The groups profiled by the Washington Post are on opposite ends of the political spectrum, but both are trying to shake up the status quo. No surprise, I prefer the perspective of GetEQUAL:
It’s been a big, loud gay year, and a pair of young gay rights groups on opposite ends of the political spectrum have tried to be heard above the noise in Washington: GOProud, from its basement office in Capitol Hill, and GetEQUAL, a nationwide, direct-action network of activists co-captained by Managing Director Heather Cronk, 32, who lives in Maryland. The groups are not analogous in size, strategy or mission, but each aspires to commandeer the causes championed by the establishment — embodied by the Human Rights Campaign on the left and the Log Cabin Republicans on the right.
“We intend to agitate from the outside,” says Cronk, who joined the protest group four months ago. “Not just because we’re angry but because agitation will give the people at the table more power. They’ll be able to say, ‘Hey you’ve got all these angry people outside the White House.’ “
It’s been a busy gay week, too. On Tuesday, Democrats failed to break a Republican filibuster of the defense authorization bill, which included a repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Both GetEQUAL and GOProud support repeal, but they reacted differently to defeat.
GOProud ripped Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for refusing to extend debate on the bill, then headed to New York for Homocon, a $250-to-$2,500-a-plate dinner at the home of billionaire and GOProud donor Peter Thiel, the libertarian co-founder of PayPal, with conservative instigator Ann Coulter as the group’s keynote speaker.
GetEQUAL retrenched by pulling 80 people onto a conference call Wednesday night, soliciting the tactical ideas of supporters from Montana to Arkansas to Connecticut. Suggestions mirrored the actions that have already garnered publicity: sit-ins, walkouts and traffic blockades.
We’re not getting our equality through the usual routes. That’s not working.