Thursday, December 9, 2010
GUEST POST FROM HEATHER CRONK OF GET EQUAL
I have to be honest -- I just vomited a little in my mouth.
The Senate just voted on whether to bring the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) up for conversation. Not for passage -- just for conversation. It failed.
We all laid everything we could on the line for this bill -- a piece of legislation that would have repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." We all know that gay and lesbian Americans are just as patriotic and capable as straight Americans -- but dysfunctional Senate processes, a homophobic Republican Party, and a spineless Democratic Party got in the way of equality once again.
Let us be clear -- this wasn't the bill we wanted. This compromised piece of legislation was far from the ideal -- it would have left our transgender sisters and brothers behind, it kicked actual repeal to some undefined date later down the road, and it said nothing about how to deal with lesbian or gay enlistees who have partners who must remain second-class citizens because their lives are still ruled by the Defense of Marriage Act.
And even this compromised piece of legislation didn't pass.
If we're ever going to fight back against these kinds of compromises, we've got to build a ground game that disallows anything less than full equality.
We're working on developing that ground game, and we'll have more to say about it in coming weeks.
For now, we mourn for the LGBT service members serving each day in silence -- some of whom will lose their lives without ever tasting equality. We mourn for the lack of courage shown by our elected leaders to put an end to needless discrimination.
But we should remain inspired by the fight left in us. Go on Facebook. Go on Twitter. Get out into the streets. Call up your friends. Get angry, and then get organized.
We'll help -- and we promise that we're going to continue building a movement from the ground up that no longer settles for this kind of political homophobia and transphobia.
Managing Director, GetEQUAL