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Taking the Keys – And The Checkbook – Away from Gay Inc.



After millions of dollars, and several decades of mediocre advocacy, is it time to take away the keys, and the checkbook, from Gay, Inc.?

Columnists Tanya Domi and Clinton Fein hold a discussion.

Clinton: As we head into a new election season, it’s instructive to take note of powerful initiatives that have been and continue making an impact. Consider Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” project or the “Ben Cohen Acceptance Tour 2011,” by the England World Cup rugby player of the same name. Both address homophobia and bullying and the recent spate of widely publicized suicides and beatings that are finally making people take notice. Most recently, the world champion San Francisco Giants released an “It Gets Better” video. An unprecedented coming out of professional and/or amateur sports figures is shattering stereotypes and providing kids with diverse and powerful role models.

Tanya: I agree Clinton with your conclusions.  To date, Savage and Cohen’s groundbreaking efforts have been the most powerful, visually attractive, and personally effective messages advocating for the acceptance of LGBT people in American history.

I actually think Savage and Cohen were able to create these platforms and projects because they were not hemmed in by organizational politics and had no limits of creativity as individuals. Despite all the cash that the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), has managed to raise, they have not created anything to date that comes close to that of Savage or Cohen.

Clinton: Seventeen months before the election HRC, the gay community’s largest lobbying organization announced they are endorsing Obama in 2012. The issues they claim to be focusing on are the same ones they’ve been focused on since anyone can remember. The only newsworthy thing about their predictable, yawn-inducing announcement was that they shot their wad earlier than usual – before the presidential field has been formally established. And even so, hardly anyone noticed.

Tanya: Yes, they will be invited to more White House receptions perhaps because of this endorsement and they may get meetings with some key officials, but in the final analysis, they are not taking the community with them. We still do not have complete repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, nor do we have a date of certification to repeal.  David Smith, the Vice President of Programs backed the White House “take or leave it DADT repeal plan” proposed by Jim Messina, the then-deputy chief of staff of the Whites House in late 2009 (now the Obama ’12 campaign manager), and Smith’s takeaway was essentially “the community may not like it, but we (HRC) will follow the White House lead and do exactly what they dictate, no matter the fall out,” according to a person familiar with the process.

Now, there are anti-gay amendments included in the House National Defense Authorization Bill that would impede the final steps for repeal.  What is the plan?  Wait on the White House? That is not a strategy.  HRC did not lead alone on the Matthew Shepard/James Byrd Hate Crimes Act, but co-chaired the effort with the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and the Anti-Defamation League, who has led the hate crimes coalition and has been a leader on fighting bigotry for decades. HRC has not moved the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to a successful vote in Congress, 17 years and counting.  They own the federal legislative ponderosa—where is the strategy? So despite all the millions in cash they have raised, they have very little to show for it.  It is quite a damning legacy.

Clinton: For decades now, the giddy, star-fucking Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) hosts lavish ceremonies, providing awards to celebs for playing gay persons without resorting to old, trite stereotypes — as if that’s either an acting or humanitarian achievement. Again, aside from a few self-defined A-gays clucking at the thought of being surrounded by a few lower letter celebrities, the world was more interested in just about anything else.

Tanya: The question today is should GLAAD close their doors?  They have been bleeding money since late 2008.  They have lost nearly 14 board members and numerous staff members during the past year and a half because of alleged dubious actions by Jarrett Tomás Barrios, President of GLAAD.  According to an interview by journalist Michael Signorile of GLAAD former Board Co-Chair Laurie Perper, on June 7, Perper asserted that Barrios, desperate to hang onto vital board support, agreed to endorse the AT&T-T-Mobile merger, in exchange for backing by Troup Coronado, a board member and a former Vice-President of Public Affairs with AT&T, according to the GLAAD website.  Barrios sent a letter of support from GLAAD to the Federal Communications Commission.

Clinton: The whole GLAAD AT&T-T-Mobile mess is unbelievable. Here you have an organization that is supposed to serve as a watchdog to identify and remedy negative portrayals or misrepresentations of gays in the media behaving in a way that brings shame and discredit on the very community it purports to represent. And further, gives fodder to those who have been reprimanded or called out by GLAAD, that their motives are more about self-enrichment than anything else.

