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Mike Signorile: Grassroots Activists And NOT Gay Inc. Got Us To The Supreme Court – TESTIFY!

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“Whether it was ACT UP organizing civil disobedience at the height of the government ignorance of the AIDS epidemic in the late ’80s, or Get Equal members chaining themselves to the White House fence to push the president on ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ it took brave people who put their reputations, their privacy, their futures, their jobs, their families and sometimes literally their own bodies on the line to push things forward. They withstood attack not just from antigay zealots,the police and the media, but from the gay establishment, telling them to just be good little boys and girls.

“Sometimes these champions weren’t even gay themselves but were allies of gay rights as well: When San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom began marrying couples in San Francisco in 2004, the Democratic establishment, and the gay establishment which is very much a part of it, went ballistic. It affected Newsom’s political career, but there’s no doubt Newsom is a hero of marriage equality whose action was pivotal.

“If not for grass-roots activists pressuring President Obama, gay leaders seemed likely to have given him a pass on ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ repeal in his first term and on defending DOMA in court, let alone moving forward on marriage equality. So let’s not forget these brave people as we watch all the talk shows and read the media interviews which highlight the very gay leaders who were often opposed to the exact strategy they’re now embracing.” – Michelangelo Signorile

Remember way back when in May 2009, when AMFER (who as led by Chad Griffin before he sold out to HRC  lined up Ted Olson and David Boies to argue the  shit out of Prop 8′s unconstitutionality, America and California’s Gay Inc.  groups were furious.

HRC joined Freedom to Marry, ACLU, Lamda Legal, GLAAD,  Log Cabin Republicans, and PFLAG in  denouncing the Perry v. Schwarzenegger lawsuit, saying in an open  letter, “Rather than filing premature lawsuits, we need to talk to our friends,  family and neighbors, and help them understand why denial of the freedom to  marry is wrong.”

They bitched and moaned and wanted no part of it.  UNTIL it looked like it might actually win and then they made a 360 and started taking credit for it.

These Gay Inc. groups proved that while they remain sometimes SLIGHTLY useful, they  are not necessary to securing LGBT rights.

That has been proven,  And that is the way it should be.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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