Gay groups criticized for pursuing marriage equality when people are poor

I’d written the other day about my concern that there’s a movement growing – a fringe one, but one that’s had the support of at least one large progressive think-tank and a decently-large progressive blog – to push gay civil rights groups to drop the gay rights agenda and instead fight against poverty.

The people pushing this agenda do not want us fighting for marriage at all, or even pushing for ENDA.  They want us doing the work of traditional race and poverty groups, full time, instead of gay rights.  And that simply doesn’t make sense if you’re going to claim that you’re a gay rights organization, or a gay rights activist.

To wit: this astonishing article from Rolling Stone on July 12 of this year.  And I quote:

For years, the larger LGBT movement has received criticism for focusing on marriage equality over issues seen as more relevant to working-class people and minorities. “If you’re a waitress in Jackson, Mississippi and you’re working at a job with no healthcare and your girlfriend is working at the local Target or Wal-Mart,” asks New Orleans writer and activist Kenyon Farrow, “how is marriage going to protect you from poverty?”

Well, the same way that modern marriage laws help protect women from poverty by giving them greater property rights than they once had when the marriage dissolves.  They used to get nothing.

But let’s back up a moment.  Other minorities fought their marriage equality battle 46 years ago, culminating in the Loving v. Virginia decision of 1967.  But when we fight for ours, nearly half a century later, suddenly the marriage battle – and the civil rights battle overall (at least as it pertains to gay and trans people) is selfish and superfluous.

gay marriage prop 8 doma

Photo by ©John Aravosis.

Rolling Stone continues:

Yet Farrow and others believe there is still a real need for the LGBT community to focus more directly on bread-and-butter issues. The group Queers for Economic Justice is already doing this in New York City by fighting for rights like paid sick leave and a living wage. Working to secure the right to vote – the most basic of democratic rights – would seem clearly to fit into this category.

You’ll notice one thing missing from that new queer agenda: Anything actually queer.

We are to believe that gay rights groups should no longer fight for gay rights – and they should specifically give up on marriage equality, and probably ENDA too (ENDA isn’t going to pay your rent) – because some gay people are poor.

The thing is, if you’re poor and your civil rights aren’t a priority for you, there already exist anti-poverty organizations that are fighting an anti-poverty agenda.  It’s unclear why gay rights groups need to disband in order to fight the agenda of organizations that already exist.  How many poverty groups disbanded when Matthew Shepard was murdered? That poor young man needed a lot more than a job the night he died.

No one is saying that we won’t help the larger progressive coalition – we will, and already are.  But these folks quite literally want us to stop fighting for our civil rights, and more specifically, stop using our civil rights organizations to fight for our civil rights. They actually seem to think that we should be ashamed of the fact that we’re fighting for our civil rights.  Rights, mind you, that they already have.  (One blogger recently chastised gays for focusing so intently on the Supreme Court DOMA and Prop 8 decisions in the days immediately preceding the rulings.  We were only anticipating the greatest victory in the history of our people. How selfish of us.)

Under that logic, then why not play the same game with environment issues.  Maybe environmental groups should stop fighting the Keystone Pipeline, and more generally stop fighting global warming, because neither of those causes will help poor people get a job today. It’s time the Sierra Club and WWF gave up on the environment and devoted all of their time to poverty.

And you know what else won’t help you get a job?  Protecting a woman’s right to choose.  Or opposing the death penalty.  Or worrying about Edward Snowden and the NSA.  Or fighting to strengthen the Voting Rights Act.  Or getting guns off the street.  Or immigration reform (how is that going to help some poor lesbian couple in Appalachia find a job?)  Or being outraged over the Zimmerman verdict, for that matter – a righteous cause if there was one, but sadly one that is not going to help a minority lesbian couple pay their bills.

According to these folks, we should all give up any battle we’re fighting, and dismantle any organization fighting that battle, and redirect all of our energies to fighting poverty.

Or to put it more succinctly: Please stop working on your pet issue, so you can work on their pet issue instead.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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308 Responses to “Gay groups criticized for pursuing marriage equality when people are poor”

  1. Bill_Perdue says:

    Only by people unwilling to defend their ideas.

  2. caphillprof says:

    It’s called being rude.

  3. Bill_Perdue says:

    I comment as I see fit. It’s called free speech.

  4. caphillprof says:

    Different directions do not follow my thought. Take your directions elsewhere

  5. Wilberforce says:

    For me, it’s not about economics vs. gay rights. It’s about refining gay strategy itself: enda and stopping hiv instead of marriage.
    But the lowest common denominator has always gotten their way, since the 80s when they were telling us to ignore hiv, to the 90s when they were trashing anyone who talked about prevention, to today when they’re forcing marriage on us. This while many of us have to spend their working days in the closet for fear of being fired, and 20 somethings are humping irresponsibly and adding zillions to the federal budget in drug costs.

  6. Bill_Perdue says:

    Sure it does, you’re just in denial.

  7. caphillprof says:

    Your thought does not follow my comment.

  8. karmanot says:

    Is that why ‘4yesu’ is part of your graffiti name?

  9. karmanot says:

    Ah, the old ‘yo momma’ meme . That’s all you’ve got? Your momma would be ashamed of you.

  10. rmthunter says:

    The “New Left” was a movement that started in the 1960s that was marked by a broadly marxist agenda, prevalent among college students, and characterized by such groups as the Students for a Democratic Society. The agenda was fairly vague, essentially concerned with “social justice,” but the movement never seemed to be able to formulate any specific goals — it was a matter of “end poverty, end war, end racism,” etc. They became, by and large, dogmatic, fairly authoritarian, and, in their eyes, at least, all-inclusive. Their remnants can be seen in the extreme politically correct left — such as those who criticize us for fighting for marriage equality when there are people starving somewhere. In my judgment at least — and I suspect I’m not alone in this — they were most successful at co-opting other movements and pulling their teeth. Happily, they seem to have migrated to the fringes, where they belong, while the rest of us concentrate on actually doing something.

  11. karmanot says:

    Get some self esteem and then capitalize your ‘i’s”

  12. karmanot says:

    It was crisp wasn’t it. Thank you for the complement.

  13. karmanot says:

    Please, DC do not stamp on that flaming paper sack lil’ Eban left on your doorstep!

  14. karmanot says:

    What is the ‘new Left”? Explain in detail. Who leads it. I’ve never heard of it.

  15. karmanot says:

    I have no idea why you were tagged as a guest. The moderator probably appreciated your eloquence and clever turn of phrase.

  16. karmanot says:

    ‘geht’? Ah, so you live in the Tenderloin?

  17. karmanot says:

    Is that your Uncle Fester laugh?

  18. karmanot says:

    “this is a class struggle” Ain’t that the truth. And as soon as you get some you can join the grownups—-Isn’t that cool, or what? Hey, stopping hanging out in gay bars that reject you. Work on that miniscule self-esteem and join the real class warriors.

  19. karmanot says:

    Send a donation to America Blog. Anything over a $100 would be nice. Please make sure that it is real money.

  20. karmanot says:

    Hate women don’t you lil’ Iban?

  21. karmanot says:

    Wash, rinse, repeat: STFU—-you mean that STFU? No, that’s not a secret, but ‘They’ are talking about you—-those voices in (as you are fond of writing) In ‘U’ ‘R’ head

  22. karmanot says:

    I don’t claim to be a lesbian, but would be proud to be one! “as u seemed” to believe I possessed a “well traveled vagina” I assumed a third persona to engage that interesting concept.

  23. karmanot says:

    In all the years I’ve lived in S.F. I don’t think I ever met anyone so foul mouthed, hateful and ill willed—-so not S.F.

  24. Iban4yesu says:

    U don’t live in San Francisco, you have no idea what it’s like having to put up with so much blatant corruption. So sit down your sanctimonious, busybody candy ass. WB has been raided by Feds, not once but twice! That is criminal enuff for me.

  25. Iban4yesu says:

    Is that last question some kind of secret handshake or something? A magic potion of words which makes you bulletproof, supposedly immortal, perhaps?

  26. Iban4yesu says:

    So child, how long have u had this symtom? you see things that simply are not there !! is it accompanied by a spell of dizziness? A brief black out? Only during the menstruation, which must be right now…?

  27. Iban4yesu says:

    um, ghet on with the program?

  28. Iban4yesu says:

    sucker up , baby!

  29. karmanot says:

    “we can talk your vagina .” I’ve never met a talking Vagina before, but imagine she might have a lot to say about you.

  30. karmanot says:

    Racist too….that’s attractive.

  31. UncleBucky says:

    Yay! (that is a positive yay!)

  32. Iban4yesu says:

    u have been entertained enuff for a offensive single issue groupie. it wasn’t free.let me know where i should send the bill. upon the payment you might get some more of that….

  33. Bill_Perdue says:

    I wasn’t suggesting anyone has to thank him, only that it’s OK to thank Democrats on those passingly rare occasions when they do something that doesn’t hurt us. In any case, we owe them nothing since they’re the enemy.

  34. karmanot says:

    Hard to understand Iban, are you translating from your native language?

  35. karmanot says:

    Actually, kissing John is a charming thought.

  36. Iban4yesu says:

    uhe word, grave, scares u the three Mosquiteers?(sic).Get over yourselves.

  37. rmthunter says:

    First, you’re changing the subject — the issue was reporting on Detroit, not on working class and poor GLBTs. My take on the insistence on coverage of poor and working-class gays is that it’s just another attempt to co-opt our movement for the far-Left agenda — we start working on poverty and the gays magically disappear. I’ve seen that happen too often. There are blogs and news sources working overtime on the plight of the poor, the victims of fraudulent foreclosures, the horrible results of fracking, the mess that is what’s left of the Gulf of Mexico and what it’s done to those who relied on the Gulf for their livelihoods. I read those, too.

    As for ENDA, it’s been the top priority of HRC for the past ten years. We all know how successful they’ve been. On the other hand, the couples who have been suing to overturn DOMA (Edie Windsor’s was not the only case) and Prop 8 have for the most part been nice middle-class couples of not particularly generous means who were able to enlist powerful support and financial backing, including donations from the rest of us. The rule is, you fight the fight you’ve got, not the one Urvashi Vaid says you should be fighting.

  38. rmthunter says:

    Actually, I did — I worked with and for a number of them for better than 25 years, was a guest in their homes, became a friend to some, had many discussions with them on all sorts of issues, and most important, I saw what they did with their time.

