Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

LGBT Movement "Hitting A Wall"

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | August 04, 2011 8:00 AM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: Bradley Sears, Gill Foundation, Ineke Mushovic, MAP, Movement Advancement Project, OutGiving, Williams Institute

brick_wall.jpgWhile the recent Movement Advancement Project report discusses many advances in the LGBT movement, there may be significant cause for concern.

Lisa Keen of Keen News Service reports that a presentation in March provided by MAP Executive Director Ineke Mushovic and Williams Institute Executive Director Brad Sears at the invitation-only, closed to the press OutGiving conference was more blunt than the report, stating that the movement "may be hitting a wall in some areas," and that, in many states, there has been "little progress" toward passing non-discrimination laws.

Sears said that things are not improving equally across the country, and more focus is needed on Texas, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Arizona.

Most of the $574 million in contributions during 2009 went to health services and community center programs, while only 33% went to advocacy, 6% to legal challenges, and 2% to public education. In addition, revenue to LGBT groups dropped by 20% in 2009.

Keen highlighted the report's statement that only 3.4 percent of LGBT people made a contribution to a national LGBT group in 2009, and anti-LGBT groups have more than three times the revenue of pro-LGBT groups.

The MAP report also notes that HIV infection is still a growing concern among men having sex with men, the poverty rate among lesbians is 80% percent higher than that of straight women; median household income of same-sex couples with children is 23% less than their straight counterparts, and 53% of LGBT people live in states where there is no legal recognition of their relationships.

Nonetheless, the report concludes that "strong and growing public and political support, along with a growing list of legislative successes, shows that momentum is on the side of progress."

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Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 4, 2011 1:18 PM

"Keen highlighted the report's statement that only 3.4 percent of LGBT people made a contribution to a national LGBT group in 2009..." Some of that is no doubt the result of the Clinton Depression but I'd wager that most results from the fact our national organizations are so depressingly inept. They make a lot of noise and raise a lot of money to make the finances of their self appointed leaders lucrative but most of them are controlled, directly or indirectly, by anti-LGBT political parties like the Democrats and the Republicans.

Groups like HRC can't be expected to make a fuss when we get sold out. They'll be too busy supporting Obama.

Um...it's not possible for the gay community to be giving so little for the national organizations to be raising a lot of money at the same time.

The reason that these organizations are not able to do more is because they are leveraging the small amount of money they are taking in from their own community.

Do the math...there are an estimated 8.7 million openly LGBT people in this country. If each of them gave $10/month to national gay organizations, there would be no need to kowtow to politicians or to anyone. Do you know what a billion dollars a year can do to advance equality??? Do you know how many PSA's?? How many direct mailers?? How many neighborhood canvassers??

When you talk about 280K people giving $35/year you have to wonder what everyone's priorities are. I know gay men who will spend more that on lube each month and a great deal more than that on trying to get a trick drunk on any given weekend.

In the **whole** country there are only about 300K people financing the entire movement. Well, guess who's interests are being heard.

If you want more juice with the national organizations, the point is not to *stop* giving, but to *start* giving.