Bil Browning

Listen & Watch: Sirius XM Radio town hall

Filed By Bil Browning | April 25, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: Aubrey Sarvis, Joe Solmonese, LGBT movement, Mara Keisling, Michelangelo Signorile, Pam Spaulding, Rea Carey, Sirius radio, townhall meeting

Last weeks' Sirius XM Radio town hall meeting of LGBT activists was amazing for the unusual joint appearance by several prominent Gay Inc leaders.

While quite a bit of seemed like a pile-on for HRC and Joe Solmonese, it's worth a listen for the blunt talk and inside look at the personalities behind the LGBT movement. Sadly, there was little talk about how to actually move our agenda forward; it was left to Solmonese to keep asking, "What's the path forward?" - the tagline of the event. There were very few answers to the question.

You can listen to the entire panel discussion on Signorile's website.

The Advocate's Jason Bellini's video report for the magazine is after the jump.



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I listened to it live. I thought the idea was a good one, and Signorile did a good job posing the right questions. The problem is that these people are so politically cautious that aside from Aubrey Sarvis' exclusion from an important meeting there was precious little meat on the bones of what should have been a candid and wide-ranging discussion.

We heard some about the history, some about the anger of the community, and some about what the current problems facing our political efforts are.

What we unfortunately heard precious little of was what we can expect to see these organizations doing in the future. Lots of pleasant-sounding but non-committal rhetoric without a lot of real discussion about where we go from here.

In all honesty, I found it difficult to understand why Richard Socarides and Pam Spaulding were included as they provided little more than essentially what would be called color commentary in sports. Sure, I suppose it's nice to hear the perspective of the community and that of someone who's worked closely with a Democratic President, but how did their participation advance the agenda of the discussion? Frankly, I'm not sure it did. Since the available time for such a program is limited, I'd have rather seen fewer panelists and more time given to each.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | April 26, 2010 2:07 AM

The time when self appointed movement 'leaders' and politicians could ignore the needs of the movement with impunity is gone.

After a long string of defeats imposed on us by bigots in office pandering to the christer right our communities are undergoing a profound radicalization.

Like millions of other Americans we're in the initial stages of a sea change in political life as the impact of economic failure, wage cuts, legalized bigotry and racism, mass unemployment, foreclosures and homelessness sink in.

The social consensus, the feeling that we can get justice or a decent living, is shattered.

As things polarize we face great danger. Rightists and centrists of both parties will look for scapegoats. We're being targeted and so are imported-immigrant workers. We're not alone. The woman haters are planning new campaigns against reproductive choice and the racist sparks ignited by Obama's election are igniting firestorms on the right. Meantime both parties are trying to finish off the unions.

We need to begin standing up for ourselves and break from the twin parties of bigotry and we need to begin standing shoulder to shoulder with our allies.

We can't do any of that if we're in the last closet, the Democrat closet.

(I'm looking forward to Pam's comments on her blog tomorrow. She never seems to have a problem going after Obama and the Congress when they cross the line.)

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | April 26, 2010 7:54 AM

I was in the audience for the town hall. Mike did a good job of trying to get the panelists to move past the usual drama. Unfortunately, because of the assembled personalities there was more gay-on-gay blame game than a laying out of a clear path forward.

Among the most useful things coming out of the discussion was Joe Solmonese naming the six senators we need to win over to pass repeal of DADT.

We have a limited amount of time to do the work needed to pass DADT repeal and ENDA this year. We can't waste it on the usual community in-fighting and disagreements.

As a movement, we need to be firing on all cylinders to get the job done as quickly and effectively as possible.

No, Mike tried to create the "drama." He baited everyone hoping to get some fireworks.

There were no fireworks and not a single idea about the make-believe "Path Forward."

It was a useless two-hours.