    You should dispose of the log on your shoulder before you fall over.

  39. Iban4yesu says:

    doll, isn’t that g stain your bff? and she want s to pass off as a fraud savior for the ghey ghetto gaggles, she better have an appropriate only sounds fair!
    And also he prances around in China for his even more corrupt hood boss, the Biatch Brownie, some old and tired and CLUELESS orientalism might well be her cup of … Jasmine tea?

  40. karmanot says:


  41. Iban4yesu says:

    Bwahahaha…..! i was talking about you, of course! Book some more therapy sessions, darl!

  42. Iban4yesu says:

    Talk about projection! And transference, too!
    Your therapist should work overtime!

  43. Iban4yesu says:

    Since u r not what u r not, we can talk your vagina some more then!
    So doll, tell me, is it because you lack your natural sweet tender spot, you have to insist on having that G-stain as a crutch?

  44. karmanot says:

    Your Illegitimate birth is not your fault.

  45. karmanot says:

    Changing you name to guest doesn’t work troll. UR a very sad and pathetic.

  46. karmanot says:

    “were meticulously engineered” I was quoting you rat and entering your projection. And, indeed it was your bad. But to get back to the subject. Gavin Newsom is a major supporter of GLTBQ rights. What have you lately, except blow bile.

  47. Iban4yesu says:

    how come this post was tagged as a guest? were you kissing John to make me an actual troll? Nice try. lol

  48. Iban4yesu says:

    Are you both down voters of the illegimate births, too? ;-)

  49. dula says:

    Generalize much? Did you actually immerse yourself in the “lakefront liberals” to suss out their attitudes toward the working class? I base MY opinions about wealthy white gay men on the ones I’ve actually met and conversed with for the past 30yrs. Do black people have to quote scientific polls in order to state that, in their experience, many white people are racist?

  50. Joehio says:

    Yes, but that was just one glaring example. When do the LGBT news outlets ever report on anything related to working class or poor LGBT’s? The last time I can remember was a famous child custody case in Virginia in the early 90’s. Gay, Inc. hijacked the movement in the 90’s and ever since then, everything is seen through their perspective, and the priorities have been thoroughly assimilationist priorities, because that was what mattered to the “A-list gays and Armani lesbians” (as they were sometimes called back then). I am grateful to and admire Edith Windsor. She has done all LGBT people a great service. But there are gays suffering far greater indignities than an inheritance tax burden

  51. Iban4yesu says:

    Harry Hay is turning in his grave…

  52. dcinsider says:


  53. Psyspace says:

    John, just to clarify, I never suggested that environmentalists were demanding that we lose our focus on gay rights. i only meant to suggest that I perceive a greater affinity between gay advocates and causes such as the environment or privacy and less of a concern about poverty, urban violence and immigration (outside of UAFA). I do however acknowledge that my original post spoke about this perception in black and white terms as related to your blog. You have obviously corrected me.

  54. TyrellCorp says:

    One of the key factors in the failure of most Americans to evolve any sort of class consciousness (although the 1% certainly have) is the fact that “social issues” of race, reproductive rights, and LGBT issues have been very successfully sown to create divisions among people who would otherwise see themselves as commonly victimized by corporate capitalism that is destroying their autonomy, their ability to make a living, raise families, educate their kids, in a safe environment where you can breathe the air, drink the water and eat the food without fear. Do not mistake this as accidental. Hopefully over time, as we work to address these social divisions, it will also facilitate the development of class consciousness, which is almost certainly a prerequisite to meaningful change in the relations of production, i.e., to bring economic activity back under control of society as a tool to meet human needs, rather than a Moloch to which we feed our poor, our elderly, our infirm, our children and ultimately ourselves.

  55. Polterguest says:

    Cool story, bro. Tell it again.

  56. rmthunter says:

    Free Willie!

  57. rmthunter says:

    And the way to combat that is through full equality, including the right to legally recognized marriage.

  58. rmthunter says:

    I happen to live on the north side of Chicago, which is perhaps one of the bluest parts of the country. (My congresswoman is Jan Schakowsky; my state senator introduced the marriage equality bill in the senate; my state rep is an open lesbian.) It is also, along with the lake shore suburbs — particularly Winnetka, Lake Forest, Lake Bluff — and areas like the Gold Coast and Streeterville in the city — home to some of the wealthiest people in the Midwest, or even the country. They’re known locally as “lakefront liberals,” and for good reason: as a group, they support liberal causes, including gay rights. And I don’t mean passively: they give time, money, and effort to those causes.

    The point being that “class warfare” is as much a media trope as anything, and the end result of reliance on generalizations is loss of credibility(although generalization are a sometimes necessary shorthand, they can lead to sloppy thinking) . Yes, there are rich people who are best typified as sociopaths, out for themselves and screw everyone else. There are political activists, both on the left and right, who fit the same category. And there are those who don’t.

  59. Bill_Perdue says:

    Bad politics consisting of a cavalier attitude towards a gay and antiwar hero who did more than anyone to stop the Iraq war.

    Narrow politics consisting of the inability to link opposition to the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama wars of aggression.

    Attend the next demonstration to free Brad Manning –

  60. rmthunter says:

    False dichotomy. Just because I’m out demonstrating against the Iraq war doesn’t mean I’m opposed to freeing political prisoners. It’s that political prisoners are not the focus of that demonstration. You want to organize a demonstration to free political prisoners, fine — I’ll be happy to wave a sign about it.

  61. rmthunter says:

    What John said. I’ve seen it myself over the past three decades — gay advocacy groups make advances on their specific issues, and suddenly what was then the “New Left” offers alliance, which means they get our organizing power and commitment and we forget about our own goals and start working for theirs.

    I think I’m going to coin a new phrase: “the adolescent left.” Its slogan is “Me, me, me!”

  62. rmthunter says:

    You answered your own question: it’s being reported on all the major news sites. Why do gay blogs, which by definition have a particular focus, need to be reporting on it?

  63. Iban4yesu says:

    as u seem to be claiming u r a lesbian, and withdrew that STFU part, i have made my corrections. certainly those insults were meticulously engineered to be geared to a gay man which i had assumed you were, my bad .

  64. Iban4yesu says:

    what kind of queen r u, calling herself ” her”, would that be a royal ” her” or something ? (or r u saying that that vagina is a literary critic? and that and head shrinker rolled into one, more likely! ) doll , u r queeny enuff , no need to flaunt! because that initial cussing and name calling comment was mysterious vanished , that doesnt mean that that offense has not taken place. And as long as that plague of Nuisance still wouldn’t budge that overprivileged ass as a poster boy, this is a class struggle You do not support and one i have to fight tooth and nail as all the corrupt pols that that real douchebag has planted are still wreaking to no ends in this sf with so many clueless gheys !! I don’t know if you also live here, but other wise shut it. If u do, u r my enemy, that is as simple as that.

  65. Iban4yesu says:

    I can surely feign a polite thank you but that would be it.and given the appalling damage and corruption he has inflicted to my adopted hometown and beyond, i just want him to go away as soon as the playing of the mutual admiration is over.ugh. he’s got his, we got ours.Sayonara. Only the second 4 years of that vile Schrub and the suffering of the poor aids patients and other disposessed remain as the debris from this expensive party .

  66. Iban4yesu says:

    get a clue ,gurl, that was u who were calling for yours who was indiscreet enuff to spawn u, hence the ” “! ugh !

  67. Bill_Perdue says:

    Your comments are closed, you’re an Obot and a zionist (a racist). What else are you trying to hide?

    You came by to make personal comments and down vote. How typical.

  68. Bill_Perdue says:

    karmanot is a leftist and I agree with him that Newsome did us a favor but disagree with the idea that we owe Newsome anything more than a polite thank you.

  69. Bill_Perdue says:

    Iban4yesu is a leftist and I agree with him that Newsome made his play to get votes and a base for future elections and with you that he did us a favor. So did Obama and we don’t owe either any allegiance for it.

  70. Bill_Perdue says:

    No politics, just personal garbage.

  71. Joehio says:

    Urvashi Vaid has been repeating this shtick like she has Tourette’s since the 80’s. She’s got nothing to do with the Church. She’s just an old-school liberal who was born 20 years too late and missed out on Vietnam, Watts and Woodstock. I actually agree with a lot of her positions, and I suspect she and I end up voting for a lot of the same people, but she’s so dour and always reduces everything down to poverty and racism that it’s off-putting.

  72. karmanot says:

    Sorry honey, your Mommie is with Mr. Sasquatch and can’t hear you.

  73. karmanot says:

    Let’s count the ways you are so fabulous: Misogynist, bigoted, anti-gay, hateful, viscous, crude, dim witted. Well, sorry for a troll you don’t quite even make the fabulous douche bag level.

  74. So, so tired of Bill Perdue says:

    Where ever Miss Perdue travels, his faithful sycophant, little Ibanasshole is never far behind.

  75. Iban4yesu says:


  76. karmanot says:

    Att: Moderator

  77. Joehio says:

    Overall, I agree with John, and yet…

    This afternoon the city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy, the largest U.S. city ever to do so. This is top of the front page news on all American and world news sites, it has enormous implications, and yet there isn’t a mention of it on any of the gay blogs I normally read. I don’t think we should live in a bubble either where all we focus on is gay marriage.

  78. Iban4yesu says:

    u r just a member of just another old and tired special interest group.

  79. Iban4yesu says:

    also that tender spot in your well traveled vagina, too. I am sure that G spot is important than anything in the world for a foul mouthed nympho like u! ; -p
    How much did Connecticut whose court case was pending at the time of that Robin Hood bravura spend for the marriage equality win, proportionately?
    Prop 8 cost 100 million dollars for the both sides. Do your math!

    of course that cunning boy who was born with the silver spoon in his mouth knew that even if the that gamble wouldn’t fly, he would always have plenty to fall back on.
    How nice it must have been to have these approval hungry ghey voters as the backup , while introducing all kinds of punishments against the most marginalized and disenfranchised in the city of the most prominent ghey ghetto?
    While he is parking his honey ass in Sacramento, he simply doesn’t do any work, because , to many idiots like you,.he is already cannonized, and saints don’t have to work, right?
    yet, alas, instead of standing there and posing, he have been viciously scorinng and deriding his boss, while the elderly statesman was working so hard to turn around the California’s deficit towards the remarkable result.

