City & State Blog:
Socarides = Quisling; Close HRC
There is a fascinating article entitled "The End of the Rainbow" at the City & State blog back in New York, looking at some of the divisions in the gay community in the Big Apple and Empire State. One favorite section is where longtime grassroots activist Andy Humm speaks volumes of truth about political opportunist and Democratic Party operative Richard Socarides, pictured.
Here's what City & State reported on Tuesday, bolding added:
Richard Socarides, former President Bill Clinton’s LGBT liaison, presided over his boss’ signing of the Defense of Marriage Act, which barred federal recognition of same-sex marriages. He says recent victories are validation of the new strategy of mixing outside activism and inside politics. CORRECTION: Socarides strenuously objected at the time to Clinton signing the Defense of Marriage Act . . .
“It’s always a good thing to have that, to have people who are more moderate and then people who are more aggressively pushing for full equality right away,” [Socarides] said. “That tension is not only helpful within the movement, it can often be helpful in terms of getting the government to move, because I think it often takes a good cop/bad cop approach.”
[Andy] Humm disagrees.
“Richard Socarides is a quisling, and I’ve said it to his face,” said Humm. “He’s part of that money crowd that thinks they control everything, and they treat activists like they’re dirt under their fingernails.”
Regarding Socarides' alleged strenuous objections, let's remember what Duncan Osborn wrote in Gay City News in 2010:
When he worked in the Clinton White House, Richard Socarides authored debate preparation materials and talking points that defended the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy . . . Gay City News searched multiple news databases and could find no record of Socarides publicly opposing DOMA or Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell during that period.
Another favorite section from City & State is where it delved into problems with the Human Rights Campaign and community activist Allen Roskoff expresses the dreams of many progressive LGBT people; bolding added:
The principled debate over untraditional alliances came to a head this fall as the Occupy Wall Street movement raged downtown. The Human Rights Campaign, which had long published a “corporate equality index,” rating companies for their respective stances on LGBT-friendly policies, gave its Corporate Equality Award to Goldman Sachs.
“Progressive gays would like to see nothing more than HRC go out of business,” said veteran Democratic gay activist Allen Roskoff. “They’re not part of the progressive coalition out of which the gay rights movement was formed. In the year of Occupy, they have the nerve and the gall to honor the president of Goldman Sachs?”
Many thanks to Humm and Roskoff for their truthful comments and analysis in the City & State article. Kudos also to the blog for publishing the piece.
If only the New York Times and other mainstream publications would follow this example of finding gay leaders to constructively point out a few things wrong with Socarides and HRC, I'd be the first to applaud such coverage.