Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

GetEqual Board Statement: Our Issues Will Not Be Ignored

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | August 19, 2010 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: direct action group, Get Equal, GetEqual

As I noted last week, I have decided to work with GetEqual, the non-violent direct action group, as a member of its provisional Board of Directors.getequal2.jpg

After its first in-person meeting last week, the Board released a public statement.

That statement after the jump, along with a list of the Board members, my personal impression of the Board and its role in GetEqual, and some planned actions.

I recognize that some of you will find these words controversial. I hope that you will stay to discuss the issues with me by making a comment below, positive or negative.

Do you agree with the principles of non-violent direct action? Do you think the LGBTQ community should use non-violent direct action now?

The statement from the full board, reads:

The newly-formed provisional Board of Directors is committed to providing leadership and direction to GetEQUAL. We seek to create a societal environment that fosters freedom, equality, and justice for the diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community. One of our main goals is to illuminate discriminations that exist -- to cause tension and force our leaders and society to respond. GetEQUAL will continue to employ tools to create tension, specifically including nonviolent direct action, to bring our crisis to the attention of our leaders -- for a community that has consistently been denied freedom, equality, and justice.

We seek to underscore these issues so that they can no longer be ignored.

We are confident in the leadership of GetEQUAL and believe we have begun to lay the foundation for a solid organization to achieve these goals.

The social and legal inequality of our community is incompatible with the ideals of the American people, and we call on our national leaders to join in the global momentum towards liberty and justice for all.

In making my comments, I will not be revealing internal conversations held by the provisional Board. We have decided that we are free to make public statements for ourselves regarding the organization, but that internal Board discussions of policy, personnel and financial issues should remain confidential. My statements here are my own opinion, and not necessarily the opinion of the provisional Board or GetEqual.

I refer to the "provisional" Board because, during an initial six-month period, we are serving in an unofficial capacity to prepare bylaws and policies. A Board of Directors has legal and financial duties required by law, and failure to live up to these many responsibilities will result in legal liability. After we have had time to set up policies to handle legal and financial issues, and engage appropriate legal and financial professionals to assist us in these responsibilities, a Board of Directors will be named and included on the organization's corporate records. Many Boards call for a two year commitment, and I'm anticipating the same for future Directors of GetEqual.

In essence, the purpose of the provisional Board, like any Board of Directors for any corporation or organization, is to provide leadership on the policy level. It's not our role to direct the actions of the organization's officers and employees on a day-to-day basis. Rather, our role is to set policies that guide their actions towards fulfilling the mission and vision of the organization as we see it, and we have begun to do so.

Aside from our policy role, the Board, as a group, feels that our leadership should have a particular direction: "We seek to create a societal environment that fosters freedom, equality, and justice for the diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community." This means we would like the organization to have a societal focus. It's not that the organization hasn't had a societal focus until now. We're just saying we are committed to that focus. As I see it, this differs from a political or legislative focus. As I see it, we want the various proposals for LGBT rights to move, like ENDA, DADT repeal and marriage equality, but we are not a group that is designed to focus on the passage of any particular legislative proposal. We're not going to be doing lobbying or policy work. There are plenty of organizations to do that.

As I see it, we're going to speak to the wider social environment surrounding the lack of full social and legal equality for LGBT people. We may target particular areas of the country, and particular politicians. But our targets aren't necessarily the swing Democrats needed to pass any particular bill. They will include everyone and anyone contributing to the social environment that says that freedom, equality and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are not a priority. While we are in solidarity with other social movements for civil rights, we say that freedom, equality and justice for LGBT people must also be a priority.

As noted in the statement in furtherance of this idea, one of our main goals is to illuminate discriminations that exist -- to cause tension and force our leaders and society to respond. As I see it, part of the problem is that our community has so effectively organized to lobby for political, legislative and social change that our advocacy organizations have effectively been co-opted by the system. We have become too cozy with political leaders, to the point where it is difficult to effectively criticize them when they de-prioritize our issues. The discriminations we face become hidden when the public faces of our community are successful and wealthy gay people who appear to be living the American Dream, while the large majority of us are suffering from discrimination everywhere, in our jobs, in our inability to take advantage of public benefits, in joining public military service, in our inability to be our full selves in any public setting. Much of the public doesn't know that this shadow world exists. Many are surprised that there are not already legal protections in place.

Our issues have been all too easy to ignore.

We want to make this discrimination visible to the public and to political leaders, to stop our discrimination from continuing to be ignored.

Some have criticized the organization for its desire to call attention to these issues.

The first step in addressing any problem is admitting that the problem exists.

You may believe that our society knows that the problem exists.

It does not. Some believe that discrimination against LGBT people is no problem, but perfectly acceptable. Some believe that discrimination against LGBT people is a thing of the past, that it no longer exists. Some just don't think about it.

However, we are a tiny minority in our society, regardless of how many of us may live in New York or San Francisco. The data suggests that we are around 2% to 5% of the population. (The figure of 10% often bandied about is a rough approximation, and covers anyone who might have ever had a non-heterosexual experience or desire.) Our society is not, by and large, aware of our struggles.

We need to illuminate. Attention must be paid. We have plenty of advocacy organizations that work on the inside. I'm glad they are there. I support them in their work. But it's time for an outside strategy.

The people on the provisional Board are smart, dedicated and clear about the value and nature of direct action. They have done it, and made it work.

You can find a list of their names and a short bio here. They are busy people. They are from every segment of our society. They are involved with other communities and other struggles, as well as our own. They receive no remuneration for their service. We have phone meetings set about every two weeks, and one more in-person meeting during our six-month tenure. It's already been a lot of work in their busy lives, and they haven't begrudged a minute of it. It will continue to be a lot of work. I love these brave, committed people. They are willing to put their butts on the line to move our community forward.

For those of you who are supporters of GetEqual, thank you for your hearts and your support in a time of crisis. For those of you who are critics of GetEqual, I embrace you, because you are an integral part of the discussion that GetEqual seeks to create around our crisis. For those of you who aren't quite sure where you stand with regard to GetEqual, thank you for being willing to raise the question, to struggle with the hard issue of how best to achieve equality.

As always, I am open to suggestions, thoughts, comments, criticisms, kudos or anything you care to state.

Together, we will move forward as a community committed to equality.


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Your efforts in re-defining GetEQUAL seem to be based on this simple lie:

"while the large majority of us are suffering from discrimination everywhere, in our jobs, in our inability to take advantage of public benefits, in joining public military service, in our inability to be our full selves in any public setting."

The "large majority" of us are NOT suffering from discrimination "everywhere."

When you base the effectiveness of direct action on a false premise, it's all down hill from there. Adding the misconception that "people don't know" is also disingenuous and misleading. People DO know.

The major objective of this "non-official" provisional Board should be to provide an honest, objective rationale for direct action or as you've defined it - creating "attention." The suggestion that we need that attention or that engaging in stunts to get more attention is helpful needs to be established.

This Board Statement and your endorsement doesn't provide any evidence or rationale for an organization like GetEQUAL. THAT should be your first priority.

People are not following GetEQUAL or turning out for their various publicity stunts because we KNOW they are not only ineffective, but they are counterproductive.

