I continue to expect that this weekend’s march will be a gamechanger for the movement, and all of the different perspectives we are hearing this week suggest that. I think it’ll be a gamechanger in terms of how Obama responds to queer issues. I think it’ll be a gamechanger in terms of how the American public perceives the queer equality movement. I also think it’ll be a gamechanger within the movement as we raise expectations and demand more than verbal appeasement.
There are those not ready to stand with us. Yesterday on the Michelangelo Signorile show, Rep. Barney Frank said as much. In fact, he went so far as to admonish the march and those who’d participate in it:
Barney Frank believes the march this weekend and rally on the mall are “useless” and don’t put pressure on the White House. “I literally don’t understand how this will do anything,” he said. “People are kidding themselves. I don’t want people patting themselves on the back for doing something that is useless.” Besides, he says, “Barack Obama does not need pressure.” He says we should model ourselves as lobbyists on “the National Rifle Association.” He says people should not come to Washington and should stay home and lobby their members of Congress. “Nobody in Congress even knows they’re there, he says, and he is not attending the March: He is going to California to raise money for himself and other Democrats.
Meanwhile, Wayne Besen said on Bill O’Reilly (of all places!) that not only is the march important, but it’s just as important that people within the HRC dinner support Barack Obama as it is people outside protest him. Check out the clip:
I think President Obama did a really good job delivering hope; now it’s time to deliver change.
In addition, Rachel Maddow added some pressure of her own to Barack Obama’s promises on gay rights, welcoming Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) to discuss Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
To end this post on a more uplifting note, here’s a clip from Joy Behar on the experience of young people coming out, including Christian Siriano and some of the teens that were recently featured in the New York Times:
The message is the same: we have work to do in this country! These young people remind us of the courage we need to have and the change we need to make!
I hope I see you at the March this Sunday!