Fundraising 101 – Gay, Inc. Uses Grassroots Momentum but Not Its Power.

Fundraising 101 – Gay, Inc. Uses Grassroots Momentum but Not Its Power.

March 26, 2010 Commentary Featured Thought of the Gay 3

gay, inc. HRC, Courage Campain, Equality California and a 2010 InitiativeLast night on Rachel Maddow’s show, Rachel exposed the republican email scams using healthcare reform and fake election candidates as a platform for raising funds.  Unfortunately, using the momentum of others to raise funds for your cause isn’t just a republican strategy; it’s also being used by “Gay, Inc.”

You may recall that the Human Rights Campaign (“HRC”) was more than happy to ignore the National Equality March until it was deemed a success and they felt they could use that success as a platform to get more money.  Apparently, the HRC underestimated the power of a grassroots movement.  You’d think that Gay, Inc. would have learned from that lesson, but as Restore Equality 2010 continued pushing hard for a 2010 ballot initiative, Equality California, along with other major “gay rights” groups, were spending money to persuade Californians that a 2010 ballot initiative to repeal Proposition 8 was a bad idea.  In fact, Rick Jacobs of the Courage Campaign announced that, because polling looked bad, we have to wait until 2012 for equality.

After nearly a year of hard work, signature gathering, canvassing and debates by many grassroots groups and organizations, the Public Policy Institute of California has revealed that polling shows California is ready to repeal Proposition 8 – with a whopping 6% increase in support of marriage equality in just a year.  Can we say, unprecedented?

Unfortunately, Equality California still doesn’t get that we are tired of waiting – but they understand perfectly the opportunity to raise more money.  In a March 25, 2010 email blitz, Equality California announced that they, proved skeptics wrong about the perception that we could not sway voter opinions significantly enough to overturn Proposition 8 and that they need more money in order to, “keep this effort going and have millions of conversations so we can secure majority support and win marriage back.”  They then make the ominous declaration that they can only secure equality if we stand with them today, linking that declaration, as well as 6 other links, to the donation page.

While some in the community who have worked so very tirelessly to sway public opinion are outraged at this latest tactic of Gay, Inc., I’m not so outraged.  In fact, I find it very amusing that they sent an email asking “us” to stand “with them” by donating money, when they so quickly turned away when we asked “them” to stand with “us” and overturn Proposition 8 in 2010.

It’s important to remember; however, that Equality California, the HRC, Courage Campaign and the rest of Gay, Inc. may be wrong, but they aren’t our enemies… well, not in the same way that the American [Heterosexual Only] Family Association; the Southern Baptist Convention; the National Organization for [Heterosexual Only] Marriage and their cohorts are our enemies.

Perhaps soon, they will wake up and fil the momentum.

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3 Responses

  1. Jamie says:

    Why on earth the community can't just unite together I don't understand. We need to stop fighting and destroying ourselves from the inside. The HRC (and others) needs to stop catering to the privileged white male and throwing prissy parties for a president who doesn't really care that much. And the rest of us need to unite with these organizations. I know if we would all, I repeat ALL come together we would have one success after another.

    • jaysays says:

      It's been a spitting match since the days of ACT UP, perhaps even longer but I'm not old enough to render a first hand perception on much of it.

      As to why we can't unite, that's the multi-million dollar question. What do we use to unite us?

      ENDA? DADT? DOMA? Direct Action? Indirect Action? Lobbying? Race? Religion? Our community is too large and contains multitudes. We've spent our lives being criticized and therefore don't take criticism well.

      This post is an observation that, while "we" scream at Republicans for their fundraising tactics, we use the same tactics. But it's also observing that Gay, Inc. (which isn't a term I particularly like, but certainly has its place) isn't using the grassroots momentum to its best advantage. We let our observations and criticisms divide us, but should we not make them?

      That being said, the grassroots groups can't come to the table with clean hands either. Some very nasty things are being said, more than just criticism.

  2. SistersTalk says:


    I received an email from the DCCC today. The email used the scare tactic of "it's us against them, send us money." And I quickly hit the unsubscribe button and tweeted this:

    It's been awhile since I've allowed any of the Gay, Inc to send me email asking for money. And pretty soon, I'll be ignoring some smaller grassroots organizations that appear to be more interested in fame than fighting for equal rights. If they THINK (for one second) that we won't see thru that BS, they have another think comin'!

    I'm growing increasingly annoyed with Rachel Maddow. I noticed that she will often criticize Republicans for the same thing Gay, Inc is doing. Also, she constantly (and loudly!) criticized Obama for asking the LGBT community to wait for equality, but sat silent when the HRC did the same thing. Is she on the HRC's payroll or something?

    And please don't get me started on the "big" LGBT bloggers who were the PR arm for Gay, Inc for a long, long, long time – until Gay, Inc stopped buying ad space on their blogs. Ha! From there, those bloggers joined the anti-Gay, Inc bandwagon – not because they give a damn, but because they're mad that cash cow has dried up (and they're hoping to find another cash cow in one (or more) of the grassroots organizations that have sprang up since Prop 8.

    And to think . . . they think we're all too damn dumb to notice what they're up to.

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