    Was this impertinent prettyboy emboldened by this ridiculous sainthood helping out at all?
    no your best grrrlfriend was too busy writing a laughable bs tome, working the talk show circuit, prancing around abroad without any really good reason except introducing himself as..” Hi, i am Nusaince, the second coming of JFK! ” etc.

    All thanks to the utterly myopic ghey groupies like youse!


  80. Bill_Perdue says:

    Your comments are closed, you’re an Obot and a zionist (a racist). What else are you trying to hide?

    You came by to make personal comments and down vote. That’s typical.

  81. Polterguest says:

    Meet Bill Perdue. He’s the interwebz resident far-left crazy. No one is ideologically pure enough for Comrade Perdue. He’s the amusing pain in the ass on many a gay website. But, be assured, Bill has never done anything buy type and talk. His glorious workers’ revolution is just one of his wet dreams.

  82. Polterguest says:

    “impotently waving their fists at both sides.”
    You’re being ironic, Billy boy. That’s a perfect description of you.

  83. markpkessinger says:

    This looks to me like a classic divide-and-conquer strategy of (falsely) pitting one struggle against another. And unfortunately, some — those who haven’t figured out how to connect the dots — will buy it.

  84. PeteWa says:

    your comment doesn’t make sense chronologically.
    DADT – December 21, 1993
    DOMA – September 21, 1996
    Lewinsky – January 1998

  85. Bill_Perdue says:

    Are you a Democrat? By any chance to do you work in debt collection?

    Moderate liberals occupy the no mans land between the left and the right, and exhaust themselves impotently waving their fists at both sides. (No persons land doesn’t cut it.)

  86. bnaflyer says:

    What a bunch of Marxist claptrap. I don’t take anyone seriously who talks about “enemies” and suggests that foreclosing collateral on people who don’t pay their debts is “stealing”. Isn’t the borrower the one who has “stolen” something? Anyway just because I am gay and a civil libertarian and a moderate liberal doesn’t mean I want to demonize all wealthy people as “thugs”. What silliness

  87. dula says:

    I guess I’ll add ‘ole Edie to my “some” or “many” wealthy people are enemies or morally suspect list. Thanks for illustrating my point so well.

  88. Bill_Perdue says:

    I’d like it better if you identified the bad guys as Democrats and Republicans and people in their front groups. They, and the rich who have no real interest in working people except to pauperize us, are the enemy.

  89. karmanot says:

    ‘G’ was our major supporter for gay marrigage. So, STFU troll.

  90. Bill_Perdue says:

    “When a conflict arises — such as, for example, with immigration reform — we are disposable, and quite often the first relegated to the underside of the bus.” By Democrats and their front groups and by Republicans and their front groups. Not by unions, people of color, genuine immigrant rights advocates (aka, Non-Democrats) or the antiwar movement.

  91. Bill_Perdue says:

    Welcome, Iban4yesu.

  92. Iban4yesu says:

    yap, they were like, “G. is so pretty and has such a perfect hair….So he can’t possibly WRONG! “

  93. Iban4yesu says:

    make it the collective mug of the whole world, as this happens to be da bully empire that affects the entire globe.

  94. karmanot says:

    wrong for so many reasons

  95. karmanot says:

    Bingo, however, there is an underside to that. Senior gay couples AND hetro couples who marry late, may find that they will get reduced benefits from a number of safety net institutions because they are married.

  96. Iban4yesu says:

    that vile Gavin Nusaince’s political ambition which led to that stupid Winter of Love stunt is typical of how much this tunnel vision of “SSM is Everything” cost us. and most of that bloody money went to the coffers of corporate media as the AIDS HIV services were closing like no other with the unprecedented recession, not speaking of how that insufferable this golden boy’s pol gambling brought the frightened conservative voters out of woodwork to rub the collective mug of the whole nation to the stinking, skanky Shrub for 4 more years!

  97. BeccaM says:

    True enough — and I actually agree with your entire post up there. It’s clear that some are urging the LGBT community not to fight for poverty issues in addition to gay rights issues such as employment discrimination, marriage equality, anti-bullying measures, and anti-gay bias crimes, but instead of.

    Sick leave, living wages, voting rights and all the rest are important, but as you point out, the litany of things we’re being told we should focus on doesn’t include even a hint of anything actually gay-rights related.

    Even if we manage to help win those things as our top goals, before we fight for anything else, what do we end up with? Hooray, access to family sick leave (for instance)…but not necessarily for gay and lesbian families because the government doesn’t recognize them as legal. Huzzah for living wages…unless you happen to be gay, then they can fire you for that reason alone.

    This quote in particular jumped out at me:

    “If you’re a waitress in Jackson, Mississippi and you’re working at a job with no healthcare and your girlfriend is working at the local Target or Wal-Mart,” asks New Orleans writer and activist Kenyon Farrow, “how is marriage going to protect you from poverty?”

    Partly that’s a correct statement. Yet if you’re that waitress married to that Wal-Mart gal, that makes you a legal family. Which makes that family eligible for all kinds of benefits, including some that can keep a family out poverty, including food stamps, social security survivor benefits, tax-free inheritance, increased disability, unemployment, and pension benefits, and lots more.

  98. karmanot says:

    You are depressingly ignorant on class issues. Need to get out of your cocoon more often Cicada.

  99. karmanot says:

    Trans bigots don’t fly here.

  100. karmanot says:

    Hmmmm, I always think of it as ‘globe it.’

  101. Julien Pierre says:

    Actually, these are not completely stupid question, though the motives of the people asking them certainly are themselves questionable.

    The Williams Institute at UCLA has done a lot of research on the impact of same-sex marriage or the lack of it, on society in general, and on the couples themselves.

    It’s fair to say that over a lifetime, the benefits of marriage for a low-income same-sex couple can mean the difference between living in poverty or not, vs a similar opposite-sex low-income couple.

    Things like unequal income taxes, no social security survivor benefits, difficulty in owning joint property, inability to contribute to retirement plans for a non-working spouse, certainly have a sizeable impact over a lifetime.

    Of course, many of these inequalities no longer exist now that the federal DOMA has been struck down. But the research is still interesting.

  102. karmanot says:

    Thanks, that helps to understand. This group is basically focused on sabotaging GLTBQ political progress.

  103. mpeasee says:

    …know your not the only one…much about nothing.

  104. Bill_Perdue says:

    I said all that. I didn’t say it was because they’re rich, I said they wrong because they’re rich and their class leads them to be wrong about most things. “They move right to protect their wealth.”

    If, on some rare occasion, some rich person does us a favor with money or public support we should politely thank them and then step well back, because on most questions they’re vipers. Best not to get close enough to hug them or pet them.

  105. Sure it is, if you keep arguing that it’s because they’re gay. And if you fail to mention that it’s because they’re rich, and that’s the “problem” that makes them lean one way politically

  106. Yes, and I think we already do, and have, served in these larger coalitions for twenty years now (ever since they deigned to finally sit with them at the table).

  107. Yes and no. I try not to write about things that no one reads :) But I have sensed this growing for a while now, and it’s time to finally write about it and nip it in the bud.

  108. Oh no. I’m quite serious. There was a loud fringe in the late 80s, early 90s, always pushing this non-gay stuff to the top of the gay agenda, or trying, and they’re trying again. There have been too many instances in the past two years or so of people agitating around this. And the immigration bill, I’m sorry to say, is a prime example. There was never any intent to include is in that bill, but that didn’t stop a lot of people from trying to claim it was the gayest bill ever. This an effort to co-opt our organizing power – not work in coalition with it, but to co-opt it thru subterfuge. I have no problem helping homeless gay and trans youth. Who said we shouldn’t? That’s not what this discussion is about. These folks think focusing on Marriage, DOMA, DADT and even ENDA, I’d argue, are misplaced priorities because our real struggle is helping migrant workers instead of gay and trans people.

  109. Bill_Perdue says:

    Why would anyone be against defending political prisoners or those indicted for political crimes. Free Brad Manning.

  110. Bill_Perdue says:

    You and Skeptical Cicada are wrong. Our enemies are the rich. Our friends are people of color, feminists and women who promote choice, immigrant and antiwar workers.

    The rich are not suspect – they are convicted of stealing money by reducing wages, getting dividends or inheritances, slashing benefits, foreclosing, supporting wars of aggression and supporting political corruption. You cannot separate the rich from how they got rich, which is by being thugs, thrives and pirates or their children.

    Windsor did good work opposing DOMA work oppoing DOMA and then went to the other side when she announced her support for an anti-worker and totally corrupt Democrat CE Quinn, who blocked paid sick leave to please the Chamber of Commerce types who bankroll her campaign.

  111. karmanot says:

    One of the most interesting characteristics of the old rich is the unconsciously assumed entitlement that they expect as perfectly natural. As least the new rich are aware of their ‘noble lacking’, exact their shame as vicious class war and make more obvious targets of opposition.

  112. karmanot says:

    The sets are the same. The ‘alienating ‘you’ or ‘they’ are the bigot’s key terms. I imagine you aren’t even aware that you are a trans bigot.

  113. Bill_Perdue says:

    “Prancing’ is a bigot’s word.

  114. karmanot says:

    Oh boy, you just said that. You never heard of a gay or lesbian trans dimwit? Catch up.

  115. Bill_Perdue says:

    The rich, whatever their ethnicity, gender or gender affiliation are a class consumed by greed. As the radicalization spreads and deepens they’e become consumed by their need to protect their ill gotten gains.

    The rich will never be able to fully support the fights for political and above all economic democracy by working people. Working class gays need robust civil rights laws, economic democracy, socialized medicine, good wages. benefits, housing and etc and the rich will never grant that. In fact they can’t grant it. It would mean the end of their rule.

    The rich, and the politicians, judges and cults who support their rule, are the enemy.

  116. karmanot says:

    I love it when you do!

  117. BeccaM says:

    Hey, sometimes I rag on him, too. I’m no Rude Pundit, but I do enjoy letting loose once in a while.

  118. karmanot says:


  119. BeccaM says:

    In that, I agree with you. Anybody who argues for gradualism or compromise or, worst of all, to stop pushing aggressively for our rights because the “time isn’t right” or “it’s too risky, it could set us back years” — is an enemy to the cause of LGBT equality.

