Ed Team

Howard Dean on LGBT priorities

Filed By Ed Team | August 26, 2008 7:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Quote of the Day
Tags: ENDA, gay priorities, hate crimes against LGBT people, human rights abuses, Mark Segal

"The first thing should be the nondiscrimination bill. Human rights is the basis of all of this, and the most discriminatory things that should be gotten rid of at once are the things that allow people to assume that gay people somehow don't have full and equal rights as everybody else. That's a given. The hate-crimes bill and things of that sort are first."

-- DNC chair Howard Dean in response to a question by Gay History Project coordinator Mark Segal: "If there is an Obama administration, what do you think should be the LGBT position? Should we go for the nondiscrimination bill [ENDA] first, should we go for "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," or do you think we should go for all of it?"

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Why do the without power ask those with power these questions?

"Mr. Straight White Man, what should be the first thing we should go for - freedom, the vote, the right to marry white people, equal pay, the right to not be lynched?"

"Mr. Straight White Man, what should be the first thing we should go for - the vote, the right to control our bodies, equal pay, the right to not be beaten by our husbands?"

When will those who are oppressed learn that part of fighting oppression is to set one's own agenda?

I'm confused by this statement. First he says ENDA is the top priority, and then he says the hate crimes bill is the top priority. What do you make of this?

Hi Cindi, I will invite you to rethink your conceptualization of the LGBT community "without power" vs Howard Dean (the Dem Party) "with power" position. I believe as we have rallied on streets, fought intense local and national battles, litigated in the courts, and sent delegates to conventions, our collective power has swelled. Power is a two way street, I believe in what was happening in the that dialouge between Dean and the person from the Gay History Project was an exchange of power. The fact that he is on record now saying what the Obama administration would do first for LGBT folks, gives us the power to hold them accountable.

Having said that, I do agree with you that we need to set our own agenda first, by we I donot mean leaders of national organization, but LGBTQ folks who work in the trenches everyday. We need to hold the national organizations who claim to make decisions for us accountable to we the people!

More power to us!