Activism | Dan Choi | Discrimination | ENDA | GetEQUAL | Harry Reid | Las Vegas | Robin McGehee

Lt. Dan Choi and Seven GetEQUAL Activists Arrested After Blocking Vegas Strip in ENDA Protest

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Twenty activists from GetEQUAL shut down the Las Vegas strip this afternoon after unfurling a banner calling on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to bring the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to a vote.

Enda2  Eight activists were arrested, including Lt. Dan Choi and GetEQUAL co-founder Robin McGehee after stopping traffic on Las Vegas Boulevard and unfurling a banner that read “REID: No One Can Do More? GetEQUAL.org”.  Others formed a picket line with signs reading “I can still be fired for who I am” and unfurling a banner across the pedestrian walk between MGM and New York, New York casinos thatread, “REID: PASS ENDA NOW! GetEqual.org.”

Despite promises from Democratic leadership that action would be taken on the bill this session, no vote has been scheduled.

There is an excellent set of photos from the demonstration HERE, shot by Steve Friess of Vegas Happens Here (as are the photos in this post).

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Comments

  1. attacking Reid right as he's in the fight of his political life against Sharon Angle?

    good luck getting *her* to vote for ENDA.

    Posted by: deegeezee | Jul 20, 2010 5:39:49 PM


  2. Fascinating that Choi is now involved in this ENDA protest.

    After the passage of health care reform in March, the leaders of national LGBT organizations and our allies in Congress were faced with a dilemma: After passage of the hate crimes act last fall, only one more LGBT bill was going to get voted on before the midterm elections. They had to choose, ENDA or DADT repeal.

    And thanks to the constant visibility of DADT victims like Choi, and the focus on DADT at gay blogs such as this one (note the DADT UPDATE link that's been at the top of Towleroad for months now) as well as in the mainstream media, DADT repeal is what got prioritized over ENDA by Dems in Congress.

    That means no ENDA this year, and—depending on how many seats the Dems lose in Congress come November—probably no ENDA for several years to come.

    Given that DADT affects a military of about 1.5 million (plus another 800,000 reservists), and ENDA affects a US workforce of about 150 million, it's not the choice I would have made. But I guess Choi, and GetEQUAL, and Towleroad, and John Aravosis, and Rachel Maddow have other priorities.

    Posted by: 24play | Jul 20, 2010 5:42:35 PM


  3. Back in the halcyon days of ACT-UP we had a name for the Dan Chois of the world: MEDIA WHORE!

    Posted by: Mark from NYC | Jul 20, 2010 5:44:39 PM


  4. @Mark From NYC: So what is your solution/idea?

    Not being snide, genuinely curious.

    Posted by: Dave | Jul 20, 2010 6:00:44 PM


  5. @Mark from NYC I've been thinking the same thing for a while now.

    Blocking the road is just going to get people angry at him and won't advace ENDA at all.

    Posted by: ravewulf | Jul 20, 2010 6:01:39 PM


  6. There's nothing wrong with civil disobedience. In fact, it's absolutely necessary. But if you don't pick the time and targets of your demos shrewdly—and get word to the media ahead of time to guarantee maximum coverage—all you're doing is wasting effort.

    Which, unfortunately, seems to be GetEQUAL's specialty. Robin McGehee's already running out of states she can get arrested in. And she has fuck-all to show for it.

    Posted by: 24play | Jul 20, 2010 6:06:25 PM


  7. I totally get Choi for standing up for DADT, but doesn't he have a job with the military still or is he on leave while they figure out what to do with him?

    Posted by: Dairyqueen | Jul 20, 2010 6:08:31 PM


  8. Quite frankly, I'm impressed with Dan Choi; not only is he always in the spotlight, he stays *on-message* and keeps the pressure on...

    I think, in just the last couple of years, Choi & Co. may have done more for gay rights than I've seen the HRC almost trouble itself to get around to perhaps just about *maybe* almost trying in the last 19 years...

    I cannot remember when HRC bothered to be both on-message and/or keep the pressure on, if ever.

    Heck, if HRC did *either* for more than a day I'd be mildly-impressed, but as it is, I'm inclined to think that the torch has been passed.

    If Choi manages to raise funds for the few gay-friendly Congressmen/Senators, and bombard the gay-unfriendly ones with primary-challenges and negative ads, I think we'll finally have ourselves a real Political Action Committe...!

    Posted by: Terrance | Jul 20, 2010 6:17:07 PM


  9. I LOVE Lt. DAN CHOI.

    Posted by: Raul | Jul 20, 2010 6:30:10 PM


  10. I don't think backing up traffic is a good way to protest. You are just going to make a lot of people mad. Disrupt life for the people that stand against you, not everyone.

