Joe Mirabella

Don't Close the "gAyTM"

Filed By Joe Mirabella | July 10, 2010 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: 2010 Election, campaign finance law, Democratic Party, DNC, finance industry, gAyTM, Republicans

The LGBT community is understandably upset by the lack of movement towards full equality at the federal level.

capitol-building.jpgThe Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) which would make it illegal for someone to be fired for being LGBT is still not law despite multiple promises from Democrats that it was a priority for 2010. The repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is still vulnerable. The Defense of Marriage Act still prevents gays and lesbians from gaining access to federal relationship recognition.

Until now, the LGBT community was a dependable constituency for the Democratic National Committee (DNC.) We have deep pockets, we are active volunteers, and we vote.

However, since a super majority in Congress and a Democratic President has yet to move our equality forward, there is a recurring call to close the "gAyTM" and discontinue all contributions to the DNC until we see a return on our investment.

I certainly understand the motivation for hitting the DNC where it hurts. Why should we continue to give to a political party that takes us for granted?

The Huffington Post's Sam Stein wrote a startling article that I hope will convince you why money is so important in 2010. He wrote:

On the left hand side of the chart is a list of ten Republican aligned institutions, ranging from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the Family Research Council. Next to it is a column listing the amount of money each group has pledged to spend by Election Day. A third column on the right details what those groups actually spent in 2008 on federal elections.

The number at the bottom delivers the key message. If their pledges are fulfilled, these ten groups will unleash more than $200 million in election-focused spending -- roughly $37 million more than every single independent group spent on the 2008 presidential campaign combined. This time around, almost every single penny will be going to Republican candidates or causes

(Update: A Democratic operative makes the case that the total could rise to roughly $300 million if it includes additional pledges for campaign spending from Americans for Prosperity, promising $45 million, the Club for Growth, $24 million, the National Rifle Association, $20 million, and the Susan B. Anthony List, $6 million)

$300 Million can do incredible damage to not only the Democratic Party, but to the LGBT community. The Republican Party remains viscerally opposed to equal rights for LGBTs. If you think sitting on your wallet is helpful to our community, you are simply wrong.

I realize not every Democrat is perfect and some are downright wrong on our issues. This is why I urge the DNC to create an LGBT fund. Allow us to contribute to the DNC while knowing our money won't support candidates who do not support us.

In the meantime, it is not time to hold back. We are too close to our goals to allow the conservatives to take over. Don't misunderstand me, I remain frustrated that the progressive agenda is still just out of reach, but this is not the right time to turn off the gAyTM.

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I reiterate the comments I made to this same disclosure-free post at Pam's House Blend.

JonathonEdwards | July 10, 2010 12:46 PM

Bullshit. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. You are assuming that the lesser of two evils constitutes good politics. And you're neglecting to account for the real costs our community pays when a) we are continually psychologically pummeled by the betrayal of our allies and b) organizations and institutions that are truly our allies go un- or underfunded because we pour our dollars down the DNC (and HRC) hole.

Mr. Mirabella, and all who continue to spout this line of nonsense are, at best, displaying divided loyalties. At worst, a higher degree of loyalty to the DNC than to their own people.

Personally, I would rather have an openly hostile enemy in the White House than a manipulative traitor. At least the the attack comes from the front, you're not taken by surprise, and you know where to point the guns

SkepticalCidada | July 11, 2010 1:55 PM

Here, here!

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | July 12, 2010 7:08 AM

Exactly. Giving money to the DNC is not all that different from giving money to Focus on the Family.

Here's why.

Giving any time, money or vote to any Republican or any Democrat is not just wrongheaded and unprincipled it's like having a tattoo on the back of your neck saying 'insert knife here".

Giving money to the DNC is giving money to an organization run by anti-choice, anti-GLBT religious nuts like Tim Kaine of Virginia, appointed by Obama and Leah Daughtry, the ordained pentecostal bigot who opposes same sex marriage and women's choice.

According to Lavender NewswireTim Kaine. personally chosen by Obama to head the DNC "Anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-stem cell, anti-labor, warhawk..."

According to Daniel Bergner of the New York Times Daughtry "... in her vocation as a Pentecostal pastor... stands for faith in an extreme form. There is nothing equivocal about her belief. Hers is a religion not only of divine healing but of talking in tongues." Since 2005 Daughtry's run a DNC operation called Faith in Action (FIA) that aims to convert "voters of deep religious conviction" away from the Republicans. FIA funded anti-abortion, creationist and anti-LGBT groups in the South then morphed into the Obama campaign effort to recruit christian bigots to the Democrats 'big tent" led by another anti-GLBT ordained pentecostal bigot, Joshua Dubois, now Special Assistant to the President and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He's Obama's Karl Rove.

The DNC never meant for our communities to be part of the "big tent" which is why all references to our agenda were excised from the Democrats 2008 platform, why the DNC's LGBT outreach director was fired (and won a settlement because the firing was discriminatory) and why Obama chose to select homohating scum like Donnie McClurkin and megabigot Rick Warren as campaign associates.

The idea of putting partisan party needs ahead of the movements needs for money, time and effort, of diverting funds from our movement to these kinds of people is wrong-headed, self destructive and very offensive.

Go look at Pam's House Blend.
The people there waxed eloquently on Mr Mirabella's essay.

"Give 'em hell, Harry!"


Sorry Joe, no sale. Doing it your way has brought nothing but continued avoidance of our issues by cowardly Democrats. The only way to effectively make our point is by hurting these people, by costing them seats and political influence. It's clearly the only way of inspiring any credible action on our issues whatsoever.

Maybe if we cost the Dems control of Congress once or twice they'll finally pull their heads out of the sand and realize that not only elections, but also repeatedly broken promises, have consequences.

