Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Barney Frank on what’s the LGBT movement missing right now

In the latest GA Voice, Barney Frank talked about several things, but this was his view on what's missing from the LGBT movement:
I’ve been in a lifelong battle with many people in the community over the importance of participating in politics. The notion that registering to vote and lobbying elected officials and putting pressure on them, somehow that’s contrasted with militant activity like demonstrating and marching. The trouble with the demonstrating and the marches is, unless they’re very carefully targeted, they’re ineffective and in some cases worse than that because people think they’ve accomplished something by showing up at a parade. Parades are fine, have fun, but they’re not a political instrument most of the time.

Combined with the fact that many on the left, where many of our people think, ‘Oh politics isn’t worth anything and they don’t pay attention to us.’ Well they do. The counterexample I give people is, you want a militant organization that is successful, I would cite the National Rifle Association. When’s the last time you saw the National Rifle Association have a march or a demonstration? They don’t. What they do is focus intensively on getting their members to write or call or go see every member of Congress and to vote in primaries. So I think it’s gotten better but people in the LGBT community still undervalue militant political participation as if that was somehow ineffective.

The other is this. I know people say to me, ‘Well, we should be bipartisan.’ I wish there was bipartisanship, but pretending that it is what it isn’t doesn’t help. And the fact is there’s no issue in America today where the gap between the political parties is greater than on LGBT rights. The Democrats have become 90-plus percent supportive, with the Republicans overwhelmingly opposed on the whole range of issues. The fact is the last remaining item on the national agenda is an inclusive anti-discrimination act and it will not happen until and unless the Democrats have the House, the Senate and the presidency.

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Viktor is a small town southern boy living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Twitter, writing about pop culture, politics, and comics. He’s the creator of the graphic novel StrangeLore and currently getting back into screenwriting.