It’s time for a metaphorical Gay Inc. exfoliation.  Not only is HRC a flaccid, impotent DC-ensconced waste of oxygen, but their complacency and lack of achievement is no longer just a matter of ineffectiveness, it’s dangerous. Their claim that they represent gays and lesbians is slanderous and their raising money on that premise is fraudulent. Who exactly do they represent? (Rich, white males and a few token lesbians need not answer.)

Tanya: This is the point Clinton—HRC is a very effective marketing machine—“but there is no there there”.  They organize nice dinners around the country and if the annual D.C. dinner is headlined by an Obama Administration official, they can make a killing in fundraising.  But the fact remains, what have they achieved with this money?

Contrast HRC’s achievements with that Paul Yandura, a former politico who served in the Clinton White House, who teamed up with Jonathan Lewis, a progressive funder, took their money and resources elsewhere, despite overtures from HRC (who asked gay donors to back their/White House DADT repeal “strategy and plan”) and started Get Equal in January 2010 to amazing, concrete results in just 12 months by helping push DADT across the finish line.  This nascent and nimble civil disobedience organization, has put some kick back into accountability of government officials and the gay organizations alike. Get Equal drove Obama and many of his staff members to distraction, as it staged civil disobedience acts and haunted the Administration at every turn during the debate on DADT that ultimately led to the repeal of the law.

Yandura and Get Equal staff have created an effective alternative, as have the successful projects of Savage and Cohen. Their success lifts all LGBT boats.  We should not fear change in creating new organizations that are effective.  Our movement has significant infrastructure today—+500 LGBT organizations around the country, including 29 national organizations according to the Movement Advancement Project, who spend $161 million dollars in annual operating budgets, with 808 persons on their respective staff. We are at a crossroads and that requires innovation accompanied by new thinking outside the box.  If you want to maintain the ossified status quo then stick with HRC and GLAAD and remain frustrated and angry.

But the rules of the game has changed and the new generation of LGBT young people are not going to wait another 40 years for equality.  Gay, Inc. needs to be more transparent, less secretive and elite and much more dynamic and responsive.  I do not see that happening anytime soon.

Clinton: At a certain point in life, when hearing and eyesight deteriorate and reflexes of seniors who are just a little too slow, driving can become a serious hazard to the driver and anyone on or near the road. It’s up to the people around them to step in before anyone is injured. Caregivers, usually their children, are advised to pay attention to warning signs that it may be time to take away their keys and figure out alternative transportation.

The warning signs have been around for a while now, but they have become increasingly impossible to ignore. Those of us wanting a new kind of organization, with fresh, new ideas, uncompromised transparency and community input need to act.

For GLAAD and HRC, it’s too late. It’s now time for these organizations to stop siphoning much needed money the community could use for far more important, measurable things and to be firmly retired, moved away from the machinery and have their keys taken away.


Tanya L. Domi is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, who teaches about human rights in Eurasia and is a Harriman Institute affiliated faculty member. Prior to teaching at Columbia, Domi worked internationally for more than a decade on issues related to democratic transitional development, including political and media development, human rights, gender issues, sex trafficking, and media freedom.

Clinton Fein is an internationally acclaimed author, artist, and First Amendment activist, best-​known for his 1997 First Amendment Supreme Court victory against United States Attorney General Janet Reno. Fein has also gained international recognition for his Annoy​.com site, and for his work as a political artist. Fein is on the Board of Directors of the First Amendment Project, “a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to protecting and promoting freedom of information, expression, and petition.” Fein’s political and privacy activism have been widely covered around the world. His work also led him to be nominated for a 2001 PEN/Newman’s Own First Amendment Award.

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‘These Are Our National Secrets’: Democrat Slams GOP for Ignoring Trump Classified Documents Found ‘In the S——’



U.S. Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-TX) blasted House Republicans for ignoring the hundreds of classified documents photographed on stage and “in the s——” at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and residence, while going after President Joe Biden who she said not one witness at Thursday’s impeachment “inquiry” had identified what crime he allegedly committed.

