Anyone who knows me at all knows I’m passionate. I don’t let anyone get away with BS around me, I call out the issues when I see them, I’m brutally honest particularly when facing off against stupidity and prejudice. I passionately believe that LGBT Americans are LONG OVERDUE for equal rights. This nation should be ashamed of itself for allowing this insane discrimination to continue decade after decade. I’ve been at rallies, I’ve been at protests, I’ve waved signs and shouted down Christians (that’s my favorite…). Throughout my history of passionate political debate, however, I’ve consistently done the research necessary to keep up with the facts. I’m all for passion, I support passion, I endorse passion. But if you’re going to be passionate about something you’d better have thought it through. Passion is what you come to AFTER you’ve used your brain and looked at the facts, it just doesn’t work the other way around.
So it’s disturbing what’s happening with some of those at the forefront of the current push for equality for LGBT Americans. The Barney Frank incident last week was appalling, as I’ve already written about here. You can find all sorts of LGBT activists vehemently denouncing Barney Frank on the internet, as well as HRC’s Joe Solmonese for his poorly constructed email over the weekend. Andrew Sullivan, as is his style, stars in his own YouTube moment , denouncing Solmonese. Michelangelo Signorile, in the CNN video attached to this article, slams the HRC audience listening to President Obama, basically saying they are elite, affluent socialites, and don’t represent all LGBT Americans.
Guess what, Michelangelo? Neither do you, neither do I, and neither do the thousands who turned out for the march. No one person or group represents all LGBT Americans. This is another blatant attempt to categorize one LGBT group as THE ONLY LGBT group.
On Sunday, October 11th, at the National March Rally, Fresno’s own Robin McGehee, after labeling Barney Frank "useless" in a twitter posted after Frank’s comments, took to the rally podium and said this, directed at Congressman Barney Frank… "You may say that marches don’t matter. I say you are out of touch in the seat of power you are clearly enjoying. We are here to use our first amendment right, Mr. Frank, Congressman Frank, to speak out against the prejudice that we so want you to speak out against as well."
Barney Frank doesn’t speak out against LGBT prejudice in America?
Frank gave his own personal opinion about the march, relying on a 28 year history of service in Congress to reach a conclusion about the most effective strategies in the LGBT battle for equality. Did it annoy people? Yes. Frank is blunt and doesn’t temper his words with any amount of sugar. Does it warrant the childish, hateful speech that’s been leveled against him? Of course not. Does that kind of condemnation of our biggest ally in Congress hurt the LGBT movement? Absolutely. Robin, as well as all others ridiculously calling out Frank, should do some research into his career, including what he’s working on now. Oh, I don’t know, it’s just a couple of tiny things like the Hate Crimes Bill and the Employment Non Discrimination Act, which, if passed, would be the first two federal protections for LGBT Americans in the history of this nation. (Since this article was written, the Hate Crimes bill has passed through Congress and signed into law by President Obama. Barney Frank worked to get this law passed, and it is now officially the first law in the history of this country which protects LGBT Americans on a Federal level. )
Now many are aggressively going after Obama, saying his comments at the HRC Dinner the night before the DC March were hollow and pointless. I watched Obama deliver that speech and cheered just as millions of others did. But I certainly didn’t expect action from a speech. Action did come afterwards, however, when the Hate Crimes Bill was signed. One step, but a step nonetheless. Laws take time. I don’t like it any more than anyone else, but it’s true. And as much as some activists would like to believe that this nation has become some understanding, rational group of Americans, as Dan Savage suggests in a recent CNN interview, it has not. All evidence to the contrary. I can’t help but be amazed by activists who continually tout the "overwhelming amount of support" we have from the American population.
That explains why our rights were taken away in California. It explains why our rights were taken away in Maine. It explains why 31 states amended their constitutions to forbid same sex marriage. It explains why our rights are in jeopardy in every other part of the country where we were granted equality. It explains why hate crimes are up. It explains why we’re denounced as evil every night in one form of media or another. It explains a lot. We are not supported by the majority of United States citizens.
Is this what we’re choosing now? To look our best shots for success in the face, Barney Frank and President Obama, and dismiss them? Given our stunning losses in California and Maine, after assurances from activist leaders that we were proceeding down the right path with the correct strategy, where is this confidence coming from? With vital LGBT legislation moving through congress and a President who spoke to us in a way no other President in the history of the country has, are we just going to look at this moment and shoot ourselves in the foot? Sure, it could be just that, talk. We’ve been the victims of that over and over. But if the current administration doesn’t at least look like a good bet to you, maybe too much cynicism has crept in. I’m one of the biggest cynics there is, and I’ve had serious doubts and anger toward Obama recently, but I chose to step back, take another look, and place another bet.
Really, what other option is there?
Watch the two videos attached here and come to your own conclusions. The CNN interview was filmed the Saturday night before the march, after Obama’s speech. Afterwards, consider if the rational point of view came from Dan Choi, Dan Savage, Michelangelo Signorile, or possibly, just possibly, from Hilary Rosen.