Today is World AIDS Day, but in Hawaii the focus is on tomorrow, the first day for legal gay marriage.
As Hawaii church leaders consider how to ‘build bridges’ with the gay community, consider that religious charities are caring for the homeless, mentally ill, physically ill, and drug addicted who, contrary to elitist imagery, comprise many of the millions of people who engage in homosexual acts.
The Church literally cradles the hidden gay base in its hands while gay leaders and a movement rake in the bucks and receive the laurels and plaudits. This is a starting point for ‘bridge building.’
Here is a selection of articles exposing the exploitation of LGBTQ people by corporate-sponsored “Gay Inc.” leaders:
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Gay Community Won Battles on Marriage, But May Be Losing the War on HIV/AIDS
by Elizabeth Flock, USNews & World Report (excerpts)
It was only fitting that the logo of the Human Rights Campaign would become the symbol of the two gay marriage wins at the Supreme Court [in late June] – on California's same-sex marriage ban, and on federal benefits for gay couples. HRC, the largest LGBT group in the country, had thrown an enormous amount of resources behind the fight for gay marriage. Its "Millions for Marriage" campaign had, quite literally, raised millions.
But while the HRC has racked up win after win on marriage, it may be quietly losing another, harder battle, a battle some say it hasn't fought very hard to win: the fight against HIV/AIDS.
In December 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released startling new data that showed HIV was still plaguing the gay community [...]
The Kaiser Health Foundation recently described the problem of HIV in the city of Washington, where the HRC and many other big LGBT groups are headquartered, as "as epidemic on par with some developing nations."
"Gay and bisexual men remain at the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic," says Jonathan Mermin, the director of the CDC's division of HIV/AIDS prevention. "But HIV is not always at the top of the list of priorities for LGBT organizations."
When HRC spokesman Michael Cole-Schwartz lists off the priorities for the organization, the list is long: gay marriage, workplace nondiscrimination protections, safe schools, corporate support and benefits for employees, fostering positive places of worship. He doesn't name HIV/AIDS.Choosing priorities, Cole-Schwartz says, is a "balancing act" and the issue of HIV/AIDS is one he says "thankfully we haven't had to deal with too much." Most of HRC's work on the disease, he says, is done through partnerships or coalitions.
It's not just the HRC. HIV/AIDS isn't a top priority for any of the three major LGBT groups in the U.S.: not the HRC, or the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), or the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) – who together are somewhat pejoratively known as "Gay Inc."
"'Gay Inc.' is interested in military, marriage, and money," says Michael Petrelis, a gay and AIDS activist, in reference to the campaigns against the military policy of "don't ask, don't tell," which was overturned in 2010, and the Defense of Marriage Act, which was ruled unconstitutional last week. "But for the millions of gay people who don't want to be soldiers, who don't want to get married, where's the advocacy?" he says. Peter Staley, a gay activist who founded the Treatment Action Group, a HIV/AIDS activist organization, also uses the term."The recent rise of HIV/AIDS ... is huge and it's not talked about because 'Gay Inc.' says nothing about it," he says. In a recent op-ed in The Washington Post, Staley urged 'Gay Inc.' to allocate 10 percent of its budget to fighting HIV. He estimates the groups currently spend less than 1 percent, a number HRC said it couldn't confirm or deny because it doesn't break down its spending by issue type, while GLAAD and NGLTF didn't respond to request for comment.
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It’s the Way of the World: Bradley Manning and Gay, Inc.
by Burkeley Hermann, Nation of Change (excerpt)
…What Glenn Greenwald wrote next was a bombshell: “[the] remarkable shift in public opinion on gay equality…is less significant than it seems because...gay equality poses no real threat to elite factions...If anything, it bolsters those power structures.”
One must ask: does the cause of gay equality “pose no threat” to the ruling elite?