I'm sorry Andrew, but how is it that LGBT people aren't discriminated against everywhere? Whether it's marriage equality (which doesn't truly exist anywhere due to DOMA's restrictions), employment discrimination, lack of protection in schools, don't ask don't tell, and many more...we're harmed by specific topics like those and the overreaching shadow that comes with being a second class citizen. Which is pretty much what the part you quoted says.

A lot of people (LGBT and straight) don't understand how little rights we have until it comes up. For example, when volunteering to repeal ENDA, I was repeatedly told by LGBT and straights alike that they were positive there were already employment protections in all 50 states. Just wasn't on their radar.

It's sad that so many people, especially LGBT people who are affected first hand, are ignorant or apathetic, but that doesn't make the discrimination any less severe.

Whether you agree with GetEqual's tactics or not,I have trouble understanding how you could say that the majority of LGBT people being discriminated against is a false premise.

We're not being "oppressed" Tom.

People disagree with the idea of homosexuality, but we are not being oppressed - certainly not "the majority" of us.

Who ever said "oppressed," dude? Jillian and Tom both said we're being "discriminated" against. You said:

The "large majority" of us are NOT suffering from discrimination "everywhere."

Not "oppressed." So, again, and this time without some BS mealy-mouthed cop out, how do you support your statement that LGBT people are not being discriminated against?

That was Jillian's statement. I disagreed with it.

If she believes "the large majority of us are suffering from discrimination everywhere," she needs to provide evidence. I said it was a lie. It is a lie.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 20, 2010 5:51 AM

Andrew says we're not being oppressed.

The killing sprees by christian bigots that kill 20-25 GLBT folks annually says we are.

The denial of fair wages and a bigot free workplace says we are oppressed.

The denial of housing, accommodation and other services says we are oppressed.

The beatings and harassment of tens of thousands of LGBT youth in schools and colleges says we are oppressed.

The denial of the right to marry by bigots like Clinton and Obama and their Republican brother-cousins says we are oppressed.

AndrewW says that's not oppression. And he says that honest activists are childish. Couriously, so do Rick Warren, Beck, Limbaugh, LaBarbara, FoF and Pat Robertson.

Andrew, you say that we are not discriminated against. How do you explain the government policies specifically excluding us from military service and marriage? How do you explain the studies showing discrimination against us in employment? How do you explain the generalized homophobia in our culture? If you are going to claim that we don't suffer from homophobia and discrimination, then I begin to wonder about your sanity.

Chitown Kev | August 20, 2010 10:35 AM

Second this...

I think that when employment discrimination is talked about, it's only talked about in terms of hiring and firing and often doesn't include things like pay scale, promotions,...etc.

Jillian - you said:

"the large majority of us are suffering from discrimination everywhere, in our jobs, in our inability to take advantage of public benefits, in joining public military service, in our inability to be our full selves in any public setting."

That isn't true. The large majority of us are NOT "suffering" from discrimination "everywhere." Some are. We don't have full equality, but we've made a lot of progress. GetEQUAL's stunt are counterproductive and may harm the progress we've made.

You are trying to cast our plight similar to Blacks in the 1960s and it isn't even close. You use that premise to try to justify direct action, civil disobedience and protest - tactics from a different world.

Nobody has provided any evidence that the GetEQUAL publicity stunts are effective. In fact, they have been almost non-existent during the last 20 years, for good reason - the don't work.

I have conceded before that if thousands of people were to engage in one of these stunts, maybe it would be effective. But, a half-dozen clowns doing carnivalesque street theater, doesn't change any minds or votes.

In today's world, protest is only effective as a response to an event. Fabricating targets, claiming "promises" where none were made, suggesting "embarrassment" is useful to hold people "accountable" or this delusional argument that this applies "pressure" to our friends/enemies is just silly.

The suggestion that many of us are "cozy" because we don't engage in ineffective publicity stunts isn't helpful either. Many of us are working very hard on meaningful tactics and methods while creating a cohesive strategy to WIN - not just attract attention.

I'm trying to catch up with all of these comments while away for a few days, and I must say, I am overwhelmed by the positive response.

You make two points in the comment I am replying to, Andrew. First, that most of us do not experience any discrimination, and second, that GetEqual type actions have all but disappeared in the last 20 years because they are ineffective.

As to the first point, I direct you to the Williams Institute's series of studies on discrimination..

As to the second point, if, as you say, the mark of the relative inefficacy of GetEqual type actions is shown by their diappearance during the past 20 years, then would you not agree that their resurgence, and the willingness of people across the nation to engage in such actions, marks a need and a renewed efficacy in the eyes of our people?

Logic is logic -- and I will respect your arguments when they make sense, but only then. You need to refine this one a bit more.

I'm trying to catch up with all of these comments while away for a few days, and I must say, I am overwhelmed by the positive response.

You make two points in the comment I am replying to, Andrew. First, that most of us do not experience any discrimination, and second, that GetEqual type actions have all but disappeared in the last 20 years because they are ineffective.

As to the first point, I direct you to the Williams Institute's series of studies on discrimination..

As to the second point, if, as you say, the mark of the relative inefficacy of GetEqual type actions is shown by their diappearance during the past 20 years, then would you not agree that their resurgence, and the willingness of people across the nation to engage in such actions, marks a need and a renewed efficacy in the eyes of our people?

Logic is logic -- and I will respect your arguments when they make sense, but only then. You need to refine this one a bit more.

Best wishes, Jillian, in your efforts. That is one track of activism. And Andrew, it compliments, not competes with, your form of activism. Both are necessary, neither can stand alone

Individuals who have an interest in GetEQUAL should attempt to wade through their FAQs on their website:

http://getequal.org/faqs/

While some of the answers are enlightening, they provide no rational basis for their childish publicity stunts.

Accountability requires us to honestly and objectively determine which tactics, methods and strategies are helpful or effective.

This is an example of how GetEQUAL answers a question:

How do efforts to embarrass our political friends (Democrats) help the LGBT Community?

Social change doesn’t come because those in power suddenly decide to make it happen. Social change occurs when those in power are pressured into making change via a direct catalyst that interrupts the normal state of affairs. That interruption might be a direct action, or it might be a well-delivered moral argument — but change rarely comes on its own. Our own elected leaders have told us to make them make change, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi did at Netroots Nation and President Obama has done on numerous occasions before that event. GetEQUAL comes at our organizing work with a sense of urgency for all those without job protections, for all those whose military careers are being ruined, for those bi-national couples being torn away from their non-citizen partners, for all those who are unable to marry their partners and for all those young people facing the prospect of harassment or suicide. We don’t like to embarrass our friends — but we like even less to live under the specter of inequality.

Change comes when we have enough votes. These childish stunts or the self-important idea that people can be embarrassed-into-something is just plain stupid. You can't embarrass Nancy Pelosi into anything - She is already a supporter, but like an adult she is counting THE VOTES.

If anyone has an example of a changed mind OR vote because of "embarrassment," please provide it. Please.

