CommunityPam's House Blend

GetEqual's Robin McGehee has face-to-face with WH 'gay liaison' Brian Bond

Americablog has a guest post by Robin McGehee of GetEqual up today, and she will meet with Brian Bond, Deputy Director of the Office of Public Engagement for the Obama administration, a.k.a the gay liaison that no one outside the Beltway knows (see my exclusive interview with him here). Robin:

Only two short days after being arrested for chaining myself to the White House fence and asking my President why he hasn’t fulfilled his promise of equality, I’ll pass through the same gate and by those familiar guard shacks today to meet with Brian Bond, Deputy Director of the Office of Public Engagement. I accepted Mr. Bond’s request for a meeting, but let me be clear – I don’t, for a second, plan on backing down. Not for a second will I be talked out of fighting for my community’s equality because of political pressure or the fear of not being invited back. Instead, I plan on following in the footsteps of Rep. Luis Gutierrez, an elected leader who showed the courage to fight for what he believed in by being arrested because of the lack of leadership other elected leaders are showing on immigration reform. As Rep. Guiterrez did yesterday, I too will honor the meeting they requested with me, but I won’t honor any closed-door attempts to quiet a community starving for their dignity and their equality.

What I will do is share with them the t-shirt I wore as I walked precincts with my son in 2008, handing out No on 8 and Obama for America campaign signs. If this Administration is going to talk to me today about how hard it is to create change, I will tell them how hard it is to walk door to door in the very red community of Fresno, California. I will share with them the story of Cpl. Evelyn Thomas, the human face of the statistic showing that women of color are disproportionately kicked out of the military under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. And I will reassure them that we will continue to organize, although we don’t want to have to, and this pressure won’t stop until we see the fierce advocacy we were promised.

Karen Ocamb of LGBT POV has a good feature on this as well. She echoes from a prior post, the description of Bond’s role in this admin.

You might remember the name Brian Bond. He’s usually the guy folks from the national LGBT organizations mean when they say they had a meeting with the White House about LGBT issues and “strategy.” Last May, I wrote a piece entitled Will White House LGBT ‘Liaison’ Brian Bond’s Failure Lead to Repercussions in November?” I wrote:

“The problem for Obama is – no one knows Brian Bond, except Beltway insiders and selected A-gay “leaders” with whom he apparently holds private meetings to presumably discuss the LGBT “agenda.” It is impossible to know what is being discussed because the A-gays do not report back to the community either.

Bond has not sought to engage the larger LGBT community, as Obama ordered, through regular communication with LGBT reporters and bloggers to keep the community up to speed about progress or delays on LGBT issues. Nor, it appears, has Bond sought to learn what is happening on the ground among the grassroots and ordinary LGBT people. If there is a “front door” to the White House, Bond is not holding it open to LGBT people.”

So Bond called for this meeting with McGehee – the pissed off lesbian mom from Fresno who went from organizing the Prop 8-related Meet in the Middle march and rally in Fresno, California to the National Equality March in Washington DC to co-founding the direct action group GetEQUAL with Kip Williams. I wonder if Bond knows what he’s in for.

Whether Brian is ready or not, we’ll find out just what went on in that meeting soon enough from Robin.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding