GetEQUAL members salute Sgt. Matlovich

GetEQUAL protests at White House

A new group, formed only this year, GetEQUAL is raising the ire of some in the LGBTQ community with their protest actions.  Focus On The Rainbow blogger Lyndon Evans takes GetEQUAL to task for todays events.  Calling the vigil at the gravesite a “photo-op” and a disgrace, Evans chastises Choi and GetEQUAL for staging “stunts”.

I can see the point about the “vigil”, and Evans may be right about that.  A vigil the day before might have been a more appropriate action, with today’s protest as a followup.  That said, GetEQUAL’s events have served to call media attention to the utter lack of real action by the President and the White House on repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.  Big talk, no walk is what many in the advocacy and activist communities see coming from the Obama administration.  With the lame duck session of the Senate looking at a filibuster of the National Defense Authorization Act by Arizona Senator John McCain,  the White House has been MIA on this issue.  Some other national gay organizations have also seemed ineffective in advancing the repeal of DADT.  Monday’s announcement by OutServe and KnightsOut that they would support the removal of DADT repeal from the NDAA further erodes the support needed to get it struck from the law.  GetEQUAL‘s actions are in many ways the only real activism from the LGBT community occurring at a nationally visible level.

It’s easy for bloggers to sit back and criticize (or praise) others, but the actions of Lt. Choi, Robin McGehee,  and 11 others are at the least an example of people fighting for what they believe to be right.  Always non-violent, their civil disobedience is a clear sign to those who may have been sucked into the Washington Beltway mind-set of politics-as-usual, that there are still activists who will publicly stand for gay rights.

Kudos to GetEQUAL, Dan Choi, Robin McGehee, and the others who today stood again for what is right.