Good luck Jillian. Don't let naysayers like Andrew deter you or GetEqual. From the postings on here and other blogs there are many more who support you than do not. Many of aren't at the point we can get involved and as with any organization like this those who support widely outnumber those willing to do the work. I applaud you and wish you all good luck in the future. Give 'em hell.

AndrewW,
I challenge you like everyone has challenged you numerous times to highlight a strategy to get these passed. We have been waiting to hear your suggestion instead of hearing you tear down everyone else yet we hear nothing.

Like Jillian, you simply want to ignore the fact that the GetEQUAL publicity stunts DO NOT change any minds or votes. The claim that we can "embarrass people into submission" is childish and stupid.

Search my comments. I have been very clear about accountability and the need to determine what works and what doesn't work. GetEQUAL claims to represent the LGBT Community and they are seeking non-profit status as a "charity." THEY have to answer questions about their strategy. I'm not soliciting funds or acting "on behalf of the community." I'm spending my money to find a real, sustainable and valuable strategy. GetEQUAL hasn't presented one and they have NOT provided any rationale for their childish stunts. They need to.

How about a different challenge then since you didn't answer that one.

What's your name?

Jillian had the courage to stand behind every word she just printed. It's great fun to come and play devil's advocate for everything, but - as I've told you personally over e-mail - I'm not going to bother listening to you until you have the courage to at least tell me your name.

I disagree with Jill about GetEqual. That's plainly known. And I respect her a lot more because she's willing to put her name and her reputation on the line for her beliefs. She doesn't need to cower behind online handles and outrageous unprovable claims.

What does my NAME have to do with it Bil?

I have expressed very clear and specific ideas - are they any different with a name attached?

I am not (at this point) going to engage in the idea that "ideas" or "questions" are only appropriate depending on where they come from. My questions represent a very large part of the LGBT community. They are about accountability, and they want to know that GetEQUAL (or any other organization) makes sense. We do not take Joe Solmonese's word for anything, and we won't take Jillian's either.

Nobody has provided any reasonable rationale for GetEQUAL's publicity stunts. If they don't they will continue to be ignored.

I am paying for my efforts and i am NOT seeking a charitable deduction. I have never suggested I speak for the LGBT Community (as GetEQUAL has) and i am only interested in winning. We will Win. GetEQUAL is NOT about winning, but simply about complaining.

I have to agree, at least on the name issue. His ideas speak for themselves, and we've always said that we're here at Bilerico to discuss ideas, not the people presenting them. Everyone here is free to ignore his comments, if they choose, and he's always posting them under the same handle so it's not like he's sockpuppeting to deceive others about who's saying what.

Most of our commenters use handles and there's no way of proving that the rest are using their real names unless we start asking them to send in scanned copies of ID. I don't see why AndrewW should have to adhere to a standard that no one else is made to.

Plus I always respect a queer person's right to not come out if they don't feel comfortable with that. Asking commenters to post only under their legal name would be asking them to great a google-able record of their sexuality/gender ID that an employer or family member could use against them, and we don't know what's going on in their lives.

Alex,
I think the real issue with AndrewW is he comes on here and many other blogs trashing other people's ideas and how wrong they are. But when anyone tries to pin him down on his ideas we get nothing but BS from him. This is a new one that he is paying for all his work.

Really Tim? I have asked you to provide some evidence that GetEQUAL has an effective strategy. Instead, you say "well, what are your ideas?" That's not a defense. If Bilerico presents my ideas, you can challenge them. This Post was about Jillian and getEQUAL. If you think they are valuable - tell us why.

I'd start with this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonviolent_direct_action

The parts about getting the British out of India and African-Americans gaining their civil rights are particularly instructive.

Find something from the last 20 years Sam. The world has changed.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 20, 2010 6:03 AM

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana

Or ignore it because it happened before AndrewW was born 20 years ago.

George died in 1952 Bill.

But, before that he said:

"Habit is stronger than reason."

I prefer reason, you can have your history and your habits. The world has changed.

The Capetown Peace March was no shabby thing. Act Up certainly effected policy, legislation & funding. The tea baggers have been effecting politicians behavior right before your eyes. From local zoning issues for religious buildings to immigration law.

It's absurd to say behavior is only changed by by one type of stimulus. And that demonstrations only have one goal - too embarrass. They can be an expression of a community's power - showing the power structure the degree of dissatisfaction and the support they're at risk of losing. The can be entry points for activist to work in other areas. They can effect how issues that are supported by politicians are given priority in relation to other issues. They can help elect politicians - else why do they have rallies?

They can effect the amount of time large donors spend discussing the issue.

For any of that to be true you need mass participation, not a half dozen attention-seekers.

Yeah, but he's easily ignorable.

Alex

Sure. But I do disagree with claiming authority for you point of view based upon studies where you don't share the data and methodology. Secret data should only be cited within secret plans.

It's particularly churlish when constantly demanding proof from others to support their views.

I agree. It is annoying when someone who keeps on citing fake studies tells other people they should prove their point better. But posting under a "real" name does nothing to prevent someone from making up studies.

You can fund some research if you'd like. I have also referenced many studies that others have done and I've provided links.

I'm not engaged in a "tactic" on behalf of the LGBT Community - GetEQUAL is. They need to provide some rationale or evidence for their actions.

My name is Dana Lane Taylor and I get SICK and TIRED of you belittling what some people are trying to do for the community. You use the word 'childish' and that is absurd. Was it childish for blacks to take a seat at the front of the bus in protest? Was it childish for blacks to go to public schools where they weren't welcomed and the National Guard was called in?

I understand why Bil would like to know your name. I have a feeling nobody will ever know it. And why would that be?

I like what I'm hearing, but of course the real proof will be when we see how all this plays out in GetEqual's actual advocacy.

I'm particularly impressed with the acknowlegement that some of our national orgs have become much too cozy with the politicians. In my opinion, HRC and NSD are especially guilty of this, and at times seem to function as little more than cheerleading LGBT auxiliaries of the DNC rather than as independent LGBT advocacy orgs with their own goals and agendas.

Ok, GetEqual, you've impressed me with your words. Now impress me with your actions.

Ok, Becky, we've got some actions coming up in September. Let's see how they go. I'm working on making them impressive. Get out your red marking pen!

Jillian. You know I applaud this work. But what are the planned actions for September. And how come there is no community vetting and discussion about actions and strategy. It's all an inside game that expects massive participation. I know the quandary of leadership in this regard (and struggle with it with the American Equality Bill), but it'd be nice to see GetEqual operate differently than the top-down groups we're used to. Please post some of the ideas, and let us discuss those. xoxoTif

Kevin Erickson | August 19, 2010 4:31 PM

Jillian, I'm glad you're getting involved because I know you're sensible and pragmatic, and capable of intersectional thinking.

For example, you've provided here the first rationale I've heard for direct actions targeting our allies that has made any kind of logical sense--previous Get Equal statements seem steeped in a pervasive self-congratulatory politics of entitlement, rooted in blame-shifting and vague platitudes about "accountability".

I've always been a fan of coordinated direct action when it is timely, tactful, targeted. I've routinely been disappointed by the ways GET EQUAL has chosen to execute it.

