GetEQUAL launches ‘We’ll Give When We GetEQUAL’

GetEQUAL wants a signal from the President that he cares about our equality. Not a speech. Not words. Action. And, the group has launched a campaign trying to force action by using the thing the Democrats seem to want most from the LGBT community — our political money:

GetEQUAL has launched a campaign called “We’ll Give When We GetEQUAL,” asking LGBT Americans and straight allies to withhold time and money from political entities that are not fighting as hard for our equality as they are for our checkbooks.

We’re not the first ones to voice frustration with both Democrats and Republicans for holding our equality hostage (see here, here, and here). And we’re not going away — despite the efforts of Democratic apologists who continue to raise the specter of President Palin to scare us into donating.

Are we asking you not to vote? Absolutely not — too many social movements have fought for that hard-earned right that must not be thrown away. Are we asking you not to donate or support pro-equality candidates? That’s up to you — there are several pro-equality candidates that need support, especially because they are minority voices in their party.

Are we asking you to withhold money and time from those who refuse to find concrete ways to work toward our collective equality? YES!

Our tolerance and patience — while we lose our jobs, are denied our right to marry, are forbidden to serve our country openly, and are forced to watch our youth kill themselves because they have no dignity or hope — is gone. We are asking you to withhold your support from political parties and committees until President Obama, the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, takes the first step toward LGBT equality and signs an Executive Order to IMMEDIATELY halt all military discharges of lesbian, gay, and bisexual soldiers.

Why continue to organize on behalf of politicians when we need to be organizing for ourselves?

Is that too much to ask from our “fierce advocate”? Doesn’t seem like. Robin McGehee explained in GE’s press release:

We intentionally set the bar low with this campaign. We want to believe they are honestly interested in pursuing equality for all Americans. Therefore, we gave them the easiest possible step to show their commitment before the mid-term elections because, to quote Barney Frank, ‘Things would have sucked worse without me’ is not a valid reason to support candidates for office.

I have thought for a long time that the Democratic leaders have underestimated the anger in the LGBT community — that is, if they even care (and I have my doubts about that.) The Democratic leaders are protected by a cadre of apologists that includes party hacks, lobbyists with clients interests that outweigh their own equality and various job-seekers in the community. This administration has worked against us on a number of occasions, which is why we launched Don’t Ask, Don’t Give last year. We want DADT repealed, ENDA passed and DOMA repealed. We’re not getting any of those from this President or this Congress — despite many, many promises. Asking for an Executive Order to stop the discharges is setting bar low. But, keep your expectations in check.

These latest youth suicides have really hit a nerve. We’re not equal — and we’re reminded of that every day, from pulpits and from politicians (even those who purport to be on our side.) Right now, I’d tell anyone who wants to contribute politically to be very careful. Give to candidates only. And, only give to candidates who think you’re equal and will fight for your equality. Otherwise, use that money to help protect LGBT youth or to help fight anti-gay campaigns, like the one in Bowling Green, Ohio.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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