Calls on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Community to Donate, Volunteer Only When Politicians Can Show Leadership on Issues of Equality
WASHINGTON, DC – With less than a month until Election Day, GetEQUAL – a national, direct action lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization – announced today the release of a campaign urging LGBT voters to demand action from national elected leaders before donating time or money to political parties and committees. The “We’ll Give When We GetEQUAL” campaign intends to pressure political leaders, including the President, to stop paying lip service to the LGBT community and show some real leadership on issues of equality leading up to the mid-term elections in November and beyond.
Those pledging their support to the “We’ll Give When We GetEQUAL” campaign state that there is one simple first step they need to see before assisting political parties and committees with financial and volunteer resources: President Obama must sign an executive order ending the discharges of openly gay and lesbian servicemembers from the military before Election Day. This is the first step of the "We'll Give When We GetEQUAL" campaign, designed to take place in the lead-up to the mid-term elections.
To read more about the “We’ll Give When We GetEQUAL” campaign, please go to: www.getequal.org/givewhenequal.
“A group of Americans can only be taken advantage of by politicians for so long before they no longer will stand by and allow broken promises to pile up without consequences,” said Robin McGehee, director of GetEQUAL. “If this Congressional session is the type of leadership we get in return for the dollars and shoe leather the LGBT community put into the last two elections, our response is, ‘No thanks.’ We no longer need to be 'liked' by our political leaders – we need them to do the work to make us the equal citizens and equal voting members of society that we deserve to be."
The “We’ll Give When We GetEQUAL” campaign is designed to provide the President with the easiest possible step to show his commitment towards equality for the LGBT community. Democratic leaders, including the President have promised the repeal of the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and passage of a federal workplace law protecting the entire LGBT community – neither of which has taken place.
“We intentionally set the bar low with this campaign,” continued McGehee. “We want to believe they are honestly interested in pursuing equality for all Americans. Therefore, we gave them the easiest possible step to show their commitment before the mid-term elections because, to quote Barney Frank, ‘Things would have sucked worse without me’ is not a valid reason to support candidates for office.”
“We’re ready to see our elected leaders finally stand up for a community desperate for leadership, and we believe this begins with the President of the United States. We know that this might disproportionately impact Democrats because they have claimed a pro-equality platform and they have benefited from 96% of the LGBT community's political dollars, but we go back to our continued assertion that we are targeting those who have made and broken promises as our greatest leverage point,” said Heather Cronk, managing director of GetEQUAL. “Republicans have made little or no strides towards, or promises of, LGBT equality. At the end of the day, you either stand for equality or you don't.”
The “We’ll Give When We GetEQUAL” campaign is not urging LGBT and allied voters to stay away from the ballot box, or to avoid donating to those candidates who have firmly established themselves as pro-equality. It is asking LGBT and allied voters to leverage their power to push politicians during this election season to be as pro-equality as their fundraising claims make them out to be, and to withhold funding from political parties and committees that distribute funding to anti-equality candidates.
GetEQUAL is a national, direct action lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization. Emphasizing direct action and people power, the mission of GetEQUAL is to empower the LGBT community and its allies to take action to demand full legal and social equality, and to hold accountable those who stand in the way. For more information on GetEQUAL, please visit:http://www.getequal.org. You can follow GetEQUAL on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/getequal, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GetEQUAL, or on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/getequal.
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