Here are a couple of shocking revelations:
- I contribute regularly to the Human Rights Campaign*.
- I don’t have a problem with Obama’s work on the LGBT front.
Yeah, I know a lot of people are frustrated with the HRC–in fact many of my friends think the organization does nothing at all. People are also annoyed with Obama and his seeming lack of interest in pushing the gay agenda. (Did we ever decide what that is, BTW?) But as someone painfully familiar with lobbying, advocacy, and legislative process, I can say with certainty: things on Capitol Hill move slower than you think. MUCH SLOWER. Even resolutions commending blind, destitute war widows have to float through three committees and a couple of tablings before they finally come up for a vote–and even then, they may not pass by acclamation.
Full disclosure: I’m a patient person–possibly too patient–so I don’t really mind waiting for change. Also, as a white guy of a certain age and socio-economic status, I’m in a somewhat fortunate position, and I don’t need things to alter radically by tomorrow. In other words: although Obama and the HRC seem to move slowly, I’m built to handle it. Your results may vary.
More full disclosure: I’m completely appreciative of the noisy folks who are pushing and shoving for change. If there weren’t aggressive people on the front lines, that would leave ME at the front line, and then we’d never get anywhere. However, certain people at the vanguard should consider swigging a spoonful of reality: for the past 28 years–since GRID, and subsequently AIDS began the long, deadly trek across America in 1981–the LGBT community’s political progress has come in fits and starts. Today, it feels as if we’ve finally re-gained the momentum we lost way back then. I’m all for capitalizing on that and bringing everyone up to speed, but I’m not about to shoot the folks driving the bus.**
* I’m not a major HRC contributor by any stretch, and I don’t attend their annual fundraisers–which are too expensive by my estimation and too full of people who give me indigestion. But I do give, and I give regularly, and I’m happy to do it.
** Despite the bus reference, that was not meant to be an allusion to Speed.