Let me spell it out for you:

Pragmatically, GET EQUAL's messaging has been often counterproductive; "Equality" as a rallying cry will always fall short of an intersectional worldview, as Alex Blaze has pointed out repeatedly.

GET EQUAL's targeting has been arbitrary at best. You've made a good case for targeting our allies AS WELL--but targeting ONLY democrats will only decrease desperately needed electoral participation among LGBT communities--including at the primary level where we need to get active in electing more progressive dems!

This choice to only target dems in conjunction with odd pre-midterm timing seems poorly thought out, as if an intentional effort to suppress desperately needed turnout among LGBT voters and other progressives. (Is it any wonder that stridently anti-gay Washington state supreme court justice Jim Johnson was just re-elected, winning a majority of the vote even in liberal King County?)

If GET EQUAL decided to use some direct action tactics to draw attention to the unprecedented Republican abuse of the filibuster--I could get behind that! As Matt Yglesias rightly points out http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/07/the-filibuster-undermines-democratic-accountability/ the filibuster is the most significant factor impeding the progressive agenda--but GET EQUAL's current actions worsen this problem by continuing to confuse the lines of democratic accountability!

Good points, Kevin. I agree with your point about targeting Republicans as well as Democrats, though there are different reasons for targeting each. The Democrats are, at this time, the ones who can actually help us, and should be reminded of our votes that they bought with their promises. For Republicans in liberal districts, the electorate needs to be made aware of the difference between their incumbent's cramped vision and a liberal worldview. For Republicans in conservative districts, the rest of the country needs to be shown what is wriggling around under the rocks in those places time forgot.

Kevin Erickson | August 19, 2010 4:42 PM

and of course, I know there were some low-profile actions against NOM, but that doesn't really relate to my criticism--the lack of organizing against republican officials and candidates!

Renee Thomas | August 19, 2010 5:28 PM

I'm convinced Andrew would have declared the March on Washington an overhyped publicity stunt unlikely to accomplish anything of value. In retrospect of course it produced the force and moral imperative which energized a nation with the words . . .

"I have a Dream!"


It’s time for us to fight for this dream. Our due will always be denied us unless we take it from them. Whether in the courts or the streets, the fight has to go wherever it’s needed to confront callow complacency in our community and the cynical bigotry of those who would continue to deny us our equal rights.

“The proof that one truly believes is in action”

-Bayard Rustin

And that Andrew should be fully sufficient to silence your ill-informed and ineffectual prattle.

How about something from the last 20 years?

The world has changed. Find an example of direct action, civil disobedience or even protest - that was effective after 1990. Make a list.

We are not Black and we are not living in the 60s. Bayard Rustin was talking about THEN, not NOW.

Ignoring the reality that the world has changed and communication has changed simply keeps us in the past - and unequal.

"If anyone has an example of a changed mind OR vote because of "embarrassment," please provide it. Please."

Well - I know I'll never wear those shorts again.

Renee Thomas | August 19, 2010 9:09 PM

So Andrew,

The world has changed says you?

BULLSHIT says I

Time matters not . . . the paradigm is unchanged. The challenge remains for those seemingly powerless to take what measure of dignity seems right and just from those who are loath to give it up without a struggle.

"[T]he job of the gay community is not to deal with extremists who would castigate us or put us on an island and drop an H-bomb on us. The fact of the matter is that there is a small percentage of people in America who understand the true nature of the homosexual community. There is another small percentage who will never understand us. Our job is not to get those people who dislike us to love us. Nor was our aim in the civil rights movement to get prejudiced white people to love us. Our aim was to try to create the kind of America, legislatively, morally, and psychologically, such that even though some whites continued to hate us, they could not openly manifest that hate. That's our job today: to control the extent to which people can publicly manifest antigay sentiment."
~Bayard Rustin, From Montgomery to Stonewall (1986)

That seem dated to you Andrew? Just what exactly is it about the passage of time that obviates a single thing that Rustin has previously taught us?

If by, “legislatively, morally, and psychologically” he meant bring pressure by shaming those who would deny us and torment us, than not a single minute has passed since Dr. King issued his clarion call.

We will be judged by the only measure which can be applied . . . “by the content of our character.”

Your foolishness and your inability to neither grasp nor apply history’s lessons betray you in your stumbling efforts to offer anything of value to this discussion.

"BULLSHIT?" Enjoy the past.

Renee Thomas | August 20, 2010 12:42 AM

Enjoy your gazillion trillion dollars Dr. Evil . . . you've earned it by providing us all with many hours of harmless (and certainly pointless) fun.

I can only hope that the conversation about GetEQUAL is about ideas, methods and strategies. I can appreciate Robin and Kip's enthusiasm, but as a community we MUST determine what efforts are actually helpful or effective.

It is 2010. We must begin to acknowledge that reality and make sure that efforts fit into the new world that technology has created. ALL of us need to examine and hold accountable everything we are asked to do for the LGBT Equality Movement. I think that is happening. I think that is useful.

While I represent part of our community that is willing to ask hard questions and to seek an honest and objective analysis of tactics, methods and strategies, I recognize why some resist that effort. Nobody wants to suggest something we've done for years (maybe decades) is no longer effective. I get it. But, we do better when we realize that we MUST change along with the world and the new abilities to communicate.

At the appropriate time I will acknowledge who I am, but for now I want all of us to focus on ideas - ideas that we need to actually WIN our full equality. When ideas are judged based on there source, we don't give those ideas the consideration they deserve - the consideration that enables us to create a cohesive and effective strategy.

I have paid people for their ideas and i will continue to do so. My only requirement is that they add to our chances of winning. I do not want to embarrass anyone, I want to educate, enlighten and enroll them. THAT will enable us to win.

"At the appropriate time I will acknowledge who I am..." quoth Voldermort.

But wait, wait, I thought we'd already solved the riddle of Andrew's identity; he's the guy who's been offering a 100 million dollars to anyone who comes up with a "winning strategy." I believe I have the amount down correctly; it can be verified by a simple search here on Bilerico (so, Tim W., I'm afraid paying for work is an old tale from Andrew). Of course, the fact that none of us have ever heard a word of this mysterious multi-multi-billionaire's plans should not deter us from believing that his wealth exists outside his chosen reality.

Intrepid journalist that I am, I did some research and...drumroll, please...I found him out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKKHSAE1gIs&feature=related

I agree with Alex about the issues regarding Andrew revealing his name, but I would also remind us all that he once showed up on Jillian's blog trying to pull a fast one by using two different handles. Alas, the net will not give you two different ISPs from the same computer, so his plan did not work (I have an elephant's memory. Well, for some things...). It was...interesting to watch you try to wriggle out of that one, A. Or C., as the case may be. Good times, good times.

Oh, and Andrew - you keep paying people for their ideas and, obviously, nothing pans out; you've been giving us this shtick about paying tons of people tons of money for a grand master plan for, what, a year? Two? Pay three months of my rent, and I'll give you a plan to knock everyone's socks off. Bil, Alex, and Jerame can testify that I really do exist.

It's a hot and muggy night in Chicago; that's all I've got, folks.

Kirk Lammert | August 19, 2010 11:48 PM

and ZING as the hot air whistles out of A.'s balloon... Love you Ms. Nair!

