On Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore's post "We Die, You Get Married," which interrogates Richard Kim's comparison in The Nation between coming out as undocumented and the strategies of ACT UP, on the one hand, and gay couples coming out to get married on the other hand. Sycamore suggests that "The gay marriage movement does just the reverse: enforces (or "weaponizes," as Richard Kim phrases it) a single-issue politic at the cost of broader social change."
Elise Harris comments:
It's tricky citing ACT UP as having "positions" when they were so practical in their goals. It was always about lowering the price of a particular drug, not destroying the pharmaceutical industry. It was about changing the FDA, not eliminating it. I was just reading various ACT UP Oral History entries last night. Peter Staley, Jim Eigo, Mark Harrington, Maxine Wolfe. I was interested in the intellectual diversity on economic issues. Eigo is explicitly anti capitalist and has the greatest investment in getting rid of the health insurance companies. Staley says he was usually the most capitalist voice in conversations at the London School of Economics; he was of course on Wall Street-- and it's partially his insiderness that helped persuade unbelievers that Burroughs Wellcome was increasing the price of AZT not by 10x but by 100x or 1000x. The extent of the price gouging. Wolfe thought that some of the TAG men became pawns of Fauci and/or the pharmaceutical industry. Harrington was devastated when Mixner and the push for gays in the military displaced national health care. Just to say that it seems to be very easy to mislead on ACT UP because it (1) used a dual strategy, insider-outsider vis a vis gvt and pharma and (2) it was so diverse intellectually. So whenever anyone says "ACT UP said x or y" my response is usually ... well to whom are you referring?