  120. karmanot says:

    ‘The sky is falling, the sky is falling!’

  121. Bill_Perdue says:

    And free gay/antiwar hero Brad Manning.

  122. karmanot says:

    And once we eliminate poverty, shares in cat food companies will fall and destroy the economy.

  123. karmanot says:

    cynic troll

  124. karmanot says:

    Free Leonard Peltier!

  125. Bill_Perdue says:

    They also sound like those who vote Democrat and vote for the bigots and bigot enablers in that party.

    Obama care is a bill to make the rich, at least those that own or invest in HMO’s, hospitals, pharmaceutical and insurance companies richer and to deny socialized medicine to working people. Democrats who support it oppose real heaths care.

  126. karmanot says:

    Or the good be the enemy of the impossible.

  127. karmanot says:


  128. karmanot says:

    “we outsourced all of the real activism to homeless people” I can’t believe you just wrote that. Homeless people co-opted OWS? Are you serious? ” we need to take risks in our advocacy with real consequences on the line” Indeed, talk to an old school liberal over fifty and take notes.

  129. dula says:

    Ok I don’t perceive all wealthy people as enemies, so I should have put “some” or even “many” in front of wealthy GLBTs. I can only generalize the habits and attitudes of the considerable number of wealthy gay people I have actually spent time with…and they are no different from the number of out of touch wealthy straight people I have been acquainted with. This is class warfare. It has nothing to do with GLBTs, though those wealthy GLBTs who disrespect working class people shouldn’t get a pass just because they are part of a discriminated minority.

  130. Bill_Perdue says:

    Why would you rather vote for bigots and bigot enablers in the Democrat Party.

    There are plenty of other options that don’t enable bigots and enablers in either party.

  131. karmanot says:

    Well done!

  132. TomTO says:

    Too bad for them, but I get to bust their stereotype. So white I get sunburnt quite easily.

  133. karmanot says:

    True that!

  134. Bill_Perdue says:

    I switch back and forth but both are cumbersome.

  135. Bill_Perdue says:

    It certainly made you a right wing conservative on all issues, including GLBT issues.

    We’ll win not by sitting on the laps of the rich and begging but by creating fighting alliances with women, people of color, immigrants and the antiwar movement, particularly the movement to free Brad Manning.

    BTW, ‘precious’ is a bigots word to describe GLBT folks. We’re not ‘precious’ or ‘effete’ or ‘cowards’ or etc. We’re women and men fighting for basic rights and reaching out to allies.

  136. karmanot says:

    Answer, nobody does. This is a fringe group hoopla. No one takes it seriously.

  137. karmanot says:

    Exactly so

  138. dula says:

    I personally criticize various colors and creeds of rich people. The topic today just happens to be certain gay wealthy people. Maybe these other groups that you claim want you to stop spending resources on gay rights (which I’ve said I don’t agree with) are really just letting you know that solidarity based on gay rights of wealthy white gay men is limited. Maybe the issue is that the face of modern gay rights isn’t more racially and economically diverse. Maybe people are going to resent wealthy white men even if they are from the gay minority, because they don’t look like they need any more help now that they’ve won some major victories. I don’t know what their beef is. Ask them.

  139. Jason Carson Wilson says:

    Yeah, President Obama and the Democrats missed a great opportunity in 2009 and 2010. That’s correct. And, of course, according to many GLBT Americans, he didn’t move fast enough on DADT. But, like many of my fellow queers, conveniently forget Bill Clinton signed DOMA & DADT. The response to that usually is, “But…but…he had to compromise.” That’s true. Squandering political capital on Monica gave the conservatives the ammunition they needed and he threw us under the bus. He compromised to save his ass. Yes, Obama didn’t evolve fast enough. OK. Had Bill kept it in his pants, there’s a possibility that he could’ve avoided having to sign DOMA and DADT. I’ve got no problem with people holding the President’s feet to the fire. But, I’m sick of watching members of the gay community not only ignore the damage Bill Clinton has done to us, but reward him for his tireless work for marriage equality. Really??

    But to the point at hand, if poverty groups want to fight for poverty, do it. Frankly, what they’re really saying is we’re getting lumped in with you trouble-making gays and lesbians and it’s hurting our bottom lines. So, stop acting up and make yourselves useful…to US. I say, screw that!

  140. Bill_Perdue says:

    You check out the polling and report back to us. Or stop making thing up.

    There are two classes in this country. The rich and working people. I can’t imagine why some prefer to be governed the the most cynical, destructive and greedy class in history but Skeptical Cicada does exactly that.

    Nor can I imagine why anyone would oppose, in principle, our attempts to create alliances with people of color, etc., although but Skeptical Cicada does exactly that.

  141. Bill_Perdue says:

    The Democrat and Republican parties, both infested with bigots and bigot enablers, are the main opponents of pressing for LGBT rights because it puts them and the Chamber of Commerce on the spot.

  142. Bill_Perdue says:

    That’s the perception of people who don’t understand the class motives of the rich (whose sole concern is to get richer) and I don’t think it’s very widespread.

  143. mpeasee says:

    …we have poverty because of an extractive economic system, it has nothing to do with gays. Untethered capitalism love poor people the most, because the rich benefits the most, that’s why an alternative will never do, the 1% folks will never give up their superiority without a fight and major bloodshed.

  144. Bill_Perdue says:

    There is no homophobia in criticism of rich members of the LGBT communities, whether Democrat or Republican. They move right to protect their wealth. They’re comfortable with that in both parties.

    Polis, a rich Democrat and a proud member of a party that refused to pass ENDA or repeal DOMA, even when they had the votes (Polis entered the house in 2009), is not a bigot, but he and all Democrat politicians are bigot enablers.

    And it’s not homophobia to describe Democrat or Republican politicians as a bigot enablers. It’s just the truth.

    Obama is the worst of the Democrats bigot enablers and a lap dog of the rich because he refuses to sign an exectutive EO with ENDA like provisions for federally connected corporations.

  145. Lordwhorfin says:

    Certainly, but that doesn’t make it effective, wise, or shielded from criticism.

  146. Bill_Perdue says:

    It’s more than likely that there are just as many of them in the Democrat party and it refuses to pass ENDA or repeal the rest of DOMA.

  147. Bill_Perdue says:

    The question, as put,”Gay groups criticized for pursuing marriage equality when people are poor”
    is meaningless.

    Poverty is caused by the rich and their lap dogs in the Democrat and Republican parties who created the current economic crises and it’s attendant poverty by passage of NAFTA the deregulation bills of 1999, the The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act or the Financial Services Modernization Act, and 2000, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act. Bill Clintons signature on all three created the current Depression, which Bush and Obama combined to make much worse.

    All gay groups except those that are simply just fronts for the Democrats or Republicans will of course oppose poverty, laws that limit voting or promote racism while at the same time fighting for repeal of DOMA (section 2 federally and state DOMAs), for the passage of ENDA or an inclusive federal Civil Rights Amendment covering housing, employment and social services with provisions accompanying laws for robust punishments for offenders.

    GLBT groups should build alliances with people of color, feminists groups and pro-choice groups, the antiwar movement and quit swimming the the swamp of Democrat (and Republican) party politics.

  148. karmanot says:

    This from a man who calls himself a confused insect.

  149. karmanot says:

    I know, John is da boss at it! and does it well. So, well in fact that it causes me to bring out an insect fly swatter and be rude. I always regret it, but just can’t help myself.

  150. dula says:

    I have deep conversations with lots of people, in bed and out. Do you keep everything superficial and pop culture-like with your acquaintances? Perhaps I just got jaded from hanging out with well-to-do, out of touch, vain, arrogant, narcissistic gay men in LA and NYC for the past 30 yrs.

  151. karmanot says:

    Thank you! They also bring out the bugs.

  152. karmanot says:

    We can. This whole contretemps is a red herring circus.

  153. karmanot says:

    Exactly so!

  154. karmanot says:

    Nice evasion, bully.

  155. karmanot says:


  156. karmanot says:

    “despising” people.” That’s your gift and you do it so well.

  157. karmanot says:

    Deft try at slander. It’s like saying insects herald the Fall, but destroy crops. Nice try bigot.

  158. karmanot says:

    “I think this is the same old blood lie about white gay men that’s been
    going on from the same group of people who want us to stop fighting for
    gay rights.” What am I missing here? Why would you conflate some ideas from a cracked-pot group and paint with a negative wide brush legitimate socialist opinion?

  159. karmanot says:

    Bigot insect on the rampage.

  160. karmanot says:

    Good Luck pretending you have a clue.

  161. karmanot says:

    Mary Cheney anyone?

  162. karmanot says:


  163. karmanot says:

    It took we awhile but I’ve finally figured out that YOU are a gay bigot.

  164. karmanot says:

    You are so focused on scraping shit off your shoe, you have stopped walking into the bigger picture.

  165. BeccaM says:

    In fact, sometimes I feel like wealthy GLBTs are my enemy in terms of class struggle.

    That. And your followup right here says you have a habit of generalizing the attitudes and behavior of wealthy gay people.

    Look, I’m going to use an example here, and I do not want you to take it personally, but just to demonstrate a point: There are very, very few racists who will not say something to the effect, “I don’t hate ALL black people. It’s just been my experience that many of them… (insert disparaging remarks here).”

    Personally, I don’t care where the money comes from. If wealthy LGBTs want to help bankroll the expensive lobbying and court challenges, I’m all for it. Even if some of them behave like assholes sometimes.

  166. dula says:

    Where did I say ALL wealthy people are enemies or morally suspect? I merely stated that it has been my experience that many wealthy gay people have a condescending, dismissive, and sometimes hostile attitude towards those who struggle financially and therefore I feel more solidarity with straight people fighting for economic equality than I do with many gays who are obliviously wealthy.

  167. BeccaM says:

    Yeah, but y’know, one thing John has to do is to stir the pot by dropping these controversies — however tangential — into the blog, so as to drive up page-views and visits.

  168. karmanot says:

    Absolutely right

  169. karmanot says:

    Yep, there must be dozens of different colored ribbons put there that have co-opted our red one.

  170. karmanot says:

    Thank you

  171. JakeAZ says:

    One’s profession is not one’s identity. Do you believe being bisexual connects one to the gay community? Ought there even be a “B” in there? I think so, but then, I believe I believe I belong there also.

