Before anybody thinks I've taken this opportunity to go off half-cocked and hijack this website, note that Bil knows about, and endorses, this post. (And he wasn't very subtle in Friday's introduction.) :-)
So let's take a minute to talk about Indiana Equality. Use comments. What are your real thoughts on this organization? Is it good? Is it bad? Why? What have they done right? What have they done wrong? How can they do better?
Here, I'll even start the conversation.
I think that the idea of having an umbrella organization to coordinate GLBT political initiatives is a good thing, but the way IE introduced themselves to the gay community wasn't good at all, and they've failed to take steps to rectify that initial bad PR (which has, in turn, fostered their bad reputation and made it worse). Personally, I had barely heard of IE before Pepper Partin's rally at the statehouse in March, 2005. But then as soon as that rally ended, IE seemed to step up and say something that sounded, to me, like this:
"We're here, and we've been here for a long time. And we know how to fight these fights whereas you don't, so step aside and let us take care of you and your needs. And by the way, would you host a fundraiser for us?"
In my opinion, it's never a good idea for any action group to try to force a parent/child relationship with the people they claim to be working for. I also worry that IE leadership seems to place too much importance on closed-door, secret meetings with politicians. Civil rights battles are won by combining the private political sweet talk with protests, and rallies, and boycotts, and canvassing, and endorsing politicians, and criticizing politicians, and a whole lot of other things that Indiana's never seen before that IE's leadership just may not "get," for lack of a better term.
That's my opinion at this time. But as I tend to stay somewhat on the fringes of local politics, I'm sure it can be changed, in either direction, with convincing dialogue. So what do you think?