Don Gorton is a Board Member of Join the Impact MA and former Chair of the Greater Boston Lesbian/Gay Political Alliance (1988-1994).
An Open Letter to Critics of the National Equality March
LGBT people are fortunate that the organized community is highly mobilized to preserve marriage equality in Maine. The cause of equality in the 2009 elections is well-represented in the Pine Tree State by Equality Maine and the back-up of the Equality Federation. Everyone across the country should consider how they can help the No on 1 campaign in Maine.
The National Equality March is one salutary means to advance the struggle for equality in Maine and across the country. Yet some people have pointed to the difficult Maine campaign to say, in effect, that mobilization should shut down at the national level. More than a few pillars of the LGBT community have been running down the March saying it diverts resources from Maine. Of course they overlook the fact that the activists being turned on by the exhilarating experience of a March on Washington wouldn’t otherwise be available to fight for equality. How much better off we would be if critics of the March took the positive tack, doing everything possible to help out in Maine, rather than putting down the like-minded efforts of other equality-seeking tacticians.
Continued, AFTER THE JUMP...
Nothing in our collective struggle since 1969 has been more
dispiriting than the need some gays have had to deprecate the
initiatives of others seeking the same ends. The rage-filled
experience of the Gay Liberation Front in New York 1969-1971, whose
members emotionally terrorized each other, cautions that one should
criticize other LGBT rights initiatives and activists only where the
rebuke will serve the greater good. Put-downs don’t do any good in any
respect, in contrast to volunteering for Maine if that’s what you think
I share the conviction that Maine is the top priority in the near
term, especially for New England neighbors of the folks Down East. Even
so our movement needs to regenerate for the long-term. Movement 2.0
that started with Proposition 8 and the movie Milk is real and is
drawing a new layer of activists into the struggle begun at Stonewall.
These emerging Millennial Generation LGBT leaders will bring the dream
of equality in all 50 states to fruition in this century.
In collaboration with our friends in Mass Equality, Join the Impact
MA aims to recruit a new wave of activists who can help out the No on 1
campaign in the crucial final weeks. And win or lose in Maine, our
movement will soldier forward toward the objective of full equality in
all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states, as long as it takes.