  172. karmanot says:

    Well done!

  173. JakeAZ says:

    And lesbians are not the same as gay men who are not the same as bisexual men and women. There doesn’t have to be identity equality. No groups’ sets of issues are exactly the same. And quite frankly, I haven’t had to deal much with discrimination at all, except from lesbian women “friends” who didn’t like me anymore after I went over to “the dark side” and gay men who refuse to accept me as male. But actually, those are personal responses, not societal ones.
    By your logic there shouldn’t be a “B” in the alphabet soup either.

  174. karmanot says:

    I feel that John is using the trope for discussion sake. I doubt anyone takes that shrill little group seriously. As for homeless youths ( I can only speak from community service in SF) “It’s not a generalized lack of economic opportunities” But it is, once these kids are shoved out an abandoned there is no economic opportunity that’s why most of them are snared into prostitution and drug mulling

  175. karmanot says:

    “You’re embarrassing yourself.” This from a bad mouth who calls himself an insect?

  176. BeccaM says:

    Of course it’s important for us to fight as well on all social and economic justice fronts.

    The problem, as John pointed out, is these shrill voices and concern trolls who’d have us put fighting poverty at the top of the list, without recognizing that major sources of the poverty experienced by us LGBTs is directly due to institutionalized and societal discrimination.

    We have an epidemic of homeless LGBT youths and young adults, why? It’s not a generalized lack of economic opportunities. It’s because parents are rejecting them and kicking them out of their homes.

    Compounding the class warfare angle for ordinary LGBT folks is the fact in most states it’s perfectly legal — and socially acceptable — for us to be fired from our jobs simply because our boss is a bigot. Then we have the economic hits directly tied to our not having marriage equality rights and the protections afforded to every hetero-headed family.

    Unfortunately, people like these “Farrow and others” — and I detect a note of agreement from Jamie Hagen, the author of the RS article — would have us abandon the fight before these concrete goals have even been achieved.

    Here’s how I see it: LGBT rights, when they are included by those groups sympathetic to our cause, are never their primary goal or focus. We are, at best, a footnote. When a conflict arises — such as, for example, with immigration reform — we are disposable, and quite often the first relegated to the underside of the bus. There are so many well-funded and -organized groups making economic justice their top priority. We don’t need to make it ours, too. On the list is good enough.

  177. karmanot says:

    “prancing about” and rattling an insect ovipositor for maximum attention?

  178. karmanot says:

    “Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.” Take your own advice please….and take your medications too.

  179. karmanot says:

    David Mixner —- one of my heroes!

  180. karmanot says:

    “The other thing I won’t do is equate having money with being morally suspect.” No, you are right. But, to disregard class struggle is a mistake.One only has to look at beltway gays who forever promote gradualism as the sure way for establishment success. Obots, even those who lobby for us in DC are often DINOS. I am one of those who do harbor sharp class conscientiousness, because I know from first hand experience that the class into which I was born is by and large—the enemy. That is why we must pick our battles specifically, read Sun Tzu and not be distracted by yet another diverting fringe group.

  181. karmanot says:

    I think your suggestion that we look at class struggle is an important issue.

  182. karmanot says:

    “these malcontents” exactly. We shouldn’t inflate their absurd divisive rubbish.

  183. karmanot says:

    It’s called freedom of expression.

  184. karmanot says:

    We must do both at the same time. The larger picture of our GLTBQ struggles is civil and economic justice in compliance with Constitutional foundations.

  185. karmanot says:

    We must deal with both. The roots causes will never cease to bloom discrimination and bigotry otherwise. We need to think big and holistically.

  186. karmanot says:

    Am I the only one who sees this as nothing more than a provocative red herring circulating to divisive intent. Poverty is an extremely relative and growing problem for the GLTBQ communities has always has been, particularly now in the age of austerity, particularly now for older seniors, and our fragile economic family units. The GLTBQ communities must embrace economic justice. It is vital to our survival. The directions and necessary fights we have for legal, civil and economic rights must have broad coalitions if we are to survive and prosper.

  187. Chris says:

    Dula, how can anyone take you seriously when you make some snarky joke about how your opinion is based on the “thousands” of gay men you have had sex with? I suppose you engaged in deep conversations about social politics with everyone of your hookups while you were “sampling” them?

    I don’t know or care about whomever you have been tricking with, but those individuals are certainly not representative of the gay men I know. Perhaps, you should leave science to real scientists, ahem.

  188. Damian says:

    If you are gay, then you are part of the gay community. Being trans doesn’t connect you with the gay community any more than the other aspects of your life. I assume you have a job. Maybe you are a doctor. Just because you are gay and a doctor doesn’t make all doctors part of one community with gays.

    LGBT makes no logical sense and the more folks try to justify it, the more obvious the illogic becomes.

  189. dcinsider says:

    As an aside, just because someone is gay does not mean the he or she supports EVERY liberal cause. I happen to self-identify as a liberal, but I have no doubt that many liberals would call me a moderate at best, and some, I suppose, would label me a conservative. I do not share the exact same agenda as every left wing group. I actually make up my own mind on an issue, and I don’t care where that places me on the political spectrum.

    But I know one thing for sure. I am damn liberal when it comes to gay rights. And that is why I give money to gay equality organizations. I do not give them money to save the whales or eradicate poverty. Not because I don’t think they are worthy causes, but if I want to spend my money on them I will.

  190. dcinsider says:

    Yes, exactly.

  191. BeccaM says:

    I, for one, am incredibly glad that a moderately wealthy woman — Edie Windsor — had enough money and the indomitable will to take her DOMA challenge all the way to the Supreme Court.

    I’m not going to question the motives or eschew the help of sincere LGBTs who have the financial means or the political connections to advance our causes.

    The other thing I won’t do is equate having money with being morally suspect. Or the lack of it with being some kind of noble working-class hero. Economic standing can have an impact on a person’s character, but to assume that all wealthy people are enemies and that all working class people are heroes is not only self-defeating, it’s prejudicial.

  192. BeccaM says:

    Yeah, but they’d have us focus our attention on second-order negative effects of anti-gay discrimination, rather than deal with the root causes of those effects.

  193. You’re doing it again. If I kept noting that rich BLACKS on wall street don’t care about wall street reform, and keep making it a BLACK issue, and always fail to note that rich people on wall street more generally don’t really favor wall street reform, I’d be rightly accused of being a wee bit racist.

    We keep rehashing this, so I won’t belabor the point. But I think this is the same old blood lie about white gay men that’s been going on from the same group of people who want us to stop fighting for gay rights. And it’s indicative of their intolerance of sexual orientation, race and gender far more than our intolerance of anyone else.

  194. Though I’ve found many of those studies to be geared more towards convincing us to focus on poverty instead of gay rights. Just my gut sense the past few years.

  195. craigkg says:

    You left off the great Obama hang-nail crisis of 2015. We can’t act on LGBT rights because Obama is having to deal with a hangnail on his pinky!!

  196. woodroad34 says:

    On one hand I agree with you–mainly from personal experience with a group of wealthy gays I hang around with (although, I’m the very, very “poor relation” in that clique)–but you do have the Ricky Martins, the Neal Patrick Harrises, the David Geffens, Elton Johns, David Mixners, etc., and many more who give money, name recognition and actual hard work towards gay rights that I wish I could point with pride to in my “clique”.

  197. craigkg says:

    You know, if the Democrats in Congress and the White House had done WHAT THEY PROMISED in 2009 or 2010 and passed ENDA then when they had THE LARGEST DEMOCRATIC MAJORITIES IN MORE THAN A GENERATION IN BOTH HOUSES, we would not have to be spending so much time (any time?) being focused on ENDA right now. Perhaps all of us elitist gays should undertake a program help CAP and their minions pushing this narrative by 1) firing all of our straight employees because they are straight, 2) hiring only gays to replace them because they are gay, 3) but paying those gays less than the straights because they are gay and 4) splitting the money saved by so doing between ourselves and CAP for whatever their pet project of the moment is (i.e. whatever the crappy dog Democrats running the Democratic Party give them permission to be outraged about).

  198. Brad says:

    So, the message is for us to wait our turn. After we’ve solved poverty, cancer, homeless teens, racism, women’s equality, global warming, the energy crisis, Middle East unrest and psoriasis, we’ll get around the gay equality? How can anyone call themselves progressives and accept that POV?

  199. PeteWa says:

    perhaps, but please take my friendly advice and don’t chew on guns.

  200. BeccaM says:

    It’s a complicated socio-political phenomena, but I’ve seen it before in other contexts: A group makes some advances, wins some legislative or judicial victories — and suddenly every other unrelated group begins asking if the first group is being selfish for focusing on that first group’s own causes.

    It’s happened in racial issues, women’s rights, ecology, you name it.

    So now the scolds would have the LGBT community give up fighting directly for gay rights — which have by no means been secured, merely advanced (it remains illegal in a majority of U.S. states for gay and lesbian couples to marry) — and instead spend our energy on economic, workplace, and voting rights issues. I’m surprised animal rights weren’t thrown in there, too.

    Talk about shades of “some immigrants will be gay and we didn’t explicitly ban them, so this is totally a gay immigration bill”…

    Anyway, that’s the motivation I’m seeing: We’ve had a few wins lately. The imperfect repeal of DADT. The dramatic turnaround on public sentiment on marriage equality and the partial overturn of DOMA. So now everybody wants us LGBTs to win their pet issues, since apparently we’re nearly the only disadvantaged minority that isn’t completely losing in the current social struggles. What’s doubly damning is, as you pointed out, John, they don’t just want us to change our focus to their causes, but essentially to stop fighting for ours altogether.

    And at the same time, we’re supposed to forget how all these other groups treated LGBT rights as a footnote, or ignored them altogether. Going back again to the immigration bill — we were told it was wrong to object to the Dems dropping the bi-national gay/lesbian couple provision, even though the increased enforcement provisions would have made things objectively worse for those couples.

    As if we’ll all get full marriage equality rights if we just coast and do nothing, and have nobody explicitly fighting for gay rights. Or stop being fired from our jobs or denied housing specifically because we’re LGBT. And somehow the Powers That Be will begin, without any urging or input from us, to aggressively prosecute anti-gay bias crimes. And all those bigots will just give up, even though we’re no longer pushing back against their slurs and lies.

  201. dula says:

    Ok now I’m bored…cheers, dear.

