Saturday, May 1, 2010


Mike Signorile held a Town Hall Meeting with some LGBT rights organizational leaders that can be heard by clicking the link.

The panel at that meeting were National Gay & Lesbian Task Force executive director Rea Carey; Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese; National Center for Transgender Equality executive director Mara Keisling; Servicemembers Legal Defense Network executive director Aubrey Sarvis; political strategist, attorney and former Clinton White House advisor on gay rights Richard Socarides; and blogger and activist Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend.

Of course, you can and should form your own opinion, but it seems to me that there would be far more effectiveness if there were an umbrella LGBT Civil Rights organization that was comprised of the assorted organizations represented on that panel.

A lot of money would be saved: money that could go toward political lobbying, coordination of grassroots activism, and litigation in the courts that involve discrimination against LGBT people as well as the denial of full and equal rights for LGBT people.

Moreover, one LGBT Civil Rights voice, speaking for equal rights for all LGBT people, would be far more effective in society and in the political arena than these disparate voices, many of which either duplicate, or are ignorant of, the work of one or more other LGBT rights organizations.
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I agree, Jerry, but they'll never follow your suggestion because there's no room in one umbrella organization for so many swollen egos! That's what it's really all about with the Pam Spauldings, the Aubrey Sarvises, the Joe Solmoneses and the Michelangelo Signoriles: a chance to raise their public profiles. The goals of the equality movement are secondary at best. What's more, with people like the aforementioned in the lead, I doubt even an umbrella organization would be effective. We desperately need new, results-oriented leadership.

Jerry Maneker said...

Hi Don Charles: I am still hoping that Dan Choi becomes the Martin Luther King of the LGBT Civil Rights movement, but he has not been adequately covered in Gay themed blogs, which lends credence to your assessment.

I think the foot dragging on DADT; DADT and DOMA being forcefully defended in federal court by the Obama Justice Department, will force the LGBT Rights issue to critical mass whereby grassroots anger and ensuing activism will force these ostensibly LGBT Civil Rights organizations to get on board or become, and be seen, as being entirely irrelevant. Best wishes, Jerry.

genevieve said...

The Human Rights Campaign threw transgender folks back in 2007. I will not support anything that they are part of.

Jerry Maneker said...

I agree with you, genevieve. I have the impression that the leadership of HRC are politically expedient elitists who take comfort in rubbing elbows with assorted politicians and who are proud of having "access" to those politicians.

When they threw transgender people under the bus a few years ago when ENDA was being discussed; when they didn't support Lt. Dan Choi when he and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo chained themselves to the White House gate and, instead, were supportive of Kathy Griffin, I gave up on them as being significant players in the LGBT Civil Rights struggle. Best wishes, Jerry.