Last Wednesday morning, I was sitting in front of the computer, a glass of iced coffee in my hand, and our debit card in the other hand.
I logged into www.fightbackpac.com, opened the donation page, and made a gift of $250 to Fight Back New York Political Action Committee.
For those of you that know me well, you know that I am not wealthy. I work for a small non-profit magazine. I am a poet. And I spend dozens of hours a week supporting a number of justice movement efforts. That calculus equals a fulfilling life but a relatively low cash flow existence.
To bring it into perspective, $250 represents 20% of one of my net paychecks.
And I was damn happy to give the money to Fight Back New York, and I am about to tell you why.
Last year, 38 Senators in the State of New York voted against a law that would have allowed queer couples to get married.
Stop. Breathe. No, I have NOT sipped the gay marriage kool aid.
But whether or not I agree with the amount of resources spent on fighting for marriage rights in the face of other more pressing and more real justice issues in the queer community, I will be DAMNED if an elected official will cast a vote to deny what is, in truth, a basic right and then move happily along with the rest of his or her life.
Fight Back NY is not a queer marriage organization. It is a political accountability organization. It's sole purpose is to make it politically dangerous for Democrats and Republicans to cast votes to deny basic human rights to LGBT people. Anyone that has voted against a gender inclusive ENDA, anyone that has voted against the Dignity for All Students bill, and anyone that has voted against same-sex marriage legislation will be targeted by Fight Back NYC. I will never give money to Freedom to Marry or the HRC--their politics, agenda, and bullying of queer organizations that do not share their same centrist/reformist/sometimes down right neo-con policies is something I can not get behind. But as long as our political system allows for bigots to sleep at night after casting straight up wrong votes, I will happily give money to accountability organizations.
Fight Back NYC is such an organization.
The organization has no infrastructure, and its overhead is almost non-existent. Since it is being supported by Gill Action PAC, it can direct almost all of the money that is gifted directly towards unseating anti-justice Senators.
I subscribe to the philanthropic philosophy that you give until it begins to hurt. $250 was my upper limit. There are others than can give much more and others that can give less, but, whatever your capacity, I hope that you will give.
You can make a gift at www.fightbackpac.com.