  202. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Oh, man, you actually seem to think that’s insulting.

  203. dula says:

    Well 1977 IS the last time you had sex, dear. I’m certain your # is still there. They don’t clean that often.

  204. Skeptical Cicada says:

    LOL! What is this, 1977? Oh, honey, please read something more up to date about gay men. You’re embarrassing yourself.

  205. woodroad34 says:

    maybe there’s not a specific “gay” group fighting for poverty, but there are certainly gay people fighting for poverty. Gay groups are established to fight for gay rights. Poverty groups fight for poverty. Why aren’t poverty groups fighting for gay rights? Gay rights would keep gays from becoming unemployed and falling into poverty and, as you noted, they’d automatically be able to inherit a partner’s estate instead of it turning over to the nearest heterosexual family member and keeping that grieving partner from falling into debt and possible poverty. It’s sounds like a frustratingly desperate cry for help on the part of Kenyon Farrow…rather than an actual need for gays to focus solely on poverty. There’s an interesting article on gay poverty that one will mainly come away with the notion that if gays were equal in all respects to heterosexuals, (ENDA, housing, parents kicking out their kids because of their orientation), the poverty level would diminish:

  206. dula says:

    I’ll call you darling and explain myself further…is your number still on the Port Authority wall…stall #3?

  207. Skeptical Cicada says:

    The man who doesn’t even know that we don’t call ourselves “homosexuals” and don’t capitalize “Gay” is going to tell us how it is with the gay community. Yes, we know that many African Americans have lots of prejudices about gay men, including that we’re pedophiles. Ah, yes, upwards of a thousand…that’s certainly what the religious right claims about us, isn’t it? If you’re going to pretend to be a gay man, you need to consult better source material.

  208. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Don’t you mean “ambisexual” or Bi? You’re such a fraud, prancing about presuming to speak about a gay community you know next to nothing about.

  209. dula says:

    Seriously, take your meds, dear…I hear Medicare is now covering Aricept.
    I’m not even bi.

  210. Skeptical Cicada says:


  211. kladinvt says:

    This also reminds me of when I’ve attended various anti-Iraq war protests, only to find competitive groups staging protests of “their issues” alongside the main protest. I distinctly remember a group pushing something about the “Cuban 5” in the middle of march against the Iraq war. They only added confusion to the whole event and caused resentment toward themselves and their cause.

  212. dula says:

    Wealthy blacks care about the civil rights of other blacks, they just might not care so much about their economic rights. I cannot prove that wealthy white gay men aren’t concerned about the economic stability of others but that has been my experience of them for the last 30 years in NYC and LA. Many others have that perception too. Sorry, I have not taken any scientific polls though I have sampled upwards of a thousand…ahem many intimately. Maybe we could do a poll on this site?

  213. Skeptical Cicada says:

    LOL! Keep waiting for your acting award; it’s not coming.

    Yesterday, you didn’t even know that we don’t call ourselves “homosexual” and don’t capitalize “Gay.” You’re such a total fraud, spewing the anti-gay prejudices.

    Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out. And take your passive-aggressive performance with you.

  214. Skeptical Cicada says:

    LOL! Yeah, homophobia is a reaction to gays not being good enough allies. Wow, you’re so lost in your own fantasy world I’m surprised you’re even able to speak English.

  215. kladinvt says:

    It certainly appears that whomever is pushing this “disbandment” mantra has underlying issues with class and is trying to use it to split up successful LGBT organizations. And even though, they wave the “poverty” around as “the issue”, I have to wonder who is funding this malcontents. Could some of them have been financed by anti-gay organizations, like NOM or the Catholic Church? There’s something very fishy going on, me thinks.

  216. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Nice evasion, bully.

  217. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Someone who uses the word homosexual or capitalizes Gay is so out of touch with the actual gay community that he’s in no position to generalize from his grossly limited exposure.

    That gay men are pedophiles is also a perception held by many. We call it bigotry.

  218. dula says:

    chicken or the egg?

  219. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Yes and no. You are like gay men to the extent that you have to deal with discrimination based on sexual orientation, but you are not like gay men to the extent you have to deal with discrimination based on being trans. The two traits are not the same, nor are the sets of issues. There is overlap, not identity.

  220. dula says:

    Shaming/bullying lol…have you read YOUR posts?

  221. dula says:

    True, but I haven’t met very many wealthy gays who give a second thought to the economic underclass…and that is the perception of the gay community by many.

  222. Skeptical Cicada says:

    dula isn’t interested in that kind of outreach. Rather, he prefers a shaming and bullying approach, in which you’re ordered to do as he says or else he’ll not like you anymore and slander you–attempting to form a coalition by “despising” people.

  223. JakeAZ says:

    Careful, Norman. I am a gay transman. I am not a “they”, I am a “you”.

  224. Sure, potentially – though being gay, you might have a better chance as they might be more susceptible to a message about being stepped on through no fault of your own.

  225. It’s not similar at all. You think wealthy black people who don’t seem concerned about the civil rights of blacks (clarence thomas comes to mind) are the same as wealthy gay people who focus exclusively on the civil rights of gays. That’s a 100% contradiction – thomas’ problem is because he doesn’t identify with the black community, and the wealthy gays’ problem is that they too much identify as gay? Now, as we’ve discussed before, if you can prove that “rich white” gay people are somehow inordinately not progressive, Im happy to discuss it, but I keep hearing a generalization with no substantiation other than if you’re success, white, gay and a man, per se you must be a horrible person. And I don’t buy that.

  226. dula says:

    Nope, just saying that wealthy gays shouldn’t expect to be considered any more of an ally than wealthy straights, by other causes fighting for economic equality.

  227. dula says:

    Movements evolve and transform depending on the needs of the people involved…strange bedfellows. Now that my GLBT community I fought alongside with for 25 yrs has achieved some major wins I feel more affinity with my fellow working class straight brothers than I do with upper class GLBTs(although working class GLBTs are my all time favorite people.) In fact, sometimes I feel like wealthy GLBTs are my enemy in terms of class struggle. Maybe the gay rights movement will become unglued and is unavoidably splitting due to class issues. Maybe it’s similar to how working class black people feel about wealthy blacks who left the ghetto and never looked back, even though they once struggled together. Maybe it’s also similar to how the Democratic Party is splitting between real liberals who think Obama is part of the oligarchy and neoliberals who think he is the second coming…of FDR. None of this means GLBT organizations should dilute their time and money to other causes, but just know that the wealthy, upper class, white gays who became the face of the gay rights movement can be perceived as the enemy to people defending themselves against class warfare.

  228. Norman Dostal says:

    we should drop the T-that was just shoved on there-they are as different to us as they are to straight people

  229. Norman Dostal says:

    any gay with self respect would never vote GOP

  230. Norman Dostal says:

    except for the MILLIONS who dont

  231. Norman Dostal says:

    caphill-not true at all-gays will NEVER go back to the GOP this generation or the next-maybe in a few decades-gays are not fogiving of such wrongs

  232. Norman Dostal says:

    hilarious-maybe they should tell teh churhces, who have spent millions against gays and their families, to help the poor instead-some stupid people….dont they know NOTHING is more important than equality????

  233. Frankie James says:

    This is so stupid – We should continue to fight for our own needs. How else has our community been so successful. We take care of our own.
    … Lets others who want to get off track go there…

  234. Skeptical Cicada says:

    They shouldn’t. And despising them won’t magically turn class issues into gay issues. Good luck “despising” people into allying with you.

    Oh, and check out some polling data on how much of a shit the working classes give about gays, “Ho-mo-sexual.”

  235. That’s an excellent comment.

  236. As I’ve mentioned before, if everyone in that class (rich) has a dearth of compassion, and you keep mentioning that some of them are gay – as though being gay is the defining variable, rather than being rich – then it starts to come off as homophobic.

  237. Skeptical Cicada says:

    CAP has its own agenda, which usually revolves around bullying people into supporting whatever the Democratic Party wants supported and trying to suppress activism that pushes things the Democratic Party doesn’t want pushed. The word is tool.

    It’s selling out of gay binational couples in immigration reform really says it all.

  238. Monomaniacs? LOL

  239. The think-tank stuff comes from CAP. I was on a recent radio show on Sirius and got the lecture about how the gay community spent too much time focusing on Prop 8 and ENDA in the week or so before the decision, rather than focusing on the VRA and affirmative action BEFORE those decisions even came out. I even got attacked on twitter for not tweeting about the VRA decision in the very few hours after it came out, that was apparently proof of my secret racist leanings which I apparently didn’t have in 2008 when I was “too” pro-black and hated women (aka Hillary). (As for the bizarre tweet-charge, I didn’t understand the decision, so was not going to tweet about it until I could read up on what happened – I did tweet about it, and post about, later when I finally was able to read up on it :) As for the blog I won’t give them any publicity :)

  240. smoof says:

    organzations that are created to fight for a specific cause are entitled to fight for that cause exclusively. the NAACP has not exhausted its self fighting for other minority rights beyond race-related infringments. they have played almost no part in helping the plight of undocumented workers and women (broadly speaking), and gays and lesbians.

    i am not gay, but i (as should any american who seeks to move this country forward) will be forever indebted and in awe of the the intelligent, dogged efficacy of how the gay rights movement has waged its war.

    the gay rights movement has created the blueprint of how to succeed–first, complete unwavering solidarity; second, you don’t take no for answer (compare the women’s movement of the 1970s on the ERA, they got a no, and that was the end of the manner; unlike the suffragettes who, much like the gay movement, refused to take no for an answer and had unwavering solidarity); and third, you target states where you can actually have a direct, tangiable impact on legislation–those with referendum and initiatives, which make up more than half of the states.

    most of these states have no bars on re-introducing the same initiatives election after election until you win. and most opposition to progressive initiatives is really just lack of familiarity with an idea–but as the idea is re-introduced again and again, people become more used to it and more accepting o it. florida, not a particularly progressive state, easily passed a constitutional amendment requiring sows and their piglets be given pens that allow plenty of room for the sow to turn around and lay down–this is pretty consistent with animal rights initiatives across the country.

    studies of the states with direct democracy show that, contrary to popular anecdotal belief, the most significant progressive changes have all been achieved through the initiative process, then once critical mass has been achieved these policies lead to adoption by the rest of the states, and then a long time after, adoption by the federal govt. yet most progressive movement focus impotently on the federal government and the courts–they two most conservative entities in the US–and not surprisingly they lose time and time again. they do this because the civil rights movement “succeeded” only with federal intervention–but this was the exception, not the rule, based on a confluence of events that are unlikely to occur again

    as a female, i have often told my gay friends that they can have my right to marry any day, i’d much rather have the 30 cents on every dollar i’m denied simply because i lack a penis. that extra $30,000 would have a far greater impact on my quality of life than would a wedding ring. but, i don’t begrudge them fighting for what they feel would make their lives better. and other progressive rights groups have no room to criticize–where is the NAACP on labor and women’s rights? the unions on undocumented work rights? the teachers movements on children’s rights? (and yes, children deserve the right to have and enforce their civil rights too–if yous spend 20 years indoctrinating the populace that the have no say in their lives and must accept arbitrary and often unfair and unjust treatment because of who they are as a class–you shouldn’t be surprised that they have little sympathy for helping themselves and those of other classes of people as adults).