I received a DNC fundraising letter in the mail about 4 weeks ago. Four pages of questions about what I thought the party's priorities should be, all leading up to a request for financial support. GLBT issues weren't even included in the list of topics that I could select as important.

At this point, I would honestly prefer to face and deal with whatever the Repubs might be able to get passed in Congress instead of getting my hopes up for major improvements and getting tossed a tiny breadcrumb every year or two.

I got the same letter and wrote all over it how dissatisfied I was with the continuation of Bush/Cheney policies and the lack of progress on GLBT issues. It wasn't the first time I've complained (via email, letter, at my Senator's office in person, fax, or phone call) but it felt the most satisfying.

TheMadMartin | July 10, 2010 1:00 PM

So you are asking me to actually pay for my own oppression?

The rules of the game are that we only have two parties to pick from. This allows the more progressive party to perpetually stall and make excuses on actually making progress. The only power we really have is play their own strategy which is "Support us now and we'll support you later".

So to the Democrats I say, "Support us now and we'll support you later." Otherwise, good luck with that coalition of voter groups come election time. If a majority of LGBTs just stay home, it would be enough margin to lose every close House seat.

To the LGBT community I say, " Don't enable the Democrats anymore - end the neglect and teach the Dems a lesson they sorely need to learn. And stop being afraid of the GOP."

"Joe provides social media consulting services to a variety of clients including, Microsoft, the New York Daily News, the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA), various elected official, political candidates, and more."
From Mr Mirabella's website.

Do you suppose that someone has an actual or potential financial interest in getting us back into line to be good little opiated queers with open purses and closed mouths?

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | July 10, 2010 1:46 PM

Disagree with Joe if you want, but there's no need to question his integrity.

Joe is committed to achieving LGBT equality and working to figure out a way forward.

Questioning his motives does nothing but discredit you and your arguments.

Marc Caldwell | July 10, 2010 2:02 PM

Do tell us Michael, why should we not question yours?

I'd say it sounds more like marketing than speaking from the heart when the same column appears on three different blog sites: here, HuffPo, Pam's House Blend.

I don't buy that reasoning either, Viking. I publish at multiple sites too, as do many who blog here. That's not a determiner of credibility in my mind, it's the argument being made.

The fact is that Joe's argument isn't new, not by a long shot. We've done it that way and it just flat out doesn't work and changes nothing. It's only when the power and positions of Democrats are threatened that they do anything for us at all.

Personally, I find Joe highly credible. It's his argument here which I think is bullshit.

I checked and Pam actually asked him to post at The Blend; however, if his argument is bullshit he can't be credible.

So, what does Pam's opinion of what to run on her blog have anything to do with my assessment of Joe's argument? Are you assuming that the argument is valid simply because Pam chose to run it? If so, how does that make any sense? I don't get it.

I was combining two subjects, sorry if the reply was too compressed:

1--he posted on Pam's at her invitation as opposed to trying to blanket blogs with his message.

2--a bullshit message damages the credibility of the messenger.

Disagree with Joe if you want, but there's no need to question his integrity.


That's the funny thing about the 'Net: Hilary Rosens are becoming easier to spot.

And people who NEED political progress are bcoming less and less tolerant of poseurs whose first priority is making money off of LGBT misery.

I'm getting really fed up with this comments thread. The users are on a crusade to silence thoughtful discussion at Bilerico. I think everyone needs to be concerned with the tone this thread has taken.

It does justice to the prosecutor in me, Mr Crawford. As one wyo sells gay support, a piece like this lends substance to his credentials in that regard. He benefits from our acquiescence, Michael, whether or not his motives are genuine.

I've seen too many collaborationist in too namy places not so be suspicious of a piece by a man who will get a fiduciary benefit from an outcome from his work favourable to the DNC, specifically our resuming to be a large, open walleted opiated mass of worshipful queers chanting "Obama"

Forgive me for being suspiciou given the the fact that th man woks selling products, organisations and candidates to "Teh Gay," but making the argument that it discredits me and my reputation is at best a weak, cheap shot Michael, certainly unworthy of you. No can accuse me of ever selling out ALL LGBT rights

Absolutely not. I will always disclose conflicts of interest when I write. Generally, if there is a conflict of interest, I choose not to write anything at all. I should also note, that my opinions are entirely my own, and do not represent those of my employers future, past or present.

The work I do for political candidates is strictly volunteer. This season, I volunteered for Laurie Jinkins who could be the first out lesbian elected to the Washington State House of Representatives. She happens to be Democratic. Does that make me a bad guy?

My motivation for this piece is personal. I strongly believe that the anger in the LGBT community will end up harming ourselves. Throughout my life, I strive to build bridges, even with those who I may disagree. There are serious problems with the DNC, but I am not prepared to let the Republicans take over simply because I am impatient.

If you don't want to give to the DNC fine. Give to someone. Make your voice heard with your dollar. Give it to the Victory Fund, for example. Find a candidate that will move us forward. But whatever you do, do not sit this one out.

Working for politicians at all, making a living from selling "Teh Gay" leaves you vulnerable to a perception that you are unlikely to be objective or critical of the larger Democratic organisations, Joe, and you have to recognise this. You, according to your web page, have worked for and likely would like to work for organisations in the future if not currently that would be far less likely to employ you were you to vocally joing the "close the gAyTM" crowd.

What are he chances of Hilary Rosen supporting the closed gAyTM? Fairly poor.

While we are at it, waving the fear of "President Palin" is silly given that the "fierce avocate" submitted one of the most homophobic briefs of recent history ever prepared by a governmnt outside of Africa on a gay rights issue, a document so packed with falsehoods and distortions that till that day I could not imagine an elected government of a wetern nation uttering them.

The gAyTM stays closed

To be clear, I am not interested in being employed by politicians or by the Democratic National Committee.

