Friday, July 30, 2010

: 'We Don't Care About Consequences

as Long as They Are Nonviolent'

Here's a roundup of recent criticism targeting GetEQUAL and media attention for them. An executive co-director of the org has some revealing thoughts to share on her org's agenda, in an interview with

The group has been developing a network of activists in every state that can be tapped to stage civil disobedience acts at a moment's notice. Many times that entails risking arrest.

"We don't care about the consequences as long as they are nonviolent," [Robin McGehee] said.

She blames D.C.-based groups like the Human Rights Campaign for giving Democrats too much leeway and not making enough demands.

"If I was [HRC President] Joe Solmonese, not one politician would speak at our event until we had action," she said. "All we're doing is letting them fundraise off of our base with no real change happening."

HRC sees itself differently. The group builds relationships with politicians and focuses on national-level advocacy work while relying on partner groups to work at the state and local level.

"You can never have too many friends and there are not enough ways to pursue the ultimate goal of equality," Fred Sainz, a vice president with the organization, said. "Our model is to work in deep collaboration with all those equality organizations." [...]

Also worth a read is a long column in Tikkun about the power of gay politics, and the goals of GetEQUAL protesters:

But whereas the ACT UP activists were fighting for their lives in the face of homophobic societal inaction on AIDS, [Dan] Choi and his [GetEQUAL] compatriots are fighting for a nearly opposite goal: the right to participate in an institution that is killing people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan in wars that most progressive activists consider unjust. [...]

From the City of Brotherly Love, the publisher of Philadelphia Gay News, Mark Segal, in an editorial titled "GetEQUAL, get real. Learn!," points out the obvious:

Let’s face it: GetEQUAL, which has gotten much LGBT media attention of late, needs to mature somewhat. It shows promise, but unfortunately the inexperience is beginning to show. They don’t see where the enemy lies, and the enemy is in plain view.

If you thought the political process of Washington, D.C., would change overnight with an Obama presidency, then it’s easy to blame the president for what some feel is a slow process on changes in federal policies, programs and laws regarding the LGBT community.

That is too simplistic and shows a lack of any political knowledge or understanding of U.S. governance or history.

Let’s point out the pitfalls of D.C. and, surprisingly enough, it’s the number-one complaint by GetEQUAL and others, who feel the administration and the Democratic National Committee wasted a majority in the Senate and Congress by not moving fast enough on LGBT issues. [...]

Time will tell if any of the mounting complaints against this Astroturf org have any influence into making it a true grassroots entity, with an honest application of transparency, and coherent agenda that garners gay community support.


NG said...

Isn't Mark Segal himself being hypocritical?

In 1973, he interrupted the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite to protest CBS's lack of coverage on gay issues.

I may have been thirteen years old then, but I can certainly remember there being some discussion as to whether his actions were relevant to the cause.

I'm just saying.

AndrewW said...

And GetEQUAL still hasn't answered elementary questions.

The growing criticism of GetEQUAL is mostly about whether or not their tactics are effective or helpful. Robin McGehee said she doesn't care about "consequences." That's childish.

Anger and frustration are understandable - that doesn't mean throwing temper tantrums that seek to embarrass our allies makes any sense.

GetEQUAL has a "scorched earth" mentality. They have never provided any rationale for their childish antics and they are hurting us. They are doing this without regard for consequences. I am not the only one who believes they continue to risk the progress we've made by not THINKING before ACTING.

Finally, Robin McGeHee insults everyone that disagrees with her stunts by suggesting that "they represent all the people that aren't willing to wait for equal rights." Are you f*cking kidding me? NONE of us are waiting. Many of us are engaged in dramatic new campaigns and programs to actually win - not just get attention.

The LGBT Media is beginning to understand the dangers of GetEQUAL's delusion belief that our equality simply requires pissing off enough people. Nothing has ever been accomplished with that kind of juvenile attitude and blatant disregard for legitimate efforts.

libhom said...

Any time anyone actually DOES SOMETHING on queer issues, they are the target of childish attacks in the queer community. The attacks on Get Equal are no different than the counterproductive attacks on Queer Nation years ago.

If people don't like the way Get Equal does things, they can always get off their buts and do something themselves.

Few things are more pathetic than Mark Segal attacking queer activists rather than vicious homophobes like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi (who originally gay baited her way into Congress in 1986), and Barack Obama. Segal needs to stop putting partisan politics and internalized heterosexism above our civil rights movement.

Pandering to these bigots has been a proven failure as a strategy. I fail to understand why so many queers are wedded to permanent failure.