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Dan Choi accuses gay rights groups of ‘betrayal’

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  1. Newsweek article –

    Newly formed grassroots activism group in America –

  2. “Lt Choi told the publication: “Within the gay community so many leaders want acceptance from polite society. I think there’s been a betrayal of what is down inside of us in order to achieve what looks popular, what look enviable.” ”

    I know Dan Choi is talking about the Human Rights Campaign but he may as well be talking about Stonewall UK?

    Stonewall UK are the UK’s answer to HRC – a well meaning bunch of bourgeois, middle class, professional gays who have become so consumed with their access to those in power and so fearful of offending those in power, that they have become opposed to legal equality for same-sex relationships. I can’t marry in the UK. Despite the fact that I can marry in Spain; Portugal; Netherlands; Belgium; Canada; South Africa; Mexico City; Sweden and Norway.

    The reason I am not allowed to marry is because I am gay.

    The fact that Stonewall UK are not even able to bring themselves to support even the PRINCIPLE of marriage equality is a foul insult to those LGBT people who think that discrimination against someone purely because of their sexual orientation or gender identity is wrong.

    I’m glad Dan Choin is speaking out about how the ‘professional gay’ organisations have betrayed their constituency.

    We need to have a similar conversation in the UK so that ‘professional gay’ groups like Stonewall UK stop advocating for continued discrimination against people based solely on our sexual orientation.

  3. Mihangel apYrs 23 Mar 2010, 1:56pm

    SimonM, may I refer you to my comment attached to a previous thread concerning his arrest. It’s true of many activist organisations that they become institutionalised by their access to “power”

  4. might as well be talking about stonewall over here.

    good on him

  5. He’s 100% dead-on right. Good for him.

  6. BrazilBoysBlog 23 Mar 2010, 6:14pm

    I agree, this man is prepared to put his money, (his career, benefits, rank, health care etc) where his mouth is. Fair play to him.

    As I said on another thread, he is directly affected by this… I agree that we need to open up this discussion to include the UK. It is not good when the ´professional gays´ loose touch with their constituents and their mandate to speak for us.

  7. He’s right on with his comments. Human Rights Campaign Fund is the same group that has opposed gay marriage rights in the U.S. too, right? I heard they thought it wasnt the way to approach the issue and spok out officially against equal rights.

  8. It seems if your gay you don’t get a phone call to a lawyer in the USA!!!

    What was it like in jail? Were you at all scared at where this might be headed?

    I’ve detained people in Iraq, I’ve read them their rights, and I’ve applied handcuffs and zip ties. I’ve talked with people in Arabic who’ve just been arrested. I know what it means to arrest someone for my country’s mission. But I’ve never been incarcerated, and for something that I thought was not my country’s mission. I know my country’s mission is not to make an entire group of people into second-class citizens.

    I asked seven or eight times to speak with a lawyer. I was not given a phone call. I was called a liar by one officer; I was scoffed at by another one. But there were others who wanted to talk with me about their service. The first time I saw a lawyer was in the courtroom, and I didn’t know who he was and I couldn’t understand what he was telling the judge at first. I asked him, “Did you just plea for me?”

  9. Bishop Ioan 24 Mar 2010, 7:18am

    I believe that Lt. Choi is saying what a lot of GLBT people in the United States are saying. As nearly as I can tell, the Human Rights Campaign is next to useless–just a lot who want to dress up pretty and go to fancy dinners and parties. The sad fact that so many HRC types refuse to (or cannot) see is that we are not going to win our rights at fancy dinners–it is those who, like Lt. Choi and Capt. Pietrangelo, are brave enough to do what needs to be done. I like Wayne Besen but I honestly cannot see him chaining himself to the White House fence.

    I think he’s hit the nail on the head–a lot of gay leaders have gotten so used to their way of doing business that they will make any accomodation to continue the round of dinners, parties, high salaries, etc.

    I’m not surprised that Joe Solomonese didn’t go to the White House with Lt. Choi and Capt. Pietrangelo–he wouldn’t have the guts to chain himself to a fence, thereby risking arrest–and how would THAT look to the crowd to whom he caters? I believe Lt. Choi is right to feel betrayed. I’m no leader but had I been there, I would have happily chained myself to that fence. Joe Solomonese wouldn’t want to get his hands dirty.

    I believe the time has come for new blood in the GLBT rights movement. I may be getting up there, but if younger GLBT people can do the job of advancing our rights, I say, “Go for it!”

  10. damn well put Choi; unarguably well put indeed: “what would you sacrifice?”

    And that is the core problem in our general LGBT community. Some are just there talking, writing criticisms of others on chats/comments but never ready to stand up and claim the rights they would love to enjoy.

    No victory comes without a fight. “What would you sacrifice?”

    And while you’re at that, please help sign my petition here

  11. Lydia in MInneapolis 25 Mar 2010, 4:11pm

    I might PARTIALLY agree w/Lt.Choi that the major GLBT rights organizations are class-priviledged and(like many other liberal groups) tied to the Democratic Party–who they do NOT want to offend. However, I think WAY TOO LITTLE PROGRESSIVE CRITIQUE has been made about the fight for gays in the military. Put in the larger context of WHAT THE U.S. MILITARY IS DOING–occupying OTHER COUNTRIES FOR THEIR RESOURCES–is being a soldier even WORTH fighting FOR? Also Lt.Choi seems ignorant of the long long history of “minorities” going into the military, with the (false) PROMISE of equality once they “fight for their country”. Look at African-Americans from the Revolutionary War onward or Native Americans/American Indians serving since WWI. Many Black soldiers were LYNCHED after coming home from WWi & WWII. Native Amreicans have the HIGHEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATE AND LOWERST LIFE EXPECTANCY TODAY of all Americans. In the today’s volunteer army,both women and GLBT people are buying the same slop: be cannon fodder for US Empire & we’ll (finally) treat you as an equal!” But, it’s the same old bs.I’ve also NOT heard much said at all about the differences between Gay MENB’s experience in the military & the expereince of WOMEN of ALL sexual oreintations:: no word at all about how “lesbian bating ” is used as part of the ongong sexual harassment ,sexual abuse & rape faced by ALL female soliders BY THEIR MALE “comrades in arms”. Lt.Choi & others fighting Don’t Ask,Don’t Tell, mostly perpetrate an ignorant Super Patriot line, by saying they”jsut want to fight for my country olike everyone else”. WAKE UP! This ISN”T aobut that: it’s about being the ENFORCERS OF CORPORATE GLOBALISM.

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