is a boycott, then what motivation do they have to move on more issues?

5. DADT repeal and ENDA could get done soon, but I really don't think that DOMA will be repealed for a good, long while. We're 0-31 in the marriage fight at the state level and same-sex marriage polls poorly. There's no way Congress is going to pass that soon.

6. Outside of a small group of gay megadonors (which hasn't signed on, as far as I can tell), are our dollars really enough to get attention? Considering how easily women got thrown under the bus this weekend, and how much more power they have in the party than we do, I don't know if we have the power to hold Democrats to their promises.

7. Um, so if it weren't for ENDA, DOMA, and DADT, would the DNC be alright? I mean, if the GOP announced tomorrow that they support us on these three issues, then does that mean we should donate to John Boehner?

On the other hand:

1. Better late than never!

2. The real charges are not passing ENDA nor repealing DADT and DOMA, everything else seems to be icing. And it's completely true that ENDA hasn't already been passed and that DADT and DOMA are still in effect. Plus, speaking truth to power is overrated. (I'm serious! It's not like power doesn't already know what it's doing.)

3. The ENDA is currently trans-inclusive, and it seems unlikely that it'll get split. Plus, transgender job protections are more popular than same-sex marriage and much easier to pass, so, in my prognostication, they'll happen faster than DOMA repeal anyway. The boycott won't end without transgender job protections.

4. The Democrats have already enacted important new laws, and they'll help me personally more than DADT and DOMA repeal will since I don't plan on ever marrying or joining the military. And if we're going to bring every issue in here, then the war in Iraq is still going on, the occupation of Afghanistan is going to get ratcheted up by the Democrats, the Democrats are rather blase about women's reproductive freedom, the administration is attached to Bush's dictatorial power grabs, the stimulus wasn't big enough, money keeps on getting funneled from the Treasury into rich people's pockets, and Congress has done nothing to help queer homeless youth. Why should I defend the Democrats now?

5. Nothing's wrong with a never-ending refusal to donate to an organization. There are innumerable orgs that I completely disagree with and would therefore never dream of donating to. It would kinda help, though, to have a party to the left of the Democrats to represent the left-most 70% of America.

6. Maybe we do. I don't really know. This is the point where Democrats decide how important of a constituency we are to them, and we should be ready for what happens if they decide that we're not.

7. No, they wouldn't, but I've never donated to the DNC or a Democratic political candidate (in fact, the ACLU's the only political or legal advocacy group that's gotten any money from me), so that's probably why I won't shed any tears over the money they'll lose from this boycott. I said I'd withhold judgment on this administration until a health care bill gets passed, and, while it's not looking good, I'll keep to that.

But the DNC has a pretty terrible record of supporting conservative incumbents in primary races, keeping the party further to the right than it should be. Plus there's no reason most people can't just donate to specific candidates they like, and Obama's not having an election any time soon.

There was never a reason to donate to the DNC for most people, and there's no reason to donate to Obama's campaign right now. There are plenty of specific Democrats who are good on our issues and plenty of others, but that's not what we're talking about here.

What else: This is a great way to get attention for the issues. The mainstream media loved our criticism of Obama over Rick Warren because it fit into their "Liberals have buyers' remorse" narrative. As we found out last week, now they want to say "Obama failed and Democrats will pay in 2010," and this fits neatly into that. Except for the fact that it's coming from the left instead of the right, so we'll see.


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Since I'm on vacation, I'll only say that I would never have signed on as a co-sponsor of this if passing a fully inclusive ENDA wasn't part of the solution. I highly doubt Pam would have either...

People should support this effort.

I already WAS boycotting the DNC.

Hello, people, blindly supporting a party whole cloth is a silly way to throw away your dollars. If you like a candidate, give to the candidate. Parties are stupid--except for the ones I throw/attend!

If anyone thinks the Dems are going to gain Senate seats in the next elections, they're dreaming. While the 60-seat requirement is in place, nothing controversial will be passable, assuming Obama even wins a second term.

Forget passage of anything after 2010. Won't happen. It's now or , well, not never, but not till after the next Republican presidency.

Agreed re the Senate.

Or, until we have a better option. The Democrats have no spine and little commitment to the left. That needs to change, because a lot of people are being left out in the cold.

That won't change.

People have been trying to reform the Democrat Party since FDR's time. It can't be done. The Democrats, like their Republican cousins are owned by the looter rich.

Anyone who thinks they have the power to take those parties away from the uber rich is delusional.

Thanks for the post, Alex. Excellent points, as always.

A note about point #3 and the call for repealing DADT. I keep hearing this line - largely from "gay activists" - about being committed to *full* equality for GLBT people. But I've yet to hear of a gay activist who even realizes that trans people also are barred from serving in the U.S. military - under regs that are much more demeaning than DADT's concerns about "unit cohesion" and all that jazz. I'd find this stated commitment to "full" equality more believable if trans military participation was also on the list.

Full equality also should mean an insistence that the DNC stand for eliminating trans exclusions during the debates for health care reform.

This is a great post. I feel like this the wrong way of dealing with this. They tried this summer and the DNC raised more than normal.

This is a fool's game

Most of the time, political change is incremental. You have to work with those who are closer to your position against those who are less close (and even sometimes you can work with the latter). This can change, issue by issue. But generally, I find Dems closer to my concerns for justice than GOPs. Therefore, I support Dems most of the time.
I think social boycotts work very rarely, maybe about 5% of the time. They do however feed on and re-fuel the self-righteousness of those who propose them.
Telling people when we disagree with them (even as we work with them where we agree) does work, in the long run. It is the Ted Kennedy strategy, and it works.
But many in the LGBT community(ies) have a strange idea of the long run. They think that the long run lasts about 90 seconds--or maybe the length of most Broadway show runs. In actuality, the long run is very long -- ask African Americans and their allies who are still working for true full equality.
So I propose instead of a boycott that we continue to speak up and organize events to highlight our views and needs and organize locally and come out everywhere and push the envelope -- but that we do so in ways that engage people rather than cutting them off.