I will testify that you exist! Very excitingly, I might add!

I don't see any other handle on the same IP address in the backend, going back to June of this year. If he was sockpuppeting, it would have to be before then.

:-)

And, oh, yes, it was much before then. December 1, 2009, to be precise:

http://www.bilerico.com/2009/12/why_is_our_community_silent_on_enda.php

It was one of the funnier moments in these parts, when Andrew tried to be Travis. Or maybe it was Travis trying to be Andrew? And Andrew finally won.


Oh, and I would like to note that you, Travis, are at the same IP address as my friend Andrew W, who sounds remarkably similar to you, and who comments again below. So what's up with that?


Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | December 1, 2009 2:54 PM


Sorry, Andrew, but this is one area you can't BS me. Even if your company has just one T1 handling their traffic, each computer would have a different IP address, so the IT techs can isolate problems on each individual computer. The first three or two numbers designates the carrier. After the first "dot" it can be anything. Same IP address means same computer.


MonicaHelms | December 1, 2009 5:09 PM

Dude, no disrespect, but are you an estie? That "educate, enlighten and enroll" line has a very Werner Erhard feel to it.

Also, the only way you figure out what works is to try it. GetEqual is trying new tacts. I'd have thought you'd like that...

In order to obtain our equality we must change minds. Nothing GetEQUAL does changes any minds. They are childish publicity stunts that most people find irritating. Irritating people is not a strategy. If that tactic was effective there would be some evidence.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 20, 2010 6:17 AM

Please be so kind as to prove that anyone besides yourself, Obama and right wing anti-gay biogts are irritated by pickets at the White House.

"U.S. registered voters are largely split on whether President Obama deserves to be re-elected in 2012, with 46% saying he does and 51% saying he does not..." - GALLUP

The truth is that childish citizens opppsed to war, TARP bailouts, racism against immigrant workers, union busting and imposed austerity programs are lining up to criticize your bbf Obama.

You'd better have pain killers ready on the night of November 2nd, You and the other Demobots are going to get clobbered, and you deserve it.

Andrew, I'm glad you're out there working on new ideas and critiquing mine. Good ideas are improved by critique, and I appreciate the chance to think about them while responding to your points. The point I'm wrestling with most is the one about effectiveness, and how to define and measure it. As I pointed out in this post, I think the definition for a direct action organization like GetEqual can't be based on persuading legislators to vote for a particular bill. If that were the case, I wouldn't be spending time on GetEqual, but would be doing my old legislative tricks of tracking legislators' votes and lobbying.

The legislators have shown that they are happy to ignore us. Your idea of persuading the electorate to support us is an interesting one, but there is no practical plan for making that. happen. Our effectiveness must be defined by "forcing" them to pay attention. Measuring is a different story. More on that later.

Practical plans are being completed.

The risk is that GE stunts defeat efforts to educate, enlighten and enroll. Queer Rising did a childish stunt at a Target Store that could only discourage people that would otherwise support us.

Check out the comments on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1inmoke76E&feature=player_embedded

Not sure I really want to jail for protesting- and I've been a sign waving activist for over 20 years. So I think those who are willing to go to jail are very brave. Borderline crazy. I applaud Get Equal's loud honking horns- we do need to draw attention to ourselves and our community's issues. Just because I might not want to do something doesn't mean it is not a valuable option. There are many paths to the goal we all seek and this is but one. I prefer to NOT block traffic and sing or yell on the sidewalk whilst holding my homemade sign or double flag.
But some people are more comfortable being more aggressive and demanding and others perfer to stay home and write letters to their congress members. I still say there's room for all of it.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 20, 2010 6:37 AM

Jillian, since you're on their board now, maybe you have access to info we don't have. Would you take the time to answer these questions:

1. Will the leaders of GetEqual call a national conference of activists to debate strategies and elect leaders democratically or will it remain undemocratic with a self-appointed leadership?

2. Will GetEqual unequivocally break from the Democrats and their cousin-brothers the Republicans, declare them our enemies and move towards a campaign of continuous mass action and direct action?

3. Will GetEqual attempt to merge with other activist groups like Equality Across America and some of the activist spinoffs from the battles for same sex marriage?

4. Is GetEqual a small board or a broad coalition of groups and activists?

5. How does the EAA program of "Equal protection in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states" relate to the battle for ENDA? Do you think it's a better approach?

I hope EAA has nothing to do with this. It is run by the International Socialist Organization (ISO), and is itself - a self-anointed group, that seized the money and lists from the Nat. Equality March. I for one, want to know very clearly if the ISO/EAA is involved in GetEqual. It will change my opinion 100% of this work. This is a serious matter. The ISO is using our community to advance it's own agenda. They were doing NOTHING for LGBT rights until they saw the grassroots reaction to Prop. 8 -then they've horned in on every group in every city across the country - leaving devastation or emotional turmoil in their wake.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 22, 2010 4:04 PM

Gosh, are you saying that the ISO acts just like Democrats, creating front groups and putting partisanship before the needs of the movmement.

Why didn't you call the police when they seized the money? Were you just too emotionally devastated?

------------------

EAA, QR and GE are taking the lead now but none of them are the last word. Movement building has taken huge leaps forward in the aftermath of the SSM debacle in California and we'll continue to see the evolution of these groups and the creation of new onew.

We were totally betrayed by Clinton, attacked and demoralized by eight years by Bush's relentless bigotry and now bitterly betrayed by Obama and the Congressional Democrats. That decade or more of defeats, betrayals, demoralization and inaction is over for good, shrugged off by new generations of militants who aren't afraid of direct action or mass action. (Waiting in the wings are the members of thousands of GSA and GLSEN chapters.)

The next big step is calling a broad, inclusive national assembly of GLBT activists to map out a strategy for militant mass action and the election of a leadership to win equality. I am sick to death of self appointed 'boards' and hustlers like Solmonese and Kors who have no organic links to activists and no clue how to fight and win.

We don't need people who look comfortable in a Tux, we need people who look comfortable chained to the White House fence or leading a mass demonstration. We need a national assembly to thrash out a mass action strategy and an honest, accountable, elected leadership. Until we get that we're just pissing in the wind.

Please don't put EAA in the same category as Queer Rising. I am an active member of Queer Rising and it is OPEN, TRANSPARENT, DEMOCRATIC and somewhat consensus oriented. EAA is none of those things and is dominated by an external group, the ISO.

GE is not open, transparent etc, but it is not ISO run. GE has a lot of wonderful spirit and honest intentions, devoted to the movement.

I just want to make sure GE is not working with EAA - and this should be cleanly disclosed. The ISO is a danger to everything being built. Like the ISO destroyed the March organizing, it will destroy GE work, if not avoided entirely.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 22, 2010 5:41 PM

Gosh, are you saying that the ISO acts just like Democrats, creating front groups and putting partisanship before the needs of the movmement.

Why didn't you call the police when they seized the money? Were you just too emotionally devastated?

The focus needs to be on FILING a complete bill to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (and related laws) to include Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

There's a grassroots effort, supported by EqualityGiving.org, and ActOnPrinciples.org to do just that called:

The American Equality Bill.

