Bil Browning

Bilerico Project's interview with Cleve Jones: National Equality March questions

Filed By Bil Browning | September 02, 2009 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Gay Icons and History, Politics, The Movement
Tags: Cleve Jones, Equality Across America, National Equality March

This segment from our interview with Cleve Jones focuses mostly on the questions submitted about the National Equality March - including the recent controversy about an HIV/AIDS vigil during the march.

Readers and social networking followers sent in the questions and I'm reading them off the iPhone as they're coming in. Thanks to Steven, Meghan, Robert, Todd, and a different Steven for the questions; I'm glad I could get an answer for you.

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Thanks, sort of.
( Did you see the nice blog from a deaf supporter re HR 3101... who requests trancripts of videos please!

PS. Another piece re NEM. from TR.
delineates list of 140 prominent Supporter/Activists signed up for march.

Thanks for pointing it out, Lorion. I promised yesterday to transcribe the entire 45 minute interview, but it's slow going. Do you know of any services out there that allows you to upload a video and get a transcription?

I know that in that blogs comments section, people mentioned using transcription services as being $$. But I would check in ad for a medical transcriptionist. They are good spellers, and fast typists.

Even if you just put down a few really pertinent questions and MikeS did the other day re his show interview. It would help.

I disagree with him on the importance of the local fights. I think the opposite will happen. I think that the momentum of all of these local wins will finally push congress.

That said, he's a true hero of the movement--not for this, but for his entire story.

Actully I came over here to comment on the wonderful piece you put in the blend re CJones.
Especially good for those of us, not long as activists, and
short on history.

Very well written and doggone if that isn't the problem. TOO many young enthusiastic people who don't want to just follow the old foagies anymore...and could care less about Gala Dinners and teas at WHouse.

Well, getting together and then doing it again and again..and forming groups etc. is where we are.

Here in CA I have been very positively impressed with the progress our Repeal H8... campaign is making.
as per Jane Wishon's recent fantastic report! It can be done.
Will be done.

BUT REMEMBER ALL... many who want to cannot go,

" like John here:
Please. PLEASE.
At the march, have a sign with a number:
The number of LGBTQI Americans who WANTED to attend but could not because they are mentally or physically disabled, or living well-below the poverty level, etc.
I would be on that list. We feel as if we do not matter to the "activists", and feel as if we are never represented.
It feels as if NO ONE is able to protect us from a country over-stepping its bounds when it comes to voting on civil rights.

He did get a response as follows:

John . PLEASE contact me! I am the Director of Diversity and Outreach for The National Equality March and want to include the disabled. I am HIV positive and would never exclude anyone with a disability.
Thank you Towle road for your support! I have been reading and commenting for years and am so proud to have your endorsement for The National Equality March!
my info: [email protected]"

So why not be making up posters of those who cannot go and have them carried... to multiply the effect of the march.

So, per Cleve, trying to defend marriage equality (or partnerships or anything else) in Maine, Washington state, Iowa (and then New Hampshire or Massachusetts??) is fragmented, state-by-state incrementalism which we can't be bothered with?

Does he understand that the battle for Maine and Washington is going on now? Does he understand the consequences of losing in those states? Does he think anyone in Congress or the Executive Branch is going to have any stomach to try to overturn DOMA or DADT or to pass ENDA or anything else with Maggie Gallagher waving two more "the people choose, the gays lose" headlines in their faces? Does he think legislators are going to be persuaded to support our rights because the "gay community" threw a tantrum in D.C. instead of going door-to-door in Portland and Bangor and Millinocket (and Tacoma, Pullman, Bellingham and Spokane)?

The money and resources that are going into this march could make the difference in Maine and Washington. But it is obvious that the state battles are not even on the radar screen for the march organizers. This is madness!

This is such an important point. No matter HOW you feel about the importance of marriage to our movement, you can't deny that losing it where we've already won it would be a huge step backward for us, and would definitely end the momentum of our movement right now.

Marriage isn't vital to all gays, but it IS vital to some--this is another reason to fight for it. I have health insurance, but I still fight for health care reform and universal coverage, because its vital for many who don't have it.

Marriage doesn't always need to be our top issue, but when our rights are being threatened somewhere, we need to give that our FULL attention and FULL energy.

That said, I don't think Cleve Jones is against either NoOn1Maine or Approve Referendum 71 in Washington and wants to win them. He's thinking about his project--which I'm sure has completely consumed his life--He can't be everything to everyone. Noone can be. He's focused on this march, and he's content letting someone else handle all of the other battles around the nation, and assuming they will do their jobs.

Of course we did that for Prop 8, and look where THAT got us. Maybe we all should be micromanaging the movement.

I really appreciate you posting your interview. This is a very important message that needs to get out.

My only request is that if you are corporate sponsored that you state that plainly and clearly. If you aren't sponsored, could we please do without the product placement ads? It's a phone. Just a phone.

This revolution isn't for sale!