It will be run by Richard Socarides, a former domestic policy adviser to President Bill Clinton who has been deeply critical of President Obama’s record on gay rights. A well-known gay journalist, Kerry Eleveld, the Washington correspondent for The Advocate, will leave that magazine in January to edit the new group’s Web site, equalitymatters.org, which is to go online Monday morning.Yes, there's the obvious issue of marriage, and one might want a federal statute forbidding employment discrimination. All right. Fine. But let's look a little farther into the future and think about the political repercussions. What would happen to the gay rights movement if the specific discrimination ended and ordinary legal equality were achieved?
“Yesterday was a very important breakthrough,” Mr. Socarides said... “But we will celebrate this important victory for five minutes, and then we have to move on, because we are the last group of Americans who are discriminated against in federal law and there is a lot of work to do.”
Right now, gay people look to the Democratic Party (and to judges appointed by Democratic Presidents) to get these basic rights. The Democratic Party gets a political advantage by looking like a repository of hope. But would gay people continue to favor Democrats if the Democrats actually followed through and satisfied those hopes? There'd be some gratefulness, but — unless Republicans succumb to the temptation to say mean things — wouldn't gay people melt into the general population and, from that point on, vote based on what they thought about economic policies, national defense, environmental issues and so forth? Achieving equality would liberate gay people in may ways, but one of those ways would be that they could vote for Republicans if they agreed with them about issues other than gay rights issues.