Society is made up of groups, and as long as the smaller groups do not have the same rights and the same protection as others — I don’t care whether you call it capitalism or communism — it is not going to work. Somehow, the guys in power have to be reached by counterpower, or through a change in their hearts and minds, or change will not come.

~Cesar Chavez

Let me begin by saying I’m a provisional board member of GetEqual, so my viewpoint in this diary isn’t without bias.

Let me also say I fully endorse the message of this video put out by GetEqual, and the e-blast message this video was included with.

I was surprised earlier this week, while checking our info@ email account, to see an email from an official within the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The message came in within half an hour of launching the campaign, and I was completely shocked by the response of yet another political insider, trying to pin the broken promises of his party on those who have been loyal for decades.

We were going to just tell you about the email, but we decided it would be better to just let the email speak for itself:

Check out the “We’ll Give When We GetEQUAL” campaign pledge today, and commit to give no money and no time until the political parties we’ve supported for so long spend as much time on our equality as they do on fundraising from us.

Get Out! Get Active! GetEQUAL!

Michelle Wright

Campaign Associate

Thumbnail link to GetEQUAL campaign: 'We'll Give When We GetEQUAL'From the text of the email that DNC Vice Chair Ray Buckley to info@getequal.org, as shown in the GetEqual video:

Did Karl Rove right [sic] this letter for you? It is sickening and thankfully not working. I am raising more LGBT dollars this year than ever before!

There’s another statement in the video from that’s worth noting. It’s also from DNC Vice Chair Ray Buckley, and it was made to Corey Johnson of Towleroad at the Obama Inauguration Party in January, 2009:

I’ll be VERY SURPRISED if by the end of the year (2009) if we have not passed Hate Crimes that included all of us, if we didn’t pass and inclusive ENDA, if we didn’t repeal DOMA, and if we didn’t repeal DADT. And I think that’s going to happen.

Talk is…well, cheap. Results from the Democrats — beyond passing federal hate crimes legislation for sexual orientation and gender identity — wasn’t forthcoming in 2009, and doesn’t look to be forthcoming before the end of 2010.

Indeed, if you want to know whether today people believe in democracy, if you want to know whether they are true democrats, if you want to know whether they are human rights activists, the question to ask is, ‘What about gay people?’ Because that is now the litmus paper by which this democracy is to be judged.

~Bayard Rustin

Legislatively to this point, the Democratic Party at the federal level appears to have not passed Bayard Rustin’s litmus test regarding belief in democracy, nor does it appear that they’ve passed Bayard Rustin’s litmus test regarding being identified as human rights activists. Democrats on the federal level talk a good game regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights, but their legislative successes have come up short — They certainly didn’t live up to their rhetoric.

I’m with GetEqual when we say “We’ll Give When We GetEQUAL.”