Gay conservatives have been so critical of the national gay groups, in large measure because these organizations seem more beholden to the political left in general and the Democratic Party in particular than they do to their supposed constituency. With the Service Members Legal Defense Network (SLDN) being the notable exception.
In the immediate aftermath of the 2004 elections, after a Republican president was elected to a second term in the White House and with Republicans making gains in both the House and the Senate, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), instead of picking someone who could work with Republicans, tapped a Democratic partisan (who had most recently worked for a group committed to electing pro-choice Democratic women) to helm its operation.
Guess they were more interested in playing to the left than to influencing the (then-)party in power.
That choice came to mind when I received a recent e-mail from the National Center for Lesbian Rights. When I saw the name Glenn Beck in the subject line, I thought maybe they were going to praise the conservative polevangelist* for acknowledging the obvious that gay marriage isn’t a threat to the country.
Instead Executive Director Kate Kendell (she who devoted her most recent 9/11 letter to ranting against conservatives) included a piece by the group’s Federal Policy Attorney Maya Rupert on Beck’s “Cynical Invasion of D.C.” Now the timing of his “Restoring Honor” Rally may well have been cynical, but, well, what does criticizing this timing have to do with advancing “lesbian rights”?
Ms. Rupert did try to tie her opposition to Beck to her advocacy of ENDA and other government initiatives supposedly advancing our “rights,” but the attack on Beck seemed more designed as a sign of leftist solidarity, that they were marching in lockstep with the other left-of-center groups who so eagerly attacked Beck (and his recent rally). Ms. Rupert referenced nothing Beck said about gay issues — at that rally or otherwise.
It was just that Beck eschewed identity politics. And that upset Ms. Rupert. Well, Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed of a day when we all eschewed such politics.
If Kendell truly wishes to advocate for lesbians, she would seek to make common cause with conservatives whose rhetoric helps undermine a standard social conservative argument against gay marriage rather than lambaste him for a rally which all but ignored gay issues.
That Kendell’s group rushed to condemn Glenn Beck without considering his comments on gay marriage strongly suggests an organization which sees itself as part of a leftist movement for social justice and opposed to all things conservative, even conservatives, beloved by social conservatives, who break from the social conservative line on gay marriage.
Perhaps you can now better see why we’re so skeptical about the sincerity of the national gay groups.
*a term a conservative friend uses to describe the blustering TV talk show host.