My motivation is to achieve full equality under the law. I choose to work within the system to move equality forward. You may consider me foolish for that, but I still have faith in the process. Is it going the way I want it to right now, hell no. But that does not mean I'm going to sit on the sidelines and whine. I'm going to work even harder to do the work that I think is important to protect my family. If that means getting democrats elected, and sharing my opinion with the gay community, then I'm going to do that. Even if I have to face the anger that my community so easily spews.

Citizen United has changed the game. The Republican Party is going to be extremely powerful now. They have more money than they did in 2008. That makes me sick to my stomach, and I would hope it concerns you all too.

If you all want to sit this out, enjoy the tea-party Congress.

Opposing the DNC is not the same as being pro-tea party.

If the republicans come in, it will not be because we were slective wih our donations.

It will be because the Democcrats betrayed far too many of their base.

We survived eight years of Bush, we will survive four years of Republican control, and perhaps by then the Democrats will have learned something.

"Ohmigod, if you don't donate to people who wrive vile briefs about you and put your rights on the back burner and sell you out to the insurance companies and donate tax dollars to th right wing churches that oppose you then you will get Sarah" doesn't frighten us any longer.

For far too long it was used to keep us silently in line.

We got Rick Warren, associate with the forces behind LGBT and Muslim Murders(he wrote a whitewash of Akinola) and one of the original supproters of the people behing the LGBT Final Solution in Africa praying at this president's inagural. I cannot recall another administraion whose invovation was offered by someone tained by cimes against humanity. It did set the tone, though.

Faith based initiative has been expanded, hurrah, the Baptists getting more of my money....

And the DOMA brief, Mr Mirabella, was an official document and position of the Government of the United States, an infamy and a rebuke to us so very strong that those amongst us who are attorneys were stunned and tearful.

And the lie that he "had to do it" is exposed by every twist and turn the government makes to avoid implementing repressive immigraion measures

Money for the DNC?

Not a bloody chance.

Nor will I take responsibility for the future possibility of a reactionary winn; the DNC and th Administration did that to themselves; I will not enable their addiction to selective indecisiveness by sendiing them more money to continue to do so.

"God," sir, is not "in the mix" of my conceptions of wht a Democratic administraion in a secular republic ought to be

SkepticalCidada | July 11, 2010 1:48 PM

"But that does not mean I'm going to sit on the sidelines and whine.... If you all want to sit this out, enjoy the tea-party Congress."

I'm always amused at how sycophantic excuse-makers like you think insulting me will somehow get me to re-open my wallet.

The alternative to your strategy of groveling--a strategy that has manifestly FAILED--is a strategy of direct action. If Democratic officials want to keep deliberately screwing us over, they should expect more demonstrations, more interruptions, more zaps. The choice is not between doing nothing or permanently attaching your lips to their a$$.

As for a tea-party Congress, how exactly would that be different from the do-nothing Congress? Oh, right, the thoroughly de-gayed agenda of politically homophobic Democrats might be imperiled. Too bad. We don't exist to serve straight Democrats and their deliberately de-gayed agenda.

Sorry, Joe; you aren't getting your hand in my wallet with pathetic scare tactics. Show me the party has the will to enact our legislation and give me the clear, specific public commitment, with firm timetables, for making further advances. Until then, spare me your sniveling con job.

"making a living from selling "Teh Gay" "

Maura, you're going beyond the bounds here. You have no evidence of Joe "making a living from selling "Teh Gay" " and you know it. Ad hom attacks undermine your credibility, especially when you seek to bolster your own credibility by mentioning that you're an attorney. Let's stick to criticizing the message and lay off of unfounded personal attacks on the messenger, shall we?

For the record, I consider Joe a friend and we have collaborated as recently as this week on blog posts. That said, I'll not be donating to DNC, but continue to volunteer for and donate to individual candidates I find credible and organizations like Victory Fund.

I took it from his website Lurleen where he states that he had been employed by the Business assicoation and some politicians.

So I did have reason to come to that conclusion. If it is error, then I am wrong, but I did not simply pull it out of the air

"Joe provides social media consulting services to a variety of clients including, Microsoft, the New York Daily News, the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA), various elected official, political candidates, and more."

if he were an employee of a political organization that would benefit directly from this post, then your most-damning-possible "selling the gay" translation of that statement might be valid. but he's not, and you've failed to give a brother lgbt advocate the benefit of the doubt about where his heart is because you disagree with him on the thesis of this diary. disappointing.

I respectflly disagree wih you Lurleen, and I truly mean respectfully since I hold you in high regard. I won't belabour the point, but I do disagree.

There isn't anything to disagree with. Joe is not employed by any campaign. He's a volunteer for a lesbian candidate period. If we're going to bring up shady backgrounds, there are folks on the other side of the "Close the gAyTM" campaign that have backgrounds as Republican fundraisers and strategists. I don't doubt THEIR sincerity, either, but the devil is everywhere you turn. Sometimes you have to take at face value that SOMEONE in this movement actually gives a damn and doesn't have ulterior motives. Some of us are, as a matter of fact, doing it just because we believe in it.

That said, Joe's a big boy. I'm sure he knows how fairly anonymous internet message boards behave. Folks can wave around screeching hyperbolic hypotheticals and haughty condemnation of a writer's honest feelings by doing just what the right does--oversimplifying, and abridging someone's entire existence in a few dismissive sentences.

Those who know Joe, know his integrity, and those people include me, Lurleen, Bil, Jerame and many other trusted voices on this site and others. But, folks will do what they do. There's no accounting for it sometimes, but its inevitable here, I guess.

That's why I've steered clear of the comments section for the better part of a year--silly exchanges like this were going to get me in trouble. I needed to take a step back and allow for some emotional distance.

But Joe's a DEAR DEAR friend, and even though I disagree with his concept here, I see the personal attacks persist enough, and I get protective. Virgo. Can't help it. Please move on, because you're just plain wrong about Joe. Period. And more than enough people have vouched for him. Enough. Thanks.