Phase I: Draft bill (done) & Find Sponsors and File bill in NOVEMBER 2010.

Phase II: Demand Televised Congressional Hearings in MAY 2011.

Phase III. Secure Votes with efforts in EACH Congressional District.

Phase IV. Celebrate Signing at the Lincoln Memorial JUNE 2012.

This will enable a REAL conversation about homophobia in America. That will change hearts and minds, by calling the question we've avoided for 40 years.

If you wish to join this effort, go to: http://bit.ly/AEBnow -- ALL ARE WELCOMED.

The focus needs to be on FILING a complete bill to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (and related laws) to include Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SO+GI).

There's a grassroots effort, supported by EqualityGiving.org, and ActOnPrinciples.org to do just that called:

The American Equality Bill.

Phase I: Draft bill (done) & Find Sponsors and File bill in NOVEMBER 2010. THIS IS UNDERWAY ALL OVER NOW - Jump in anytime.

Phase II: Demand Televised Congressional Hearings in MAY 2011.

Phase III. Secure Votes with efforts in EACH Congressional District.

Phase IV. Celebrate Signing at the Lincoln Memorial JUNE 2012.

This will enable a REAL conversation about homophobia in America. That will change hearts and minds, by calling the question we've avoided for 40 years.

If you wish to join this effort, go to: http://bit.ly/AEBnow -- ALL ARE WELCOMED.

Sorry about these multiple repeat posts. Really.

Jillian.

I have a very serious question. I want to know if GetEqual is working behind the scenes - to any extent - with Equality Across America (EAA).

We were roped into the March with hidden ISO involement by Cleve Jones and Sherry Wolk, in which Robin was an unsuspecting pawn, and we saw the devastation that followed.

We have a right to know if we are being led down that path again. EAA is a front group fort the ISO, and they will destroy our work and GE if they are involved, like they did with the same players in the Nat. Equality March.

I'd like a straight answer.
Tif

The focus needs to be on FILING a complete bill to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (and related laws) to include Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SO+GI).

There's a grassroots effort, supported by EqualityGiving.org, and ActOnPrinciples.org to do just that called:

The American Equality Bill.

Phase I: Draft bill (done) & Find Sponsors and File bill in NOVEMBER 2010. THIS IS UNDERWAY ALL OVER NOW - Jump in anytime.

Phase II: Demand Televised Congressional Hearings in MAY 2011.

Phase III. Secure Votes with efforts in EACH Congressional District.

Phase IV. Celebrate Signing at the Lincoln Memorial JUNE 2012.

This will enable a REAL conversation about homophobia in America. That will change hearts and minds, by calling the question we've avoided for 40 years.

If you wish to join this effort, go to: http://bit.ly/AEBnow -- ALL ARE WELCOMED.

AGENDA SETTERS:

The focus needs to be on FILING a complete bill to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (and related laws) to include Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SO+GI).

There's a grassroots effort, supported by EqualityGiving.org, and ActOnPrinciples.org to do just that called:

The American Equality Bill.

Phase I: Draft bill (done) & Find Sponsors and File bill in NOVEMBER 2010. THIS IS UNDERWAY ALL OVER NOW - Jump in anytime.

Phase II: Demand Televised Congressional Hearings in MAY 2011.

Phase III. Secure Votes with efforts in EACH Congressional District.

Phase IV. Celebrate Signing at the Lincoln Memorial JUNE 2012.

This will enable a REAL conversation about homophobia in America. That will change hearts and minds, by calling the question we've avoided for 40 years.

If you wish to join this effort, go to: http://bit.ly/AEBnow -- ALL ARE WELCOMED.

(this is what I ran into via the net! Josie)

'Madam' Nancy Pelosi's Brothel

The real 'Madam' in Washington DeCeased wants to investigate law-abiding citizens who oppose the Ground Zero mosque!
This is Pelosi's way to muddy the waters and draw attention away from her Marxist comrades with their criminal bent.
But what she really wants to divert attention away from is the wide-open sex brothel she's been protecting in her San Francisco district!
Think I'm kidding? Just Google "Madam Nancy Pelosi's brothel district" which is in the latest version of "Imam Bloomberg's Sharia Mosque."
Nancy reminds us of an Egyptian travel poster: SEE NILE! But there's actually nothing wrong with her appearance that a 10-point earthquake couldn't fix!

A Kansas Patriot (who won FIRST PLACE in a nationwide Americanism Essay Contest !)

Perhaps. Though it is true and it's happened in the last 20 years. Some, the last week.

The tea baggers are notorious for small turn out at their "events" and being loony looking attention seekers. Yet - it's still true. One of Act Up's points was drawing attention to the problem.

Even if small can do naught - the advice to Get Equal then becomes - hey - you need really large demonstrations. Not - "everything you know is wrong."

I do have some advice of my own for them. Trash that logo (circle with three lines for an equal sign) - you're being to derivative & reinforcing the primacy of those whose tactics you question.

That said - I do find it difficult to believe that someone who has the resources you note and has done the research you you note - spends this amount of time arguing online, not sharing the data & not implementing their vision. That behavior is more in line with the good old "false flag" R-F'ing type of operation.

Even if it is true - it means nothing if you do nothing.

All in due time Kathy.

The conversation about effectiveness and accountability is very new for the LGBT Community. It is beginning to make a difference.

"The conversation about effectiveness and accountability is very new for the LGBT Community."

Indeed - we're having it with you also.

When a campaign is launched claiming to represent the LGBT Community I hope you do remember accountability. I certainly do. Unlike GetEQUAL that has never even filed appropriate documentation and engaged in silly stunts before thinking about them - I am creating a winning strategy. Something verifiable, not just street theater to shock people.

GetEQUAL has a few fans - mostly angry, unhappy people who believe if they complain loud enough or often enough that the world will embrace them. The opposite is happening. The GetEQUAL segment of our community is the the LGBT-Westboro Baptist crowd - crazy. In-your-face-crazy. It hasn't worked for Westboro, either.

This does beg the question of how a community would hold a self financed, anonymous entity accountable.

Any suggestions beyond demonstrating against you should it be needed Andrew? An excellent opportunity to demonstrate how you'll operate & be accountable to the community here.

Full accountability and transparency. When you have a way to win - not simply make noise and try to get attention - accountability is easier.

GetEQUAL has no purpose. They are trying to find one now. They should have done that before jeopardizing our progress with their childish stunts. They are nothing more than self-serving publicity stunts - nobody has ever demonstrated that they have any value. Maybe some people think Robin is worth $90,000 a year - but, I don't see it. In eight months they have done seven publicity stunts. That doesn't even seem like a full-time effort. I know many volunteers that accomplish a lot more - without being paid.

Drew - it's a nice day. Brush off the Cheeto dust, climb those cellar stairs and get some fresh air. It'll do your soul world's of good.

Kathy...
He does nothing because he has nothing.

Siting here telling(much like crazy people do) that he's the only one right, and everyone else is wrong
is all he has.

"andrew"...
You've tried the same tactics you seem to abhor GetEQUAL using with everyone here. You've attempted to shout people down, you've been condescending, you've even tried to embarrass us. You certainly must think that those tactics work, because you haven't changed a single mind here, or anywhere on the web, for that matter.