“As I prepared,” Rep. Crockett told members of the House Oversight Committee Thursday, “I said, ‘What is the crime?’ Because when you’re talking about impeachment, you’re talking about high crimes and misdemeanors, and I can’t seem to find the crime and honestly, no one has testified of what crime they believe the President of the United States has committed.”

“But when we started talking about things that look like evidence, they want to act like they blind, they don’t know what this is,” Crockett said, waving photographs of boxes allegedly containing classified and top secret documents on stage and in a restroom at Mar-a-Lago.

RELATED: ‘He Knows I’m Right’: Democrat Mocks ‘Scared’ McCarthy and Blows Off Chairman Comer in ‘Very Unserious’ Hearing

“These are our national secrets, looks like in the s—— to me,” she said, as NBC News described her remarks. “This looks like more evidence of our national secrets, say on the stage at Mar-a-Lago. When we’re talking about somebody that’s committed high crimes it’s at least indictments, let’s say 32 counts related to unauthorized retention of national security secrets, seven counts related to obstructing the investigation. Three false statements, one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, falsifying business records, conspiracy to defraud the United States, two counts related to efforts to obstruct the vote certification proceedings, one count of conspiracy to violate civil rights, 23 counts related to forgery or false documents statements, eight counts related to soliciting, and I could go on because he’s got 91 counts pending right now.”

“But I will tell you what the President [Biden] has been guilty of. He has unfortunately been guilty of loving his child unconditionally, and that is the only evidence that they have brought forward and honestly, I hope and pray that my parents love me half as much as he loves his child. Until they find some evidence we need to get back to the people’s work, which means keeping this government open so that people don’t go hungry in the streets of the United States, and I will yield.”

Congresswoman Crockett’s remarks quickly went viral, with just this video getting 4.6 million views in just four hours.

Watch below or at this link.

RELATED: ‘Flying Monkeys on a Mission for the Wicked Witch’: Raskin Rips Republicans Over Impeachment ‘Inquiry’

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‘He Knows I’m Right’: Democrat Mocks ‘Scared’ McCarthy and Blows Off Chairman Comer in ‘Very Unserious’ Hearing



During House Republicans’ impeachment “inquiry” into President Joe Biden, U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-FL) detailed Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s transition from refusing to allow a vote for an impeachment inquiry to ordering his top Chairmen to initiate an impeachment “inquiry” in the span of just twelve days.

Congressman Frost, the youngest member of the House, called the Speaker “scared,” before turning his attention to the GOP’s witnesses who he said “are not giving us any basis or giving us any evidence or anything,” angering Republican Oversight Chairman Jim Comer, who interjected, “That’s not true.”

Rep. Frost refused to allow the Chairman to interrupt him, and shot back, “Reclaiming my time.”

“These these witnesses are not giving any answers. They’re just asking more questions,” Rep. Frost continued.

While challenging the credibility of the GOP’s witnesses, Frost said there was “one witness who has a lot of questions .. one witness who knows something about accounting but has no real involvement,” and then accused the third witness, the well-known attorney and commentator Jonathan Turley, of “stopping here on his way to his next Fox News hit.”

READ MORE: ‘All Those Biden Towers’ Where ‘Influence Was Used’: Democrat Turns Tables and Mocks Republicans in Sarcastic Q&A

Frost noted that had McCarthy put an impeachment inquiry on the floor for a vote, it “would lose on the House floor and be another embarrassment in the long list of embarrassments in this Congress for the Speaker of the House.”

He added that far-right Republicans  threatened “to shut down the government, something that will happen in just two days.” He also noted, “this is the one that really got to [McCarthy], they said you, you’re about to lose your job and they said we will remove you as Speaker of the house.”

“And that scared him so much that Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker of the House, the United States House of Representatives, third in line to the presidency, completely caved due to the threats of people within his own caucus.”

READ MORE: ‘Flying Monkeys on a Mission for the Wicked Witch’: Raskin Rips Republicans Over Impeachment ‘Inquiry’

Pointing to Chairman Comer, Frost on social media said, “He had to interrupt me because he knows I’m right. They say that this isn’t an impeachment, it’s an impeachment ‘inquiry’ to get answers. Then they call up witnesses that are just asking more questions and not providing any answers or evidence. This hearing is very unserious.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.