The DNCs cult connections as well as those of the Obama campaign and legislative Democrats go a long way towards explaining their hostility towards GLBT equality and why we should not only boycott them but avoid them like the plague.

The Democrats don’t have the same priorities that we do and you can see why if you follow the pentecostal dots.

• The White House Office In Charge Of Bribing 'Faith Based' Pulpit Pimps (aka the Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships) is run by an ordained pentecostal bigot, Josh Dubois. Bubois will spend in excess of %65 million a year bribing cult leaders while HIV/AIDS funding and social service are being cut in state after state. (It's as hard to find what's being used to bribe pulpit pimps as it is to identify super secret spying and military funding - it's hidden all over the budget, including funds for abstinence training).

• Josh Dubois, Obama’s campaign manager for outreach to faith (read bigot) communities was the organizer of a series of tent revivals featuring ex-gay pentecostal piglet Donnie McClurkin. Obama’s refusal to drop McClurkin was so ugly that even the HRC looked up from his lap and barked at him.

• Dubois, Tim Kaine, nominal head of the DNC and Leah Daughty all worked to successfully woo christian and bigoted voters (the two are synonymous for the most part) away from Rove’s Republicans and into the Democrat Party.

• Obama chose Time Kaine of Virginia to nominally run the DNC. Kaine, like Bill Cinton, is a Dixiecrat. Kaine’s ‘faith based’ politics are against reproductive choice and stem cell research and for abstinence training. He was an early and hardnosed supporter of the genocide in Iraq and the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. He ran a gay-baiting campaign to become governor of Virginia and has the same bigoted attitude towards same sex marriage as Obama, McCain and Hillary Clinton.

• The real power in the DNC is Leah Daughtry who runs its day to day operations. She’s a theocrat, someone who caters to the christer right. She’s an ordained pentecostal (1) bigot who opposes same sex marriage. Daughtry used DNC funds to pay for anti-GLBT and anti-choice campaigns by other jebuz jumping Democrats in the South via the DNC funded Faith Advisory Council. Daughtry was sued, successfully, by the DNCs own director or LGBT outreach for antigay discriminatory hiring and firing practice. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/20/magazine/20minister-t.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=magazine

• Ruben Diaz Sr., the rabidly anti-GLBT Bronx pentecostal minister is likewise an ordained pentecostal bigot.


• The pentecostal cult, besides Daughtry, Diaz and Dubois, is known for being the ‘spirit home’ of Jimmy Swaggart, who advocates murdering gay men; Benny Hinn, the hysterically funny faith healer and Joyce Meyer, who so wants to look good when the Rupture comes that she has expensive face lifts every year. Meyers joined by spirit leaders like the aptly named Creflo Dollar, Paula White, Eddie Long and Kenneth Copeland, all under senate investigation for fraud. Those are the kind of people who run the DNC and White House Office of Faith Based bribery and who ran Obama’s campaign.

The four pillars of the christian right are southern baptists, mormons, catholics and pentecostals. The Democrats made major gains among catholics, pentecostals and many California southern baptists influenced by Rich Warren. The Republicans continue to dominate the mormon vote.

During the campaign not one GLBT Democrat, including those at Bilerico saw fit to mention that they were asking us to vote a party dominated by right wing religious politicians like Obama, Kaine and Daughtry.

So I’m glad to see that some of them are at least in favor of boycotting the DNC. The renewed boycott of the DNC is a step in the right direction but our aim should be complete independence from a party of bigots and those who cater to bigots.

Democrats, including the Obama White House, the DNC and legislative and Congressional Democrats are infested with bigots or they cater to bigots. Opposition to same sex marriage is a defining tenet of christian bigots.

Democrats are Republicans and pentecostals in drag.

It's both unprincipled and suicidal to support the Democrat Party.

I'm all for a boycott of the DNC. I never give them money; they support WAYYY too many conservative, anti-LGBT and anti-choice Democrats for me to give them my dollars. I'd rather give what I can to truly progressive individual candidates.

As for Obama: If you pledge not to give his re-election campaign money unless he repeals DOMA before 2012, you're basically saying you're just not going to support his re-election. Anyone who thinks there's even a possibility of a DOMA repeal in his first term has left the planet. Obama could make this the only thing he does for the next three years and it STILL wouldn't happen. We don't have the votes.

To what "half-truths and unconfirmed rumors" are you referring?

Several months ago, I called for a campaign
'Divoce the Democrats.' For 30 years, the DNC
has promised our community full civil rights.
In the 1970's, they convinced Washington DC organizations to take marriage equality off the table and then they would pass the rest. They then convinced the 'Gay' organizations to split up the demands, as passing them one by one would
be better. 30 years later,this year, they finally included us in the hate crimes bill. I am very happy that John Aravosis (we were cofounders of stopdrlaura)and Joe have called for a boycott of our $ to the Obama campaign and the DNC, and as a Democrat, I am proud to be on that list. We cannot sit at the National Democratic table unless the needs of our community are being served. If we can make a dent in their funding, and also their support, they will listen to us much more then all of the Marches on Washington, 4 of which I was involved with. After 3 decades of fighting for our rights, I and many others recognize that only 2 things will sway the National Democratic Party, money and votes. Enough is enough. It's time they
earned our support. Robin Tyler