  241. I’m sorry, gay men don’t work on other progressive issues ;) You’re not white too? ;)

  242. Mark_in_MN says:

    That kind of approach has guided Congressional Republicans for years. Congress can, according to them, just walk or chew gum. It’s not like there are hundreds of people in the Congress (each with a multi-person staff) so that some people can work on one thing while others work on something else, is it? Oh, wait, that’s exactly what we have. But the whole of Congress apparently should only approach one thing at a time, and nothing else, until that issue is resolved.

    Well, except that that has seemed to give way more to Congress doesn’t have the time or the capability to do much of anything, except a gesture or two like vote to repeal Obamacare for the 1381st time. (OK, I exaggerate. A bit.)

    All of which kind of points to Skeptical Cicada’s point. It’s that many of these folk don’t want to do more than one thing.

  243. Skeptical Cicada says:


  244. I didn’t comment on Manning. I figured Snowden was enough :)

  245. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Where is his posting that environmentalism IS a gay issue? I certainly haven’t seen it or anything about environmentalism in the LGBT section of the blog. What are you talking about? Nor have I seen environmentalists smugly attacking gays for not dropping marriage equality and diverting all our activism to climate change.

    I’ve certainly criticized his position on Snowden, but none of that stuff has appeared in the LGBT section of the blog either. Nor, again, am I aware of government transparency advocates smugly attacking gays for not dropping marriage quality and diverting all our activism to their issue.

    I don’t recall if John commented on the controversy, but the leftists who wanted to hijack SF pride and turn it into the Bradley Manning Show certainly encountered strong resistance.

  246. A few points.

    We don’t write about race much? Really? Check out our archives:

    As for immigration, same thing – we’ve written a ton about immigration and Latino issues far beyond UAFA:

    Also, with regards to race, you might recall that we were accused of being misogynists because we fought so hard to elect Barack Obama, a black man, over Hillary Clinton, a woman. Funny how quickly we forget :) And now we’re blamed for helping Obama win :)

    As for me not taking on environmentalists and Snowden defenders for trying to usurp the gay rights agenda, they’re not. Environmentalist aren’t demanding that we stop fighting for marriage and instead focus on the Keystone Pipeline. Ditto for privacy advocates. And if environmentalists tried to claim that global warming was a gay rights issue, I’d be more than a bit annoyed.

    I appreciate the concern. But I don’t think the facts back you up :)

  247. Mark_in_MN says:

    I understand your reluctance, John, but it would be good to be able to see the source material for one’s self, to be able to make one’s own evaluation, and to bring fuller context to material from said sources if one has missed the issues with LGBT activism. Further, when an argument moves closer to the realm of “some people say…” the base of the argument grows shakier. I think, despite your reluctance, the point could be better made with clear references to sources and examples (even if you don’t provide links and make us do our own googling to get there).

  248. jomicur says:

    This is a shrill constant from simpletons on both the right and the left. Apparently these people think we as activists and we as a nation are only capable of doing one thing at a time. Why focus on the NSA when Obama’s killing people with drones? Why focus on Obama’s drones when there are children starving in India? Why focus on starving Indian children when there are children starving in Belize (or wherever else)? Why focus on Belize when there are needy lesbian nuns in Samothrace? And on and on and on.

    The thing is, you can fill in the blanks with any issues you want and it all makes just as much (or just as little) sense. And it all adds up to a recipe for doing nothing much about anything at all. It’s a terrific way to try and stop progress on any given issue or, ultimately, all issues.

  249. Psyspace says:

    Yes, uselessly unfocused and we outsourced all of the real activism to homeless people while the rest of us stayed behind our keyboards. Someday the rest of us will learn that we need to take risks in our advocacy with real consequences on the line.

  250. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Excellent analogy. Yes, Occupy started strong and then just became uselessly unfocused.

  251. S1AMER says:

    Oh, I get that full well. They’re monomaciacs. The rest of us can work on solving all sorts of problems, ’cause we’re decent human beings possessed of human compassion.

  252. One of the CA 36,000 says:

    I take issue with this obvious dilution and weakening of focused advocacy, in favor of an overcooked goulash of multiple causes, all fighting for oxygen.

    The Occupy movement COULD HAVE accomplished a great deal, HAD IT STAYED FOCUSED ON THE DECIMATION OF MAIN STREET BY WALL STREET. Once we had the government’s attention on that issue, we might have seen some of those hot-shot Wall Street investment bank presidents frog-marched into Federal court and tried and sentenced to hard time. But NO-O-O-O-O-O-OOOO!!!!! The Occupy protests became ridiculous street theatre with dozens of competing causes from Code Pink to Radical Faeries to Womyn Against Ladies (OK, I made that one up) to Drag Queens for Skateboards that Can Handle Size 13 Six-Inch Stilettos (OK, I made that one up too, but hell, there isn’t even a telethon for this!) to multiple marijuana advocacy groups (I’m not making that up, am I…?). Occupy became diffuse and completely ineffective. And easy to dismiss.

    Marriage equality is important because it is one issue that everyone can understand. It’s NOT more important than employment equality– which is also easy to understand. But I think marriage equality is a more powerful issue because it is only tangentially about money or property. It is centrally about loving someone and wanting to care for them, and wanting to make a public statement about that love. That resonates with people at their very core.

    That doesn’t mean we can’t also fight for job equity and access to health care and safety nets for the most vulnerable among us. And we should. And we do. But it’s important to STAY FOCUSED ON CLEAR GOALS. I’m focused on full marriage equality and ENDA. And I plan to see both happen in the next few years.

  253. dula says:

    Exactly, so why should the right leaning GLBT upper class be any less despised for not giving a shit about the working classes?

  254. Psyspace says:

    John, on the surface I agree with you 100%. LGBT groups and LGBT advocates need to primarily focus on LGBT issues. Scratch beneath the surface and I see a greater affinity between LGBT advocates and certain progressive issues that tend to be “whiter” progressive issues (e.g. Edward Snowden, the environment, etc.). This does not apply to the same degree to progressive issues important to communities of color (e.g. Immigration and poverty). No offense to your blog (I love it and follow it daily), however it does serve a bit as a litmus test for this point. When not covering LGBT issues, I find you far more likely to focus on the environment, government spying and privacy issues than on poverty and immigration (except to comment on how they are not LGBT issues). Where is your posting that environmentalism is not a LGBT issue? That Edward Snowden is not an LGBT issue? I sense that some of this perception is driving some of the “backlash” that you now perceive as tension between LGBT and other progressive groups. This is not an attack John, just food for thought.

  255. nicho says:

    Good time to drag out that overused mantra: Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  256. One of the CA 36,000 says:

    Betelgeuse! Betelgeuse! Betelgeuse!!!

  257. Wealthy professional upper class EVERYONE often tend to the right.

  258. Rumpelstiltskin!

  259. cole3244 says:

    progressive think tank, i’m a liberal and not afraid to use that damaged word in america, if one uses the word progressive i am suspicious of their motives and sincerity, i am also an atheist and i have the same reservations about agnostics, fight for your rights lgbt community you & only you can win that fight and somebody out there is afraid of you as a political force.

  260. Fair point. I didn’t want to link to the blog post because I really don’t want to give them any help. And the think-tank in town is well known, and didn’t want a flame war with them, but they’ve been pushing this theme for a few years now. More generally, anyone who’s been involved in gay politics since the 80s, 90s is familiar with the general theme of “marriage” being a bourgeois goal, a heterosexist construct etc and therefore we shouldn’t pursue it. This is part of that. But it’s also, as I note in the other article I link to, part of what concerned me about the immigration reform battle – in which we kept being told that “immigration rights are gay rights and gay rights are immigration rights*” (*- but we aren’t going to include the #1 immigration goal that gay rights groups want in the bill, but it’s still the gayest bill ever). Just made me think of the Yeats poem, Leda and the Swan, where he says “Did she put on his knowledge with his power” – I’d rephrase it to “did they put on our substance with our mantle” – no.

  261. When you didn’t realize they/you were competing at all.

  262. FLL says:

    “Poverty is still a problem; therefore, you shouldn’t fight for marriage equality.”

    Some homophobic arguments are non sequiturs. The example above is one of them. New parlor game: spot non sequiturs for fun and profit!

  263. kiyugfkiy says:

    some gay people are poor people and should not have a higher tax burden than other families.

  264. 2patricius2 says:

    So can I. And in fact I would suspect lots of us in the LGBT community would say the same thing.

  265. skwcw2001 says:

    huge thing this group isnt talking about or not seeing the concept of marriage is important to many to NOT be in poverty, see Not being allowed to marry puts undo and extremely economic hardship on a couple and family. Which in turn can cause them to live in you guessed it poverty.

  266. JakeAZ says:

    I prefer GBLT because it can be pronounced “giblet”.

  267. Skeptical Cicada says:

    LOL! Exactly.

  268. Bernie says:

    Free Mumia Abu-Jamal.

  269. Skeptical Cicada says:


  270. slappymagoo says:

    You know how you know you’re winning? When your competition asks you to stop winning so much.

  271. slappymagoo says:

    You know what other adage applies? “I can walk and chew gun at the same time.”

  272. Skeptical Cicada says:

    You’re missing the point. They don’t WANT you to do both. They want every bit of activism on gay issues stopped and diverted to their non-gay agenda. If you’re doing any activism on any gay issue, you’re an elitist bigot. It’s just another form of anti-gay bullying.