First one must understand, that the LGBTQ rights movement has changed over time. BusinessWeek calls the gay rights movement, “one of the most successful political enterprises in history” because of its contributions in the last 40 years. However, this “enterprise” has led people to worry: lesbian host Ellen DeGeneres is perceived as the mainstream gay perspective, that there is a slow response of the movement to lynching of LGBT people in Honduras, how liberals support equal rights in rhetoric but refuse to support legislation putting it place and finally how from the 1970s on, the movement allied with the Democratic Party while the current “LGBT leadership...abandons...an agenda that stresse[s]...social [and]...economic justice…[like] the Human Rights Campaign [HRC]…ignor[ing] homelessness and poverty altogether.”
From this, I began to look into Gay Inc. Andy Thayer defines this term as encompassing all of the big gay non-profits, from the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) to the HRC but I would expand it to include the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), the Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Out and Equal Workplace Advocates (Out and Equal), GLAAD, Family Equality Council, and the National Gay and Lesbian Center of Commerce (NGLCC). Also it would includes other groups like the Arcus Foundation, the Gill Foundation, Log Cabin Republicans, Freedom To Marry, Equality Forum, Lesbian Victory Fund, and American Foundation for Equal Rights. Is it the way of the world that major LGBTQ organizations rely heavily on corporate sponsorship?
Before I get into the organizations themselves, as the saying goes, follow the money. The sponsorships of Gay Inc. give a further insight. The banksters who helped plunge the world economy into economic crisis sponsored a number of organizations including the HRC, NGLTF, GLAD, PFLAG, NGLCC, Out and Equal, GLSEN, and GLAAD. As for the companies that are part of the Center for Copyright Information that devised the authoritarian copyright alert system which is commonly called “Six Strikes,” they back Equality Forum, Out and Equal, NGLTF, and GLAAD. There are many other egregious corporate sponsors of the NGLTF, HRC, GLAD,PFLAG, Equality Forum, Family Equality Council, NGLCC, Out and Equal (has 55 sponsors!), GLSEN, and GLAAD (here and here). Some might say that this is no different from any other public interest group in America, but Gay Inc. is uniquely corrupted by the business community.
How do these groups pay back their sponsors? It differs from group to group. The NGLTF inadvertently call for people to vote for Democrats and backed the healthcare “reform” bill while the HRC's ‘corporate equality index’ praises Corporate America as this year’s report gave the highest ratings possible to some of those who sponsored them! GLAD has a Board of Directors including including former employees of Verizon, HRC, and GlaxoSmithKline while the GLSEN, who came up with the idea of Gay-Straight Alliances, has a Board of Directors comprised of most of their corporate sponsors. Out & Equal tries to help LGBTQ people find jobs has groups on their“LGBTCareerLink” page including BP, Bank of America, GE, Comcast, PNC, and Clorox, half of whom are their sponsors. NGLCC is even worse as they making an effort to make corporate America LGBTQ “certified” and the Equality Forum has a former Comcast CEO on their Board of Governors while their major sponsor is Comcast itself.
The other groups that have less of a roll in Gay Inc. are also corrupted. The Arcus Foundation has a former member of the Rockefeller Foundation, a CNN correspondent, and IBM employee on their Board while the Gill Foundation has similar board members. Freedom To Marry, which wants gay marriage and DOMA repealed, has the vice-president of Amazon.com, and a surrogate speaker for President Obama on their board of directors while they praising Mayor 1% Emanuel, Mayor Bloomberg, and Glenn Beck, as voices for equality! The American Foundation for Equal Rights which claims to want equal rights for all has a board of Directors including the HRC president, and the Chairman of the CATO institute. Other groups just follow along like the Log Cabin Republicans and the Stonewall Democrats which advocate for gay policy in their respective parties while the Lesbian Victory Fund endorses LGBT candidates....
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WaPo: Gay marriage is great, but how about some love for the AIDS fight?
HuffPo: The Cowardice of Gay Inc.
WRR: Gay Inc.’s Obsession with Gay Marriage
WRR: Equality for Some is Not Equality for All