Then I apologise, Joe.
I was wrong, undignified and inappropriate.

I've been a bit more testy these past 6 weeks and you most certainly did not deserve it, Joe.

Some work related things
Some personal/

and Lurleen,
I would have thought that you would know me better than to think that I would do such a thing merely to boost my credibility; I only mentioned the prosecutor thing because that is how a think, not necessarily a good thing, but there it is.

I din't need to boost either my ego or my credibility, I write to try and to move gay rights forward, not out of a sense of either narcissistic entitlement of a desire for kudos.

And that is why I so vehemtly oppose opening the gAyTM and why I see any further enabling of the Dems disdain and outright contempt for us as unacceptable

that "building bridges" concept is the same as Obama's work for "bi-partisanship". And, all that has accomplished for him is to get every piece of legislation watered down to the point that it is non-functional and still get no votes from republicans. what it has done is allow weakened legislation that the republicans can point to as Obama's and the Dem's policies that have failed... Just look at the stimulus and health care reform as perfect examples.

"Impatient"? Mr. Mirabella, you are either deliberately condescending, or you have no idea how belittling this comment is. "Impatient"? I'm impatient when my dog is taking too long on a walk to poop. I'm impatient if a web site is loading inexplicably slowly.

I'm not impatient about the Democrats and Obama, I am outraged. Outraged by the lack of follow-through on promises, by being taken for granted, by being criticized when I object to those things.
And don't think it's only on GLBT issues. I deplore Gitmo still being open, I deplore the abuses of civil liberties that carve in stone the profound assault on the Constitution begun by Bush and Cheney, and I deplore the two wasteful, insane wars that show no sign of ever ending.

SkepticalCidada | July 11, 2010 2:02 PM

He's deliberately condescending. It is the knee-jerk reaction of the sycophantic, sell-out, excuse-making queers in D.C. They're usually doing it while sneering across their flutes of champagne at the latest ass-kissing cocktail party that makes no more progress toward equality than the previous seven thousand did.

Joe posted this is good faith and with the best intention. The disagreement has been less than respectful. I'm one who disagrees with Joe's thought process here, but I have a big problem wit the awfully vicious personal attacks. This is why I normally steer clear the comment section. Its good to disagree, but this is utterly revolting. I invoke Thumper (and I don't mean that household appliance in the black duffel bag under my bed): "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." That doesn't mean dont' disagree, just dont' be a monster about it.

SkepticalCidada | July 11, 2010 4:08 PM

Mirabella has in his comments repeatedly resorted to the garden-variety condescension of advocates who fancy themselves sophisticated operators. It is not respectful; it is disdainful. And it is not something that I have any obligation to respect. Go lecture someone who gives a damn.

Enough Maura. Uncalled for and unprofessional. You're a regular commenter here and damn well know Joe's been a long-time contributor that you often agree with.

Disagree with his opinion if you'd like, but don't insinuate things that would damage his credibility just because you're angry with what he said. That's wrong and you know it.

FYI I am not employed by a business organization. I volunteer as a board member for the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA). It is the county's largest LGBT chamber of commerce. It is also home to the first and oldest LGBT and allied scholarship fund. This year we gave away over $100,000 to young scholars ready to change the world. Some of our scholars were kicked out of their homes when they came out. Thanks to our scholarship program, they now have a place to live and are excelling in school.

I agree 100% with Jonathon Edwards!

Are you out of your damn mind? The only thing these cowards understand is money.

I want a return on my voting investment. I'm, not putting MORE money into a losing venture.

For the love of god, they have majorities in both houses, the executive, and they STILL refuse to move our rights forward. It will not get better than that. Ever.

I'm not putting more money into a losing proposition. If they want my money and vote, they can freaking earn it.

So far they haven't, so they aren't getting another dime from me. Screw em. Maybe 4 or 8 years of destructive GOP insanity will make people clue in.

The whole "but the GOP might win!" argument is ridiculous on its face, considering the Democrats are barely a hair better and have tacked so far to the right that Nixon would be a liberal.

So forget it.

GraciesDaddy GraciesDaddy | July 10, 2010 2:54 PM

Fan: Meet Sh!t!

You have to be kidding. So we should just keep giving them money and let them think that it is ok to keep doing what they are doing. Parenting 101, don't reward bad behavior. So if we can't count on them they should not be able to count on us.
Give money candidate by candidate or organization by org ok. Maybe even give some dollars to youth orgs which need it.
These endless political battles have been sapping any financial support that we have to help our own within our community. I know that dollars given to youth orgs will help LGBT kids I don't know that any more dollars given to the DNC is going to help anyone in this community. Simply logic spend money where it will be of some help to us.

I don't think this is realistic. The issue isn't that some democrats aren't perfect and some are even wrong. The problem is that, at the federal level, the dems have failed to enact any major legal protections for LGBTs as a whole.

The Hate Crimes Act only helps people who are victims of violent crime. Obama has ordered limited hospital visitation rights and housing nondiscrimination, but it lacks permanence and leaves a yawning chasm where vital employment protections should be - and these could be ordered through interpretations of Title VII that are consistent with many recent court decisions.

Obama and the dems could be taking action. We saw this when we first closed the gAyTM some time ago and the dems started moving. Why did they return to their former delays and empty words? Because we've made concessions and become divided as the election approaches. The gAyTM cracked open. We need to shut it firmly again. And just maybe, the dems will keep their promises so that we can support them again.

Instead of donating to the dems, we can contribute to groups like GLAD, NCLR, and Lambda Legal. They have a much better track record than the dems.

I like your idea of creating an LGBT fund at the DNC, but why don't we just give directly to tested lawmakers like Jarrold Nadler, who has always gone to battle for us. Or, like you said, give to Victory Fund.

