Monday, April 06, 2009

NGLTF: Silent on Iraqi Gay Murders;
Party Tonight, Money Before Advocacy

(Rea Carey, executive director of NGLTF.)

For the longest time the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force had a reputation as more progressive and activist-oriented than their counterparts at the Human Rights Campaign, which has long been known for accomplishing little, but putting on pricey galas for A-gays in cities across the country.

NGLTF's progressive reputation is very undeserved these days, indeed, I can't think of any accomplishments of the organization in the past few years, other than putting on the Creating Change conference.

Once upon a time, the community could count on NGLTF to make statements on lots of gay issues of the days, you know, things like the murder of homosexuals in the slums of the capital city of a nation invaded by US armed forces. Not anymore.

These days, when I think of NGLTF I think of party time, and time to raise funds to keep the group in business and pay the executives good salaries, so they can keep putting on fundraisers and hobnobbing with the gay elite and their supporters. NGLTF is really giving HRC a run for its money, in terms of staging expensive events like the Winter Party in Miami.

I've checked the task force's web site all day, hoping, in vain, that they would say something about the various news accounts about the murder of six gay men in the slums of Baghdad in the past two weeks. The murders occurred in a climate of homo-hate being stirred up by Muslim clerics, and based on the silence from NGLTF's web site, seem to be of no concern to the group.

Maybe the task force many executives and staffers haven't Googled "gays, Iraq," so that could be the reason they're not aware of the killings and condemning them.

However, tonight in Manhattan, the task force is holding a deluxe party for the New York Leadership Awards they will bestow on two honorees, one of whom is San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom. Tickets cost $250 each.

According to the party's web page, "All ticket purchases are a contribution to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund."

Hmmm, action fund, you say? When was the last time NGLTF staged a visibility action, say, at a embassy or UN mission, or, heck, put out a release about anything to do with global gay atrocities?

The task force has dozens of staffers listed on their site
, including four in the communications department. Are they all incapable of saying a few remarks about the murders?

If only there were gay money to be made off of speaking out against the murder of gay men in Baghdad's slums. We would then see NGLTF and HRC knocking themselves to address the foreign abuses of gay people.

The silence of NGLTF and HRC over the Iraqi gay murders should be a nasty blot on their claims to be human rights advocates for gay rights and safety everywhere.

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