Do you see how stupid you look arguing against the same tactics you yourself use in every post about GetEQUAL?

I know you'll continue to play screechmonkey here.
But, until you actually produce "in due time" what you claim to have, you're nothing. You're nobody important. You won't be that which, I suspect, you so want to be. You want to be important, and one of the movers and shakers.

So, if you're half as intelligent as you think you are, and as you want all of us to think you are, then post your goods so you can be the messiah, and save all of us simpletons from ourselves.

But you've been asked to do that before. And you haven't done it. Nor will you do it now, because we both know there's nothing to your claims.

@ Jillian:

I expect you to read my comments honestly Jillian - I said that I disagreed with your claim that the "large majority of us" are "suffering" from discrimination. That doesn't mean I have suggested there is no discrimination, but an acknowledgement that most of us are NOT "suffering" from discrimination.

People who are interested in the facts should review the numerous studies at: http://www.law.ucla.edu/williamsinstitute/publications/Policy-Discrimination-index.html

Especially this report that looked at 50 studies from the last 30 years: http://www.law.ucla.edu/williamsinstitute/publications/Bias%20in%20the%20Workplace.pdf

This study related "claims" of perceived discrimination from 15-43% in recent years, but the data is admittedly flawed and is deemed unreliable by the Study's authors.

From that particular study:

"Methods and Limitations of Surveys:

Although these studies provide a useful snapshot
of LGB individuals’ perceptions, they have certain limitations. As already noted, the samples used for most studies were not representative of the larger LGB population.

Many of these studies only surveyed individuals in a particular geographic region, occupation, or population group. Almost all were convenience samples, as opposed to random or probability samples. Individuals who have been subject to sexual orientation discrimination may have been more likely to participate in such surveys, skewing the rate of discrimination reported. Therefore, we cannot necessarily apply these findings to all LGB people.

Two other limitations related to these studies’
reliance on perceptions of discrimination are worth noting. First, people’s perceptions may not be accurate measures of actual discrimination. For
example, individuals may misperceive employers’
motivations behind hiring and promotion decisions,
ascribing discriminatory motives to employers
when none existed.

Second, many of these studies had vague definitions of “discrimination” and some did not define the term at all. In addition, the questions asking about employment discrimination were worded differently in each of the surveys.

“Discrimination” included everything from denials of promotions to being subjected to “hard stares” because of one’s sexual orientation (Martin P. Levine and Robin Leonard 1984; James M. Croteau and Julianne S. Lark 1995).

The variations in definitions and the wording of questions may also explain why the studies found varying levels of perceived discrimination."

This is also worth noting:

"The most recent survey, conducted in 2006, found that 7% of the 662 LGB respondents had reported experiencing job discrimination at some point in their lives."

When accurate data can be found, this is what is suggests:

"Individual complaints of discrimination filed with government agencies provide another measure of perceived discrimination. The General Accounting Office (or “GAO”, now known as the Government Accountability Office) collected the number of complaints filed in states that outlaw sexual orientation discrimination and found that 1% of all discrimination complaints related to sexual orientation. However, comparisons of data from ten states show that the rate of sexual orientation discrimination complaints per GLB person is 3 per 10,000, which is roughly equivalent to gender-based discrimination complaints."

So, Jillian, your claim that the "large majority" of the LGBT Community is "suffering from discrimination" is a lie. There is no reliable data that even suggests such an exaggeration is warranted.

As your stated premise for GetEQUAL's angry stunts it isn't truthful and it isn't helpful.

-----------------------------

As to a supposed "resurgence" of GetEQUAL type stunts proving their efficacy - there is no resurgence AND most of the people participating were PAID to do so. When GetEQUAL made an "Emergency ENDA Action" to their many "followers" this Spring (Washington D.C.) only a dozen people people showed up.

There is no evidence that carnivalesque street theater accomplishes anything. The fact that it has mostly disappeared during the last 20 years IS evidence that it isn't effective.

Perhaps you missed the disgusting stunt at a Target Store by the half-dozen misfits known as "Queer Rising." It was stupid, childish and completely ineffective. It simply made us look like stupid. It didn't change any minds or inspire anyone to stand with us, it simply inconvenienced a few shoppers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1inmoke76E&feature=player_embedded

The large majority of the LGBT Community is suffering from a few hundred self-described "activists" that simply want attention and are willing to do anything to get it.

If these childish stunts are effective - please find a few examples of their effectiveness during the last 20 years. Simply saying a few misfits are willing to make fools of themselves doesn't prove effectivness.

Chitown Kev | August 21, 2010 3:00 PM

But Andrew, most states DO allow for sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination; you can be fired, not hired, and not promoted, or not receive equal pay.

What's the sense of filing a suit like that in...say, Oklahoma or Louisana?

And until THAT data is accessed, we really don't know.

That could also be seen as proof positive that having laws against discrimination does serve as a deterrent to outward forms of bigotry.

Also, maybe you've never been discriminated against on the job and filed suit; I know a number of people who have (for a variety of reasons) and a lot of people really don't want to deal with the time and the stress that it takes to follow a job discrimination suit through...much less the monetary costs.

That's why we can't make exaggerated claims like the "large majority suffering," when it isn't true. Several recent studies have shown less than 10% of us have experienced discrimination. Like the study I linked suggested, many more people perceive discrimination, than those that actually experience it.

I'm not sure passing laws means it creates a deterrent - I think people just become more careful about getting caught. Minds change people, not laws.

Ultimately real change comes from societal change - people changing their minds and standing with us. Racism is dying because racists are dying. Bigotry is on the same path.

@AndrewW I am discriminated against everyday due to my sexual orientation. In the state of Texas, I cannot marry/register as domestic partners/enter into a civil union with my husband of 12 years. We pay income taxes on the healthcare insurance that we have which covers one of us as domestic partner even though married couples do not pay this tax, When my partner went to use his eyecare insurance (which I paid double for) the case manager at VSP refused to authorize it because "gay marriage is illegal in Texas, so I can't authorize this." In Social Work School, during a discussion about discrimination, oppression, racism I was told by the professor and several of the students that the discrimination and oppression which I had directly experienced "didn't count" because all I had to do was keep my "mouth shut" and no one would know (effective illustrating the oppressive condition of 'invisibility' that the LGBT community experiences daily, and fails to acknowledge that in many cases omitting to mention my personal life indirectly "outs" me because eventually when I am the only one in my office not talking about my wife and kids that I "must be gay."

Andrew, if you want more research showing the impact these discriminatory social policies have on the mental health of LGBT folk, just let me know because I have done literature review research on this.

So Andrew, the LGBT community DOES face discrimination and oppression every day in this country. Even if I were to move to MA with my partner and marry him, I would still be discriminated against by the federal government via unequal taxation, the Social Security that my partner will not see, and the 1100 other individual ways that we are not treated equally by the federal government.

Mike:

I never suggested that we didn't experience discrimination. I took exception with Jillian's claim that the "large majority suffered discrimination." That statement is false.

