Gay Marriage Plank Momentum?
(Wolfson, in a photo taken by Rex Wockner.)
It is said that a lawyer should never ask a question that they don't already know the answer to. The same could be said of Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry and a lawyer, when he unveiled his push on Monday, the eve of Valentine's Day, for a gay marriage plank at the Democratic convention later this year.
The group's blog heralded the plank campaign on Monday:
From now through the September convention, Freedom to Marry will organize to secure inclusion of a freedom to marry plank in the party platform. Freedom to Marry’s Democrats: Say I Do campaign will enlist Democratic party leaders, elected officials, activists, and voters to make the case to the Platform Drafting Committee in support of the freedom to marry plank.
I do believe that Wolfson, before luanching this campaign, had already lined up support from key Democrats to give the appearance of quick endorsement to the idea and create a sense of momentum. There is every reason to think Wolfson would know the answer to the question, "will Democrats back the plank proposal?", prior to his announcement.
Lo and behold, a day after Valentine's Day, Wolfson secured the backing of a Democrat in the House. Actually, not just any lowly member but none other than Democratic House Leader, who also wants to be Speaker again, Rep. Nancy Pelosi came out to back Wolfson's campaign.
Try to act surprised when reading FTM's blog post about this development:
It's only been two days since we launched our Democrats: Say I Do campaign calling on the national Democratic Party to include a plank in support of the freedom to marry in its 2012 platform, and already we have the endorsement of one of the party's highest ranking elected officials, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Can we talk about manufactured momentum? A spokesman for Pelosi issued five little word signaling her backing:
Leader Pelosi supports this language.
Doesn't that statement give you a case of the warm fuzzies for her and make you want to whip out the checkbook and make a donation to her or other Democrats? Of course, Wolfson is quite pleased with the statement:
Freedom to Marry is proud to have Leader Pelosi joining our call to put the Democratic Party squarely on record in support of the freedom to marry as part of the national platform.
I soon expect to see Wolfson releasing names of other Democrats getting on his bandwagon, Democrats he's probably already signed up to add their names to Pelosi's, adding to the impression that this campaign has genuine political momentum.
Color me skeptical about this entire FTM plank campaign, because I do believe it's nothing more than an effort to defuse gay anger at the Democrats and President Obama, and to keep the GayTM open for the party.
There's also the matter of how the plank campaign and Pelosi's endorsement of it will likely be used to undermine angry gays who want more than empty words in the Democratic Party platform, and who demand substantive action from Democrats on issues like employment protection and affordable housing and healthcare coverage for gay Americans.
It's going to be an interesting election season, watching Gay Inc groups collude with Democrats to keep the gay vote and gay dollars flowing to the party.
Now a psuh for a REPUBLICAN party plank would be news--a a lot more difficult.
I think we should give two shits about a "party plank" from either party. Since 1980, the Democrats have had a plank supporting LGBT rights. A lot of good its done us. Specifically, the 1980 plank said "We must affirm the dignity of all people and the right of each individual to have equal access to and participation in the institutions and services of our society. All groups must be protected from discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, language, age, sex or sexual orientation. This includes specifically the right of foreign citizens to enter this country. Appropriate legislative and administrative actions to achieve these goals should be undertaken."
It matters little what the party platform says if they don't push it when they have the opportunity to do so, such as they did during the first two years of Obama's term.
This is a perfect example of the role that Gay Inc plays for the LGBT movement. Their job is to get LGBT people out of the streets, where change actually happens, and into the voting booths, where it does not. It's hard work constantly reinforcing and promoting the idea that LGBT people are dependent on the Democrats.
The Dems are brilliant at painting themselves as our "advocates" without actually having to do shit. Look at Diane Frankenfeinstein's cynical attempt to repeal DOMA. Did she push for repeal during the first two years of Obama's term when her party controlled the White House and Congress? Nope. She waited until after the Dems lost the House and during an election year, knowing the Republicans will block it. That way, they can say "We love you. It's those nasty Republicans who hate you. That's why you gotta vote for me." They don't care about gay rights. They only care about gay dollars and gay votes.
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