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Jesse’s Journal

Dolphin
The
Dolphin Democrats are South Florida’s oldest, largest and most
successful LGBT political organization. Founded in 1982 by Karl Clark,
Tom
Bradshaw, Jamie Bloodworth and other activists, the Dolphins have made
Broward
County the most gay-friendly county in a still-homophobic state. Thanks
to
Dolphin leadership, Broward has both an LGBT-inclusive human rights
ordinance
and a domestic partners law.  Friendly politicians on both the state and

local levels owe their success to the votes, money and volunteer labor
of the
Dolphin members. Gay activist-politicians like Dean Trantalis, Ken
Keechl
and Justin Flippen have used the Dolphins as a launching pad for their
political
careers; and our community has been the better for it.  I have been a
member of the Dolphin Democrats since the early days and have nothing
but
affection and respect for the women and men who lead that organization.

 
Democratic-donkey Unquestionably, the Dolphin Democrats are a big success. In fact,
the
Dolphins areRepublican_elephant too successful; so successful in fact that it’s almost a
given that
any up-and-coming LGBT activist in Broward County would join the
Dolphins as a
matter of course.  Thanks to their success, the Dolphins have sucked the

air out of Broward’s queer political life. There was a time when our
community was led by independent, non-partisan political advocacy
groups like the Broward County Coalition for Human Rights, the Tuesday Night
Group,
GUARD (Gays United to Attack Repression and Discrimination) and the
“PAC-PAC.” Today the only alternative we have to the Dolphins are the
equally partisan (but less successful) Log Cabin Republicans and
Sunshine
Republicans.

 

As a Democrat, I was proud to be part of a community and a state
that
helped elect Barack Obama President of the United States, along with a
Democratic Congress. Just over a year later, Obama remains popular
but he and his Congress have failed to deliver most of what they
promised
us. Though the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes
Prevention
Act is now the law of the land, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act
(ENDA) is
going nowhere and both “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) and the so-called
Defense
Of Marriage Act (DOMA) promise to be around for a long time. (The
recent
“revelation” that the White Houses doesn’t really want DADT repealed
this year
was the last straw for too many activists.) Our community expects more
from this President and this Congress than a few empty gestures or
symbolic
appointments.

 

In all fairness, we are not alone. Each and every group that
worked
hard to elect Obama and a Democratic Congress in 2008 — anti-war
activists,
civil libertarians, environmentalists, feminists, labor unions, racial
and
ethnic minorities – has had its collective heart broken by the reality
of an
ineffective and incompetent Administration and Congress. Our president
seems to do a better job hosting parties in the White House than pushing
other
Democrats to pass his agenda. For their part, the “Dems” have missed
their
opportunity to enact useful reforms because of their distressing
inability to
unite and their disgusting lack of will power. The long-awaited health
care reform bill is a disaster; going from a concept that everyone
favored to a
bill that everyone hates. Unemployment is still high, our men and women

are still dying in Iraq and Afghanistan, and cap and trade is still a
long way
off.  Obama and the Democratic Party have disillusioned their friends,
energized their enemies, and alienated independents. he question
right now is not if the Dems will lose seats in Congress come November
but
whether or not the Republicans will gain enough seats to retake the
House and/or
the Senate. The Republicans are evil but the Democrats are incompetent;

and frankly I’d rather deal with evil than with incompetence.

 
Like too many other progressives, LGBT activists are sick and tired
of
being taken for granted by a Democratic Party that takes our votes, our
money
and our volunteer work and gives us little in return.  Admittedly, the
Republicans (except for Miami Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen) have done
nothing to win
our support, being married as they are to homophobic, religious
extremists. However, the fact that GOP is controlled by our enemies is
besides the point; as is the fact that Democratic clubs like the
Dolphins have
done great things for our community. As LGBT activists, our priority is
to
win equal rights for lesbian women, gay men, bisexuals and transgender
people
and not to elect politicians of one particular party. If the Obama
Administration and the Democrats in Congress want our support, they are
going to
have to earn it.

 

Gay Freedom Like too many other progressives, LGBT activists are sick and tired
of
being taken for granted by a Democratic Party that takes our votes, our
money
and our volunteer work and gives us little in return.  Admittedly, the
Republicans (except for Miami Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen) have done
nothing to win
our support, being married as they are to homophobic, religious
extremists.  However, the fact that GOP is controlled by our enemies is
besides the point; as is the fact that Democratic clubs like the
Dolphins have
done great things for our community. As LGBT activists, our priority is
to
win equal rights for lesbian women, gay men, bisexuals and transgender
people
and not to elect politicians of one particular party. If the Obama
Administration and the Democrats in Congress want our support, they are
going to
have to earn it.

Jesse Monteagudo is a regular contributor to White Crane and the GayWisdom blog.

The 100 Best LGBT Blogs!

LGFoundationLOGO Well, we just received word that we've been chosen as one of the "Best 100 LGBT Blogs" by the UK's Lesbian & Gay Foundation.  How great is that?

The list includes some of the heavy hitters, Andrew Sullivan, Joemygod, and towleroad and we're happy to be included among them.

As the editors wrote:

"LGF online have scoured the internet to bring you the most informative, entertaining and inspiring blogs from around the world…the blogs in this list have a call to arms, they want to inform you about your LGBT rights, and they want you to use them."

In highlighting the Gay Wisdom blog they mentioned our founding principle:

"Committed to the certainty that gay consciousness plays a special and important role in the evolution of life on Earth."

 

Building Connections & Community for Gay Men since 1989