Bil Browning

GetEqual vs HRC & GOProud vs Log Cabin

Filed By Bil Browning | September 24, 2010 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: gay rights, GetEqual, GOProud, HRC, Log Cabin Republicans

Yesterday Dan Zac from the Washington Post gave me a call to talk about the differences and similarities between GetEqual and GOProud. He was writing an article about the two groups recent splash onto the scene this year and how effective they've been. gethrc.jpgThe story came out in today's paper and he does a good job of playing the two groups against their more established counterparts in the movement.

Everything's a turnoff these days. The right for the left, the left for the right. Conservative gays got nitpicky with the language in Judge Vaughn Walker's Prop. 8 decision. Liberal gays slapped their foreheads after agreeing to hinge "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" on a Pentagon troop survey.

It's been a big, loud gay year, and a pair of young gay rights groups on opposite ends of the political spectrum have tried to be heard above the noise in Washington: GOProud, from its basement office in Capitol Hill, and GetEQUAL, a nationwide, direct-action network of activists co-captained by Managing Director Heather Cronk, 32, who lives in Maryland. The groups are not analogous in size, strategy or mission, but each aspires to commandeer the causes championed by the establishment -- embodied by the Human Rights Campaign on the left and the Log Cabin Republicans on the right.

My quote in the article is kind to both groups because, as I say, they both have their place in the larger movement. Left out was my position that there are too many groups currently competing for attention, dollars, and influence and that quite a few of them could easily merge together and get more accomplished.

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They left out the part about about being a movement without a "strategy," too.

The dramatic dismissal of GetEQUAL is our first step towards accountability. People have determined that their publicity stunts are not effective and by most counts, counterproductive. The compelling evidence is in the total lack of any participation. When the group started nine months ago they projected massive crowds within 4-6 months. they had suggested repeatedly that they only need to "set an example" and then people would follow. They didn't. Game over.

You are correct that there is a lot of waste within Gay Inc. GLAAD is currently on the verge of dissolving because they are no longer relevant. they have outlived their purpose. LGBT Bloggers have replaced their role in "policing the media." They haven't redefined themselves and now they are unable to raise any money.

HRC is headed down the same path. $+550 million and 30 years is enough. They have very little to show for it and it is now being reflected in their ability to raise money. While this is a welcome sign, I wish it happened 10 years ago.

I think it is encouraging that we have begun to embrace accountability - real honest, objective accountability. It's a good start. But, we need to develop and agree on a strategy. If we continue to simply "fight" and support "try everything" with a submissive goal of 'one of these days," we don't even deserve to win.

We'll know when we've arrived at a winning strategy because it will wake up our community and create participation - something that continues to decline. People aren't going to get involved until the see a path to victory. We should ALL be focused on that.

GLAAD - Guidestar lists from their most recent 990's

Donations - $7,527,277 Gross Rec. $10,279,507

Donations - $7,018,622 Gross Rec. $9,853,622

Donations - $14,072,151 Gross Rec. $18,700,799

2009 is not available online.

I'm not sure what this says about the viability of their mission - but they don't seem to be selling apples on the corner.

2009 was about $7 million, that's a 50% drop. 2010 looks worse. They have received a few large gifts, but the smaller $50-$200 donations by individuals it is disappearing. (Same problem at HRC)

Petrelis is following recent developments at GLAAD:

And HRC:

For "Apples sales" data please Google FDA.

Neither of those links documents the financial data you report. But even accepting the report - 2008 was an outlier in their fundraising - 2X the 2 years before - than back to their baseline.

Though I heartily agree with the "fire that bastard David Smith" sentiments. And expressed that he & Joe should resign long before this, to them. Arrogant and constantly wrong isn't an attractive package.

@Anon: Don't you have Google? Everyone knows.

It was widely reported. Plus, the Board at GLAAD is collapsing. More importantly, why is GLAAD even necessary? Why should they receive funding? What are they accomplishing?

If you are honest and objective, you will tell us why you believe GLAAD deserves to receive our support.

Paige Listerud | September 25, 2010 3:12 AM

I don't know anything about GOProud or GETEqual, but I will say that I have always thought of HRC as a mainstream liberal gay organization than a leftist one. Leftist LGBTQ organizations call HRC the Human Rights Champagne Fund.

So far as GLAAD goes, it jumps on anti-queer media events with far greater consistency than bloggers do, although it does tend to address such incidents in wonkspeak--more boring than a rabid rant, but at least the policy-minded can understand it. Furthermore, saying that bloggers police the media is like saying that squirrels police the media. The squirrels only go after the nuts that capture their fancy--and they may be a little nutty themselves.

Okay, minor reality check: DADT does not 'hinge' on a survey anymore than black-white integration did... it is delayed until after a survey so they will know how to integrate openly cis gay troops...

Oh, and number two: You will still be kicked out of the US military, before and after, DADT's repeal, for being trans.