Sunday, November 07, 2010

Gay Inc Leaders Behind Drop
in Votes for Democrats

The New York Times ran a piece a few days before Tuesday's election, about a worrisome lack of interest and enthusiasm among gay California voters. Who was the Democratic gay leader most quoted? The man who lost gay marriage in California in 2008, wasted $45 million doing so while studiously avoiding saying the word gay, who also failed to use that money to promote gay lives and certainly never said "gay is good" in his TV ads or propaganda: Geoff Kors.

Two full years after Kors led the disastrous No on 8 campaign, he is still running Equality California with an arrogant A-Gay closed-door strategy. I have partially forgiven Kors for his central role in Prop 8, but I have not forgotten how he did it by not engaging the community via public forums or open board meetings.

When he is positioned by the media as _the_ spokesperson for all of California's gays, I either watch the TV stories or read the print articles with an attitude of "he's not my leader and he should have resigned in 2008." In short, I stay tuned out to most of anything Kors has to say, all because there was no significant change at EQCA after the Prop 8 debacle.

Some of what he told the Times:

In the gay and lesbian community, which arguably has the most at stake, “there’s no doubt there’s less enthusiasm,” said Geoff Kors [...]

“People are justifiably frustrated and angry about the lack of progress on key equality issues in the past two years in Washington [...]"

One enormous reason for the gay enthusiasm gap is due to the messenger and his message. I hardly find Kors to be the right person to spark motivation, and when it was recently announced that EQCA was closing several local offices and laying off folks, there was no move to rally to the org and its needs. No one really has his back.

Putting aside his use of equality to talk about gay issues and DC, an odious and losing word-game that betrays a streak of internalized homophobia, Kors' comment is in the context of failures and broken promises of Obama, Congressional Democrats and the Department of Justice. The Times unfortunately omits gay grassroots frustration not just with those entities, but also with our inept and cowardly Gay Inc leadership.

Speaking of the Human Rights Campaign, they made their standard pleas to get out and vote Democratic, as did the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and its executives. And what do preliminary tea leaves from Tuesday's races tell us about gay support for Congressional Democrats?

The tea leaves show a 15% decline in that support since the 2008 election. A frightening, to HRC, NGLTF and EQCA, solid double-digit drop, and the same old executives who've been running the Gay Inc show for half a decade are still in charge with the same game plan from five years ago.

Here's more bad news for Democratic gays, via Karen Ocamb and her LGBT POV blog:

CNN’s small exit polling sample indicated that 31 percent of the 3 percent of self-identified lesbian, gay and bisexual voters cast their ballots for Republicans in the House, compared to 19 percent in 2008.

Based on previous elections and similar news, I don't expect anything to change at EQCA, HRC or NGLTF, at least on the surface. Sure, they'll give a few comments maybe about learning lessons from the results, but whatever crisis the community may be going through right now politically over the change in Congress, the crisis will again be wasted.

Gay Inc business as usual. Expect nothing more.

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