I have issues with giving to the party en masse. Then again, I have issues with supporting the party en masse--after all, I'm not registered with them, why should I give! :-)


Because it is a numbers game. If we lose control of the Senate, or the House, or both, LGBT issues won't see the light of day for 4 -12 years.

I think the missing bit of information we need from you is, how is giving to the DNC (as opposed to specific candidates) necessarily going to translate into losing ground in the Senate? If you want people to donate to the DNC rather than specific candidates, you have to make a case for a direct relationship between where we donate and the outcome. If you can back up your opinion with some analysis, you might make some headway.

SkepticalCidada | July 11, 2010 1:27 PM

Right. And because the Party has so destroyed its credibility, this donor won't give another penny without seeing a detailed plan, including realistic strategies and firm timetables, for further advances. I'm never again giving money based on vague promises and empty, feel-good rhetoric. With the trust so thoroughly obliterated, I view this in purely transactional terms. What am I buying? How? When? Make it credible or forget it.

SkepticalCidada | July 11, 2010 1:33 PM

And spare us the scare tactics about Republicans. We survived eight years of Bush and emerged a stronger movement than we were at the start. We have reached the point where we need not cower in fear. It's time we started teaching the Democratic Party not to take us for granted as by completely screwing us over the way they have for the last 18 months.

2-infinity years...

But I still disagree. As it stands now, we've already failed at motivating positive change for the next congress, whether the Dems keep their majority, or the Republicans take every seat in both houses (of course, that would be awful--it would mean a constitutional amendment, but that's unlikely).

That's because the elections don't matter when you fail to make an impact in the primaries.

We largely ignored the primaries this year, and sloughed off the super-pro-gay or downright gay candidates because... well, I'm not sure why.

The LGBT movement needs to concentrate harder on in the 2012 primaries if we're going to make a dent. We need to have every single blog, org and paper telling folks who's serious, and who pays lip service.

Our primaries have served us up another slate of ho-hum milquetoast carbon copies of the last Democratic slate. I'm barely excited about anyone. In Illinois we should have drafted Senator Burris for something, or rallied behind Jacob Meister, who has now gone on to turn his campaign organization into a state-wide LGBT Equality organization, leveraging his supporters database into the largest list of LGBT equality supporters in Illinois. He was serious... but we weren't.

I can't get excited about the Dems because I've seen a lot of real advocates bite the primary dust thanks to the slimy tricksters that talk out of both sides of their mouths. Get ready for at least 2 more years of the same garbage.

DURING this two years, let's get smart. Lets channel our money, time, resources, media to the candidates that are going to make LGBT Equality priority one when they're elected. Make the Dems follow US!

If we secure primary wins for exciting, solidly progressive, but also tested queer-allies, the party will, for its own good, put the resources in to get the rest of the progressive coalition in line, and we'll make a break for it. But once we lose our "fierce advocates" in the primaries, all is lost.

That said, I'm not progressive JUST for LGBT issues. I almost NEVER talk about them, but I am progressive on a lot of issues. Choice is a big issue for me, as is the environment. And I'm a Detroiter, so labor is important for me too. I'm also a conscientious objector so I abhor both our wars. Finally, I believe in free health care for all. All these things lead me toward Dems, Greens and other Progressives again and again. However, I'm not a party man, and never have been. I'll never have a party. I give to CANDIDATES that excite me, and who line up with the things I believe in. That's my right. That's how I believe that folks, upset with their party over-all, may find a better return on their investment.

Choice, environment, employment, Gitmo, torture, exporting jobs, unions,partner rights and benfits, civil liberties, domestic spying, are all issues for me...and all issues that this President is at best disappointing on

As for the LGBT issues, well I want the young people to know full rights and soon, not have to live with the kinds of disaccomodation and pain that so many of us have had to.

Not another Lesbian ought to have to repeatedly hear "oh, I am sorry about your friend" upon the death of a beloved wife.

It needs to be better, not just for us, but for those young people just coming out with years stretching before them on this journey through life. I don't want to see them accumulate the emotional callouses, the traumas, the numbness, the sense of 'less than' that we accumulated.

"...4-12 years..."

The Dems have already taken ENDA and "pushed it down the road" 5 years, why should I think it'll any different in five?

I honestly can't make sense of your defense here at all. We *know* the Democrats are going to lose ground this round, we know they've already sat (with some notable exception) on their hands.

I want to believe something different, you clearly do, you've (I think) used the word "faith" with respect to it.

So, let's try and figure out why we end up with such different results. Aside from blind faith, what makes you think next time will be better? Seriously, make the case and I'll try and listen, but right now, you're losing me, and it's actually more likely to harden, rather than weaken, my desires to not feed the DNC (as a whole).

If we lose control of the Senate, or the House, or both, LGBT issues won't see the light of day for 4 -12 years.
But Joe - how is this different from the case where the DNC retains control of the Senate?

That's the problem you see. If we give any money to the DNC, why on Earth should they do anything for us? We've learnt that lesson.

ENDA was scheduled to clear committee in June. Then August. Then September. Then November, we promise. Then, oops, well, by February at the latest. Then March. Then what, early May? "within two weeks, it's on the fast track".

It's now July. ENDA isn't even on the committee's schedule to be discussed, and should it get on that schedule, it would be months before the Senate even looks at it.

Not gonna happen.

Just like the opening of the GayTM. Because the only way of discouraging the DNC from giving us Nada, Nil, Zip, is to make doing that hurt. A lot. So much so that they never, ever, do it again.

By closing down the donations, we *might* get legislation in 2022. Because if we open the coffers now, we sure as heck won't, even then.

In short: we have nothing to lose, because we've been given nothing to lose.

The GOP knows this, BTW. And they know that the one thing that will get the funds flowing again to the Dems is to treat us badly. By not giving money unconditionally to the DNC, we actually strengthen our position in the lean years that are a-coming.

