Most of us are hearing words like “Super PACs” these days and when we do the usual connotation is never a good one. They usually refer to some huge corporate monster that hires some lawyer who goes to Washington and wines and dines our Congressmen and Senators and lines their pockets with huge amounts of money, travel itineraries and even buys homes for them to live in that are extravagant.
Every day we check our email and see the constant pleas from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Human Rights Campaign telling us that they are diligently working for marriage equality and can you please afford to send them $5 or more to help keep up the fight?
Does the plea for money establish these two organizations as “leaders” for the LGBT community and who did chose the goals over the past two years of ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and pursuing marriage equality and why those two goals?
When, where and why did these organizations come about and more importantly; what exactly what are these organizations and why do they cherry-pick certain issues?
Let me take you back to before 1994 when leaders like Dr. Frank Kameny and Jack Nichols could influence our community. Kameny would stand at a podium, raise his finger and the crowds would listen intently because everyone knew that he had earned the collective respect of everyone and he wasn’t seeking the riches of the Pharaoh’s. Frank merely wanted total equality for our entire community and he wasn’t going to stop until either we got it or he was dead.
Unfortunately, on October 11th of last year, he passed away before he saw our mutual dream of equality but why?
Before 1994 Jack Nichols could sit down, write one of his famous snappy editorials and people would read them and our community would talk, hit the streets and march on Washington and our government, tell them we wanted total equality and the government might listen if there were enough of us when the LGBT community reacted at all.
By 1994 the LGBT community started to fall into a lethargy particularly when, for the first time since 1954, on the coattails of a Presidential blow-job, the Republicans took control of both Houses of Congress. If a gay man had been President then a blow-job might not have been a big deal. It would have been a bigger deal if it had been a lesbian President.
We got dragged right back into a dark world of unbridled capitalism and idealism unseen since the Republicans last controlled both Houses of Congress in 1954 during the heinous years of Senator Joseph McCarthy and his Chief Council, Roy Cohn (himself a horribly twisted and perverse closeted homosexual who spewed hate until the day he died) dragged this nation through one of the darkest periods in its history during the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings as they hauled loyal Americans in front of their ad-hoc witch-hunt and accused Hollywood writers, directors, producers and actors of being communists but worst of all; they planted the seed in all heterosexual minds (and many homosexual minds as well) that to be a homosexual meant you were automatically a “Commie Pinko Fag”.
In 1994, due to cutbacks imposed by hardline President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, a whole new generation of apathetic homosexuals decided that framing President Clinton was a great idea and voted for the same Republicans who vilified us forty years before and burned it into the American culture.
But who really cares because that younger generation was never taught history. The HUAC never happened because the neo-conservative movement said so and everyone believed them.
Jack Nichols kept writing and Frank Kameny kept speaking but the newly empowered NGLTF and HRC politely brushed them off and alluded that they were relics from a bygone age. Of course Jack and Frank and every other leader from the Mattachine and Homophile era had their value if they chose to. They would trot them out on cue to back the effort of these new organizations who sought to meet the neo-conservatives on their own ground, the only ground they understood; money.
You see, the NGLTF and HRC had become Super PACs. They can’t survive without your donations and they always aim for little pieces of equality because the simple truth of the matter is that they are scared to death of total and complete equality.
If we ever achieved complete equality then they would cease to exist. If they ceased to exist then the staff and executive directors would be out of their jobs and at $200,000 a year for Rea Carey of the NGLTF and $300,000 for Joe Solmonese of the HRC, why would they want to end their own jobs? Despite the fact that both organizations are registered as non-profit, who the hell pays six figures for an executive director when it’s a non-profit organization when logic dictates that they never will achieve the community’s endgame if it means the end of their jobs?
There is only one plan at present that represents complete equality for the LGBT community and that’s the American Equality Bill under the leadership of Todd Fernandez of New York and Richard Noble of California spearheading this effort. Mr. Noble is walking from coast-to-coast and at the time of this writing, he and his dog and rainbow flag are in New Orleans. He’s collecting signed resolutions backing the AEB/SO endorsed by every entity from local townships to entire Native American tribes and politicians.
Yet, when Mr. Fernandez approached the HRC and the NGLTF about backing the bill, Rea Carey and Joe Solmonese looked like two deer caught in the headlights. Both gave their answer that our community “isn’t ready for full equality”. They refused adamantly to help the bill in any way, shape or form.
Why should they? To sponsor the bill would effectively mean ending not only their six figure salary jobs but those of hundreds of employees who work at both organizations and the lawyers who actually wine and dine the politicians in order to get the breadcrumbs they offer us.
In addition; why would the majority of the politicians want to grant the LGBT community passage of a bill that grants total equality when that would mean the Super PAC lawyers from the NGLTF and the HRC are buying them dinner, sending them on paid vacations and trading influences between other PAC lawyers for favors?
Jack Nichols and Frank Kameny tried to warn us that PAC groups would not gain our equality because they aren’t motivated to lead us to the brass ring. Only those who don’t benefit from the pursuit of the goal are qualified to lead any group, even when talking about Congressmen, Senators and Presidents but we’re talking about the future of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community.
The moral of this tale is that if we play in the sandbox with the greedy kids then all we’re going to get is dirty.
If we bet on the people who are offering to lead us and aren’t asking for anything in return to dirty up the political scene other than our physical, spiritual and most of all faith in what we are all doing to achieve total equality then those are our true leaders!
Richard Noble and Todd Fernandez are certainly the leaders who ask for nothing but your support and your faith that it can be done!
Stop sending your money to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Human Rights Campaign. They are never going to get our equality…ever! They never intended to!
Besides, you’re going to need every cent because despite the propaganda you’re hearing, this depression we’re in is far from over and is going to get worse.
Don’t take my word for all this. Ask questions of the NGLTF and the HRC. Ask them why they refuse to support the AEB/SO and why they refuse to work for total equality when 82% of Americans now support total equality for the LGBT community? Does it seem like a sane tactic with that fact to not ask for equality and why did they abandon equality in the first place back in 1994?
We need leaders right now and not dirty Super PACs that are more interested in self-preservation than the interests of those they claim to represent.
Todd Fernandez and Richard Noble are those leaders. Visit their Facebook site at: The American Equality Bill Project. Ask to join the group, introduce yourself and most importantly; ask questions.
By Stephanie Donald
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