As a group of people - the LGBT Community - we are not "oppressed," we are disliked, even hated and we suffer mostly from the negative branding we've received from religion. We suffer from institutional discrimination and inequality, but it isn't something that we experience every day.

I am sorry you've had those experiences.

@Andrew how would you define the concept of "oppression"? I contend that the net effect of the "institutional discrimination" you cite is oppression.

This is how the dictionary defines oppression:

a : unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power b : something that oppresses especially in being an unjust or excessive exercise of power.

For the majority of our community we are not being prevented from living and their isn't an exercise of "power" over us. We are treated differently and we do face discrimination, but we are not oppressed. In fact, most people accept us and many even embrace us.

Blacks in the 50s and 60s were oppressed. They were routinely prevented from simple activities and suffered from discrimination. Our struggle is different. That's why I take exception to calls for copying tactics used in a different time, under wholly different circumstances.

Our problem is the result of negative branding based primarily on religious beliefs. People were routinely taught (at a very young age) that we were defective or that we were "choosing" a sinful "lifestyle." Both of those lies are being rejected and the teaching of them has diminished greatly. But, that is and has been the root of our problem.

Much has changed during the last 30 years and the result has enabled many of us to come out and be more honest about who we are. That has had the greatest effect on cancelling those religious-based lies. It hasn't (yet) changed laws or enabled our full equality. It will.

This is why I take exception to calling us "oppressed" or Jillian's comment that the "large majority" of us are "suffering discrimination." I don't think it is true and I don't think it is helpful.

Of course, we all have varying perspectives and we have had different experiences which color our beliefs. But, I am suggesting (perhaps not as tactful as possible) that we should embrace the progress we have made and learn to fight differently. In fact, I do not believe it is a fight or a battle. The majority of our fellow citizens support our full equality. We need to enroll them and persuade them to stand with us. They are willing - if we are.

It saddens me that you have had suffered from discrimination. We must end that. I believe that happens when people understand, not when they are threatened or embarrassed into some false idea of submission. To that end the most important direct action each of us can take is talking. Neighbors, friends, co-workers and even strangers. Not shouting, but talking.

I appreciate your comment.

My opinion continues to be that it is "an unjust and cruel" abuse of "power" to have ballot referendums which write into our state constitutions that I cannot marry my partner (see Texas, California, Maine and many others), it is also "unjust and cruel" that here in Texas two men were arrested in their own bedroom and convicted of "criminal sodomy" and labelled as "sex offenders" and had to appeal all the way to the US Supreme Court to get those convictions invalidated. While I agree with your point that racial oppression is a different manifestation, I disagree that our plight is not a form of oppression. It is.

Google Lawrence vs. Texas, that ruling came down in 2005, (much less than a "30 year" quote). Until that ruling several states still had anti-sodomy statutes which clearly "prevented us from living" our lives by making it a criminal offense to have a lover in your own home. Changing that did not occur by "enrolling our neighbors," it happened by challenging the statute(s) in the federal court system. Therefore, all of these forms of activism are vital and must continue.

The most remarkable thing about Lawrence Vs. Texas is that sodomy laws had gone unenforced for decades.

I don't know of anyone that didn't enjoy sodomy because of existing laws - it didn't deter me. Sodomy laws stigmatized homosexuality, but those laws were rarely enforced. In fact, I believe a jilted-lover set up the Defendants in the case and most of us are glad he did because it lead to the legalization of sodomy.

I got a chuckle out of that! Thanks, best debate I have had in a long while

If you have time - have a look at this article published in 1993 called "Beyond Oppression" published in the New Republic. It's an interesting analysis.

http://igfculturewatch.com/1993/05/10/beyond-oppression/

And, keep smiling.

I read the article, interesting!

I wish more people would read different opinions. Rauch made some very good points - 17 years ago. The world, and primarily communication, have changed dramatically. Now, it's our turn.

I enjoyed your comments.

Jillian, from your comment above regarding GE:

"The legislators have shown that they are happy to ignore us. Our effectiveness must be defined by "forcing" them to pay attention."

The biggest hurdle for GE (and other activists) is being able to demonstrate that we can "force" politicians to do anything. The other flaw with the statement is that they are paying attention - very close attention. Pelosi doesn't need to be reminded and reminding her of our unhappiness isn't a threat. We (as an issue) are used by politics. In fact, we are the last issue available to inflame the religious crowd (abortion has disappeared). That's why we get used.

I appreciate your thoughtful consideration of this issue and your honesty (expressed in earlier writings) about politics. It is frustrating. But, there is a simple fact about politicians that we repeatedly miss - they must honor the wishes of the majority of their constituents or they lose their jobs. Getting a majority of their constituents to stand with us is the only "force" that can effectively be applied.

GE was started by Jonathan Lewis and Paul Yandura (disgruntled/frustrated Democrats) with the simple idea that they could hire some activists to "embarrass" Democrats into action. While that idea may sound appealing, it is useless, dangerous and counterproductive. Democrats know they are (presently) our only option. Not voting or voting for the other side are not believable threats.

As you continue to consider the future of GE and their effectiveness, please keep public perception and the necessity of changing minds in your thoughts. I would love to see some reasonable rationale for direct action and it's effect on our fellow citizens. Public opinion has come a long way and it is imperative that we do not harm that progress because we wish to express anger at politicians. So, for each "action" the new Board of Directors approves, please consider what our neighbors, friends and even strangers think of us as a result of that action. In the end, that matters more than what politicians think of us.

It is much more effective to own politicians than to attempt to force or embarrass them into submission. Changing minds enables that. Changing tactics enables that. Changing our perspective enables that.

Jillian.

I have a very serious question. I want to know if GetEqual is working behind the scenes - to any extent - with Equality Across America (EAA).

We were roped into the March with hidden ISO involvement by Cleve Jones and Sherry Wolf, in which Robin and Kip were unsuspecting parties, and we saw the devastation that followed.

We have a right to know if we are being led down that path again. EAA is a front group fort the ISO, and they will destroy our work and GetEqual if they are involved, like they did with the same players in the Nat. Equality March.

I'd like a straight answer. I will not make common cause with the EAA/ISO, or any group that works with them to build their role in the movement.

Tif

Tif,

Jillian will answer your questions and the others posted above. I am certain she doesn't want to get the same reputation that GE earned by not answering questions and trying to be beyond accountability.

I got a response from Robin. We are good on this front. Thank you and good luck GetEqual.

@AndrewW....you have been totally discredited in these discussions because of your dishonest methods of posting to blogs. You have been caught often blogging under multiple names and many suspect you even work for the enemy. Your calls for "honest" discussions are so hollow when you can't even be honest about your multiple identities.

Please go away as you really are a distraction with your "Change Minds" plan for equality.

If you think it will work...get off your computer and go prove everybody wrong.

It would not surprise me one bit if he is working for the enemy. He is on a mission to keep this community quiet.

That's a prize winner Dana. I have engaged in very specific ideas and calls for accountability. Some people refuse to engage in honest, objective conversation - but, they're certainly not "quiet."

What a wonderful contribution "Michael." I guess you are rejecting accountability. That's bright.

Skip the paranoia. I have asked important questions. Don't be afraid - answer them. they're not hard.