"In short: we have nothing to lose, because we've been given nothing to lose."

POW!! I think this distills it better than anything I have read.

I have paid for services that have not been rendered. Why on earth would I pay for them AGAIN. In fact, I want a refund!!!!

SkepticalCidada | July 11, 2010 1:22 PM

I'm delighted to have the chance to agree with Zoe in everything she says here.

JonathonEdwards | July 11, 2010 6:00 PM

Why do you keep acting like we've made progress in this administration? We haven't. Its all smoke and mirrors. A Republican administration would have been no worse.

We have though, Jonathon. Hate Crimes. If you don't count the presidential orders, memos, as well as the justice department policies and the state department policies, if you don't count the DADT repeal bill which is law as soon the Senate passes the Defense Department authorization (of course, then it goes for Pentagon review, which is another rabbit hole, but at least DADT is no longer law, just policy) the reality is we got Hate Crimes.

We lose all credibility when we speak in hyperbole like that. We should not represent ourselves as a community with a gold fish memory. Say "He didn't keep his promises on DADT, ENDA and DOMA" not "we didn't get anything!" It does not make you seem like you've been paying attention at all.

Be honest Joe. We won't see them anyways unless the Dems get a 99 Senator super-duper-majority.

For over a decade, the acvolytes and operatives of the Democraic Party have used fear to keep us quiescently in line, fear of Bush, fear of McCain, Fear of Palin, while giving us crumbs from the hand of the oppressors(and yes, Democrats too) whose jackboot is firmly affixed to our throats.

And now, after the DOMA brief, after the lies, the raised and dashed expectations, after the mocekery of a healthcare reform bill, after everything, you wave the sectre of Palin to frighten us back into line if we can not be opiated back into line.

Let's not insult our intelligence further, Joe. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

You make an excellent point, Maura! We were told how important it was for them to control Congress but then--whoops!--they don't really control Congress because votes aren't determined by a majority, a bill needs to be filibuster-proof. And so they can excuse doing nothing over and over again.

GraciesDaddy GraciesDaddy | July 11, 2010 6:23 AM

Even McCarthy thought he was right... all the while being whispered to by his pet snake, Roy Cohn.

GraciesDaddy GraciesDaddy | July 11, 2010 6:24 AM

Even McCarthy thought he was right... all the while being whispered to by his pet snake, Roy Cohn.

Because it is a numbers game. If we lose control of the Senate, or the House, or both, LGBT issues won't see the light of day for 4 -12 years.

But if we just get 15-20 more Dems for the House, we'll definitely be able to pass ENDA, right?

Sorry, but that only works once.

SkepticalCidada | July 11, 2010 1:18 PM

Right. It is a cyclical. The 2009-10 Congress, with historically anomalous Democratic supermajorities, WAS the window of opportunity for this generation.

And the Party deliberately chose to sacrifice our interests. Yes, it will be years and years. And that's a result of the Party's decision to throw us all under the bus.

No more money. No more work. No more votes.


There's still time before the election for the DNC to demonstrate their committment to our rights. Why put the blame on *us* if *they* won't act? Why don't you tell the folks you've worked (or, I see, volunteered) for, whichever that they need to get off the pot and take a few swings at bat?

Short of that, many of us won't actually *have* the dollars to commit. Those guys keep us from getting the same tax treatment as straight people and then expect for us to pay for it? Personally, this doesn't hit me particulary hard, but maybe if this guy over here wasn't paying more for health care, this other gal paying more for income taxes. Maybe if this third guy had a job, having gotten fired for lack of an ENDA. Maybe this fourth gal had a job, having gotten discharged because of the "delay" in DADT repeal.

There are absolutely some fierce advocates for our rights around, but they're not nearly dense enough on the ground for me to spread my money wafer-thin through the DNC.

Instead, individual candidates who have demonstrated their undestanding of the fierce urgency of equal protection will get my few dollars, and my efforts.

The rest of 'em can rot.


I am glad to see on all three sites that Joe has posted on the gay community seems united and is no longer buying the battered woman syndrome. We are tired of hearing well they hit me a little less harder than the Republicans. I won't vote for Republicans but I will vote for third party candidates who are progressive. And I will not give money to DNC, DSCC, or OFA. I also will not give to the Democrats' lap dogs HRC. Their fundraisers got an earful from me just this week when they called.

bigolpoofter | July 10, 2010 9:51 PM

Puh-leez, Joe! The bleating here and PHB is reminiscent of one school yard bully running a protection racket on other kids to protect them from a second bully. No promise of a better status under the racketeer's oppression, just less brutality.

Thanks, but no. Hell, no! I'm not a closeted, self-loathing member of Congress. I don't pay to get screwed.

Even before the un-lubricated screwing by the Obama Administration began, I changed my political giving philosophy to focus exclusively on Out LGBT candidates and solid allies. No checks to political parties and their committees. No love for any candidate who has voted against my inalienable rights. If I've held strong to decades-long boycotts of unrepentant hate-funding businesses, why the hell should I hold candidates for office and their parties to a lower standard?

Tons of love for The Victory Fund, though!

This GaYtm isn't just closed--I cut up the card, and I can't even remember the PIN! When the Obama Administration and the DNC get serious about treating LGBTQ Americans as full fellow citizens, I'll take a good long look at my options for supporting a political party alongside worthy candidates. This poof's money is as green as his neighbor's, and he might consider those political colors.

