Friends In Need?

A couple of weeks ago, Empire State Pride Agenda executive director Alan Van Capelle’s criticisms of Hillary, obtained by The Politicker, made national news. Since then, he’s been declining interviews, but he has an op-ed in Gay City News today which — though it doesn’t mention Hillary — lays out a political agenda for a movement that’s feeling pretty strong right now, and that’s trying to leverage the activism that’s politically important in New York, and the money that’s politically important nationally, into political clout.

Without naming names, he makes his criticism fairly clear:

In the last two years, some of the meanest, ugliest homophobes began to wage war against our community. It seemed that every day brought new attacks. There were constitutional amendments and threats of a Defense of Marriage Act. They said we were a threat to the sanctity of marriage, as if we were a people incapable of real love or devoid of a spiritual life. They said we were unfit to parent children. We were vilified.

As New Yorkers, we know what to do when a friend of ours is attacked — we fight back and defend that friend. But, where were our friends? Where were the people we voted for and whose job it is to represent us? Where were the people we counted on to look into those television cameras and say that they knew us and that we were not those things. Would it really be so hard in 2006 to say, “I have LGBT constituents–they are upstanding people, wonderful parents and they don’t deserve to be treated as second-class citizens”?

Most of our friends were silent; maybe they were afraid. All I know for sure is that most of them were nowhere to be found and that some in our community were making excuses for them.

One other tidibit: his group’s political action arm, he says, is planning to spend $200,000 this statewide election cycle. That’s quite a bit, and could affect the politics of the issue of marriage, which is expected to emerge from the courts soon.

Friends In Need?