    Posted by: swb | Jul 20, 2010 6:32:56 PM


  11. Gotta make life miserable for the people who hate us and give the people who support us something to get their asses in gear. If we shut down roads and promise to keep shutting down roads, chances are that most people will just want to get this shit over with. I know I would. The trick is, you've gotta have enough activists on hand and ready to be arrested that they shut down the strip AGAIN tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day.

    Posted by: John K. | Jul 20, 2010 6:44:47 PM


  12. Are most of you too young and/or not familiar with the history of the civil rights movement? HRC has made itself irrelevant and Choi and picked up the torch. Go Choi !!

    Posted by: major707 | Jul 20, 2010 6:51:18 PM


  13. What's with the negative post on Dan Choi and what's with this crap about getting people mad by blocking traffic? Did your Fuckin' balls drop off? Why don't you folks go ahead a watch a number of clips during the Civil Rights movement from the 60's and then dare to tell me you're afraid to piss people off. Hats off to Dan Choi and the rest of them for being so brave and standing up for what is right and not standing down to anyone.

    Posted by: maverick69 | Jul 20, 2010 6:56:25 PM


  14. Yea, good protest good cause. When are they going to protest the real enemy and those who are BLOCKING anything gay-rights... aka republicans? This group only protests democrats. Strange.

    Posted by: KFLO | Jul 20, 2010 7:36:53 PM


  15. Do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to bring attention to the Democrats lack of action! They are the only ones that can deliver us our equality RIGHT NOW - and they can't or won't. Seems like Get Equal and company are rightfully pressuring the Dems for this reason. Because there is a possibility of it *actually WORKING*. I saw someone tweet today that they had a letter from Reid from 1994 - stating that he supported passage of ENDA. NINETEEN NINETY FOUR PEOPLE! How long does it take?!

    Posted by: Trooper | Jul 20, 2010 7:55:51 PM


  16. @major707 & @maverick69 Yes it worked then, but times have changed and I'm skeptical of the impact this will have. If it does have a significant impact I'll shut my trap and you can gloat all you want. Until then I remain skeptical.

    Posted by: ravewulf | Jul 20, 2010 7:56:53 PM


  17. "Hats off to Dan Choi and the rest of them..."

    Well said, Maverick69. I'm not sure blocking traffic is the best idea, though. Perhaps handing out ice cream at traffic stops might be... sweeter?

    Posted by: Max | Jul 20, 2010 8:00:02 PM


  18. @ Dairy: Dan is in the National Guard, so he only has a couple of days "duty" each month.

    As for Aunt Bandy, what she REALLY means, what she ALWAYS means is THOU SHALT NOT CRITICIZE BRITNEY er BARACK or anyone close to him!

    I actually have more respect for Reid than Obama. I haven't seen HIM make Aunt Bandy's laughable, Queer Quisling claim: that is The Gays' fault that the DEMS don't want to/can't work on more than one LGBT bill at time. What are they? Autistic?

    Aunt Bandy is simply the perfect answer to the question:

    "What do you call a gay Uncle Tom?"

    Posted by: Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | Jul 20, 2010 8:52:14 PM


  19. If they don't, who will? Rosa Parks had to refuse to go to the back of the bus, even at the risk of incurring White anger.

    Posted by: Fahd | Jul 20, 2010 9:24:54 PM


  20. ""What do you call a gay Uncle Tom?""

    Back in the days of Stonewall they were called Mettachine's. We should revive that.

    Posted by: missanthrope | Jul 20, 2010 10:13:20 PM


  21. SO VERY VERY PROUD OF MY FRIENDS AND FELLOW ACTIVISTS NATASHA, ROBIN & LT.DAN!!! WAY TO GO GUYS!!! LOVE YOU

    Posted by: Eugene | Jul 20, 2010 11:23:10 PM


  22. "What do you call a gay Uncle Tom?"The answer is simple here's his name Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com

    There's your gay Uncle Tom!

    Posted by: Bruski | Jul 21, 2010 12:35:45 AM


  23. Dan is truly a HERO.

    Can you imagine the equality we would have in the US if more of us were as commited as Dan?

    Not too many of us are exactly sitting in at the lunch counters...

    Posted by: rick | Jul 21, 2010 3:18:53 AM


  24. The way the most of congress is so detatched from the public and stuck in thw "Washington Bubble" I just don't see this having any impact. If our elected leaders actually paid attention to those that elected them, this type of protest would have a good chance of working. As it stands now, I doubt much of anything will get done because of this. Feel free to flame me later if it turns out I'm wrong, but I'm not at all optimistic.

    Posted by: ravewulf | Jul 21, 2010 6:16:42 AM


  25. Where did he get all the handcuffs from, do they carry spares.

    Posted by: Bridget Laiden | Jul 21, 2010 6:22:22 AM


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