I love the idea of all of us taking more seriously out gay progressive candidates. Been pushing it hard on this site for over a year. BigOl, want to see you help me get the word out next time there's a slate. Hardly ever any comments on my posts when I post about out gay progressives... you have to help me out buddy!

bigolpoofter | July 11, 2010 2:03 PM

Phil and all,
The current slate endorsed by The Victory Fund is always found here:

The green states on the map will pop the number of endorsed candidates when you float your mouse over them. My state of Maryland has two candidates for State House I'm particularly fond of: Dana Beyer and Luke Clippenger. My favored Congressional candidate is Steve Pougnet seeking to un-seat Mary Bono in California. You can search by office and level and other characteristics at:

And don't forget to support the work of The Victory Fund itself:
Within your means, please consider becoming a sustaining member or a member of The Victory Cabinet.

Dear Friends (and people who don't like me),

This blog has certainly highlighted a serious problem in our community -- one that I did not necessarily anticipate when I wrote it. A vocal group of LGBT people are so upset, they no longer believe the system of Government we have will give them the equality they need. That is a serious problem, because without political involvement we are never, ever going to win.

I certainly share the frustration that is palpable in the comment sections here and elsewhere. But I do not make judgments based on emotional responses like anger. I make judgments based on facts and reason.

These are the facts as I see them:

1) The Republican Party is more right wing then ever before.
2) The Republican Party has done a great job stopping Progressive legislation by using more Filibusters than ever in the history of the United States.
3) The Republican Party, by successfully stopping the Progressive agenda, has turned Progressives against themselves.
4) The Republican Party is poised to raise more money than Obama raised in the 2008 election by using Citizen's United to their advantage.
5) The small donor's that elected Obama are understandably frustrated because there has been little movement on issues that matter to them.
6) There is not a viable third party for the 2010 election.
7) There are not enough gay people running for office to fill all the seats.
8) There are not enough pro-equality candidates running to maintain a majority Democratic Congress if they are the only ones elected.
9) If I only support the pro-equality candidates in my district (who are already poised to win) I will not be influencing candidates in more heated contests who I need in place to strategically maintain control of Congress.
10)If the Democratic party loses control of Congress, the Republicans will ruin this country for years to come.
11) Until we change the two party system we need to work within the system we have. I'm ready to change it when you are, but there is not enough time for this election.
12) It feels good to say things like "fire them all" but you need to back that up with, who your going to replace them with, and when, and how and with what money.
13) The team with the most money in Politics almost always wins. I want to win -- even if some of the people on the team I'm rooting for are not ideal.

As so many of you painfully know, the equal rights movement is not a sprint. I tend to look at the long haul big picture -- even if that doesn't make me the most popular person every day. It would feel good to write what you all want to hear. It would feel good to write posts that feed your anger so that I can be your hero, but frankly that won't get us anywhere other than where we are now -- with a community so angry they are paralyzed. That's a problem, a serious problem that I honestly don't know how to solve other than to continue to speak the truth as I see it. If you like me for that great, if not -- well fine. I'm not in this for a popularity contest, I'm in this to protect my family.

I owe you an apology, Joe,
You did not in any way deserve what I meted out.
I was far, far out of line

I still disagree, mind you

But let's be honest gay legislation is not being held up by the Republicans it's the Democrats.
In the Senate we have at least 2 Republicans on our side so the filibuster is not an option unless we have Democratic enemies. Again you have not explained how a Democratic majority with members hostile to our agenda really does anything to help us. For the record it doesn't. In fact it hurts are cause more because I hear from straight allies all the time how we have it so great because we have a Democratic majority. They actually think that we have it great. Maybe the Dems will learn when they see progressives getting elected and moderate/conservate Dems getting kicked to the curb.

SkepticalCidada | July 11, 2010 1:13 PM

Stop condescending to us by portraying yourself as some kind of deep and long strategic thinker and the rest of us as emotional infants.

It is in the long-term interest of the gay community to make crystal clear to the exploiters and triangulators in the Democratic Party not to take our money and then blatantly screw us over.

The domestic violence against our community ends NOW.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | July 11, 2010 5:18 PM

After getting clobbered at Pam's and a cool reception at Huffpo Mirabella reposted here, far and away the most partisan and pro-Democrat LGBT site.

At Pam's comments overwhelmingly revealed an emerging perception of the real nature of the Democrat Party and the Obama administration. Namely that far from being friends they're our enemies. The numbers of those pretending that Obama, Reid and Pelosi are any worse than their Republican cousins is dwindling.

Democrats gave us and refuse to repeal DADT, DOMA, or to pass ENDA, or to provide open asylum for Iraqi LGBT victims of US led jihadists, health care, support for GLBT children and youth tossed on the street, or a Manhattan Project to grapple with HIV-AIDS, etc., etc., etc. The list of their crimes against us is as endless as the Republicans list, and far more damaging because they fool more people and they're able to get away with a lot more than Republicans.

Particularity noteworthy is the fact that only a tiny few see the Democrats Republican cousins as an alternative. They understand that when a Republican politician looks you in the eye and calls you a faggot, a dyke or a tranny they mean it. They hate us. But we're also beginning to understand that Democrat politicians are the same, they just lie better. They wait till we leave the room and then call us faggots, dykes and tranny.

The denial of funds for Democrats and Republicans will inevitably lead to denying them votes. Our goal should be to encourage the demise of both parties of bigotry.

On November 2nd boycott the Democrats and their Republican cousins or vote, where you can, for a left party. Otherwise stay home. Votes for Democrats and Republicans are wasted votes. If votes challenged the rule of the looter classes they'd be cancelled - this is after all the biggest banana republic of them all.

Voting for Democrats is voting against our agenda - it's unprincipled.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | July 13, 2010 3:14 AM


Half of the people don't vote at all as it is. They are not only politically unaware they are politically unconscious. The only time most selfish people are interested about anything is when they have something to complain about. If we work hard enough at it who knows? Perhaps we can get down to 45% of people voting.

Incidentally, I do not consider you a selfish person, but a strong advocate for your point of view and your insights are of value.

