Gay Lesbian Freedom 2000
Visionary Politics For A New Generation
Gay Lesbian Freedom 2000 wants to change the world, to create a humane, peaceful, just society for all people. Certainly this includes the freedom to have sex with others of the same gender, but even more important is the way we treat one another in all aspects of our lives, especially those with whom we were sexually and emotionally involved.
We are not interested in reforming an unjust socioeconomic system to accommodate homosexuals. We are critical of consumerism and the exploitative nature of capitalism. We applaud advances in education, health care, housing, etc in socially progressive countries, but are painfully aware that homosexuality is condemned by both left and right governments. We seek coalitions with other progressive groups working for social change both here and throughout the world.
Now in the mid-nineties there seems to be an erosion of human values accelerated by those more interested in rewarding the greedy at the expense of society as a whole. The economic wealth of the US is concentrated in the hands of a few, and public funds are lavished on the arms industry, while education, health care, housing, transportation, infrastructure, and the environment are denied adequate resources. Quality of life and ethical considerations are ignored. Everything has been sacrificed to a market mentality.
The market reduces people to the twin functions of work and consumption. Nothing else matters. An individual who does neither is considered worthless, to be thrown away. Television shows us what we must own in order to be successful. Schools train us for careers. Society demands we produce goods and babies to keep the wheels spinning. We sell the use of our hands, eyes, feet, mouth, brain to survive in the material world.
For centuries, organized religion has also been used to control and manipulate people for the benefit of a few. Church leaders preach fear and hatred, pitting their followers against nonbelievers, claiming some are blessed while others are doomed. The physical is denied for the promised rewards of an afterlife. Unfortunately, neither blind faith in religion nor the limited trust in science provide adequate meaning in our lives today. Struggling to guarantee the basic material needs of food, housing, clothing, education, health care does not negate deeper spiritual needs and such things as love, hope, friendship, peace, joy, and community.
The radical agenda of Gay Lesbian Freedom 2000 is critical in the nineties. Hopefully the means of pursuit will be in harmony with the ends we desire or we will fail to achieve our goals, our efforts merely replacing one problem with another, exchanging one injustice for another, installing the previous victim as the new oppressor.
One goal is to eliminate all violence. To outlaw corporal punishment by parents. To stop child abuse, whether physical, emotional, or sexual. End domestic violence. Stop rape. To ban guns. Disarm law enforcement. To repeal the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. End capital punishment. To renounce war. Close military bases. To disarm the tremendous arsenal of weapons our country has amassed. Cease the further production of instruments of death made for use both here and abroad. To seek peaceful resolutions to all conflict. Utilize the resources once devoted to defense to create a more humane society.
Gays in the military was pushed as a top priority by some lesbian/gay activists after the Clinton election. Others in the community demand more AIDS funding. There is a move to legalize same-sex marriages. Also there is continued struggle against job discrimination. For me the most pressing issue affecting lesbians and gays is the establishment of single-payer health care coverage for all people in the US. Despite recent setbacks, it can unite not only our community, but align us with progressive groups in many other communities to benefit the entire nation.
There is something drastically wrong with a country which has a prison population of a million. To encourage prison building as another growth industry while ignoring the educational needs of our children is not acceptable. Racism, primarily directed against blacks, but secondarily against latinos, and various other ethnic groups, is part of the problem, which will not be solved until we stop thinking in terms of them and us, encourage honest dialogue, seek and implement measures to resolve the injustices of economic inequality and community disenfranchisement.
We need to sit down with our neighbors, our community, to discuss the kind of society we want. It will not happen if left to the maneuvering of special-interest groups each carving up their share without concern for the general welfare of all. Presently a small minority of individuals controls the majority of the wealth, an increasing majority is destitute, while those in the middle are steadily losing ground economically.
I would like to see both a minimum and maximum income established. A guarantee of $10,000 and a limit of $5,000,000 per person. No employee of a company would be allowed to receive a salary more than ten times that of the lowest paid employee in the same organization. We cannot afford to indulge the neurotic obsession for unlimited wealth and power of a few while the basic needs of many remain unfulfilled.
As a step toward gender equality, since each state is entitled to two senators, one should be a woman and the other a man. That is the least we can do to encourage balance in the US Senate. The same principle might be applied to bicameral state legislatures which have two elected officials from each county in one of the houses.
Gay Lesbian Freedom 2000 is a vision requiring the input and participation of all gays and lesbians to make it happen. There are no leaders, we are equal partners in this great venture, and together we can make it a realitycopyright © 1995 by N. A. Diaman.
Gay Lesbian Freedom 2000 owes much to its predecessor, Gay Liberation Front. But the appeal and effectiveness of the newer group must be tailored to the conditions and needs of the present rather than uncritically accepting the presumptions and forms of the past.
One way to organize Gay Lesbian Freedom 2000 is to start by forming consciousness-raising groups. In a large city, these groups might have a neighborhood focus. It will be easier to get to weekly CR meetings, encourage new friendships with others living close by, and might later provide the group with ideas to reach out to those living around them. A neighborhood orientation might not be feasible in the beginning if the initial response to potential members are scattered throughout the city. But as subsequent CR groups are formed by those involved in an initial group, it might be possible to direct new recruits to a group close to where they live.
Step two is to bring the individuals in all the CR groups together for a monthly social event, whether it be a party, potluck, dance, rave. It has to be fun, otherwise people will not stay around. These activities can also include nonmembers, introducing new people to Gay Lesbian Freedom 2000 by giving them an opportunity to meet those already involved. Contact numbers, literature, etc might be available there for that purpose.
Project committees can be formed by those interested in working on specific tasks. Perhaps a social committee, publicity, outreach to the lesbian/gay community, coalition building with other progressive groups, art, literature, music, theatre, video.
Regional or state-wide gatherings can be held two or three times a year to bring together Gay Lesbian Freedom 2000 members from various cities, college campuses, and rural communities. These would be week-end long events which combine socializing and workshops. They can be held either in the city or the country, whichever best suits the desires of those in a particular area.
A Gay Lesbian Freedom 2000 database of names, addresses, phone numbers, etc will facilitate communication among individuals and groups throughout the country. It will essential for organizing local, regional, and national events, as well as providing members traveling to meet their counterparts in other places.
Annual conventions can bring together people from the entire nation to discuss goals, directions, more ambitious projects. This would be an opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with women and men from coast to coast, perhaps even plan mass actions when appropriate.
Gay Lesbian Freedom 2000 will be a decentralized network of autonomous small groups dedicated to equality and economic justice for all. Working, playing, and loving together we can change the world.
copyright © 1995 by N. A. Diaman.