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‘All Those Biden Towers’ Where ‘Influence Was Used’: Democrat Turns Tables and Mocks Republicans in Sarcastic Q&A



U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) turned the tables on Republicans during the House Oversight Committee’s first impeachment “inquiry” into President Joe Biden by sarcastically referring to “all those Biden towers all over the world where foreign partnerships were formed and influence was used here in the US,” forcing the witness to correct him and point out he actually meant ex-President Donald Trump.

The hearing, chaired by Rep. Jim Comer (R-KY) was widely seen as another failed effort by House Republicans against President Biden. It took a turn when Republicans’ own witness, law professor and Fox News media contributor Jonathan Turley told them he saw no evidence that warrants an impeachment of the President.

Meanwhile, Congressman Connelly’s scathing remarks quickly spread across social media, garnering hundreds of thousands of views views in just hours.

“Um, well let’s see,” Connolly began, slowly, “I’m looking at, um, I heard again, um, I think it was professor Hurley talk about – – because he’s not prejudging of course, but he’s just suggesting that maybe we want to look into criminal activity like obstruction, fraud, and abuse of power.”

“So let’s take fraud. So shouldn’t we be concerned that a New York judge just found President Biden’s organization committing fraud every year for the last 10 or 15 years,” Connolly continued, “and that, under the Martin law, that Biden organization is now subject to dismemberment and dismantlement because of the fraudulent activity?”

READ MORE: ‘Flying Monkeys on a Mission for the Wicked Witch’: Raskin Rips Republicans Over Impeachment ‘Inquiry’

“That should be of concern to Mr. Trump,” the witness, Professor Michael Gerhardt, replied.

“Mr. Trump again!” Connolly sarcastically exclaimed, feigning surprise. “And in this case, we’re not speculating, a judge actually made that ruling?”

“Yes sir,” Gerhardt replied.

”Should we be concerned about the personal – I mean, while we’re at it, while we’re loading on – shouldn’t we be concerned about the personal behavior of the President, for example, President Trump or President Biden, being found guilty of sexual assault and defamation associated with that activity, again in a civil court?”

“We should be concerned as it related to Mr. Trump,” Gerhardt again replied.

“With Mr. Trump again?” Connolly again said mockingly.

“I just think that one of the reasons we’re here is because somebody has been indicted in four different locales, on four different sets of concerns, with I think 81, 91 actual counts, and has been found guilty in two civil proceedings, one involving sexual behavior and one on actual corporate fraudulent activity. And we don’t want to talk about any of that. We want to speculate about discredited testimony from discredited witnesses,” Connolly added.

“Distract, deflect, dissemble,” Connolly added. “I think this hearing’s all about ‘look over here, not over there.’”

READ MORE: Poll Finds Majority Oppose Impeachment Inquiry as House GOP Kicks Off Hearings Two Days Before Likely Shutdown

“I’ve heard concerns about ‘branding,'” Connolly continued. “So, shouldn’t we be concerned about all those Biden towers all over the world where foreign partnerships were formed and influence was used here in the United States? I’ve seen these towers in Indonesia, in the Philippines, in Turkey. I even saw one in Chicago. Shouldn’t that be a source of concern of this committee in terms of influence, both foreign and domestic, when Biden became president?”

“If there were such things as ‘Biden building,'” Gerhardt said.

“Well, was there anyone who did have them?” Connolly asked. “Well, could you tell us? Just give me the name.”

“I think we’re talking about Mr. Trump,” Gerhardt replied.

“So, when President Biden appointed his son to manage U.S. foreign policy, both in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East peace, by the way, a son who couldn’t qualify for getting a security clearance, but President Biden apparently granted it to Hunter anyhow – and then, after leaving the White House, getting a $2 billion deal … shouldn’t that be of concern to us that maybe a sweetheart deal occurred with the blessing of the president, with foreign money, and shouldn’t we look into Hunter Biden for that, given the fact that the handled Middle East peace in the White House?”

“It should have been a concern with President Trump and his son-in-law,” Gerhardt said.

“Oh Trump. I got that wrong again,” snarked Congressman Connolly.

Watch the videos above or at this link.

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