I have said before and I will repeat. Voting in Federal elections should be computerized for the convenience of voters with each voter having a personal account and password just like a bank. That is how all Americans will ultimately communicate with their government anyway. A lot of people do not vote because it is so damn inconvenient. You have people working one day every other year staffing the polling stations. Small wonder there are lines. You have physical equipment used every other year or in a local election or two and then stored without maintenance. Small wonder it is inaccurate.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | July 10, 2010 11:22 PM

I have read your article Joe and skimmed the comments. I do want the government out of the church and religion of all types out of government. But then, is the government to run all homeless shelters with as much compassion. I don't think so.

But a boycott reminds me of something else. We are at our best when we are "engaged" in reality and the broader community of all Americans. Everyone knows that the more people who know Gay people the less the likelihood of tolerance of discrimination.

When people do not know other people it is easy to discriminate. There is present talk of a boycott of the summer event "Taste of Chicago." During the last boycott in 1982 led by Rev. Jessee Jackson to demonstrate insensitivity to African Americans white Chicagoans showed up en masse in order to demonstrate their desire to enjoy themselves in a beautiful park devoid of other races. Comments in the local media at the time from participants included how lovely the park was and how "suburban" the event felt. The restaurants participating had another record turnout without African American turnout. Jesse lost this round and learned to make his peace with the Chicago Democratic party.

By absenting ourselves we isolate ourselves. Now, was it not recently that there was a posting on "Gay Friendly" resorts and all Gay cruises? I would also never pay extra to ghettoize myself with just other Gay people. We also *enable the bigots* by absenting ourselves from mainstream communities. As anti slavery sentiment spread through Europe to America the phrase on Wedgwood China medallions of 1787 showed an illustration of a Black man in Chains with the phrase beneath:

"Am I not a man and a brother?"

This same illustration and variations of it were used to collect funds for abolitionist movements in America. And yes, until we have equal rights, we too are no better than slaves, our labors forced upon us at the whim of government. Do not walk away from your civil rights movement by disengaging from it. It leads to civil disobedience that the bigots hope we will perform.

As you can tell Joe, I agree with your conclusions, but wanted to state why. Just as my gay owned business sponsored Little League on the NW side of Chicago side by side with "Gifts for Life" we have to do good all the time regardless of how some might call us crazy for doing so.

The answer to most situations of unfairness is:

"Do Good Anyway!"

We are not so much absenting ourselves as we are being choosy about who we support. Had Pa gays(my sister's in law amongst them) supported the DNC, their money would have gone to Spector. The donated instead to Sestak, who, thankfully, won the primary. Keep in mind that the White House worked to keep pro-equality Sestak out

saving money for my own rainy day. sure, we will vote...sometimes libertarian, green, republican and so on...but the democrats will get the vote for trying. Other than that, I'm going to be as chintzy with them as they are with my rights. My rights cost. I have an unemployed husband and am in danger myself of being fired. Marriage? we got that just over the border in DC. haven't had as much impact there but maybe it will someday?

I personally have given up hope of ENDA passage by this congress or the next. There is something a bit sad about having to realize that it could and should have been passed but was not. Like many others I also have dissatisfaction with many things being done but I was willing to put up with some in the hope ENDA would be a part of the solution. I have spent a good deal of my time and effort trying to move it along but my efforts as with many reading this have been ignored by the Democratic Party. So why support them? Why support either the Republican or Democratic Party? I see little reason to do so and frankly every time I get an email asking for money I send back a simple message that does not get read. "No ENDA = No Money" This time around I will be looking at voting for whatever independent candidates who say they will also support ENDA as apparently the Democrats generally only tell you they do and in the end do not.

The debate about the gAyTM is rather abstract for me, because I'm saving my money for food. It seems like a better investment.

I see that's something else you and I have in common.

planetspinz planetspinz | July 11, 2010 11:24 AM

Instead of complaining to the choir let's take over the DNC and RNC websites where we can start blogs, comment all over the place, send letters, start discussions - let's go viral with this and stop asking permission and start demanding equal rights as Americans

SkepticalCidada | July 11, 2010 1:07 PM

My partner and I donated thousands of dollars in 2008 and raised tens of thousands. This year, we are donating nothing and raising nothing. When the Democratic Party proves that it is worth supporting, we will reconsider. Until then, we're giving not one more penny. If the Democratic Party wants our money, it can pass our legislation. If it won't pass our legislation with the existing supermajorities, it has no intention of ever passing it. Go lobby someone who gives a damn what you're clients want, Mirabella.

And the legislation has to be about FULL EQUALITY! NO INCREMENTALISM! Incrementalism has been nothing bot the occasional dose of herion that they give to us to divide and weaken us, and to keep us addicted to blindly following the DNC

SkepticalCidada | July 11, 2010 4:19 PM

I don't agree with an unqualified rejection of incrementalism as a legislative strategy. (We can get ENDA first and repeal DOMA later, for example.) But we aren't even getting incrementalism from this crew.

This just reminds me why we need to be more politically savvy. Joe is right. His views are the reality. You may not want to hear it, but it's true.

I don't know why I keep trying to post here. Every single thing I send in gets blocked off and never put up. I've never felt so renegade in my life! :-)

Fot my part, when I'm not doing exactly like Alex and spending my money on food, I'm advocating a total 180. That money we would have given to the Democrats? Here's a wild thought: let's spend it on building actual infrastructure in our own communities!

Some of the marginalized communities that get respect from the government get that respect because they have built up power. They own a LOT of their own businesses. They have colleges, trade schools, or other educational facilities where a majority of their population can attend. Health clinics that know how to treat members of their own community abound. (We're getting a pretty good handle on that part. But it shouldn't stop there.)

I know, someone's going to be smart and tell me to do it myself. Well, if I wasn't getting a whopping $339/month from state disability, I probably would be funding it.

Turning off the gAyTM is a great thing. Turning the money inward to take care of ourselves is even better!