LGBTQ advocates need to get over their championship hangover

Ever since the momentous nationwide victory over gay marriage last summer, the LGBTQ advocacy community has not had its act together. To borrow a sports metaphor, we seem to be suffering from a championship hangover, where the winning team from the previous year starts the next season playing below expectations.

From the loss of Proposition 8 in 2008 through last summer, the LGBTQ community was a team of destiny. Even if we didn’t win every battle in every state, everyone could feel that victory seemed inevitable. Since then, though, the playing field has shifted and the community hasn’t been prepared to fight back. States like Mississippi have always been among the least LGBTQ-friendly in the nation, but there’s no excuse for losing something like the HERO (Houston Equal Rights Ordinance) referendum.

The most frustrating aspect of the past year is that we know how to win these fights, but instead of truly taking them on, we’ve been relying on the business community to save us. It’s great that corporate executives succeeded in thwarting anti-LGBT legislation in Indiana and Georgia, but no movement should rely on profit-making businesses to safeguard their civil rights. Our movement needs to be able to do more than threaten to withhold capital.

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