  273. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Yes, the ideological purity of queers who are conveniently already dripping with rights in their Manhattan or San Francisco abodes has been sickening for quite a few years now. They usually find some local red state schmuck whose organization they’re subsidizing and use him as a mouthpiece.

  274. Monoceros Forth says:

    Of course not! This is strictly my private usage among friends.

  275. NCMan says:

    oh fer gawd’s sake. have you EVER heard anyone speak it as “glibit” and be understood? That’s just silly.

  276. Tom Kidd says:

    The old adage “the Devil is in the details” was so right on! It doesn’t get more insidious than this. Just another subtle way to shame us into keeping our mouths shut and asking for what is rightfully ours; the late great Nina Simone touched on this so very eloquently in her 1960’s classic “Mississippi Goddamn”.

  277. Monoceros Forth says:

    I prefer “GLBT” to “LGBT” because “GLBT” can be spoken as an acronym (something like “glibt”) while “LGBT” can’t. And I’ve got no idea what to do with an abbreviation with more letters than those four.

  278. I forgot about that. The complaints about aids funding. Funny how our little wars never seem to get so costly that we forgo the next one.

  279. Houndentenor says:

    This is what liberals do to each other and then they wonder why we’ve made so little progress toward any of these goals. How about helping each other to achieve goals rather than demanding other people continue settling for less in the meantime. Ugh.

  280. TomTO says:

    My husband is on the board of directors of the largest food distribution group in our city. They provide food to countless people in poverty. And we are not wealthy. He joined just to make a difference. He does that at the same time we became the first binational couple outiside the US to have our green card petition approved. Today he interviews to volunteer at a hospice. I plan on joining him there. So I have to tell these people, screw off, we’re already doing our part on multiple fronts. I’d like to know what things they have done for others, besides just moaning and complaining.

  281. nicho says:

    Sure — as soon as straight people stop getting married until we eliminate poverty. What idiocy!

  282. MichaelS says:

    It’s a little like complaining that all the March of Dimes did was cure polio… How dare they?

    It’s the same canard we heard about AIDS groups… every other worthy (or sometimes unworthy) cause tried to co-opt their mission.

  283. Moderationforajustworld says:

    Here, here. Apparently, some people believe that society can or should only tackle one single, discrete, isolated (yeah, right) social problem at a time……

  284. Mike in Houston says:

    You’ll notice that most of these ‘voices’ come from places that already have employment protection and marriage equality in some form or fashion. Pity the rest of us in the red states trying to complete the mission of garnering full equality for LGBT people before turning our attention to other issues.

    You want to tackle poverty issues? Start with LGBT teen homelessness or state/local/federal ENDA or getting the financial protections of marriage equality.

  285. MichaelS says:

    yes and while we’re at it, why not re-direct the gay groups’ attention to causes like inner-city violence? What good does it do to get married if you’re gunned down on the street?
    And why not focus on global warming as well? What good is marriage if all our homes are flooded or destroyed in extreme weather episodes?
    But wait — what about world peace? Why not re-direct attention to that? What good is marriage if we’re sent off to war?
    Such stupidity, makes me ill…

  286. TampaZeke says:

    The black civil rights movement suffered the same complaints. Some people complained that it was inappropriate to pursue black civil rights while we were at war in Korea and then Vietnam. There have always been people who begrudge those who fight for their own civil rights for not putting other people’s needs first. Working on two things simultaneously, as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. did, isn’t good enough. They want OTHER people to sacrifice their own civil equality for the issue that is most important to them but they are unwilling to do the same themselves.

    Gay people have heard a HUGE LIST of things that we should prioritize over our own civil rights. “Why can’t you wait until the wars are over?”, “Why pursue marriage in America when gay people are experiencing worse oppression in Uganda?”, “Why not make AIDS the primary focus?”, “What about poverty/racism/sexism/the debt/the wars/the environment/taxes/health care/the whales…?”

    In some people’s minds there is NEVER a good time for a minority to make their own civil rights a priority.

  287. TampaZeke says:

    I’m sick to the teeth of all of these “either/or”, “walk OR chew gum people”! Some people act as if people can only do one thing at a time. Either we can fight for equality OR we can fight against poverty. Either we can fight for racial justice OR we can fight misguided foreign policy. We need more people who think in the realms of “BOTH/AND”, walk AND chew gum”. We can, and some of us do, fight for equal rights AND social/financial justice AND healthy foreign policy.

  288. S1AMER says:

    May I mention:

    Had my wife and I not had to pay gay taxes all these years, we would have been contributing more to elect candidates and support causes that would work to reduce poverty.

  289. BillFromDover says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how conservatives continue to blame poor people for having no money.

  290. Skeptical Cicada says:

    You’re not getting it. They don’t want multitasking. They want every bit of activism on marriage captured, halted, hijacked, and redirected to their pet causes.

  291. UncleBucky says:

    Yay, TomTO! :)

  292. Skeptical Cicada says:

    They can. They just don’t want to, and they want to order you not to because they want to hijack all your activism for their pet causes. Every bit of activism you direct toward marriage is activism they want redirected to their pet causes. It’s just a kind of extortion.

  293. UncleBucky says:

    Here’s another point. DADT, DOMA, and all the State-based prohibitions of equal marriage are discriminatory.

    The issue of poverty is ALSO discriminatory. High costs of living (rent, utilities, insurance) together with institutionalized barriers to family planning, local schools, low cost grocery stores, local good-paying jobs, universal health care, consumer protection and legal assistance ALL produce poverty. This web of poverty is essentially discriminatory, too, since those who make the laws and those who create these economic conditions are closer to being rich as sin than poor as church mice.

    Also, prohibitions of equal marriage are financial barriers to LGBT families, sometimes actually increasing their relative poverty. Not every Lesbian or Gay couple is rich as sin. ;o)

    There are no factors involved with enabling equal marraige that directly increase poverty.

  294. Skeptical Cicada says:


  295. UncleBucky says:

    Simply elegant. I agree!

    (Sheesh, I would have written several paragraphs! You got to the point in two words! Hooray!)

  296. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Newsflash: Being gay doesn’t automatically make anyone to be a left-wing radical on non-gay issues. And you’re not going to berate or blackmail all gays into the far left.

    P.S. Immediate loss of credibility for the goofy six-letter alphabet soup GLBTIQ. Why are you “oppressing” asexuals, bigot? Where’s your second Q to cover queer and questioning? Damn, I’m sick of you tedious, precious people.

  297. TomTO says:

    I have the ability to fight for my marriage and help the poor simultaneously. It’s too bad they cannot walk and chew gum at the same time.

  298. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Simple response: fuck them.

  299. Mark says:

    I’m concerned that you only cite one voice, Kenyon Farrow, but describe it as a growing movement. Where are the statements from other groups? I’ve heard plenty of individuals say that they think ENDA is more important than marriage equality, but I’m just not hearing or seeing a growing movement claiming that gay groups need to drop marriage and employment discrimination to focus on poverty. And if it exists, this piece doesn’t show it to us.

  300. TheOriginalLiz says:

    This is a familiar tactic. Back in the day, women who supported the ERA and equal rights were criticized and told they should be worrying, and voting, about important things, and not being selfish by pushing just their agenda. I remember we were considered selfish for wanting to support candidates who supported us.

  301. S1AMER says:

    Two points: (1) We can’t multitask? (2) Marriage can reduce poverty.

    Look, anybody on our side who doesn’t want to get married doesn’t have to get married, or attend our weddings, or whatever. Just don’t work against us procuring legal and financial protections because that doesn’t jibe with your political or social beliefs — and, by the way, how is that essentially different from opposing marriage equality because of religious beliefs?

  302. bejammin075 says:

    The Rolling Stones article is very, very stupid, and here’s the main reason why: The people who do work for these various causes are naturally working in the organizations where each individual is most motivated to achieve the goals of their cause. Urging everybody to get on the bandwagon for one particular cause, if successful, would only result in much reduced overall effectiveness for the Left, since people joining the bandwagon would have reduced motivation. Duh.

  303. caphillprof says:

    We always knew that wealthy or professional gay white men AND lesbians would go back home to the Republican Party after achieving gay equality; however we didn’t know how bat shit crazy the Republican Party would become. I find that upper class gays are finding their is no Republican Party to go back to.

  304. DickMills says:

    The reason I fight for marriage equality (as with the end of DADT) is because as long as there are laws on the books that specifically discriminate against LGBTs, then discrimination against us is not only “okay”, but it is codified into law that it’s okay. Right now, the only laws in the US that specifically discriminate against LGBTs are those laws which make our marriages illegal.

    It used to be that being gay was itself illegal, and from that any discrimination against us flowed naturally from the fact that we were breaking the law already. Gradually we got rid of those laws, and in their place came laws outlawing our marriages… and again, any discrimination against us is a natural outcropping from that.

    We may never eliminate discrimination entirely, but as long as laws specifically target us for no reason other that who we are, that discrimination is ingrained in the fabric not only of the law, but of society. And fighting for equality, and freedom from discrimination does not preclude us from fighting for healthcare or pay equity or other economic issues.

  305. Z says:

    I agree about fighting for both. I think the fear of non-gay rights activists is right now, that social issue makes white middle-upper class gay men stand together with other liberals; but once GLBTQI people who do not face any other discrimination get what they are after, marriage equality, they will drop their support of other social/economic causes and swing conservative. It is like during the sharecropping and union fights when the Irish and African-American population began to band together- until the Irish were brought into the ‘white’ category and dropped their former ally.

  306. Randy Riddle says:

    Obviously, people who think like this have never been out and gay or perceived to be gay and looked for a job in the South or a rural area where homophobia is rampant or have never actually talked with a gay person in this situation. Homophobia and a lack of legal protections for gays have created poverty and economic hardship for many years among LGBTs. So, yeah, talk to me after you’ve been “out”, have a solid college education and skills, and the only job you can find is waiting tables. I know – I’ve been there. We need to work together to lift all boats – it’s why I support environmental causes, the ACLU, the work of the NAACP and other organizations seeking social justice for everyone, not just LGBTs. I’d encourage these people to try to see the forest, rather than the one tree right in front of them.

  307. climate3 says:

    I don’t see why we can’t fight for both.

  308. Indigo says:

    Limousine liberals make Neocons look progressive.

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